Sunday, December 30, 2007

We're Here Because We're Not All There

Happy almost New Year greetings from beautiful Homer, Alaska, where the Kirkland family is getting away from it all at the end of the world. Or at least, to Homerites we are at the end of the world.
Homer sits on the tip of the Kenai Peninsula, about 250 miles south of Anchorage. Usually within four hours we can be sitting at the table of our good friends with beer in hand. This was the first time we attempted to drive down in the middle of winter. It took six fist-clenching, teeth-grinding hours.
Our first go at coming down here was stymied by dreadful weather last Thursday, so we postponed a day and left around 8 a.m. on Friday. Dark and icy, the Seward, and then Sertling Highways were quiet, save for the yahoos that kept appearing behind us. Yukon was admirable in the driver's seat, keeping us from sliding into the brink of tragedy. I, on the other hand, had a terrible time.
I hate this road; it is the cause of a hundred different traffic accidents a year. People drive too fast and too stupidly for conditions. Add in moose popping out of the trees, and a recipe for disaster is made.
So off we went, the boys' heads swiveling around at regular intervals to watch for moose, and me adding commentary to Yukon's navigatory ability. "Better watch out, sweetie, that car is passing us." Or, more likely, "Oh shahhhh, watch yourself, slow down, don't follow that guy too close, do you need to put it in 4-wheel drive?"
To his credit, the only sign of any possible agitation on Yukon's part was a slight twitch in his jawline. He knows me too well to listen to me, anyway. But driving along an ice-covered road for hours with two kids and a wife, and anyone can get annoyed.
At any rate, we made it, saw our friends, and went out to dinner at the lovely Cafe' Cups in Homer. The mountains are spectacular, the seafood is incredible, and the Homer atmosphere is one of sublimity. Can't beat that to kick off a new year.

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