And by we, I do mean Jason, myself, and Bethy-boo, though we were certain that her days in Maryland, her birth land, would be her last. We had forgotten about that classic overhauler of plans: love. Hunter, Mick and Mark's year-old lab, was smitten with Beth from the moment he laid his dark, giant eyes on her. Originally he had one thing on the brain and one thing only, but when she made her teeth and feelings clear, he settled in to the fact that theirs would be a Platonic, albeit physical, love. They chewed on each other's heads and necks, wrestled, and tug-of-warred (tugged-of-war? tug-of'd-war?) for hours at a whack. The effect was that Beth left a younger woman than when she'd arrived, to our [varying degrees of] chagrin [depending on company]. We love our dog. We do. But rotties make life quite difficult at times, especially for owners on the go. Renting apartments is difficult. Staying in campgrounds is impossible unless you keep her imminently dangerous breed hidden. "Why, Sir, she's a labschumerotchiwaweilleryorkie mix." Nobody could ask for a sweeter, more gentler soul with whom to share time on this earth. She has been our only child, really. However, big dogs usually last for 8 - 10 years, and around the time of Beth's 11th birthday she met Hunter. So, as I say, it's three of us returning to Alaska.
We're on the road at this moment driving from Maryland to Whitefish, Montana, where we'll spend a few days at my folks' house getting Alaska-ready. Then, we'll hit the Alcan highway northward and hopefully arrive in Anchorage mid-February. Once there, Jason will work construction, and I'll do odds and ends. Then, it'll be back to Glacier Park in Montana for the summer, with Jason doing Biology / Fire Ecology stuff. There you have it. But what I really want to blog about is our road trip west. Coming soon. Maybe even moments from now.