I’m four hours removed from my last goodbye hug. My dad dropped me off at the airport at 4:15 AM this morning, and I’m currently somewhere over Montana right now. 30,000 feet up with the window seat. I always pick the window seat. I don’t fly enough to get used to the view.
In about an hour, this 737 will touch down in Seattle, and I’ll have a few short hours to reconnect with some old friends before another jet takes me the rest of the way to Alaska. While I can’t wait to get back to the wilderness of Denali and the community there, this year’s sojourn is exceptionally bittersweet.
I can’t help but think of the friends and family that I am leaving behind. Perhaps it gets easier to say goodbye after repeated attempts, but it sure doesn’t seem like it, at least not yet. I’ll leave the sap to the pines, but one group of friends that I will miss a whole lot is my band. Without hedging too close to State of Magellan Gushfest 2016, I do want to acknowledge the folks that have sacrificed countless hours, days, weekends, and brain cells to further the Fletch cause.
Paul, keep swaying, and don’t forget to stretch your neck before and after performances.
Marc, do continue to stay away from the harpsichord setting on your keyboard. I’m so happy to be a part of your Tune Squad.
Ross, I hope when I return you will have seen the light as far as Pamplemousse La Croix is concerned.
Victoria, may all of your apples be happy, and may your His Right Hand scream continue to scare me every time.
Gabe, watch out for rogue bedsheets.
Danny, I’m so glad I was a little bit rude twenty-four years ago and asked you to play with me.
This Wednesday, I’ll board a bus with our intentional community of seasonal workers and spend the next sixteen hours driving from Anchorage to our lodge 88 miles into Denali National Park. If this summer is anything like the last one, I’ll likely stay within the confines of the park for the majority (if not the entirety) of the season. I’ll work long hours, sweat buckets, play with four of my favorite kids, sleep with the sun out, meet great people from all over the world, drink a couple more than a couple beers, eat my weight in baked goods, and simply exist in one of my favorite places.
In addition to my guitar, I also brought my mobile studio with me this year. I’ll be writing, recording, and releasing an EP of music inspired by my experiences in the last frontier. I’m working with some of my friends I’ve met in Denali, for this release, I can’t wait to share these songs with you all (you know, as soon as I write them…)!
I promise that I won’t become a stranger over the summer, and I’ll do my best to share my experiences with y’all throughout it all.