Packing/Departing for Alaska

And we’re SO excited!   

We’ve been talking about a trip to alaska for years.  Its the last of the 50 states i haven’t yet been too, and obviously a great destination for anyone who lives and travels by vehicle like we do.  Sadly, its also overlapped with other events we didn’t want to miss the last few years and we keep postponing.  This year (partly because of the hectic life we’ve been living and part because we realize there simply will never be a good time to remove ourselves from friends and family for a few months in the middle of summer) we committed to making it happen.

Jen had to fly to MT for a family thing and i focused a few more shop days on trying to get this van as close to road-ready as possible and by the time she got back to town we were packing (done or not) to get out of town and point generally north.  Oddly we’ve done almost zero planning for this trip.  It's long enough we can’t really prepare or plan and figure theres really only one way to get there (basically pointing north), so we can’t possibly get lost.

The last day of packing/tasks/errands wore on us more than usual, but mostly we’re just excited to hit the road and get back to our normal lifestyle… even as abnormal as that is.  All in, the van looked remarkably tight for such a long journey and im amazed every time we load up with 2 full sized bikes, two full sized kayaks and all of our other gear and it fits comfortably. 

We drove north along I-5 and talked about just how many times we’ve done this drive over the last few years.  I simultaneously was updating the map of our travels and realizing how much of the PNW we’ve covered and the numerous times we driven most of these highways.  Seems we might need to venture further afield soon, which makes this trip all the better timed.  Even before hitting the border we turned off the freeway for smaller backroads to weave and wind our way into canada.  We have no timeline after all… might as well see roads not yet driven and begin the exploration!

Our first night across the border we got in late and almost opted for a provincial park, but as we drove through and saw the RVs and generators and ATVs immediately knew it wasn’t an option.  We got back on the road and turned off on the first forest road that looked promising and still close to the river and it didn’t disappoint.  Wound our way down increasingly smaller roads and trails and eventually pulled into a lovely clearing overlooking the river and the train tracks beyond.  PERFECT!

We had barely enough time to setup camp, pour a cocktail and make (one of jens famous beautiful camp-gourmet) dinner before darkness surrounded us, but we moved inside and I started trying to put the pieces together for a new plumbing system.  I know… not exactly your typical camping project, but we just decided on the road to even finish the water system out, so i spent half of the drive cutting and clamping pipes/components together and figured this campspot would be as good as any other to try putting it all together. 

We didn’t have everything we needed (probably saw that coming), so it will have to wait for another day/another camp… but we figure this is a long enough trip that since we already have the sink/faucet we might as well go ahead and run (at least a simple) water system rather than refilling gallon jugs like we’ve been doing for the last few years.