Early yesterday morning we left Fairbanks and headed home to Haines. By the end of the day, we cleared U.S. customs, having traveled through Canada, and descended the Chilkat River Valley, passing from alpine tundra to sea level within an hour. As we dropped in elevation, spring advanced from early stages to full blown summer. As we descended from the dry, windswept pass, the humidity rose, until we followed the Chilkat River in a light drizzle. As humidity rose, so did the fragrance of the valley’s lush growth.The aroma enveloped us. We hiked home and found the homestead far advanced from where we’d left it: the rhubarb patch had grown to about three times the stage we’d last seen it at, our forget-me-nots are now in full bloom, and almost everything in the garden has increased dramatically in size. Over it all, like a baptism, a warm, gentle rain fell. After so many days in the dry center of our state, we’d returned to the temperate rain forest where we belonged. Our chapped skin and bleeding noses feel nourished in the surrounding moisture. We can’t ask for a better welcome.
Be it ever so humid, there’s no place like home!