Saturday, April 17, 2010

Building the Alaska Itinerary, After a Hiccup

Life’s hiccups, or interruptions, can be quite annoying.  A few days ago we had a nasty reminder of the truth of that statement.  I (Nancy) woke up with a terrific toothache and my face puffed up like a battered boxer.  Details of this ordeal aren’t necessary here.  But, suffice it to say, there were dental items such as drills, forceps, needles and antibiotics involved in the solution.  It was no picnic, but I’ll survive. 
And I am so grateful it didn’t happen about 2000 miles north in a remote, tiny town in the Yukon.

But, back to preparing for our four-month meander through the northern country. The response to my last post was a lot of fun.  Friends and family are sharing experiences, giving advice and making arrangements to meet us.  We are thrilled.  It gives a special additive to the trip.  Plans are underway to meet our friend Will, from Juneau, along the road at some point. Dalton Highway to Coldfoot and Arctic Ocean After emails from Mary and Norm we chose the Teklanika campground in Denali.  And upon hearing from Nancy and Bob about their time in the Skagway area and the airplane ride from Talkeetna over Mt. McKinley, those are confirmed on our list too.  We are still considering the Dalton Highway to Coldfoot and the Arctic Ocean.  That would be about 500 miles north from Fairbanks (left photo).  Let’s hear it on that trip!

Of course, finances always enter the equation.  Studying of the overall cost of this trip taught us that food/grocery prices are quite a bit higher, in addition to many other items.  Maybe we can compensate on the food a little.   So we’re stocking up on canned goods and staples.  Who knows. Perhaps we’ll save a few bucks for an extra rafting trip down one of those gorgeous rivers in Alaska. Jerry has reorganized the basement again to make room for our additional supplies.  Yes kids, once again he has worked his magic down there.  (No chuckling allowed.)  There are empty storage bins. How to use them? Fill ‘em up with stuff not restricted in crossing the international border.  And non-perishables,  --  dah!  In our case these would include foods such as various types of beans, whole wheat pasta, our favorite Classico spaghetti sauce, tuna, Sam’s canned chicken, coffee, V8 juice, Campbell’s chicken noodle and tomato soup. Not to mention the everyday paper products.  I guess you could say that these few extra days delay for the teeth situation put us into the hording mode.  The bins are no longer empty down below.   As Jerry would say in his own inimitable way:   “I have it all dialed in.”

Another to-do list item was haircuts.  There will be many days of boondocking, taking advantage of the idyllic scenery along the roadways.  So I want a somewhat more freestyle haircut to fit the mood. WE took care of both heads. My hair clippers worked magic on Jerry. Alaska wedge And I found a friendly and skilled stylist, Pilar, to give my Alaska cut.   Check out my wedge.    What do you think?   

Oh yeah, almost forgot, the teeth delay did work toward one goal.  The passport renewal is complete.  We were able to receive the “expedited” passport by FedEx at our new Yuma friend Joanne’s (Chuck’s mom).  The fast processing worked well.  It took two weeks, from door to door,  to get-r-done. Thanks Joanne, for being our receiver, and for just being a great lady.  It was fun meeting you.

Rving Alaska by Sharlene MarshallWe are paring down the preparations list at a fast pace and piling up the places-to-see list.  Dawson Creek, Tok and Homer are getting closer.  We’ve both enjoyed the book our good friends Jerry and Dee gave us. It’s by Charlie Marshall, a fellow rver,  who writes about multiple adventures to Alaska .  She describes so beautifully and humorously her multitude of fantastic experiences. Among her words of wisdom are: “Plan for a little extra moola.”  and “If you moon a mosquito, repellant is the bottom line for comfort.”  The mind is working overtime now.   How does that tune go?  ……Anticipation, anticipation, is keepin me waitin.

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