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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How the Adventure Began ~

My last entry started me thinking about how I started on my journey through the blog-o-sphere.  It was seven years ago, and I was fairly new to the internet.  Yeah, I know.  I work in the IT field and I just started surfing the web about seven years ago.  What can I say?

Anyway: Walker and I were planning a trip to Alaska, which really means that I was planning a trip and Walker was waiting for me to tell him what to pack.  We were to fly into Anchorage and drive ourselves on a self-guided tour up through the interior and back down to some coastal areas before circling back to Anchorage for the flight home.  We had three days scheduled for Fairbanks, and I wanted to find out what the locals did for fun, so I typed something along the lines of "fairbanks locals dining recreation" into my search engine.  And up popped  Susan.

Susan Stevenson is a very talented photographer who lived in Fairbanks at that time.  Her online journal was the first I had ever seen, and I was immediately hooked.  I had been to Alaska once before, when my mom and I spent two life changing weeks driving around the state.  Susan's photographs brought all that back, and more.  The particular entry that came up was about a dinner Susan and her husband Steve shared for their anniversary.  I think it was their anniversary......anyway, they went to an Italian restaurant called Gambardella's.  When we got to Fairbanks, we went, too, and, well, wow.  It was the best dinner of the trip. Of course, many of our meals consisted of Easy Mac made in the microwave of our various motel rooms but still.  It was wonderful. 

A couple days later we were driving down the Richardson Highway when we made a pit stop at Rika's Roadhouse.  There, sitting at a picnic table with a friend, was none other than Susan Stevenson.  I grabbed Walkers arm and started bouncing in my seat.  As we pulled into the parking lot I begged Walker to go say hello to her while I ran to the restroom but he just looked at me like I was nuts.  I tried to explain to him who Susan was, what a blog was, but he wasn't getting it, and putting off the restroom was....not an option.  When I came back, Susan and her friend were gone. 

When we got home I read Susan's entry for that day - no mention of crazy tourists bouncing in their van yelling her name, LOL -  and it turns out she wasn't having a great day.  I really, really wish I had at least said "something" to her as I dashed by.  Maybe she would have waited, and it might have made the day better to meet someone who reads her pages and appreciates her words. 

Now, Susan reads my words, and the first time I read her comment to me I yelled for Walker while I bounced in my chair.  I was so excited.  The very person who's journal started me on this wonderful cyber adventure had stopped by.  You'd have thought George Clooney was on my doorstep by the way I was carrying on. Susan, I owe you one.  And, while I know how precious your time with your kids is, I would gladly make the trip to Madison to visit with you, should you every find yourself with a free day. 


  1. Oh my gosh....what an interesting and fun read. It's amazing how we all got started blogging. I really, really liked your story. Too bad about Susan tho, maybe someday you two may meet and get to know one another more 'personally' instead of behind comments.

    Thanks for visiting.

  2. Very interesting! I love the "going to Alaska" part. I have a cousin that lived there for about 15 years.

  3. My dream is to spend a year in Alaska, watching the seasons change. Has to be after retirement, though, cause I won't get to enjoy it all if I'm still working full time. Walker is willing, though not too excited about a long Alaska winter.

  4. Oh my goodness! You should have said hello to me! I LOVE to meet readers of my blog, and I meet them quite a bit! Most are locals, so meeting someone who doesn't live in AK would have been an awesome experience! WOW! You were SO CLOSE!! Next time you come to AK, if you happen to see me out and about - PLEASE SAY HELLO! Or rather, the next time you come to AK, we'll make it a point to meet for coffee or lunch. :)

    Thank you so much for this blog entry. It really made my day. I've got a huge smile plastered on my face!

    As for AK winters... as long as you have the right clothes, you'd be fine. It's magical (although cold), but it's also the best time of year to see the northern lights dancing above. If you ever want to plan a non-summer trip, come in March. We love March. Dog sled races, Ice art festival, Festival of Native Arts, Aurora without freezing to death, and a beautiful landscape.

    Thank you for this blog entry. I'm flattered. I'm also sorry you didn't say hello. :(

    Warmest regards,

  5. How fun to read how this all started! It is strange how the smallest coincidences, like you finding her blog that day, makes a difference in your life! :)