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March 12, 2012: Friends Visit

Yesterday afternoon we had a surprise visit from Jack and Julie Bailey, who live in Anchorage and were out in the valley. It’s seldom that those who live in Anchorage come to Palmer. It’s usually the other way around.

They appeared in our driveway a half-hour after calling. We’d last seen them five years previously. E.J., their oldest child is now six, and has a three-year-old sister named Ella. We seldom have visitors, so when we do, we drop what we’re doing and give them our undivided attention.

Jack, Julie, and I met in September, 2002, in Pie Town New Mexico. We were all travelling on Adventure Cycling’s Great Divide Bicycle route. We finished together, in Antelope Wells, New Mexico. J and J and their friend Valerie were great company. Jack drove the sag wagon. They carried extra water for me


and we ate together. At the trip’s end, they returned to Anchorage and I returned to Montana. We met up again when Pete and I moved back to Alaska. We purchased the Land Cruiser that they drove down to New Mexico.

Jack and Julie haven’t done an extended trip together since the divide ride. Instead, they’ve been raising children. But Jack’s a guy with big travel plans. He said that the family is planning on doing a ride cross-country, leaving Anchorage in May, 2013. They’ll begin preparing for this adventure this summer, by doing several small shakedown cruises. I said that if they wished, they could come out to our place, and camp here.

In the meantime, there’s the here and now. The kids are both very different. Ella, who is the more creative of the two, is very energetic. And E.J. who is the more analytical of the two, is a bit calmer. After lunch, I got the kids on Tinni and took them for short rides. And after the ride, we went inside and ate Pete’s fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies.

I thought they all left a little soon. I hope that they come back for a return visit.

Next: 95. 3/13/12: Cleaning Up