28 Aug 2008

Let the chaos begin!

Posted by walterheck

The next day we got up early and moved over to Palmer to meet kenny and our wonderful host Tara. She lives just outside of Palmer, within walking distance of the Alaska state fair. We had been to a fair teh week before that claimed to be the Alaska state fair (apparently there are a couple of fairs fighting to be ‘the one’), but this one was a lot bigger. Read on after the jump…

Before we went there we had a nice pancake breakfast made by Tara and we went to the WalMart to buy a phone for Mandie. Another American cultural experience I can tell you. One thign I have learned in my time in Alaska: most of the American prejudices we Europeans have are actually true; this definitely also goes for consumerism. Ever seen a McDonald’s inside a supermarket??

After this it was time for the state fair. Even though this one was a lot bigger than the one we went to the week before, it was not necessarily better imho. One cool thing we saw though was a lumberjack show: two or three guys with chainsaws and axes racing each other in a bunch of competitions.

By the time we were doen with the fair, Tara had already decided that she wanted to drive us all the way to Glenallen. Partly because she liked being with us so much, and partly because she had just bought a new car she wanted to drive for a bit. We convinced her to take some camping gear with her so she could spend the night and not have to drive all the way back the same day.

We went on our way, but after about one hour’s drive, we got stopped because of road works. There was a sign saying we had to wait for about an hour. After half an hour, we had an idea: we were in a biog line of cars, so we could just get out and ask all the drivers in the line if any of them were going all the way to Tok (our original destination for that day that we had already given up on because of the state fair). Mandie decided that she had the highest chance of succes (being a girl and all 😉 ), so after a bit of discussing she got out and started asking.

Sure enough, a truck driver (the third person she asked) was going all the way to Washington and said he could take all three of us (Mandie, Kenny and me if you are not paying attention 😉 ) as far as Tok that day. We switched cars, said an unexpected early goodbye to Tara and that was that. The truck cabin was really big, much bigger than those in Europe. Teh truckie was real nice and we took turns in having conversations with him. He had done the stretch of Washington – Homer over 500 times, even year round! He took us to dinner at one of his favorite diners and dropped us off shortly after midnight in Tok.

We walked around a bit and found a good spot to camp. Because we were getting close to the border, we had to get rid of the last weed we still had left. We smoked a bunch and then went to bed. A successful but chaotic first day!

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