The Count Down

Getting prepared for a trip is always exciting. I am happiest when I have something to look forward to, regardless of how grand or insignificant the event may be. We are counting down the final days before we hit the road and I am officially starting to pack the basics. Typically there is a post-it note near the front door with to-do items on it. One for the household, and one for our next trip.

The current post-it has grown to three notes long, one specifically for our vehicles. The diesel currently has the drive shaft pulled apart, Dusty is knee deep in preparing to put a new bushing in the transfer case output shaft. Our current dilemma is deciding weather we replace the bushing itself or replace it with a Gear Vendor overdrive. Since he is already dealing with preventative maintenance for the worlds tiniest leak, we figure why not go for the whole deal.

The reason why were making a big deal of the worlds tiniest leak is because we were once stranded in Elko, Nevada on a two week trip back from Colorado. The tail-seal on the motor home that we were traveling in at at that time, had failed and it puked out every last drop of the transmission oil. Literally dumping quarts on the ground, just as we looked up to see a sign that indicated not to pick up hitchhikers. Oh you know, because a state prison was coming into the view on the horizon. No big deal.

Anyway, in the spirit of trying to be sensible with the amount of money we spend for this trip, we’ve yet to determine how much we will allocate to a simple fix versus a full on upgrade. Additionally, we have some minor attention that needs to be given to the Suzuki Samurai. As you can imagine, all things from 1987 need some attention on the regular, and that is all before you travel an additional ten thousand miles on the road.

To get a good idea of the size of Alaska and how many miles we will be traveling, just imagine that the boarder of Alaska is large enough to accommodate the state of Texas twice, plus the state of Oregon, and still have some left over square footage to make up. Alaska is HUGE. So in honor of seeing as much of the sate that we can, were going to drive and want our beloved vehicles to hold up along the way.

Many people have asked what I am taking with me. I can rattle off the normal supplies; first aid, tools, radios, Northface jackets, waterproof everything, etc., but what I am really stocking up on are the items that I wont be able to come by. Put it this way, there isn’t a Sprouts market within the state of Montana, let alone anywhere I will be for the next six months. So, the hoarding has began. I typically cook tacos once a week, which I prefer to serve with my favorite yellow rice. (check out Casa Mexicana brand yellow rice sold at Sprouts market. All natural and delicious) So I am currently taking stock up in it, literally.

Each day a few more items hit the table in preparation of packing. The pile just keeps growing as we check items off the post-it note.


Beyond that, Miss Clyde eats a fancy-pants brand of German Shepherd food produced by Royal Cannon, and we are bringing five, fifty pound bags for her. If we run out, we can place a special order with the Petco in the Yukon Territory but it will require a few weeks notice for the store to order and receive the product.

The entirety of the preparation for this trip has been fairly simple. Each year Miss Clyde needs her papers signed off by her Veterinarian before she crosses the boarder. I find it funny that she actually has a puppy passport to travel internationally. The boarder crossing into Canada is simple but the Canuck’s do take it very seriously. When traveling back to America however, the boarder patrol has no interest in Clyde’s paperwork. We could have picked her up on the side of the road and they wouldn’t have thought twice.

Anyway, that babe loves her Veterinarian so she enjoys the visit. Years ago, she got bit by a rattle snake and spent half a week at the Vet’s office, so now she seems to think she is the guest of honor. She walks in and can’t wait for the nurses to love on her. Once she gets her papers signed off this week, she is fully prepared.

Here is a photo of Miss Clyde soaking up the view in Canada last year. She is the coolest road dog I’ve ever seen.


As for our paperwork, our passports are valid, but we do need to stop in Montana and get some DMV registration items checked off our list. If you are from California, you wont believe how incredible the Montana DMV is. The longest line I have ever seen totaled three people, who were each pleasant and eager to create conversation.

That is something that is simply unheard of, and less than welcomed by most individuals in the Golden State. So when we arrive in Montana we will spend a few days visiting family and tackling our to do list. Most exciting, my brother and his wife are flying in to look at houses while I am there. I can’t wait to spend time on the town with them.

Lastly, I am preparing for having extremely limited internet and cellphone service, as there are some cities that only have service during business hours if they fire up a generator. This doesn’t bother me however I am sure that at some point television entertainment will be appreciated. Therefore, Dusty has been kind to me and downloaded movies and more than a dozen television series to the laptop for simple entertainment. Even more kind was our best friend who allowed us to utilize his library as well. I am certain that Breaking Bad and Parenthood will come in handy at some point.

We leave on Monday 4/30 for our adventure and I currently am feeling like we should have set the departure date for one month earlier. The warmer weather has arrived and I about keeled over when I saw 85 degrees last week. I just can’t hang. My ideal temperature is 55 degrees and sunny. I am confident that I could handle the weather in the arctic better than I handle the weather in southern California.

Regardless of this warmer weather, I am enjoying every moment with my people before I leave. I have had an unreal amount of support from everyone, even individuals whom I don’t know (hello new friends!). Cheers to the kindness that overflows from my people, and their support of living the good life. I can’t wait to see y’all in a few months.



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