My two week land-sea cruise in Alaska was filled with beautiful, memorable museums, animal sightings, flowers, and panoramas. As I related some of the sights to my family, I realized it’s the people you meet, you remember the most.
A Memorable Character
Fatigue from a long day in Fairbanks prompted me to join my friend for dinner in the hotel restaurant. As we started in on our local specialties, we kept hearing music. As soon as we paid the bill, we walked into the lobby and there was a duo taking requests from a small gathering of hotel guests.
Soon we learned the guitarist was named Earl Hughes and he worked at an attraction called Dredge 8. After he and the pianist took a short break, the audience dwindled to four of us. We kept him busy another set with John Denver, Beatles, and a few country selection requests. It seemed he was ready to pack up, when he asks if we would like a demo tape on CD. Each of us nods an enthusiastic, “Yes!”
He signed and dated a CD for each of us. I’m not much for buying trinkets on trips, but I’ll always treasure this CD.
Seeing him again
The next day, our tour included Dredge 8. Sure enough, there was Earl on the train with his guitar. He even waved to us as the train continued onto the the big attraction, panning for gold. As we took our few flakes of gold to have them weighed, Earl was once again nearby. I smile remembering his joy in having the opportunity to play a few songs and visit with folks.
Lots of friendly people in Alaska
There were many more connections, nearly everyday. Summer experiences shared by vacationers, young and old traveling to Alaska for summer employment, and tour guides who were native or chose to make Alaska their home. However, Earl is one of those people you meet you remember the most.
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