As I write this entry, I’m sitting in the Anchorage airport, with nothing but time on my hands. My flight doesn’t leave for another six hours and my crew has already boarded for their Los Angeles bound connection. It’s been an amazing eight days here in Alaska.
Normally, I’m anxious to get home after a few days on the road. And although I can’t wait to see my family, this time I leave with a different feeling. Alaska can leave you in awe before you ever get off the plane. With each passing day, I felt more connected and it’s easy to see why so many people that live here love this place. In fact, some locals consider it a well kept secret that they just assume stay that way.
We taped three shows here for Garden Smart this week and made many friends. On the last day of taping, we featured the Alaska Botanical Garden. The experience of visiting a botanical garden built in the wilderness was a first. As the day came to a close we had our first bout of rain since we arrived. Unfortunately we had three hours left to shoot cut away shots.
Carl, our dedicated cameraman extraordinaire, shot through a steady rain while Jim, (Executive Producer) and I provided moral support as we stood watch through the rain, constantly scanning for bear. That’s one of the downsides about being in the Alaskan wilderness as it gets late in the day.
Fortunately, Jim eventually realized we could do our “bear patrol” job from the warmth and shelter of the car. As long as we could see Carl, we felt like we were doing our job. With at least one pair of eyes locked onto Carl the whole time, he finally finished after 9:00, soaked to the bone, cold and tired. Big Jim offered Carl his extra change of pants. Out of desperation to put on dry clothes, Carl gladly accepted.
It continued to rain all day yesterday. The steady rain under a blanket of low hanging clouds only added to the mystique of this beautiful place. I enjoyed the view from my room this day just as much as every other. With plenty of work to do after nearly a week of running hard, the rain was a welcome respite and helped ease the desire to get out to explore one more day.
I couldn’t leave without taking one more stroll around the grounds of our beautiful lodge as I enjoyed picking native blueberries and raspberries and soaking in the vibrant colors of the many flowers that adorned the grounds. This is one place I know I’ll be back to see. I just hope it’s sooner than later.