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Goodby to my home Alaska

May 4, 2016
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….This posting is made exactly 6 days before I leave Alaska. I posted it today because I must take down the antenna and pack the radio gear used for my Winlink email. I will not be able to access my Winlink email from today until I am set up in Texas around May 20th. I may have access to my yahoo account before then so if you needed to reach out to me I would try at: kl1hbalaska@yahoo.com

………….
It is as if Alaska knew I would be leaving this morning because for some reason here at my cabin there was still, in many places, snow covering the ground. It was a kind of last look at a country that I will no doubt never see again.

There was of course that last walk around through a home I had lived in for fourteen years. Pausing here and there when some memory rose to the surface, this was one of the last hard steps I have to take before heading South.

Thousands of memories were born here, from moose walking down my drive to greet me as I walked outside to my first radio contact as an amateur radio operator. The years of friendship with Rose the woman who owns the homestead and her daughter Kara sitting in the mornings talking over coffee. Or the years of watching Kara’s children, Paul and Sam grow to adulthood and for one even a marriage in the home we built for Kara.

Then there are my neighbors who filled hundreds of hours with their un-judging friendship. From Chet my closest neighbor who took the time to spend endless nights sitting and discussing everything from politics to religion, to Joe and his wife Nancy who operate the Arctic circle trading post a couple miles down the hill. During the summer when the store was open I would be there many mornings for coffee and conversation and at the same time observing the many tourists that ventured this far North.

…or the Bushwacker’s, Vicky and Jean who have lived in this area for quite a long time before I showed up who built their home from the ground up like we did with only a little outside help. Lastly their is Richard, a Vietnam veteran, who shuns civilization but if you are fortunate enough to become his friend will display his warmth and comradeship that exists beneath a war troubled surface.

As I close my door for the last time I am quite apprehensive that I will never be a part of a group of people like this who have chosen to live a hard but rewarding life in America’s Last frontier.


With sadness and a touch of fear
I close the door on this chapter of my life,
because I can but wonder
what I will encounter
down this new road of my life


This posting is made possible through Winlink
the ham radio emergency email system.

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2016 5:08 pm

    Pete, I know you probably won’t see this until you reach your new destination, but I wanted to thank you. I started following you I think about 2 years or so ago, when I started planning my solo trip to Alaska. I haven’t always commented on your post, but have truly enjoyed them. Thank you for having brought Alaska to me long after my trip was all done! I wish you a safe journey down to Texas and hope that you settle into your new life without too many issues. I look forward to seeing what adventures await you down there. Safe travels my friend.

    Like

    • May 11, 2016 7:30 pm

      I never thought when I first started that I would touch people I have never met with my words. As always I am glad to receive feedback either pro or con because it means someone actually thought about the words that were formed in my cabin on the edge of nowhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Del permalink
    May 5, 2016 3:04 am

    Yea Pete I sure missed the days in Eureka…. When I was last up we went to our old cabin that was built in the 30’s and it was still there… Had a lot of good memories come back to me in that visit… AK will always be in your soul and heart as its been in mine…You’ll always be Alaskan………. Have a safe trip and enjoy the scenery…

    Like

    • May 11, 2016 7:32 pm

      May be stuck here in Ft Nelson BC but you are so right, I cried like a baby when I left and not just because Alaska became a part of my soul but because of the people who turned out to say good-by.

      Like

  3. Scott permalink
    May 5, 2016 4:04 am

    Pete, I have enjoyed every one of your postings since I stumbled across your blog a couple of years ago. For me, each posting was a vivid description of your wonderful life and friends in Alaska. Your words were on target, and brought many smiles to my face.

    I’m sure the Lord has more adventures for you in Texas, where family will be near. God Bless, my friend. Safe travels, and press forward.

    Like

    • May 11, 2016 7:53 pm

      Thanks Scott and please keep me your prayers, I will need it just to make the journey. I hope when I get settled and connected I can bring a mixture of fresh thoughts sprinkled with more memories of Americas last frontier.

      Like

  4. May 5, 2016 5:40 am

    I know this was an amazingly difficult choice for you, Pete, and you remain very uncertain as to the wisdom underlying it. I’ve tried to put myself in your place many, many times but I just cannot ‘make it’; my 34 months of living in semi-rural south central Alaska does not equal your 168 months of off the grid life! I hope that because I chose to be ‘on the grid’, at least in terms of electricity and well water, I will be able to maintain my lifestyle until I no longer need this mortal coil. But in so doing I’ve missed a part of co-existing with ‘The Last Frontier’ you came to know so intimately. Please, please try to keep that open mind!! I know I’ve harped on this over and over but even negative situations can and do generate positive energy. A gentleman of your caliber will find new friends and adventures galore in Texas. No, it is not interior Alaska, but it is different and will have its own charms. You always have an open door and a spare bedroom, as long as ya don’t mind my narrow and steep stairs, here at Mile 7.1 of the Spur. And, of course, there’s always email and blogging. In fact, now that you’ll have broadband that makes mine look slow, we can even Skype! See, there’s one positive I’m not sure either of us previously considered! Drive safe, take it easy and stay in touch, my Friend! I know you will miss Alaska just as I know she will miss you!!

    Like

    • May 11, 2016 7:34 pm

      Bill.. I miss her so much already. But I hope you weren’t kidding because there may one day be a knock at your home and I will be standing there.

      Like

  5. May 5, 2016 11:25 am

    We’ll miss your posts from Alaska and look forwarding to your writings from Texas. Happy trails.

    Like

    • May 11, 2016 7:38 pm

      My body may be in Texas but my soul will remain at the cabin on the edge of nowhere. And what makes you think I will not write more about Alaska? I will have good access to the internet so maybe now I can edit some of that 20 some cart’s of video I have that was filmed during my early years in Alaska…. But you know me I write about anything that gets stuck in this addled mind so we will see what path God directs me too.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jon permalink
    May 6, 2016 8:21 am

    Pete,
    I am sure glad Margie & I got up there last fall & able to visit with you 3 times. Must tug at your heartstrings to leave your home, but you can always come back “home” for a visit when your health permits.

    I’ve enjoyed your postings & replying to them with my own humble opinions as well as reading those of others. If not for this blog, Margie & I would not know Forever Alaskan & the pleasure of meeting him in Talkeetna on our trip last year. Another good Alaskan.

    Along with the others, wishing you good luck, health & a very safe trip. No doubt the Lord will watch over you.

    If your trip to Texas takes you close to Minnesota, please do contact us. You are always welcome here.

    Jon

    Like

    • May 11, 2016 7:50 pm

      Thank you Jon for your heart felt words. It is because of you and the others that follow and respond that makes me want to continue to write. This blog started by my son for me to write in depth about what was happening at the cabin because a phone call once a week would not have much but the necessities. But that seed he planted has expanded in many directions and has touched people around the world, all because like yourself you took the time to let me know what you thought.

      Like

  7. May 12, 2016 4:23 pm

    Wow I have missed all your posts! I’m so sorry. I’m trying to reduce social media time so I miss a lot. :(. Thank you so much for sharing Alaska with us. My one trip there showed me what an incredibly beautiful place it is but you brought a realness to it like no one else. I’ll have to catch up to find out where you’re going. Best wishes!!!

    Like

  8. May 21, 2016 10:19 am

    Pete, the Interior won’t be the same now that you have headed off for running water. We never met, but I thoroughly enjoyed knowing that you were in the “neighborhood”. I wish you nothing but the best as you start a new chapter in life. Take care Pete.

    Like

  9. July 1, 2016 5:57 am

    best of luck on your new life adventure

    Like

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