Monday, December 21, 2009
The Fractured ABC's Of Christmas - T
T is for Tundra
A place cold and bare
Only ice and snow
And a few reindeer there
Alaskan Christmas, Part I
Many years ago, after tiring of Christmas in the desert, I decided to spend my holiday vacation in Alaska. I know this may sound extreme, but I wanted a white Christmas and this was a place I knew I'd be guaranteed snow.
I arrived in Anchorage and soon boarded a 12-seat plane to fly out to the Kenai peninsula. While making this short flight, I noticed how heavy it was snowing. Yahoooo, I was so excited! What I didn't know was that we would be landing on black ice and these smaller planes have a tendency to slide upon landing - sideways. Holy crap!
I was greeted at the airport by my friends and their 6 children. They were very excited to see me because I had promised to bring them something they get very little of in Alaska, citrus. Now, when I opened the box at their home, they did something I found really unusual. They each took an orange, held it in their little hands and began smelling it. After a few minutes of this, I gave their mother the "I don't get it" look and she explained that by the time citrus reaches the stores up there, citrus is dry, bland and has no fragrance. It was like I had brought them the Holy Grail. Wow!
After a day or so of acclimating to the environment, I took my first snowmobile lesson. I thought, "How difficult can this be?". I can ride a motorcycle, I can ride a quad, this will be a piece of cake. I was handed a refrigerator suit, a pair of insulated rubber boots and a pair of thick heavy gloves by my host. Good grief, after suiting up, I felt and looked like the Michelan Man. So, the instructions were fairly simple: here's the throttle, here's the brake and stay on the hard-packed trails. Off I went!
I wasn't worried about finding my way around, I'm a pretty good scout. One thing the folks up there told me was, "The animals are wild, you can not pet them". "Stay away, stay far, far away from the moose, especially if they have a calf with them." Check, got it. Here I go. Wow, I'm in Alaska, look at all this snow. Yippppeeee!
I'm as free as a bird riding through the Alaskan wilderness. Wait, what's that up ahead? It's a moose and her calf on the trail. Panic! I then decided to go around them - far, far around them, but this would require me to leave the trail. I convinced myself that I could make it without any problems. Here I go! This is not so bad, I'll just climb this small hill and I'm out of harm's way. Up and over...nope, the skids of the snowmobile became stuck in a snowbank. Where is reverse? Uh, oh!
Here I am, in the middle of nowhere stuck in the snow about 50 yards from a moose and her calf. Now what? I froze, literally. I sat there for about 20 minutes with hopes the kids would come looking for me. Nope, no one in sight. Okay, I'll attempt to push or pull this thing out of this snowbank. As I stepped off the snowmobile, I immediately went into the snow crotch deep. Great, now both the snowmobile and I were stuck. I managed to pull one leg out, laid on my back, then pulled the other leg out. Then, of all things, I rolled to the hard-packed trail. I was then able to stand without any problems. Whew!
I kept looking between the lodged snowmobile and the moose. I found a tree to hide behind and kept yelling at the moose, "Go on now, there's nothing more to see here!", she didn't budge. I had to adjust my eyes, is she moving closer? Oh.my.god! I am going to be trampled by a moose in the Alaskan wilderness - alone, no one within earshot.
End, Part I
Join me tomorrow for the exciting conclusion. In the meantime, pop on over to Humor Bloggers Dot Com and join the rest of the cast as we celebrate the Christmas Humor Carnival.