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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Service With a Smile

~Thursday, July 21, 2022~

Day 767

Day 31 of Alaska Trip

I’ve kept my promise about not bringing up mosquitos anymore, and I promise to do the same thing about the constant clouds. I know, I know….enough already about the rain. I promise today is the last day I will bring up the topic unless we get flooded out. I mean, we timed it so perfectly (not) with the second rainiest season in Anchorage’s history with 11 consecutive days of rain. The record is 15. There have been a series of low pressure systems plaguing the state bringing record rains and flood advisories. We’re just crossing our fingers that it breaks in time for our fjord tour next week in Seward. And you won’t be seeing us on any float planes anytime soon until the weather’s more favorable.

While Jeff stayed back at camp to tend to some trailer maintenance, Sadie and I hit the highway for our 20-minute drive to Anchorage. Speaking of highways, it’s strange to be back on ones that are wider than 1 or 2 lanes…..kind of jolting really after being in a more remote, tundra like wilderness. On my errand kind-of-a-day, I was able to witness just how friendly Alaskans really are….like greeting you the minute you walk in the door (with a smile I might add), as well as people holding doors open for each other. The first example of this was arriving at Petco for Sadie’s nail trim. I didn’t know there were 2 locations within a mile of each other and ended up at the wrong store. The groomer said it was no problem to take care of Sadie right there on the spot and that she would call the other location to cancel my appointment. Wow, what great customer service. She even gave me directions to my next stop which was the UPS office. A little backstory on our mail situation…..with the last 2 years of being on the road, some things, if not immediately needed are sent to my mom’s (thankyou mom for this little extra service). But sometimes, we’re able to get packages/mail delivered to state parks or private campgrounds/RV parks. When none of those is an option as in the case of being in Alaska, we couldn’t have timed our ordering and deliveries any better, some by design, some by sheer luck. We had a 4-day window to have a few packages sent to the UPS hub in

Anchorage with the remainder being sent USPS to our next place in Seward. What we didn’t know was that when we ordered our goods (most of which was coming from Amazon), that they’d be arriving by different means. Amazon used to exclusively use UPS up until 2 years ago and now have contracts with USPS as well as FEDEX. Not being busy, the UPS clerk explained the whole thing to me. Unfortunately, there was one more package set to arrive tomorrow, so it looks like we’ll have to return tomorrow. The clerk was so sweet, offering up her services even before opening tomorrow if that would be more convenient for us. Since we’re coming to Anchorage to tour around tomorrow, it fits well into our schedule. AND, we’re fortunate that everything arrived on a weekday rather than a weekend when they’re closed. My last stop of the day at WalMart also left me surprised….multiple employees asked if I was finding everything o.k. NEVER have I been asked that at any WalMart in any other state than Alaska!! And we’ve been to a lot of different WalMarts! Wow, I’ve devoted almost an entire page on great customer service, which means what a “lost art” it has become. Service with a smile….now how hard is that? Oh, and Alaskans are very environmentally friendly! Recycling is everywhere, and plastic bags are non–existent at check out. YES!!!

Low and behold, upon my return to the campground, I spotted 2 teenage moose grazing near the entrance to the park,

and I even had my camera. Mom was tucked a little further in the willow trees, so I couldn’t get HER on film. It was a quick visit, but I’ll take anything!

About 2 campsites down from us, the ranger was parked, issuing citations to a few campers who had left out their coolers (empty or full, it doesn’t matter). The fine…..$300. A hard lesson, but easy common sense if you use it!

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