Currently living/working in: Alaska!! We’re still doing outreach for the Subaru/Leave No Trace Zero Landfill Initiative, mainly in and around Denali National Park. It is fabulous to be back in Alaska; it just feels like home to us. We’ll be here until late August.
Current mood: We seem to have a good handle on all our current job responsibilities, so I do feel like my time management has been on par. There’s been a few stressors popping up—not surprising given our self-induced non-traditional life—but deep breaths are getting us through.
Currently proud of: Given this is the second year of the Zero Landfill Initiative Tour, we really tried to branch out and expand our event lineup (we make our own schedule). We both feel like we laid a foundation last year, and built on it this year.
Current guilty pleasure: While working, our lodging is covered. Because Leave No Trace is a nonprofit, we obviously want to keep those costs down, which usually means camping. But, camping in and around the National Parks where we’ve been stationed is actually quite pricy. So for this year, we secured renting a dry cabin through a friend that was cheaper than camping! This is a very common living arrangement in Alaska. It means no running water or plumbing. You haul in your water. You use an outhouse. And because you work so hard to bring it in, you conserve it. So kind of like camping!!! All this to say, running water, actual water pressure, flush toilets and a roof over our heads may be our guilty pleasure right now. We are lucky to have friends who work in the park who offer us free showers and the ability to fill up water jugs. Alaskans are freakin’ hard core.
Currently not excited about: We are facing some BIG decisions. Like I said, right now, I’m not overwhelmed by the stress behind them … yet. I know how my brain and anxiety spirals though.
Currently worried about: Are we biting off more than we can chew? We are extremely frugal and make a lot of intentional sacrifices, yet we stretch our finances pretty thin and make others gasp. For example, we are on a new health insurance plan that will have us paying more out of pocket, so technically, we should be even more careful with our monies. Buuuuut … life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. We often taking Helen Keller’s advice and go with it.
Currently excited about: Gonna just focus on the immediate future for now … August is exciting. My mom is coming for a visit to Alaska next week (her brother lives here)! And Justin & I are going to Lake Clark National Park later this month!
Currently thankful for: My dad’s 74th birthday would have been August 2. I miss him a lot. I miss when he would e-mail me: “Today’s blog pics are mind blowing. What beautiful sites ur eyes have seen.” Or, “Gotta tell you, out of your zillion blogs, I rank this one way up there. Your writing is impeccable.” Although we live a life so different from my dad’s, he was always so supportive and could find a story to relate to whatever problem/life decision we were making. Truth be told, my relationship with my dad wasn’t very good until my 20s. So while it’s hard to lose him from my daily life, I’m thankful I had his financial wizard-ness and life wisdom for many years.
Currently amazed by: Amazed is probably the wrong word. Abhorred is better suited. I’m sure you all heard the story recently about the 9-year-old girl being tossed by a bison in Yellowstone (or any other wildlife stories). This whole incident was preventable, yet predictable. Justin and I recently drove through Yellowstone on our way up to Alaska. We instantly regretted it. 99% of the park’s visitors never stray from the roads with all the wildlife living freely in their natural habitats and geothermal curiosities right there. This of course means bumper-to-bumper traffic in the summer, but more importantly, people seem to turn off reasonable behavior when they come to Yellowstone. We seriously were driving through the park with high blood pressure and had to put our blinders on. It took everything we could to not scream out our the windows at people for irresponsible behaviors putting their families and the animals at risk.
Currently regretting: We vowed to see a drive-in movie at the Spud Drive-In Theater while we were in the Tetons. And then the weeks flew by and we just couldn’t fit it in our schedule (to be fair, we were camping 2 hours away from it).
Current confession: It struck me recently that I am just not good at capturing wildflowers. I must be missing some trick to the skill. Because when I look at my photos, they do not match up to the amazing scene I see in person. And other people’s photos seem to capture the essence.
Currently reading: We listened to 2 nonfiction books about Alaska on our way up to Alaska (fitting). Pilgrim’s Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier by Tom Kizzia is FASCINATING. The story follows the life of a homesteading family in Alaska and takes many twists and turns. Made big news here in Alaska, and people still talk about it.
The other book, The Sun is a Compass follows Caroline Van Hemert (author) and her husband on a 4,000-mile journey via foot and water around Alaska. We liked it for the adventure and Alaskan discoveries, but I didn’t think it was the best writing. And Caroline is a birder, so there were a little too many in-depth bird stories, which had us drifting.
Currently watching on Netflix: We finished the 2 seasons of “The Imposters.” We loved the 1st season, but the 2nd season went downhill (which seems to be typical). And now, we are watching “Undercover.” It’s good so far, if you can get past the dubbing of speech.