Saturday, June 23, 2007

Alaska Trip, Soldiers 

Friday, June 22, we took a 13 hour guided tour to one of the most interior sections of Denali National Park. Initial viewing was low due to clouds, fog, and in parts of the park, smoke. We were fortunate that the clouds, fog and even smoke eased by the middle of the afternoon and we could experience again, the immensity of Alaska.

Our guide was delightful, informative, and an excellent driver. Much of the single, two-way gravel road through the park is one lane wide. The only access for most people is via a sponsored bus. The drop off on the outer edge of the road was incredibly steep at times yet being able to see the vast valleys carved by glaciers, the numerous runoff streams, hundreds of the 1000's of free-roaming caribou, 11 grizzlies, some with cubs, red fox, Dall sheep, and numerous smaller animals in their habitat abated the fear of white-knuckle driving. It was a truly magnificent journey.

We were provided with a substantial lunch of individually packaged items. Humans being what we are, ate the fruit, cheese, gorp, cookies, candy, sandwich buns and some of the tuna. However, many left (or could not easily open) the reindeer sausage and jerky. As the driver collected the leftover food, we separated the jerky and sausage for shipment to our guys overseas. When we told people why we were culling through the food bag, not only did they give their approval, but those who had kept their jerky and sausage for later personal use, gave it to us.

People want to help - often they just don't know how. Every time I have explained about shipping packages overseas to our guys, Americans have responded positively.