The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

North! To Alaska!

Posted on | June 26, 2023 | Comments Off on North! To Alaska!

This afternoon, my wife and I will be flying the friendly skies, first to Dallas for a three-hour layover before heading to Anchorage. I’d told y’all about this trip earlier, when I thought we’d be leaving last week, but I was mistaken about the anticipated travel date.

Our Army son is stationed there with the newly formed 11th Airborne Division, developing America’s arctic warfare capacity. More importantly — at least for me — is that his wife recently gave birth to our newest granddaughter, little Juniper. So we’ll be spending a couple of weeks with little Juniper (and her big sister Eliza, of course).

While looking forward to seeing the kids, I’m dreading the long flights, and then there’s the matter of the time shift. We arrive in Anchorage at 11 p.m. local time, which is 3 a.m. Eastern, and I’m sure I’ll be disoriented by this experience: Working in the wee hours (locally) to get my dayjob work done by morning times on the East Coast, and did I mention it’s “Midnight Sun” season in Alaska? Oh, and there’s also the weather: High temperature tomorrow in Anchorage will be 59°F, with rain, but later in the week, it will get up to a sunny 62°F. Joy, joy . . .

John Wayne would never complain about the weather, of course. So I’ll endure my arctic excursion with stoic resolve, and perhaps I won’t even notice the conditions while I’m out stalking moose and bears with a Bowie knife . . . No, wait, that’s not on the agenda. Grandpa’s too old to be doing the Wilderness Survival thing. However, I did text my son to ask him to find me some kind of tavern or restaurant where I could blog with that “authentic Alaska” vibe — exposed wooden beams, moose head mounted on the wall, etc. He replied, “Every brew pub here, basically.”

We’re talking tax-deductible business expenses, see? Snap a few photos with my phone, post it under an Anchorage dateline, and it’s travel journalism. Save the receipts for the IRS, and no questions asked.

My wife just asked me, “Are you ready?”

“Honey, we don’t leave for another three hours.”

One of the secrets to a successful marriage is balance — I’m carefree and spontaneous; my wife is responsible and conscientious. So when it comes to a trip like this, I leave all the worrying to her. Why should both of us be stressed out? As they say in Alaska, “Hakuna matata.”

OK, that’s not authentic Alaskan culture, but the IRS isn’t going to notice the difference when I show them the receipts for all those meals and, uh, beverages at brew pubs in Anchorage — legitimate business expenses!

“Besides which, your honor” — here I’m imagining my testimony in a federal trial — “my son was serving his country in Alaska, and maintaining the morale of our troops is crucial to America’s combat readiness. So it was in our national interest that Bob and I had the grilled trout dinner and a few beverages. Don’t you love America?”

Just doing my patriotic duty, you see. So as I get ready to roll, I remind you of the Five Most Important Words in the English Language:





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