Our friends Joe and Evelyn in Alaska have been greatly supportive of this climb and the climb Dan and Alan made of Mt McKinley several years ago. The story of how the two families originally met is an interesting one.
At age 60, Adam, Alan and Laura's grandparents were on a motorcycle trip across Canada and up the Alaska highway. When in Anchorage they stopped to look at all the small air planes at an airstrip. Grandpa was looking through a chain link fence and called a gentleman over to ask a few questions about the airstrip and the planes. (Alaska has more small aircraft / capita than any place else in the world). It ended up the gentleman he spoke to, Joe, was in charge of the airport and he invited grandpa and grandma to his home. An immediate friendship developed between Joe and grandpa and they wrote letters to each other for over 20 years. Grandpa recently passed away and among his belongings were all the letters he received from Joe over the years. When I mentioned this to Joe he commented that he still had all the letters grandpa wrote him.
A long distance relationship built on respect and mutual interest.