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The Alaska Series: Leaving

5 of a 5 part series. Read part 1 here

My last week in Alaska, I traveled. I grabbed the dogs, a rental car and drove through Denali to Anchorage, dodging roaming bears and reindeer (*only around Anchorage, though).

Denali was perhaps one of the most beautiful natural settings that I’d ever seen and Anchorage was the perfect way to wrap up my time in Alaska.

  • First view of Denali

    My first views of Denali.

  • Near the center of Denali

    This was taken near the center of Denali. I stopped to let the dogs out to run around, drink water, etc., and was taken aback by the beautiful view.

  • Mid-Denali

    Driving through the Denali mountains looks like this... mountains and snow as far as the eye can see.

  • More Denali

  • Right outside of Anchorage

  • The beach in Anchorage

    There are a lot of beaches here. Yes, I was surprised too.

  • The drive back home

    The drive back home (to Fairbanks) from Anchorage.

Anchorage was a bit different from Fairbanks, just because it was so much bigger. It was more like the “big city” that I was used to. It also gave me a lot to think on. People made a lot of money off of oil and their news reports were filled with dismayed reports of gas prices going down. Back in Charlottesville, my friends and I had celebrated the cheap gas prices. This meant that we could take more road trips to Richmond and D.C.! It was sobering to realize that for Alaskans, our good fortune was a threat to their livelihood.

Now that I’m roughly 4000 miles away at school, starting my third week of class, and I’m still processing Alaska.

            Was it worth it? My friends want to know. Would you do it again?

Honestly, yes and no. I would definitely go back to Alaska to vacation. Especially Anchorage. I’ve also learned infinite patience for myself and willingness to try something that’s a little dangerous. It’s something that I’m bringing back with me to Charlottesville as I search for jobs and new cities to live in after graduation. And I really really miss those dogs.  But running water is nice and a car that didn’t break down every few seconds in the middle of nowhere would be nicer. I’m very, very happy to be back in Charlottesville. I missed a lot about Charlottesville. I missed being warm enough to wear shorts outside, the beautiful sunset over Carter’s Mountain and sitting on the lawn with my friends. Since school (and my fourth year) has started, I’ve spent more time on the lawn more than ever, laughing as little kids and dogs run around and lawnies laze on their hammocks. It’s even more exciting now that I have lots of friends that live on the lawn! Although I have another 8 months until graduation, Alaska taught me that I’ll have to cherish every moment I have left here.

 

5 of a 5 part series. Read part 1 here

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