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A Million Little Pieces Of My Mind

2009: Rafting

By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 2/23/2024
Page Views: 587
Topics: #Rafting #WhitewaterRafting #Alaska #Travel
All about my first trip to Alaska and the whitewater rafting and flightseeing trip.
Me rafting in Alaksa.

It wasn't that complicated an idea: Travel to Alaska on an (almost) free ticket, stay at the lodge of a friend of a friend's, go whitewater rafting. My friend, Frank, had been urging me to join him in visiting his friend Brad's lodge for over a year; and we had been whitewater rafting together twice so it made sense to do an Alaskan raft trip while there. Michael was adamant about going with us…he was not going to miss out on a trip to Alaska! I made detailed plans, made reservations and pre-bought various tickets. Frank, a flight attendant, used frequent flier miles to obtain his transportation and arrange our first night's stay in Anchorage and car rental. Michael bought his own ticket through Priceline for some 30% off (by bidding on it). It was my own ticket that nearly turned the trip into a disaster.

North To Alaska

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 5/30/2009
Page Views: 1545
Topics: #Anchorage #Alaska #Travel #Denver #FrontierAirlines #AlaskaAirlines #KennicottRiverLodge #Kennicott #McCarthy #Photography
I make my first trip to Alaska…barely.

My daughter, Karen, became a flight attendant last year. That gave her mother and me privileges for flying almost free on the airlines that have partnered with her airline, Colgan Air (we just have to pay the tax on the ticket). That's how I made trips to New York, Virginia, Florida and Hawaii. That's also how I got trapped in Chicago and had to take a bus back home to Arizona; it doesn't always work out because "non-revenue" fliers go standby and anyone with a paid ticket can unseat us if there are no additional seats left. In all those trips I'd made, I'd only had one misstep. So I was pretty confident that this trip would work out perfectly. I was wrong.

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Northern Exposure

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 5/31/2009
Page Views: 1528
Topics: #McCarthy #Alaska #Rafting #KennicottRiver #NizinaRiver #Travel #Photography
All about the rafting trip in Alaska with Michael and Frank.

Some years ago, I visited Cicely, Alaska, the fictional town featured in the 1990s TV series Northern Exposure. I was able to do this without actually going to Alaska, because "Cicely" was actually a side street in the town of Roslyn, Washington. The TV series, however, had renewed my interest in visiting Alaska, which had become a state in 1959 when I was in 3rd grade. My visit to "Cicely" only strengthened my desire to visit the 49th state someday. Now I was here, not only in Alaska but over 300 miles from Anchorage in the little town of McCarthy, which could have served as the template for fictional Cicely. Remote, quaint, set amid pristine wilderness and populated by quirky yet friendly characters, I couldn't help but draw comparisons even as my husband, Michael, and our friend, Frank, and I prepared to go rafting down the Nizina River.

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License To Fly

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 6/2/2009
Page Views: 1320
Topics: #McCarthy #Alaska #Anchorage #TSA #Travel #Spirituality #Metaphysics
All about how I was almost trapped in Alaska without my wallet.

I didn't want to spoil what had been a terrific trip for Michael and Frank by openly freaking out, but I was freaking out, quietly, nevertheless. I had no wallet and therefore no identification and therefore would surely not be allowed through security at the airport and so wouldn't be able to go home at all. I might have to stay in Anchorage, but only as a homeless person as I wouldn't have the money for shelter and without an ID I wouldn't even be able to get a job.

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