|Today I had a total reversal of my mindset. I think knowing I had another monitor to set up and test, followed by another flight to install two monitors....just took a toll. I did finally get permission from everyone involved to end my assignment here. My dispatcher in VA said she even thought I would likely get a paid ticket home, but she was wrong. I was correct in my understanding of that rule and I would willingly pay for the return trip, but when I considered all my plans and added up all my costs I finally decided just to go straight home. There are two main reasons:
Before this assignment I was already dreaming of what I would like to do whenever I someday returned to AK. The list had 5 items: Spend time with Bob and Fran Moore; Ride the ferry either coming or going; spend time at Denali NP; see the bears at Katmai NP; see the Aurora Borealis. The Katmai bears are best seen in September and the Aurora is likely to be seen then as well. I haven't seen THE GREAT ONE, but I have already made two trips to Denali and have driven into the park as far as I was allowed without a winning road lottery ticket. And... the smoke levels there are looking less than ideal over the next few days. That leaves spending time with Bob and Fran, and that is always hard to pass up - but we did have a fabulous time together when they were in the Lower 48 this spring. So two of my five reasons are not available at this time, two have sorta already been experienced recently, and that just leaves the ferry. Then I looked at cost and realized I can probably make a round trip in September (either this year or next) for not a tremendous amount more than I would spend just going home from this assignment. And .... perhaps most importantly....I am tired. REALLY tired. So I decided to just go home and hang out on my couch and start making plans for a September trip when perhaps I can do everything on my list, with more energy and excitement than I can muster right now.
And THAT means I have just one full day of work plus another half day or so, and I'll be heading home. I am sad not to see Fran and Bob (and other friends in Juneau) but I can make plans to still do that either this year or next. Tomorrow I will be flying back up to Fort Yukon, which sits just inside the Arctic Circle. As much as I love to travel, I never dreamed I would find myself there. It will be a long day so I had better get some sleep. Goodnight!