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The great Alaskan adventure is over, but I think the memories will last a long time. I picked Alex up last Wednesday (the day before his freshmen orientation and my melt-down). I took his cousin Forrest along for company - he just moved here from Italy, but more about that later – and I knew Alex would enjoy seeing him. After a quick review of Alex’s trip, the two teenagers launched into a conversation that went something like this: One long continuous stream of speech passed back and forth at a rapid-fire pace between the front and back seats “Dude,doyoulikevideogames? Ohyeahdudebutmyparentsonlyletmeget ratedTgames,butsometimesifthebloodisn’ttoobadIcanplaythe Mratedones. IwantotogetthisonecalledOblivionthatislike thebestoneverthegraphicsareawesome IhaveaPPSbutitcostmelikefourmonthsofallowance. Whendoesschoolstart? Dude,you’regoingtotheFruita8/9schoolthatwasgonnabecalled FriendlyHandsSchool.Likesomeidiotthoughtofthatone. Dude, thatisthelamestnameever. CanyouimaginebeingontheFriendlyHands wrestlingteam? Dudethat’sjustwrong. Dude, Iknow.Whatsportsdoyouplay? Soccer.ButinItalyitwascalledfootballbutit’snotlikefootballhere. Dudeyoucannotplaysoccerhere.Youhavetodo somethingelselikesnowboarding. DudewewentonetimeinAustriaandEricaranintoapole anditwassofunny. Shedidn’tgethurtbutshewaslike reallyembarrassed. DudedidyouseethatmovieTearsoftheSky?Ilovedthatmoviebut weonlygetlike3channelsinEurope . . .? OK. You get the picture. This went on for miles, and the two of them only paused occasionally to make snide comments about my driving ability. Something about the noise from the rumble strips really disturbed them. When I could get a question in edge-wise Alex relayed that he had a great time in Alaska. Camped out two nights along the way in a tipi, got to work as a lumberjack, went salmon fishing from a canoe in the shadow of a glacier, removed porcupine quills from Cheena•s nose, saw herds of buffalo, stone sheep and caribou, and admitted to sipping hot buttered rum around the campfire. And so we enter the last week of summer vacation. The coming year promises to be full of challenges for everyone. But dude, like, I think it will be, like, awesome! Alaska highway.jpg Yukon.jpg Cheena.jpg