***Yes, yes, I know I am late.
Currently living/working in: Still working on the road as the Subaru/Leave No Trace Zero Landfill Team!! We just finished up 6 weeks of outreach in Alaska and arrived in the Yosemite area this weekend after our 7-day drive through Canada. We’ll be working here in California all of September, then wrap up our contract in mid-October.
Current mood: Oh man, I still feel a little scatterbrain on this summer road trip tour! It’s totally our fault, as we are always trying to pack it all in, while doing our job as best we can. And we’ve definitely taken some unplugged “us” time this month, but then I always feel like I am constantly playing catch up. Nomad life problems …
Currently amazed by: Wildflowers!!! Alaska has a lot of greatest hits. The mountain. The wildlife. But the thing that impressed me the most on this visit was the variety of wildflowers. Fireweed. Monkshood. Mountain bluebells. Forget-me-nots. We got to experience summer (briefly), then watch some of the fall colors come in.
I love this contrast in the above picture of the fall version of fireweed (red) with the summer version (purple) fading.
Currently regretting: Not getting to see the entire mountain (Denali) more. In our 6 weeks in Alaska, we only saw it 5 times! Only 30% of park visitors actually see it, so we are considered lucky. But it is just so mind-blowingly beautiful, you want more and more.
Currently thankful for: I never really expected we’d “run into” so many friends on this tour. For other tours we’ve worked, it was always an integral part of the road tripping. But knowing we’d only be driving a pretty designated route and stationed in specific places, I figured we’d have zero encounters. But we’ve had quite a few. The coolest was that we reunited in Alaska, of all places, with Mac (Fire Marshall – from our 2011 Appalachian Trail thru hike) and Alex!
Currently excited about: Sunshine! After pretty much a full month of rain and temps in the 40s/50s that we had in Alaska, it is nice to soak up some vitamin D.
Currently not excited about: BUT … it is a little too hot here in California. A 10-day forecast with high 80s and 90s???? I’m going to melt. Is there no happy medium?
Current guilty pleasure: Running water, electricity, cell phone service. These are things that when we have them, we appreciate them. We stayed in 11 different places while we were in Alaska, and had a very iconic Alaskan experience. Only in the Last Frontier do you have to ask the place you are staying if common amenities are included. To say Alaskans are hard core is understatement!
Currently proud of: This job has definitely challenged us in good ways and I think we’ve grown together! It has also opened up quite a few doors (we’ll tell you more about that in another post!).
Current confession: I mentioned more than once that it was hard to leave Mrs. Gibbles, the Fenton Ranch cat. We are so, so, so, so happy and relieved that they hired a new caretaker who was ecstatic to have a cat on the property. And she assures me they have become best friends!!! (I still miss Mrs. Gibbles).
Currently reading: We listened to 1.25 audiobooks on our 7-day drive through Canada. Scott Jurek’s North was pretty awesome, especially because he and his wife Jenny were the readers. This is the true story about Scott breaking the fastest known time record on the Appalachian Trail in 2015, with the help of his crew chief and wife, Jenny. Scott’s persistence and stamina is amazing, but honestly, I was more impressed by Jenny’s selflessness and dedication to the goal!
Our second book we’re working on is Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout by Philip Conors. It’s a little slow for us, too much history and not enough story telling, so not sure we are going to see it through (sorry Misti, but thanks for the recommendation!!).
Currently watching on Netflix: We’ve been still watching the occasional movie, although not as often as Justin would like. It helps wind down the day, but I sometimes can’t make it through the whole thing!
Love and miss you! Safe travels!
And to think that Justin was near the top of that mountain once upon a time!
Patrice, I think you would like reading Fire Season instead of listening to it. I can see where some people might find it boring when read aloud but I found the whole thing on paper very good.
Can’t wait to hear what opportunities await y’all!
Yay Mrs. Gibbles! So glad to hear that she is being loved!