sometimes you just gotta' row

North, to Alaska

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Seven years, eight months. March and windy-cold. Late night, a determined pace.

I’d been taken by an uncle, the one they should have been watching, to see the John Wayne movie, North to Alaska. The story was set around Alaska’s wild-time city, Nome, during the 1890s. The frenzy of the Klondike Gold Rush had mostly subsided and Alaska was the new Yukon. Fist-fightin’, grab the girl, anything goes with a soft-focus touch by Hollywood.

I knew that I needed a better place to be and it seemed that following the North Star for a while would get me there.

While they said I had a real hypothermia-violent shiver going on by the time I was found by the police, it was the Johnny Horton theme song that I remember more than the cold…North to Alaska, they’re going north, the rush is on. Must of sang it a thousand times that night.

I managed to get a good seven hours closer to Nome before they caught up with me. Lots of excitement. How very worried they all were. No doubt. Nobody, as I recall, asked why.

In the absence of understanding, validation even, this kind of thing is a tipping-point event that sets the foundation for, among other things, a sense of trust. If you didn’t know before, you do now….if you’re going to figure out how to be safe, you’re going to do it by yourself, little guy. Yes, good luck with that.

Here, the March wind has been howling across the bay for the past several days and I realize that, compass-reading notwithstanding, I’ve landed in Nome.


Written by glh

March 29, 2011 at 15:11

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