This will be my last post from Rainy Pass Lodge. The plane is arriving shortly and it will take Stevie, Ben and I back to town where Ben and I will fly to our respective homes. That will leave only Thomas and Buckey to hold down the fort during the possibly long and cold break-up of the lake ice. During break-up it is often difficult or impossible to get planes to the lodge. Therefore this could be the last one for as much as 6 weeks, which is why I am getting out while I can. I would have liked to see more of the transition from winter to spring but the real world calls.
We did catch a little sign of spring yesterday on our last foray out into the surrounding hills where the tundra is exposed from the fast melting ice and snow. Last years lingonberries are out and still delicious, the willows are budding and the saxifrage are red. I am already imagining how the tundra will be changing over the next few weeks. How it goes from brown and gray with patchy snow to a bright spring green almost overnight with brightly colored wildflowers soon to follow.
I will miss lots of things about this beautiful place; the horses running across the lake at dusk, the way the sun moved across the sky as spring approached, the excitement of seeing the aurora and the people like Buckey who make this place come alive. But I know I have taken a lot of good things away from this experience. Not sure what they are yet but in the upcoming weeks I am sure I will come to understand this experience more as I reflect on this way of life.
Thanks to everyone who read the blog. I will continue to write about my experience at Rainy Pass and how my reentry into society goes and maybe I will also write about my upcoming summer in Denali National Park working as a naturalist of Camp Denali.