After finally being united in the Seattle airport, and basking in the serendipitous silliness of our first host’s significant other being on our connecting flight, we were finally together for our trip to Fairbanks, as a team.
Before we took, off Rachel reset her watch to Alaska Time. We settled into what time it was in a place we were not yet in as the hands on her watch swirled autonomously backwards to the new time zone of our destination.
The sun was well on its way to slipping behind the horizon, and only a faint line of orange hugged the tree line of our Seattle surroundings.
As we got closer to taking off, the color on the horizon began to grow deeper. Rachel and my tired eyes couldn't help but latch onto what we both agreed was the most vivid red we had ever seen in the sky.
As the plane made its first turn in the sky, we watched the reflection of the horizon catch on the wing of the plane for just a few short moments.
The obligatory cliché airplane sunset photos, captured mostly just the dirt on the glass, but also an exceptional distortion with seemingly two horizons from the reflection of the wing. We had a good laugh about the horrible photo, but it also feels to have captured some of the emotions of the chaos the present reality held as we all traveled away from everything we know.
As I danced in and out of uncomfortable, antsy and forced sleep, each time I opened my eyes and the sunset was still there. We were seemingly frozen in an endless glow of a day that wasn't ready to end.
After chasing the same sunset for over two hours, we began to catch up. The sun began to climb above the clouds, and it was growing brighter and brighter outside my window.
The day was back. The light came just in time to lend a glimpse of some of the most glorious landscape and majestic mountains I have ever seen before tucking behind a thick blanket of clouds.
Even in the light, the terrain below is hidden beneath the mystery of clouds, and what is ahead of us is even more excitingly uncertain.