"I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day." ~Vincent Van Gogh

My ongoing recollection of my 1993 trip to Alaska continues…

The Great Adventure

Part 3

So Dad’s on board with me going to Alaska. Strange. Definitely not the reaction I expected.

But I only have the remainder of my Friday to prep myself for the bitter cold of Alaska, leaving me no time to dwell on my Dad.

I take the money he loans me and I rush out the door. As I’m heading out Dad says, “There’s a thrift store in Old Encinitas. I bet you can find pants and jackets there pretty cheap.”

Still dumbfounded I thank my Dad and head out the door.

A million thoughts are racing through my head as I navigate the streets of my neighborhood and head towards downtown Encinitas. Streets that I learned to drive on. Streets that I know so well, I don’t have to pay very much attention to get where I’m going. Streets that allow me some time to second guess my decision to go to Alaska.

“What am I thinking? Alaska? Do you know what you’re doing Dave? You’ve never been to Alaska. You’ve never even truly been on a boat. Sure you’ve done the whale watching cruises and played around on a river boat at Three Rivers. But a “seafaring vessel”? You don’t know anything about that! You’re going to go up there and get yourself and everyone else on that ship killed!”

My nerves are quickly getting the best of me. I must calm down. I mean how hard can it be to work on a boat at sea? Not to say it’s easy work, because it’s not. But it can’t be that difficult to learn. I’ll be fine. Besides, being a seaman is in my blood. After all, I’m the son of a sailor!

At last I arrive at the thrift shop. There is plenty of clothes here for me. Denim jackets, pants, sweaters. I completely load up on warm clothes. The first true set of warm clothes I’ve bought in years. I mean really, how often do I dress warm in So. Cal.? Not very! I usually can get away with my soccer sweatsuits and windbreakers.

But Alaska? That’s a whole new game baby! They have glaciers and snow up there!

I pay for my clothes and explain to the friendly woman behind the counter all that has happened in the previous 15 hours or so. She smiles warmly at my enthusiasm and gives me a polite, “You are an adventurous spirit aren’t you,” as she hand me my bag and receipt. I get the feeling she didn’t really care about my story at all. But at least she was nice about it.

So with bag in hand I head into the car and head to Becky’s house to meet up with Jason as we tell all our friends the news.



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