Here I am in Wasilla AK

Bouchercon was absolutely wonderful! I met the most interesting people and visited with old friends. After my panel about Ethnic Detectives which I was on with Victoria Heckman, also my roommate, I did an Author Special with one person who was a good friend from the midwest, Boobye Johnson. Great catching up with her.

Most of the other panels I attended were on Forensics of one sort or another. My favorite was a Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard who was a real "Guardian" rescue swimmer out of Fairbanks, AK.

For some unknown reason, the person who was supposed to arrange my visit to the schools didn't do it. She also wanted me to drive a rental car which I didn't want to do. One day on the sidewalk, I met a woman who was attending the con. I told her my dilemma and she offered not only to drive me to the home where I was staying in Wasila, but also to the schools if I ever had one to go to. What a God send!

After the closing ceremonies, Pat, my new friend drove me to my hostess's home in Wasila. Katina Steward graciously opened her home to me. I met her and her sister Amber when I was in AK for Left Coast Crime several years ago.

The first night, she had her mom, dad, sister, sister's two boys, and a cousin come over for dinner that first night to meet me. What a grand time we had. Mom is a Native (Eskimo). Though Eskimo is not polictically correct, the Natives seem to call themselves that. Dad is part Cherokee. Mom told me some wonderful stories about growing up in Alaska, a very tough life. Dad owns a pawn shop and some other businesses and Katina has a tool store. Her husband is off working at one of the oil places way far away.

The next day I didn't have a school to go to so Pat took me to the senior center for lunch and then we went to the Iditarod Headquarters and a reindeer farm. (Reindeer are domesticated caribou--and the ones with antlers at Christmas time are pregnant females.)

That evening Katina and I went out to dinner at a Thai Restaurant. Wasilla has everything most cities in the lower 48 have. We've had a great time visiting.

Finally, I got to go to a school. Pat picked up at 6:30 a.m and drove me to Wasila Middle School (6-8th grades). School starts at 7 a.m. All day long I talked about writing to classes from each grade. It was fun but exhausting. Pat picked me up and drove me back to Katina's and we said goodbye.

Again Katina's family came for dinner and we had a great time chatting. Today, I repacked and am just waiting for Katina to get off work. She'll take me to Anchorage tonight to a hotel with a shuttle to the airport as I have a 6 a.m. flight. I've had a great time but I'm definitely ready to go home.

It's about 40 degrees here. Beautiful, the trees have turned color, gold and orange and the snow is covering the huge mountains that surround this valley. Have only seen a snow bunny in the way of animals, lots of beautiful birds, and Katina's sheep dog.

Next post will be after I sort of catch up on my work at home.



Pat B. said…
Your stay in Alaska sounds wonderful. You're right -- the travel part is a chore, but what an experience you had.

I have a niece and nephew and family in Anchorage, so I can picture you in those interesting surroundings. It's great to read about your trip.
Pat Browning

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