Storyknife #1: Arriving Alaska

Old guy. Cane. Black fleece vest. Black trucker’s cap. Black slacks. Black leather orthotic sneakers. He veers my way. I think he’s going to ask for help. Directions somewhere. How to get to baggage claim, maybe. His cane click clacks with every step.

“I don’t know,” he says when he gets a few feet away from me. He seems nice enough, I think. I’d be happy to help him.

He doesn’t miss a stride. “Your sled dog doesn’t look too spry.”

Audrey. My travel companion. She’s strapped to my carryon. “She just got off a red eye flight,” I say.

“Ah, yes. It was tough on her, I see,” he says and walks on by, chuckling to himself.

This is why I travel with a stuffed dog. For encounters like this.

After landing at Anchorage at 4:45 am and waiting until 6:00 for the rental car counter to open, I discovered I didn’t have a reservation. Well, I did but not at the airport. Rather at a downtown location. The good news was it totaled $300 less than the airport could offer. The bad was it was 20 minutes and $20 away and didn’t open for another two hours.

I waited.

When my cab driver with the last name the same as my first dropped me off, I was greeted by darling Rachel, a young woman with a quirky sense of humor. Did I want the Toyota This or That? “They’re both in the same class but the This is nicer than the That. I think you’ll be happy with it.”

“Great. I trust you,” I said. Mostly I was too tired to make choices.

“Grey or silver,” she asked?

“Really. I have to choose between grey or silver?”

She punched a clicker and lights flickered on a vehicle outside the window. “That’s the grey,” she said.

“Do you have a preference?” I asked.

“The grey,” she said.

“Grey it its,” I said.

That was the end of the questions. She didn’t try to sell me insurance or a tank of gas or GPS or a child seat.

“Now I have a question,” I said.

“Shoot,” she said.


“Gwennie’s” said.

“Spelled G-y-n-n-i-e?” I asked

“G-w-e-n-n-i-e,” she said.

“What do you recommend I order?”

A smile spread across her face. “Well, I like the steamed clams.”

“For breakfast?”

She nodded. The tendrils of hair piled on her head in a ponytail hop-scotched in joy. “Or the reindeer sausage and eggs,” she added.

So I drive the 3.8 miles to Gwennie’s in my grey Toyota This. A party entered after me. I heard a clickety clack. When I lift my head to glance their way, I see it’s my dog-loving old friend in black with the cane. He ordered the clams.

And this was my entry into Alaska.

I’ll write more about what I am doing here another time.

19 Comments Add yours

  1. Mary says:

    Love it! What did you order? Obviously not the reindeer sausage and eggs. Give Audrey kisses from Auntie Mary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim says:

      Eggs and avocado smothered in cheese whiz! It was rather filling. Hard to eat vegan in Alaska. I just ate the most amazing fried fresh halibut!


  2. Mindy Smith says:

    wonderful entry. let me know if you want to hook up with my lady friends in Homer! they are flavorful!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim says:

      I will. Might go stir crazy about day 20!


  3. Dana Wilke says:


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim says:

      I’m elated!


  4. marcia harter says:

    Can’t wait to read more!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Barb says:

    Yep, those overnight AK Airlines flights, HNL –> ANC are killers.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. suegranzella says:

    Love it! I look forward to following your wonderful — and well-earned — adventure. May it be rich!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim says:

      Thank you, Sue. I’m holding on to your vision of richness!


  7. Jamie says:

    Howard says, “Hi Audrey!” We can’t wait to read more.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. JoAnne says:

    Glad you made it through the Hawaiian hurricanes and are already writing, taking gorgeous photos and meeting the locals!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Will enjoy this adventure vicariously, girlfriend!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Rocky says:

    Gwennie’s is my favorite place for Breakfast in Anchorage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim says:

      Glad to know Rachel’s directions were spot on!


  11. Pete says:

    Welcome to Alaska, but one humble suggestion travel North to see more of the real Alaska and just not more civilization.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim says:

      Actually, I traveled south to the tip of the Kenai Peninsula. And I’m smitten. I’ll come back again and go north, as you suggest;-)


  12. pam says:

    I was curious about how the veggie cuisine was up there? xoxoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim says:

      Amazingly, I had a delicious tomato tart and spinach souffle at a poet-friend’s house, ingredients grown in her “high tunnel.” You might know a high tunnel as a greenhouse. But what’s really on the menu in these parts is the seafood, from salmon to halibut to oysters to crab. When I travel, I practice the when-in-Rome diet!


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