It’s been years since Ketchikan welcomed R2AK’s finishers to its shores, but by the early hour of Team Pure and Wild’s crossing of Dixon Entrance, you could tell that things were happening in welcomed and familiar ways. As their tracker blip went from “When will they get here?” to “We better hurry!” fans clad in R2AK swag migrated from disparate corners of the community to a slow-forming flash mob that converged on the docks of the Alaska Fish House to wait for R2AK’s first finishers.
In truth, the preparations started weeks before. Volunteers made a new stand and polished the bell, the local newspaper had been peppering the headlines with updates, fishing guides volunteered to take the various cameras from R2AK and local TV to catch the team’s final approach, and cash and firewood were placed on standby. It had been years, people were ready. Read on.