When I paddled from the Arctic Ocean to Cape Horn, I never thought about how I would get home. Every moment was spent reaching toward the goal of Cape Horn. When I got there it was time enough to start the homeward trek. It took a couple of months to make it back. From the southern tip of South America, my partner Verlen and I paddled part way, received a ride from the Chilean Navy, rode a bus then plane as far as Buenos Aires. We stayed stuck in the capitol, until J.P. McCarthy at WJR radio station in Detroit made connection with Uniglobe Travel who booked passage for us on Pan Am from Argentina to New York. The LaGuardia Port Authority gave us a patch that read "Verlen and Valerie survived a night at LaGuardia," for the 24+ hour stint Verlen and I spent camped at the airport with two 17-foot canoes, 19 boxes of equipment and a puppy. Eventually, we flew into Detroit and home.
Bone marrow transplant return with six minor children is challenging too. All tickets were booked on medical emergency fares with policies that apply, Micala and I have tickets home with Mercy Medical Airlift. Korrina and Kayla have return tickets on United that have lapsed since the date set for their return came and went when I was in the hospital. Steven has a ticket on United. Joshua and Shammond have tickets returning to Detroit on Delta since they both flew into Seattle with me from Michigan following my emergency medical trip to visit Joe in the hospital. I have spent more than eight hours on the telephone with agents who put me on hold and hold again as they consult with supervisors. Todate, transport is not booked. At least the music played when I hear "I'm sorry for the inconvenience, Ms. Fons, but I need to put you on hold," is a cut from "Rhapsody in Blue."
11 months ago