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Augie's Adventures: Day 13-Ketchikan

Augie's Adventures: Day 13-Ketchikan
(Carroll County Times)

May 1

Today is the day. The day I make the final stage of the trek across the continent and arrive in Alaska. I board the ferry at 8 a.m. The ferry ride will last five hours. A time to reflect of the last 12 days and ponder the next five months.

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In some ways, the trip went extremely fast and in many ways it feels like a lifetime ago I was in Westminster commuting to Baltimore daily.

The final days before leaving was a whirlwind of packing and storing stuff, finishing the preparation of the truck and saying the good byes. Not until I reached the Northwood of Minnesota, did what I was doing really register, even then I was focused on the trip on hand, not giving much thought about the five months ahead at the end of the road.

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But now as I sit on the ferry, gazing out at the snowcapped mountains touching the ocean, I cannot help but notice the other passengers.

The feeling of loneliness overcame me, as I noticed the others travel in groups. I'm 4,000 miles from my home, my family, my friends and all that is familiar to me. I began to wonder and question what I am about to undertake.

Quietly, I pray.

I overhear a group of college aged students talk of their jobs of the summer and their excitement is catchy. A little while later I step outside of the ferry to take photos of a light house on a rocky island. A passenger standing next to me opened a conversation. In a few minutes, I am sharing my photographs of my recent travels. As it turned out, the other men sitting in our area are also in route to Ketchikan to work for the summer.

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One older gentleman has guided fishermen and driven the tourist duck boats, working in Ketchikan for 28 years. Another is working for the summer as a pilot. They told stories of past summers. I met a few other people on the five hour trip also traveling to Ketchikan to work for the summer. We exchange stories of what has brought us here, and I quickly feel as if I am among likeminded people. A feeling sometimes missed back home.

The ferry landed. I phone my landlord and we met at a local diner for a quick cup of coffee and directions to the house. He had to go and make one more fight, taking fishermen out to a lodge. I found the house with the front door unlocked and make myself at home in my new place.

For the next five months, I will be working as an adventure Kart tour guide. What my life beyond that has in store, I do not know. I do know my life is in God's hands and with him I'll be taking this walk.

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