When we got back from our epic lap around America, we were convinced that our travel bug had been satisfied, at least for a year or two. Six months later, that is still true for one of us – Dawn is very happy waking up in our comfy bed in our nice little beach house here in Seaview, Washington.
Me, though? That wandering gene never goes away. I’m always thinking of other trips, other adventures to launch. So, I’m going to do just that – go on an adventure.
In ten days, I am going to leave the comfort of hearth and home and drive straight north, to Alaska. That means, of course, the Alaska Highway, ofttimes referred to as the Alcan, as it runs through Canada for many miles before you hit the Alaska border.
This trip, I’ll be setting out by myself, not because Dawn doesn’t want to go, but because she absolutely, positively, hopes to never set foot onto a small plane in this lifetime. When we fly on commercial jets, our last stop before boarding is the airport bar to get Dawn a drink or two, because she is such a nervous flyer. I don’t think there’s enough alcohol in the world to get her on one of those tiny bush planes that will be an integral part of this trip. So, she’s staying home, while I venture off on my own.
My plan is to drive the Alaska highway up, then just see what happens next. In other words, no plan at all, just like when we drove around America last summer. I have some places I hope to visit – Seward, Seldovia, Soldatna, Kenai, Homer, Anchorage, Wasilla – because I spent time in those places back in the 1970s. Beyond that, I hope to catch one of those tiny planes and go north, to where there are no roads. Mostly, I just want to let Alaska wash over me, to meet the colorful people that I know live there, and get in touch with the spirit of the land.
I’ve been to all fifty states now, and Alaska is unique in so many ways. I haven’t been there in almost 40 years, so I think it’s time. Since it will just be me, I’ll be willing to rough it a bit more. Instead of our almost-new car, I’ll be driving my twenty year old Subaru Outback. She might be a little long in the tooth, but she’s got the heart of a lion. And, she’s only got a bit over 100,000 miles on her, which is like almost brand new for a Subaru, right? I’ll need a nickname for her, so if you have any ideas, share them in the comments! (She is emerald green, if that helps.)
I’ve spent parts of four summers in Alaska, but I’ve never driven the Alaska Highway before, so I am excited about the adventure. I will be blogging from the road every day, with lots of pictures. At least, I will blog every day that I have internet access, which almost certainly won’t be every day.
When I get back, I will write up all my notes and publish them as a new book – A Lap Around Alaska. It’s a big enough state, I think it deserves a book of its own.
So. Is there anything you would like for me to check out for you in the Last Frontier? Anything you’ve ever been curious about? If so, post in the comments, and I’ll see if I can get to it for you. Or, if you’re like Dawn, and you think I’m just a moron for driving the Alcan in an old car in early spring, feel free to say that too!
Cheers, and safe travels.