I was very excited to not be on the move. At least not propelled by self-inspired ambition. I had a four-day ferry to take me to the last destination of my big trip. I was hoping that sitting on the ferry for a few days would be as restorative as the previous month of travel. A vacation from the vacation. The gypsy wings that had carried me tirelessly to the corners of the country had had their fill for a little while. It was time to start another chapter.
I filled a lot of my time on the ship reading or talking with my fellow passengers. The ferry was loaded with wandering hearts. Those steadfast and those searching; all wondering. There was a man who was living his longtime dream of visiting Alaska while thinking about divorcing his wife. A woman who had a temporary nursing contract in a small town. Two families taking their kids on a two-week trip through SE Alaska, fulfilling old dreams and inspiring new. One gentleman was an engineer that lead the team that developed the sensor used to determine the friction coefficient of air. His invention helped to put astronauts on the moon, and satellites in space. Hans was delivering a new car to his grandson because it was an excuse to take one more solo trip to Alaska. There was a fella who developed code that opened the internet from a few languages to recognizing hundreds. Another young woman was returning home with an engineering degree to improve her home state. To me, that ferry ride through the Inside Passage to the Last Frontier, was the most fitting end to this trip across the United States.
I was the last person to drive off the ferry before it returned to Bellingham. Trusty old Jenny carried me onto Baranof Island with a re-found appreciation for the stories that we are all writing. The stories, that even when we forget, are being penned.
Tonight, I write from a position in the Gulf of Alaska, on a different ship. The ferry ride was a few weeks ago now, and this first voyage on KUKUI has been everything I thought it would be. I am quickly falling in love. You will find me here; sunkissed, briar-poked, salt-crusted, and very magically full of life.