After a week of shooting photographs and creating great memories it was time to go. It was a harsh but yet pleasant feeling. I wasn't ready to go but the experience exceeded all of my expectations. We packed everything that morning but delayed striking the tents until we saw the airplanes. Within a few minutes everything was on the planes and we were lifting off Folly Lake and headed back to civilization.
I am happy to say that we did a good job of "leaving no trace." Yeah sure, an expert outdoors person might find some indications we were there but most people would be hard pressed to find any evidence that we were ever there.

Our pilot flew low all the way back giving us a great view of the ground. I was surprised when the trees came into view at how much they had changed while we were gone. Only a week ago they were almost completely green but now there are huge areas of brilliant fall yellow.

During my 2 day layover in Fairbanks I stopped by the "Dairy" just on the edge of Fairbanks, an old dairy farm converted to a wildlife reserve that attracts Sandhill crane and Canada geese. The next day I drove out the road and happened to come across a moose along the side of the road.

Finally I was off to the airport and headed back home but not before one last surprise. Shortly after takeoff the Alaskan Airline's pilot came over the intercom, "Hi folks we took off a little ahead of schedule, I contacted the FAA, and have been granted permission to vary off course and give you a loop trip around Mt. McKinley." Wow, it was a beautiful day and an extraordinary site. I cannot ever remember a commercial airline doing something like this.

Okay, back to reality and time to start planning for the next adventure. Maybe back to Alaska, or Thailand, or some place new like Egypt, Turkey, or Holland? Maybe something domestic like camping, and paddling in the Bayou.

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This was a great show.
Thank you Alaska Airlines!

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Last Revised December 15, 2007