I’ve made the cruise to Alaska eight or nine times—I have lost count. I just returned from what I believe will be the last one. It was wonderful, raining in every Alaska port, which I love. Rain followed Love and me on every vacation beginning with our trip to Sunnyvale, where my sister Lili had made all the arrangements for our wedding, our honeymoon along the Pacific Coast, and every one of dozens of journeys spanning our forty years together. It happens even after his death, most notably in the torrential rains that accompanied us to the Armstrong redwoods to scatter his ashes as waters roared below.
I felt Love’s presence every time I felt drops of rain on my face, whether or deck, shivering as I watched the majesty of the Hubbard Glacier, on a whale watching expedition or exploring the towns. My favorite stop was Ketchikan, where I took a solitary walk to my favorite places, Creek Street, the salmon ladder, the library and the museum. The creek was roaring impressively after nine days of continuous rain. I was wearing tall rain boots, and carrying Al’s umbrella, as I merrily splashed through puddles. I even found a local candy store, where I stocked up on home-made goodies.
I enjoyed the cruise, but knew in my heart that it was time to say goodbye to Alaska. The trip was bittersweet, filled with memories. It’s time for new adventures.