Currently living/working in: Healy, Alaska!!! We finished up our Leave No Trace/Subaru contract and flew to Alaska Oct. 14. I greatly appreciate sitting still after a summer on the road, but even more so in our cozy little cabin. Lest you think we’ve just been doing puzzles and watching the snow fall out our windows, the reality is we have SO much content to pump out in the next few weeks. I’m actually still having a bit of anxiety about completing it all. Time management is key because we hit the road for our short Leave No Trace contract Nov. 14!
Current mood: Our cabin in Alaska is our happy place.
Currently worried about: We are definitely still in the honeymoon phase with our cabin. And while it is idyllic, there has been, and will continue to be, a huge learning curve to nearly everything (i.e., living in a dry cabin and having to use an outhouse in the WINTER). My theory is that the challenges will help us grow! Don’t you worry, I have many blog posts planned about the trials of learning the Alaskan way.
Current guilty pleasure: Running water. Whenever we go to the grocery store in town, we make it a point to go into the bathroom & wash hands with running water. And of course visit the toilet, which actually flushes. So glorious.
Currently proud of: As much as we love hibernating in Alaska, I mentioned we have another Leave No Trace contract coming up in November. We’ll be participating in REI’s Opt Outside and Opt to Act campaign, which involves 3 cleanup events along the East Coast—Jacksonville 11/17, Philadelphia 11/23 and NYC (specifically Queens) 11/29. We’re stoked to be a part of the Opt to Act movement!
Currently excited about: Our East Coast travels mean we’ll be able to check in with a few friends (and family) along the way. We have a pretty tight schedule, so if we don’t see you on this “tour,” you know we’ll be back through eventually.
Currently not excited about: One of our East Coast stops will be to our storage unit in Danville VA, a place we haven’t been in at least 2 years. Even though our Alaska cabin came fully furnished down to the last fork & knife, I know we are going to want ALL OUR THINGS (AKA, things we probably didn’t even remember we had). The goal is to grab a few essentials that will fit in a checked bag. Unlike Justin, I am trying to be a minimalist & it will undoubtedly be maddening to see all our STUFF in the 10×10 unit. I’ve come to terms with the fact that we are not dwindling that storage unit down anytime soon, but last time I convinced my husband to donate 4 boxes of stuff. Here’s hoping!!!
Currently thankful for: My aunt & uncle live in Fairbanks, 2 hours north of us. I didn’t realize how much we would rely on them!! I keep telling them to let us know if we are imposing, but we are extremely grateful for their running water and address to receive FedEx & UPS packages.
Currently amazed by: The car-buying process in Alaska was a CINCH. We purchased the second car we looked at (2008 Subaru Outback) and completed the title transfer at DMV that same day! We’ve lived in a lot of different states, but nowhere has it been this simple and affordable. We kept the plates & registration from the previous owners and it only cost $15 to transfer the title & registration into our name. Does that happen in other states?
Current confession: I failed my driver’s test in Alaska twice before passing on the 3rd attempt. This is so embarrassing to admit, especially given the fact that I essentially DRIVE FOR A LIVING. In order to get your AK license, you have to get 16/20 questions correct on a multiple choice test. Justin passed on his first try!! In my defense, I have a few things to point out. Justin was strategic in the way he answered (skipping all the questions he didn’t know, then coming back to them if he needed to). I am also a horrible test taker, especially when it comes to multiple choice. Lastly, the questions were HARD, particularly the AK-specific ones. But I know now the minimum jail sentence for a DUI in AK is 3 days, if you don’t have insurance & are in an accident, you will have your license suspended for 3 years and 12 demerits in a year equal a license suspension. Thank you Alaska for almost rejecting me.
Currently proud of: Justin & I just celebrated our 13-year anniversary. Our marriage and life together is in the teenage years! Holy cannoli. We’ve been through a heck of a lot over the years, and this was actually the first anniversary in 3 years where Justin was not in the hospital or recovering from a surgery! Not to mention the fact that we work together. That adds a whole crazy level to our partnership!!
Currently regretting: So far, no aurora borealis (northern lights). There is a Facebook group with notifications when they are strong & expected, but man it takes work to catch them!!! On the nights they were predicted, we went out several times to check, and either it was too cloudy where we are, or we *just* missed them. I know we’ll see them, but the anticipation is killing me.
Currently reading: I’m nearly done with Women Who Hike: Walking With America’s Most Inspiring Adventurers. It’s extra special because my friend and Backpacker colleague, Heather Balogh Rochfort, wrote it!! And she features a number of women I either know in real life, or follow on social media.
Currently watching on Netflix: We’re still watching Netflix here and there, but we actually have been streaming Survivor on CBS.com. And then, we discovered an antenna in our cabin with an old box TV (for real) and we were able to tune into CBS somehow for Survivor in real time (… and 4 PBS channels).