"Since we're taking the scenic route. Tell me your life story, Siren." I ask.
"Well, it started many moons ago, before telephones had answering machines and mom was having her first child. Dad got drunk the night before and still half lit when she informed him "It's time." Dad replied "Of course it's time. I'm dry woman, where's my beer?"
"No, you drunken idiot. My water broke."
"Well, let me get Bubba on the phone, he'll come by and fix it." he slurs. My mom smacked him upside the head "No, your baby is on the way and we need to get to the hospital."
"Oh Shit!" And he was running around the trailer like a chicken without a head! He couldn't find his shoes and then forgot mom when he took off in the car. Came back sheepishly. They barely made it and I was almost dropped in ER."
Enthralled in the story, I ask if that was true. She replies. "No, not really. I was given up for adoption and I don't know who my parents are. But my adopted parents were always loving and supportive of me. When I was about 8 they told me the truth about being adopted. They sat me down and told me about wolf families. How they closely relate to humans about parenting and puppies without parents. They bought me the book "Never Cry Wolf" about a guy who studied wolves in Canada. It was very indepth and taught me a lot. In the end the wolf parents were killed but the Inuit hunters told the scientist not to worry about the wolf puppies. They wouldn't be uncared for. Some wolves would come by and adopt them and raise them as their own. They told me 'We do not know where you come from. We love you still the same. You are in our hearts.' I am lucky to have them as parents."
Letting this sink in, we pull onto Upper Huffman. I tell her "Well, you see that crest? That is top of Gravity Hill but we won't experience that until we come back down. We're going to parking lot at the base of Flattop Mountain. You know, when I first moved to Anchorage, I heard about the Great Earthquake, how it was the biggest one ever recorded, I thought 'So, that is why that mountain has no top.' in my imagination I seen it topple off and tumble into the ocean. Great visual but it wasn't supported because there was no craters from that fall."
"Wow, you have a great imagination. how old were you?" she asked.
"Oh, my parents moved here in 1976 and I was barely 8. Yes, I'm cursed with a great imagination. It took me over 15 years to actually get around to eating mushrooms again after what my dear ole dad told me." *shiver* "I still have to choke them down if they aren't prepared properly."
"Oh, what did dear old dad tell you?"
"The family was having a birthday dinner at Sorrento's Italian Cuisine and I was enjoying this dish that had mushroom sauce. I was totally digging it, thinking I was hoity-toity and such. Dad asked 'How can you eat that?' I love it. 'I can't eat mushrooms.' Why is that, dad? 'They feel like snot going down my throat.' And ever since then I have to steel myself when I eat mushrooms or else that visual haunts me."
Derek turns onto Toilsome Road leading to Flattop and the name isn't a misnomer. After a hairpin turn, it winds back & forth and many small hills it climbs up Chugach Mountain Range. On the left side of road, you'll see Anchorage sprawling out. If you stopped, you'll be able to make out neighborhoods, shopping malls & major streets. We continue to climb until we make the parking lot.
The night has fallen and it fell hard. Stars were out in force and the street lights of Anchorage was doing their best to out shine them. The air was crisp and sky was clear. Derek parks near the paved trail up to the look-out. There are several cars here filled with people with their own agenda, some are partying teenagers with no where else to go, some are rekindling their aging romance and some on first date. I would not say this is a first date, it very well may be the last one. But that is neither here nor there I'm just here to enjoy the night air and stare in wonder at the stars, glad to share it.