Today, I’m joining in Krystal Wade’s Wildest Moments Blogfest celebrating the publication of Wilde’s Meadow, the third of her Darkness Falls trilogy.
Now, I haven’t exactly led a wild and crazy life. Tame, really, in many ways–especially right now as caregiver for my elderly mother. Still, there have been moments. And those moments seem disproportionately to have happened away from home. Hmm.
When I started thinking about this post, I thought I’d write about a certain cruise to Southeast Alaska I took a number of years ago. No, it wasn’t that kind of cruise. This was on a really little boat, the MV Sea Bird (run by Special Expeditions) and we got off the boat, usually by zodiac and then wading ashore at least once every day.
This is an example from that cruise. We had to cross the river on this bridge, which was really only a log. The crew did put the rope up for use to hold onto. Among the things I did on that cruise:
- Take a helicopter up to the top of a glacier and walk around on it (miraculously without falling). By the way, there is absolutely no color like the crystaline, aquamarine blue in the depths of a glacier.
- Go ashore on Admiralty Island to look for brown bear. We did watch a three-year-old fishing for salmon. That is also the place where I did fall into the river.
- Go out in a zodiac among humpback whales.
- Go ashore in Juneau on a Saturday night. It gets rowdy in Juneau on Saturday night.
Lots of inspiration there. My current story involves fjords and glaciers. I’ve been in fjords (although we call them inlets on this coast) and I’ve seen and even walked on glaciers.
By the way, the photo at the top of this blog was taken on another cruise with the same company, this time aboard the MV Sea Lion, in Princess Louisa Inlet, British Columbia. That’s someplace the big cruise ships can’t go. Even the Sea Lion, with a draft of less than ten feet, can only cross the sandbar at the mouth of the inlet at high tide. Once we were in, we were there for twelve hours. That place was the inspiration for the world building for my third novel, DREAMER’S ROSE. (Someday, I’m going to go back and rewrite that story.)
That’s what I was going to blog about, but thinking about that reminded me of an earlier trip. This one wasn’t a cruise. It was a trip with the Nature Conservancy to Santa Cruz Island. One day, we boated from Prisoners’ Harbor to Pelican Bay (no not that Pelican Bay), where we climbed a trail up the face of a nearly vertical cliff. Eek. (I have a more than moderate fear of heights, carefully instilled by my mother.)
We spent an interesting morning at Pelican Bay and then had a choice either to boat back to Prisoners’ Harbor (from which it was a short jeep ride or walk back to the ranch, where we were staying) or to walk back. I still can’t say whether I decided to walk back because I really wanted to see more of the island (I did) or because I didn’t want to go back down that cliffside trail. (Down is always harder than up. You’re looking right at where you’re going to fall.)
What I didn’t know at the time was that the “trail” we’d be taking had been created by feral sheep (which had all been removed from the island by that time) and was maintained by feral pigs (which hadn’t). Both four-legged creatures with a low center of gravity and little imagination. There were places on that “trail” that really had my heart pounding. Places where I had to scramble over rocks with nothing to hold onto where a slip would likely have sent me over the cliff into the ocean. Places where I could look straight down and watch the bright orange garibaldi’s (California’s state marine fish) swimming in the rock-strewn cove below.
I don’t think I relaxed once until we got back to the jeeps. And yet, I have seldom been more aware of my surroundings and I saw a side of the island I would never have seen otherwise. I’m glad I did it. (I don’t think I’d do it again, though.)
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