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August 13, 2019: Homeward Bound

We had a late morning breakfast in Tok, at Fast Eddies, which I called Slow Eddies because of the slow service and because there was a snafu with the credit card system. This took a while to sort out. I groused that for this reason, breakfast should have been free. The waitress was really surly, she didn’t smile even when I remarked that, finally, it had cooled down outside.

We stopped at the Sheep Mountain Lodge for dinner. I ordered a salad (could have foregone the caramelized walnuts and settled for plain ones) and excellent clam chowder. I would be an excellent food critic. . . .

Before we left, I gave the horses my oyster crackers and a final pep talk, telling them that we’d be home shortly and that they would not have to be highlined tonight. They all wanted to get out of the truck NOW because it had already been a long 12 hour day. And as well, we drove through a lot of construction sites.

How, I wonder, am I going to keep them all in good condition? And what about the dog? Will she revert to being a slug or will she remain a dog, which is one who as a predator is constantly on the alert for prey. For sure, she is going to miss hunting down and barking at rodents. This is her version of the good life. We rekindled her ancestral knowledge, and just like that, we are now going to snuff it out. It hardly seems fair.

sculpture made from old bridge
Sculpture made from old bridge at Tanana River Crossing.

Tomorrow I’ll start writing up dispatches, for Pete to post, and then I’ll unload the contents of the truck and trailer into the tack room. I’ll also start picking raspberries, which I suspect will be in abundance. I’ll also contact Sarah who has lately been taking care of Tinni, and Chelsea, who has been taking care of Stormy and Ranger. Perhaps Stormy will be pregnant, meaning I’ll bring home 3, 4, maybe even five goats.

I will really miss traveling, being on the road less so. I won’t miss what I call travel torpor, a malaise that settles over me after a few hours of being a passenger. And I won’t miss being a passenger. The truck’s car seat is awfully uncomfortable – it makes my hip hurt. We have been listening to Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, on books on tape. I previously had no interest in reading this book because this was because, like many, I was disappointed in discovering that she’d written a book that had something to do with WWII. But I must say, she is a great writer and an inveterate researcher – a good combination. At the very least, listening to this book kept me from counting down the miles until we were home. . . .

I know I’ve been away because the leaves on the trees are green yellow – crispy from a lack of rain. And hunting season is now upon us. The car traffic today has consisted of lots of trucks pulling trailers with those nasty ATVs on them. And all the trucks seem to have rear gun racks. Guns, they kill.

Next: 224. 8/14/19: What Trip?

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