Friday, July 11, 2014

Alaska Journal #25: An Awesome Encounter During My Trip To Alaska

We disembarked from the cruise ship with only our carry on bags, jackets and cameras.  Our suitcase was already stored under the motorcoach.

This is the motorcoach driver who would take us to the lodge near Denali National Park where we would stay for two nights.  
I had received this email from my friend, Gully (Jeanne Follett), a couple of days before we left home to travel to Alaska.  Gully has lived in Alaska since she was a kid.  We became friends in an online writing class many years ago and have kept in touch since then via our blogs, email and Facebook.  I shared our cruise and land tour plans with Gully months ago and we chatted back and forth in emails.  The email above came and I was thrilled.  A couple of phone calls was all I had to make and we would see each other.  What are the chances that our motorcoach would pass by Gully's driveway?

My excitement level regarding our trip went off the charts when I got this news.  Instead of feeling bad that we had just departed the cruise ship, I was elated with what was coming next!     

I called Gully as soon as the motorcoach started moving.  I promised to call her again when we reached Moose Pass.

It was fun to see the area where Gully lives with my own two eyes.  She's lived there since she was a child; she still loves Alaska and shares photos of the scenic views and endless sights on her blog on a regular basis.

Gully has traveled all over the world and journals her trips on her blog:

My eyes were closely watching the mile markers and the road signs.

We were getting there.  I love it.  Over the years, I mailed a few things to Gully in Moose Pass, Alaska.

I called Gully again when we reached Moose Pass.  We were excited knowing we'd soon be seeing each other for the first time.  We planned to wave as we rolled past each other.

I'd spoken to the driver when we first got on the motorcoach and she'd agreed to slow down if possible so Gully and I could see each other.

I stood next to the motorcoach driver as we came closer to Mile Marker 35.  Of course, I'm taking pictures through the windshield so reflections show up.

Can you imagine living here, surrounded by this beautiful scenery every day?

We came up over the rise Gully had mentioned in her email and looked to the left.  There she was with the American flag, just as we had planned.

Gully waved and I waved as the coach slowed.  We were tickled to see each other.  The next thing I knew, the driver pulled over to the side of the road and opened the door.  I was dumbfounded but I gathered my senses and ran down the steps and around the front of the bus.  I saw Gully had already crossed the highway and was going around the back of the bus.  I retraced my steps and there she was.  We hugged and Lon took pictures and Laura took pictures and we chatted for a few moments.  It was such a fun time.  We'd never expected to see each other like this.  

I'd seen many photos of Gully on her blog but it was great to see her right there in front of me.

Gully and me.

Can you tell I'm excited and happy?

What a driver! What an unexpected encounter!

These were a few special moments I'll always remember.


Cap Chastain said...

WE TWO have been waiting breathlessly for THIS POST ! ! We had seen Gullible's post about your visit last June and the WONDERFUL BUS DRIVER WHO ACCOMODATED THE TWO OF YOU ! ! Gullible posted it the day you two saw one another .. so we have BEEN WAITING FOR THIS POST ! !

Add Caption ?? .. For the photo or the photo(s) immediately before you two meet up how about .. "My heart was pounding with excitement !" ..

I know because as I scrolled down just now MY heart was pounding with excitement as I knew what was coming for us all to see !

Wonderful .. PHENOMENAL .. Cap and Patti ..

Cheryl aka Shaddy said...

CAP & PATTI: You got to my blog before I was ready for anyone to see it. I had it almost finished and my husband wanted to go out for supper. For fear of having all my work vanish, as it has in the past, I went ahead and published it as it was. I clicked on edit, thinking that would temporarily put my post on hold until I could finish it. Somehow you snuck in but I forgive you.

My heart was pounding with excitement from the moment we got on the motorcoach. I had stated that on the attempt to post this experience that disappeared the other day.

Gullible said...

Awww, how sweet. Awesome encounter for me too, and a pretty AWESOME coach driver! I think everyone on the coach enjoyed it.

Cheryl aka Shaddy said...

GULLY: A good share of the people on the coach knew what was going on but there were a few who were puzzled as to why we were stopping. Those who knew got a big kick out of it. Laura, a good friend and neighbor of Lynnette and Alice, followed me out of the coach and took the fabulous picture of the two of us. She was almost as excited as I was about the whole experience. She had tears in her eyes!! I love people who can react like that to events that don't have a thing to do with themselves. Sweet!!! I owe her big time for the photo she took of the two of us.