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, but 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. Although I can’t wait to see my family, I leave with a different feeling this time.
Alaska leaves you in awe before you ever get off the plane that brought you. With each passing day, I felt more connected, and it’s easy to see why so many residents love this place. In fact, some locals would prefer the magnificence of this state to remain a well-kept secret..
We taped three shows for GardenSmart this week and made many friends. On the final 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 experienced our first bout of rain since arriving. Unfortunately, we only had three hours left to film cut-away shots.
Carl, our dedicated cameraman extraordinaire, shot through a steady rain while Jim (Executive Producer) and I provided moral support by standing watch through the rain on guard for bear. The risk of a bear encounter is one of the downsides to 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 we were doing our job. With at least one pair of eyes locked onto him the whole time, Carl finally finished after 9:00pm – soaked to the bone, cold and tired. Big Jim offered Carl his extra change of pants, and out of desperation for dry clothes, Carl gladly accepted.
The steady rain continued all day yesterday, and under a blanket of low hanging clouds, it only added to the mystique of this beautiful place. I enjoyed the view from my room on 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 it 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 in bloom. This is one place I know I’ll be back to see. I just hope it’s sooner than later.