Saturday, August 01, 2009

Alaska Adventure Coming to a Close

The Nephew's visit is almost over. He arrived about three weeks ago from New York with my Mom so he could attend Science Camp here in the Soggy North. During camp, he and my daughter canoed, kayaked, trekked on a glacier and learned a lot about the various ecosystems that thrive in our area. His favorite activity during camp was climbing a wall of ice at the glacier. Scary, but cool (no pun intended : ). In all, according to the two kids, "Camp was epic!" I think that means they liked it a lot.

He spent another week here being very tolerant of my youngest using him as her personal jungle gym and not doing the activities I thought we'd get to do. Rain and the absence of my husband contributed to a somewhat uneventful final week, but he didn't complain. Didn't act bored or frustrated.

There was one final adventure. On Tuesday, Nephew and Daughter got to fly in a four-seater float plane from here to Valdez, a town about 45 air minutes away. They were to help demonstrate remote operated vehicles (ROVs) made by kids in the 6th grade (my daughter's class). The kids built models of vehicles that could maneuver in the water and aid in "oil spill" clean up. The "oil spill," in the name of environmental safety, was stale popcorn for this demo. The project got the kids' creative juices flowing regarding engineering and design. It's amazing what a 12 year old's mind can come up with and accomplish when they are interested. No two ROVs were alike despite the limitations set by purpose, size and the number of propellers allowed. Very, very cool.

So off they go with Lindsay, the Education Coordinator at the Prince William Sound Science Center, with the intention of returning at 8pm that night. The weather was iffy here, with fog rolling in between the mountains, but flyable. I trust the pilots here, especially if they are older. The saying goes, there are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are few old, bold pilots. I like mine to be calm and in control but know when flying is to risky, especially if my kids are aboard. At about 4 or 5pm, I get a call from Lindsay. The weather is worsening where they are and the charter company won't be able to get in. She, my kids, and two other Science Center folks have to spend the night in Valdez. They'll catch the ferry at noon Wednesday and return to us at 7pm Wednesday. The kids have no toothbrushes or pajamas; I would not want to be near their breath the next morning. I gave them some money for lunch and dinner, but that's all. I know Lindsay will take care of them, so I'm not worried. In fact, they had a fabulous time. In a way, I'm glad they got stuck. It's an adventure they won't soon forget.

So all in all, with Science Camp and the Valdez Adventure, Nephew has had a pretty decent visit. He's a good kid (Nice job, sis!) and I'm grateful we were able to spend some time with him.

Tomorrow we head to Anchor-town to begin his return to the Right Coast. My kids and I will accompany Nephew to Seattle. We'll see him off on his plane and then catch a flight to Spokane to visit the in-laws for ten days. Then school starts a week after we return, Yikes! Summer is winding down, but it's been a good one.

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1 Comments:

At 4:36 PM, Blogger Writer and Cat said...

Imagine the tales he'll be able to tell about his summer vacation!

 

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