North to Alaska!

You're DRIVING to Alaska?? By yourself?  Well, yes and sort of.

As some of you know, I sold my business last year and bought a 20-year-old vintage campervan with the goal of getting out and exploring the good old US of A. I sold the business in August, bought the van in the same month, and set out in September. Two three-week trips - one out west and the other to the Southeast - and I was hooked. The van got stored for the winter and I got busy doing a little redecorating to make the interior more like home.

In March of this year, I read a Facebook post by someone who was planning the epic drive to Alaska and, although I had never even conceived of such an idea, decided that was to be my destination this summer. I got a little push back from family as to the sanity of such an endeavor (old van, no cell phone service, remote and rough roads - you get the idea) but upon further research, discovered that it is a relatively common (albeit bucket list) trip for RVers.

So I began to make preparations for the 2-month long trip by making sure my van was in tip top shape, I had good roadside insurance and, of course, access to Netflix :)

I am definitely comfortable traveling solo and usually like solitude but the idea came to me to invite someone to accompany me on the drive up (2-3 weeks) who would then fly home from Anchorage leaving me to complete the trip alone. This would provide me with a little company as well as another person to be stranded with if any of the bad things people thought would happen, did. My usual travel partner (my daughter, Ricki) couldn't swing the time off of work so I invited the next most logical person - my ex-husband. I'm guessing some of you don't see that as a logical choice but we have traveled very successfully over a 25-year marriage and have a good friendship now so it made sense to me. I am all about a win-win philosophy and this seemed to fit that bill - I get a travel partner for the time I want, and Jeff gets a great trip out of it.

So we loaded up the van and hit the road on July 13th.

Of course, it wasn't that simple... there was much preparation to do to be gone for 2 months. Plans for a house/cat sitter, yard work to be done while I am gone, someone to be a contact person for my tenants, medications refilled for an extra month, etc. I was also just coming back from a family reunion that I was mostly responsible for planning but I got it all done and (as I write this halfway through the trip) I can say that the only thing I can think of so far that I forgot was the Milepost book I had purchased to bring along. Pretty good :)

I had a rough itinerary planned for the time that Jeff would be with me since I needed to have him at the Anchorage airport on August 2nd. The drive entailed about 4000 miles through Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon and into Alaska. I am writing this first post on August 3rd - the day after Jeff left - and am thinking to spend the rest of my time here in a slower, less planned way.

I have some photos and short stories/descriptions of what we have seen so far and will write a post for each day.

I hope you'll follow along!