Whelp, we made it official, we have a second place to call home. Tok, Alaska is considered one of the most isolated towns in the United States, (not to be confused with remote, as you can drive here) and is known for having one of the coldest winters in North America. Temps can get down to -80 degrees Fahrenheit, but who’s really counting? Sheesh that is cold.
I can imagine that you are probably confused because I’ve just recently told everyone that I moved to Montana, and now we’ve purchased more land 2,200 miles away from there. Well I have a few things to explain. Montana will still be our primary residence. Goodness, my heart resides in the Bitterroot Valley, and it only took me ten years to make the actual move to Montana happen.
In the mean time, during our six month trip to Alaska, we were presented with amazing opportunities and work has never been so enjoyable. The people here are kind, and they live a simple and fulfilling life that is down right admirable. In fact, I will never be able to express just how incredibly grateful I am for their hospitality and the opportunities they have given us.
So this work season is coming to a close as winter is starting to set in, and we will be heading south soon in an attempt to beat the freeze. My heart is overjoyed because we will be back again next summer, and that is where the details of Sourdough Drive comes in.
To be honest, we’ve never enjoyed the idea of paying rent, although sometimes that can be a valid option for certain situations. In our particular scenario, we did some quick calculations and determined that purchasing land will be more cost effective than renting a space for the upcoming season in Alaska. Consider it sold, I am in! Besides the land virtually paying for itself in a seasons time, we will have this space for years to come. I feel like this is a winning situation.
I have learned a few things during this process that I think are noteworthy. We purchased our land from the federal government. That means that no individual as ever owned this parcel before us, in fact we could very well be the first people to have ever walked through the property, other than the land surveyors who marked the outside corners.
Also, when you purchase federal land, you don’t have a realtor. You simply go on-line, look at property parcels and purchase “as is”. The process was strange, and I didn’t believe that it was real until the paperwork showed up. Hence, why I haven’t told anyone before now. I sure am glad that one click purchase worked out!
The parcel of land is 2.5 acres of heavily wooded forest, on a very secluded stretch of road. We have our work cut out for us, as we need to cut a driveway in spring, and bring in the bulldozer to clear a pad. The property is pretty rad, the ground is covered in caribou moss and the moose frequent the area. There are plenty of snowshoe hairs for Clyde to chase and not a single neighbor in sight.
A very interesting topic, our address is made up. Technically, we don’t really have one on a map. To create an address, we went to the Post Office and opened a box. The teller is just the sweetest, she made sure we had a box that was eye level, easy to get to, and easy to remember.
For documentation purposes, if a legal document requires that I list my physical address, it is acceptable for Tok residents to simply use their PO Box number and the street they live on, thus 303 Sourdough Drive comes to life.
If an article of mail arrives to this tiny town marked with a street address they simply place it in the corresponding PO Box. By the way, Tok just recently celebrated 100 years of Air-Mail. It is celebrated because its the real deal, still in action today. Tok has a mail plane and if you are in town and wish to take an adventure, you can take a scenic tour with the mail man on his flight. How cool is that!
I am full of joy over this tiny town and the people I spend time with while I am here. I feel incredibly grateful to call this place home, and so very glad I get to drive south before the real winter hits!