Summer in Alaska

After a long hiatus, David and I are back in the Gnar Wagon with the plan to spend the next three months in Alaska. The major to-dos to prepare for the trip are done: the house is cleaned and packed up, the renters are moved in, Scout is vacationing with a friend, Periwinkle (my car) is vacationing in Bend with my parents (Peri put up quite a fuss, with the interior and exterior driver’s door handle breaking just as I was preparing to leave Portland), the van is in Alaska thanks to many hours of driving by David, and I am here in Alaska thanks to a quick flight. While of course we intended to arrive with a detailed itinerary and clear map for the next three months, we have a jumbled map of places we’d like to go, recommendations from friends and blog articles, and lots of starred hikes on All Trails. We are spending our first few days in Anchorage, doing some coffee shop planning sessions and local hikes.

Here are all the locations we’d like to go to. We’ll see how many we get to. We’d love any additional recommendations.

One big exciting change in the van for this trip – we have new lithium batteries! After a couple years our AGM batteries just weren’t cutting it. On weekend trips we could barely make coffee in the morning and had to keep our cooking super limited. To celebrate all the additional battery life we have, we made a real meal in the van our first night – kale salad, sautéed mushrooms (for Kelly), chicken parmesan (for David), and pasta. With the upgraded batteries we can even run our air conditioner for short stretches of time, although if the last couple days are any indication we won’t need it this summer!

Since there is nothing like a good book to get you excited about a trip, I just read a book about a teacher who moved to Alaska in the 1920s, Tisha, which I’d highly recommend. One of my favorite quotes from the book is below. David just started a book about Alaska recommended by a friend, Coming into the Country. We’ll see if we can keep the Alaska theme going!

“The sun was just coming up over the mountains–blood red and cold. I felt as if I was standing in the mightiest cathedral that had ever been built. There was no end to it, and no beginning. All I could do was look at it and worship.”

Robert Specht, Tisha: The Wonderful True Love Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaskan Wilderness

More updates to come soon!

2 thoughts on “Summer in Alaska

  1. Babs Shaffer, Wisconsin

    We did a 3 month trip to Alaska in our van in 2016. Definitely, an epic trip! “The Milepost “ guidebook is HIGHLY recommended. (Especially to find gas in those remote places.) Another great non-fiction book is “One Man’s Wilderness” by Sam Keith & Richard Proenecke (also a documentary). Have fun!


    1. Kelly

      We have the Milepost and love it! We especially like following along on scenic highways to learn about the areas around us and find good scenic spots to stop. I just put “One Man’s Wilderness” on hold and am looking forward to reading it – thanks for the recommendation!


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