Our dear neighbors, Becca and Jason, have visitors: her mom, dad, and older sister, Heather. Feeling sorry for the boat wife in the cul de sac, Jason invited me to join them for an outing to Pasagshak and Fossil Beach. Jason and Jeff took the truck so as to gather up drift wood for their wood stove. And the four gals styled in the subaru wagon, sans dogs.
We stopped at Java Flats, a new cafe that opened south of the base, near Bells Flats. I ordered a sandwich for our picnic: toasted bagel with garlic and herb cream cheese, piled with brie, turkey, green apple slices, and spinach. So good. It was a good thing Brad was not there to kiss on me; but, I dare say, he would have had a feast on the jalapeno bagels that the Dorvals ordered...
We enjoyed gorgeous weather as we drove to our destination. On cue, the buffalo were just south of the Missile Silos, cupped in a valley. Armed with her camera, Becca took some great shots (Editor Note: my camera battery charger grew feet and walked off. Once her parental units depart, I will download Becca's pics and update this post).
As we parked our rears on the drift wood, we all commented on the cool cloud along the base of the mountain and how it stretched across the bay. About two bites into my sandwich later, we were transported to a Stephen King novel as the "mist" blew in and covered us.
While Jason played, ahem, operated the chain saw, the gals and I marveled at the fossils in the eroding cliffs: tiny bivalves and whole shells imprinted into the geologic formation. Once the drift wood and loaded and secured, we headed home. As we drove away from the missile silos, we had a Yellowstone moment: buffalo crossing the road-- right in front of the subaru. Again, we took some great shots and from then on, I kept my eyes peeled for more. I did not see more buffalo but instead saw lots of ripe salmonberries.
We salvaged a bag and parked the car on the side of a cliff and proceeded to walk up and down the patches, picking berries. We had to watch out for the poisonous blooms -- and buffalo patties -- one of which Becca slipped in... Us girls giggled and joked about "gathering" as the men left us to "hunt" (aka fishing on Buskin River).
We ended our long day with a crab feast, where I saw Beth and Zach, our neighbors who had spent the past two wks in Cordova. With my traveling, unpacking, and their travels, I had not seen the people who live 20 feet from me in nearly a month-- crazy!
Despite the fresh air, the camaraderie, and the views, the highlight of my day was a 10 minute phone call from Brad, who let me know they had made it to Japan safely. More to come from him soon.