So, today finds us at a full three weeks on the road.
Stats: 3,600 miles driven. Hotel nights = 1. Restaurant meals = 6 (including breakfast-y quasi meals, only two dinners so far). Laundry = 3x. RV park nights = 3 (regrettably due to laundry / location / etc...) Hot springs days = 3
We try to keep the driving to about 5h per day or less. There have been a couple of long days, but nothing too crazy. Certainly nothing into the dark of night (oh yeah, there is no dark of night anymore up here). We've definitely appreciated the times when we have stayed at one camp multiple nights, eliminating the overhead of tear down & setup...even as minimal as it is with Byron.
We have thankfully all gotten along quite well and had quite an enjoyable trip thus far. We are all learning things that we miss, like our chickens & their tasty eggs, our friends back home, and the summertime that is Boulder. We're also realizing the things that we do not miss. For instance: we never watch much TV at home, and we've only had a chance to turn one on during our hotel night. After a quick scan of the channels, the only interesting thing on was a first round World Cup game. I'm typically a news junkie, but actually have not looked at the news in three weeks. I'm a bit curious what I might have missed, but also realize that if something impacted us, someone would reach us (and has...thanks Ingrid!). Surprisingly we've found workarounds for the key daily activities like showers...short hair and a good daily wash cloth wipe down does wonders for the way you feel when between campgrounds with showers.
Some amazing scenery and animals have been seen. I'm convinced that Canada must have too many bears what with how many we saw along side the road...no less than 20...and they have the whole forest to hang out in. The glacial valleys of Banff and Jasper NPs were more amazing to me than even Yosemite. The same big walls, but lots more covering hundreds of miles. The history of the mining and gold rush in the Yukon was intriguing, and seeing the trails the rushers had to travel makes me shake my head. Many must have died trying to get there.
We've met folks from all over the US, Canada, and lots of Europeans. The Swiss seem the most into road tripping, including the couple in their Vanagon shipped over from Switzerland, and the crew doing panamerican trip from Alaska all the way to the tip go South America!
Was it worth quitting a good job to do this? Ultimately, I can't answer that yet, but all indicators are yes. To me, life should be about creating memories, and this trip is fulfilling that need every day. We've seen many amazing things, visited places we would have never gotten to otherwise, and learned skills and things about each other that we may not have otherwise. Nobody would remember the 11weeks that I went to work everyday in the summer of 2014. We all work to earn money to do things and, so far, this is looking like one of the best investments we've ever made.
So now we are set to begin the Alaskan part of our journey. On Monday Byron goes into a well respected shop in Fairbanks for new front suspension ball joints & an oil change. We will see what else is really needed. On Tuesday we enter Denali NP for their nights. Regrettably, we will have to board Willow as she is not allowed into the park interior. From there, it's on to Anchorage and to the southern part of the state, hopefully hopping ferries to see sights on the inside passage. The itenary beyond Thursday is really unknown at this point, but we are absolutely looking forward to it!