North To Alaska (Final Day)

Woke up with the sunrise again; went out on the beach for one last wander up and down the rocky shore.

My sister and I wandering along the shore
My sister and I wandering along the shore

A large purple starfish on the beach
A large purple starfish on the beach
One lane in, one lane out. Pretty simple evacuation route...
One lane in, one lane out. Pretty simple evacuation route...

Packed up and headed out of Homer. Stopped at the  Art Shop Gallery where I’d seen a Byron Birdsall print of Homer Spit (entitled “End of the Road”) the day before. My sister and I both ended up buying one as a memento.

My sister also surprised me with a pen-and-ink print of Cafe Cups done by a local artist. Such a great way to remember our visit!

Headed back up Sterling Highway to Seward Highway and Anchorage. Our flight out was around 11 pm, so we had plenty of time to enjoy more scenery along the way. Stopped for a little while at Kenai Lake–beautiful views all around!

View across Kenai Lake
View across Kenai Lake
Kenai Lake looked perfectly clear close up, but at any distance, it was this beautiful teal color!
Kenai Lake looked perfectly clear close up, but at any distance, it was this beautiful teal color!

A swanky resort on the other side of the lake
A swanky resort on the other side of the lake

As we left Kenai Lake, we noticed a plane in someone's driveway, rather than a car!
As we left Kenai Lake, we noticed a plane in someone's driveway, rather than a car!
Another lake near the intersection of Sterling & Seward Highways
Another lake near the intersection of Sterling & Seward Highways
Time to turn left, toward home!
Time to turn left, toward home!

Arrived back in Anchorage mid-afternoon. Visited a couple of shops for a few last-minute souvenirs, but mostly we just savored our last hours in Alaska. Went to the airport in plenty of time to catch our flight (Anchorage to Seattle to Houston to Asheville). Although most people fell asleep on the plane,  I was still wide-awake for some reason. Watched all that big, black sky outside the airplane and saw all the stars sprinkled through it. I could see the Big Dipper–the symbol on Alaska’s state flag–near the tail of the plane for a long time. Felt like Alaska was right over my shoulder, saying farewell. There was a lightning storm, too, as we neared Seattle–it was amazing to see the strikes and flashes lighting up the clouds beyond the wing of the plane.

Arrived back in Asheville with no further adventures. Read a little more of “Our Mutual Friend,” but would have to finish it later, at home. And so ended the adventure in our nation’s 50th state, and our celebrations of personal milestones. It was quite a trip, and one I hope everyone has a chance to take at some point!

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