From Sea Level to 10,000 Feet

I mentioned in previous posts that I’ve been “outside” (AKA, outside Alaska) for most of the fall. It ended up being nearly 7 weeks (Justin was with me for 2.5 weeks)! I started in Nashville for my sister’s 50th birthday celebration, then it was in NJ/CT for family visits (my side), as well as Colorado…

Currently: November

Currently living/working: Wandering in the lower 48, but writing! Justin & I joined forces on holiday gift guides for Backpacker … these are always fun, and we didn’t get to do any last year, so it was exciting to get the assignment for “Under $25,” “Backpacker” and “Car Camping” this year. Justin has also still…

Off-Season Visitor

(I’m catching on a past event!) I like when visitors trickle in during our off season, as we certainly have more time and energy to host. So we were ecstatic when Justin’s sister, Jamie, decided to take an impromptu trip to Alaska in October! We hadn’t received any significant snowfall nor the true drop in…

Currently: October

Currently living/working: We were kind of all over the place this month—Justin in Oregon for his boys’ trip and me in Nashville for my sister’s 50th bday trip. And both on our own in Alaska for a bit! Since Nashville, I’ve been in NJ at my mom’s and will be here into November. Work-wise, we’re…

Separate Vacations: Tennessee and Oregon

We’ve always considered fall and winter to be our downtime since we have fewer jobs. We always stack writing projects for the winter, but they have sporadic deadlines and can be done from anywhere. So we travel!!!! Usually it’s a hello-goodbye tour to see family, but we also sprinkle in fun trips “outside” (outside=outside Alaska).…

Currently: July

Currently living/working: We are still in the go-go-go stage of the typical boom and bust arc of Alaska life. For me, it’s a juggling act of managing our yurt, cleaning other people’s airbnbs, guiding and writing. For Justin, it’s mostly just guiding (like 6 days a week) and writing. Figuring out when Justin & I…

Summer 2022 Visitors

Now that we’ve settled down for the first time in a decade and have actual space to host (granted, it’s a yurt), we’re starting to have visitors! This summer, it was my family’s turn. I remember when I first pitched the idea of a trip to Alaska to my sister, Janice, last year. My 76-year-old…

Currently: June

Currently living/working: Definitely in a topsy-turvy phase where Justin and I are passing ships. Justin is guiding for Traverse Alaska pretty much 5 days a week, and when he has off, he’s working through ongoing gear reviews, helping clean the yurt, eyeballing our long list of summer projects or trying to fit in a game…

Currently: April

Currently living/working: April was another doozy of a month. It included a pet/housesitting gig in Healy, a funeral, and three trips to Fairbanks. Work-wise, we’ve been busier than all winter (yeah for income!). Our joint gear project is underway for Outside Business Journal and wrapping up mid-May. Justin is rocking quite a few new gear…

Dear Dad (3 Years)

Dear Dad, We still cry and we still grieve, but admittedly we moved forward in life without you for 3 years now. There are absolutely moments when my voice is full of loss and longing—either triggered by a memory, a dream (I love when you visit me in my dreams), your voice on a voicemail…

Three Christmases

Ever hear of the 2008 movie, Four Christmases? The one where the child-less couple travels to everyone’s homes to visit for the holidays? Change the name to Three Christmases, and that was us this year! From NJ/CT to Massachusetts to Colorado, we were all over the map. And thanks to holiday/weather/Covid airport delays and cancellations, we arrived…

Currently: November

Currently living/working: We spent the first half of November in Alaska, and the second half in Hawaii! We purposely stacked our work projects so that our time in Hawaii would be 90% blissfully free of any work. And when we hit the eject button from Alaska on 11/16, we stuffed away our puffies and long…

Happy 45th Justin!

Guess who wrote this blog post??? JUSTIN!  For my 45th birthday, I thought I would write about one the biggest influences in my life … MUSIC! I estimate that I’ve seen around 400 live concerts, with a few bands multiple times. Music is a way for me to escape, to celebrate with friends, to bring people…

RIP Nana

My last grandparent, Nana as we all called her, passed away Saturday, just 5 days short of her 95th birthday. She spent her last years in decline, but she was still pretty sharp until the end. And I have to say she set quite the example for all of her family during the other 90-something…

Currently: June

Currently living/working: We are still spinning A LOT of plates at once. Still cleaning 5 Airbnbs, Justin is still guiding for Traverse Alaska, and then we still have all that freelance work—the Leave No Trace curriculum project, my UCO history book project, my book marketing, our Backpacker and Outside Business Journal work, my Alaska Magazine…

Summer 2021 Visitors

If we could have predicted anyone who would come to visit us in Alaska, it would be Justin’s sister and her wife! So it’s no surprise that Jamie & Rachel officially kicked off our summer as our first visitors.   These two are natural adventure travelers and really didn’t need us to “guide” them, as…