Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Mini-reunion

Karen and I buzzed with excitement as passengers disembarked from Alaska Airline’s sole southbound flight into Petersburg.  My Middlebury College roommate, Karl Schneider and his wife, Mary, were arriving for a visit -- the first by anyone from my college days.  But then, it’s only been 51 years.  Now, despite the Schneiders living in Homer and Karen and me in Petersburg, a mere 1200-plus mile drive after an 18-hour ferry ride, we still hadn’t seen each other in well over 20 years.

Karl’s letters from the north after graduation were the impetus that first lured me to Alaska.  With his characteristic dry sense of humor he always was, and still is, a gripping story teller. -- whether on paper or in person.  I think Karl could entice a Kirby vacuum cleaner salesperson into buying a Kenmore vacuum at Sears. 

You can imagine my disappointment when the plane’s passengers had all assembled in the terminal without me spotting Karl.  However, scanning the new arrivals, I did spot a man I recognized as Karl’s dad from our Middlebury years.  Amazingly Karl’s dad hadn’t changed a bit since I last saw him over 50 years ago.  But, wait....  Could it be Karl has unexpectedly aged over the course of these decades.  I’m sure glad I haven’t. 

One advantage to having friends visit is the impetus for Karen and me to visit our favorite locales and even places new to us -- areas that we rarely go to on our own.  Inertia and routine can certainly get in the way of priorities. 

Karl and Mary, Don and Karen amidst the dwarf fireweed at Shakes Lake in the Stikine-LeConte Wilderness Area

Karl makes a point as Mary ponders its meanings at a picnic table conveniently provided by the US Forest Service at Man Made Hole on Mitkof Island.

     Karl and Mary glass for brown bears with Karen in the foreground at Anan Creek.

Karl's feet on the left, Karen's on the right.  I wonder if they saw the bear on the other side of the railing?

It looks like they've spotted a photographer (Karen) on the other side of some brush that looks like a lot of fun to crash through.

Karl, backed up by Karen and Mary photograph icebergs on Shakes Lake in the Stikine-LeConte Wilderness Area.


Di said...

The way you write is a joy to read, and it seems you had a wonderful time in beautiful Alaska. It must be great to see someone after all that time :), have a good day you two!

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