Sunday, Aug 26th- Waking up and packing up this morning was uneventful. It had an air of finality to it. We took care to see that our gear would be easily accessible and able to be repacked when we got to Cordova.We had borrowed a tent and sleeping pad from Copper Oar, so we were not concerned with packing up the gear damp. The guides would dry everything out after they got back to McCarthy.
The morning was overcast with a thick low lying fog when we started out on the river. It lent a somehow appropriate air of mystery to this last stretch of the Copper. The river continued to braid into many shallow channels. We rode with Dale in the lead raft as he picked his way downriver.
We passed this seal who looked sleepy in the early morning fog.
References were made to “Brigadoon”, with such beauty appearing as the fog lifted.
We rafted all morning, with only a few breaks to stretch our legs. The current was slow and lazy. About 1pm, we arrived at the bridge that signaled our final take-out. We were about 30 miles east of Cordova, but the Copper Oar van would meet us here.
We all got out, bundled up against the chill, and ready to get to the hotel that awaited us in Cordova.
With everyone’s help, the rafts were quickly unloaded, and the gear was packed on top of the van. The rafts were deflated……
And rolled up into tight bundles. I found this whole process fascinating. Note – the afternoon had warmed, and the breeze died down, leaving the bugs swarming around us as we worked.
Our personal gear was put to one side to be repacked in the luggage that had traveled from Chitina with the van. The first thing I checked was whether my ID had made it with my bag. I breathed a big sigh of relief when I saw my purse, ID inside, next to my duffle. Yes, I would get to fly back to Anchorage the next day!
It took about 2 hours to load the van. Then we were off for a rather rickety ride into Cordova. Mark had a flight out that evening, so we dropped him off at the airport on the way. The rest of us headed to the Orca Lodge, where a much needed shower and a set of clean clothes awaited us.
We all met for dinner that evening. Enjoying the company one more time before going our separate ways. Fred and I were flying back to Anchorage in the morning. Dale, Allison, Kate and Reeve would stay another day in Cordova before taking the ferry over to Valdez and driving the van back to McCarthy.
Monday, Aug 27th – Good to sleep in a bed with a solid roof over our heads, however….you know hotel beds. Too soft for my back. Don’t want to say that I missed the hard ground….. : )
We had a bit of a glitch with our flight reservations, but it was efficiently resolved and, by 11:30 am we were on our way to the airport to catch a 1 pm flight back to Anchorage.
By 2:30pm, we were back at our camper with the afternoon to devote to laundry, grocery shopping and settling in. We would be leaving Anchorage in the morning and would pick up Jade from the kennel in Palmer on our way out.