The million dollar question has been: when do you leave? Bosses, landlords, family, friends ... have been on indefinite hold because making plans is near to impossible when you can't pin down dates like, oh, When will the house be empty for the new renters? What day should I take off from work so I can see you when you visit Minnesota? What day do you actually start driving to Alaska???
Sorry Charlie, we just don't know yet. This has been the constant refrain.
As of last night, the answer to that question is Friday.
We start driving early Friday morning.
T-minus 3 days.
Want more numbers?
- 21 driving days. 1 of those is more than 7 hours. 4 are just over 6. The rest are less, at least on paper.
- 5 National Parks. Badlands, Yellowstone, Glacier in the US; Banff and Jasper in Canada.
- 12 States. Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Alaska
- 2 Canadian provinces + one territory. Alberta and British Columbia plus the Yukon territory.
- 4846 miles.
- 80-something driving hours. According to google maps, but google maps goes a little fuzzy in the Yukon territory. So does wireless coverage in general.
- 4 time zones.
- 19 hours of daylight in Anchorage on average in July.
It seemed like I needed a ukelele for this trip. The boys gave me one for Mother's Day but haven't let me touch it much since. Toddler rules (which are the same as preschooler rules) clearly state: what mine is mine and what's yours is mine. Mine, mine, mine. And so it is. I don't really mind. They've been crooning sweet little songs about our pending adventures which offer me a little bit of insight into the state of their little beings as we gear up for some big changes.
Alaska Kenny, our camper, is looking good. Not renovated airstream good, but good nonetheless. My late uncle Ken always dreamed up greater adventures than his body could ever perform. He talked about buying a boat (and naming it the Christara after my sister and me). He wanted to float down the Mississippi but couldn't ever quite conquer swimming. He dreamed of visiting castles in Europe, but gave up air travel when cigarettes were banned aboard. He always wanted a dog, but. There was always a but. His home was wall-to-wall books and he watched more movies than anyone I've ever known. He rarely left his house. In lieu of ever actually going to the places of his dreams he resigned himself to a life lived vicariously. To that end, he was a great benefactor of the adventures of his nieces or nephews, slipping us an envelope of "fun money" pre-departure. He left us each a small sum of money when he passed and I think he would be happy to know he was able to help fund the camper that will be our home away from home on our drive to Alaska.
Camper interiors are notoriously not lovely. Ours was a hot floral mess of maroon and khaki. My dear friend Amber whipped up these beautiful cushion covers in the week before her own house got packed to go. Did I mention she is a dear? I miss her already.
Probably I need to post more photos of Alaska Kenny. I'd wanted to do a before-and-after reveal of sorts. I'm not sure I can make that happen in the next three days. Three days!!!
Ready, set, .... go! I'm going to be 'grammin our adventures when possible. You can follow along on the hashtag #r2ak
GO! happens to be the theme on which my photography pals are riffing this month. Speed on over to Cherish's site to see her take on GO!