Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Long Journey to the Trailhead

We're on our way to Arizona now & happy to be steadily making progress towards the American southwest. It's been a long journey already, with a 2.5 hour drive from Seward to Anchorage, two flights that ended up costing me a night of sleep & a 3 hour Express Greyhound bus ride between San Diego & Los Angeles. We've spent the afternoon here in LA, walking across the Arts District, eating Mexican food & waiting here at Union Station for our all night 'Sunset Limited' train to Tucson, Arizona.
Yesterday was a blur of packing up our house, cleaning & trying to remember to pack all the things that will be crucial to our survival & relative comfort over the coming two months. We are grateful for our dear friend, Margaret, in Anchorage, who has made this journey so much more possible, by driving us to the airport & keeping our car for us this spring. There are so many crucial details that go into being able to depart ones normal life for an extended period. We are fortunate that we have generous people in our lives who help us achieve our goals & hopes. Thank you, friends & family!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Ready for Arizona, while wintering in Seward, Alaska

One of our colder days provided good conditions for run group


Seward, Alaska has been gorgeous this winter, as we move towards spring, we've been getting longer days and even some clear sky days, a real treat. This was our first winter in Alaska, and it's been delightful. We love living in this small town, getting to know the people and places around town. I've been working for Seward City News, an online hybrid newspaper, which has allowed me to get out and about and meet lots of new people. It's been a great part-time job that's given me legitimate reason to be around town, asking questions and reading history whenever possible. Reed was fortunate to get a part-time job working for the City of Seward Parks and Recreation department, mostly in the teen recreation room. He's getting to know many of the teenagers who live here. We have been fortunate to get to connect with the community in these ways. 
Pushing through the snow after we got 2 feet in a day

Today is Monday, President's Day and it's' just 5 days until we depart for the American southwest, Arizona in particular. We're hoping to thru-hike the Arizona National Scenic Trail. This trail's ideal dates and the snow fall this year will hopefully work together to allow us to hike its 800 mile length with the two months that we have available before our summer jobs start. We had struggled to figure a trail that would allow us to hike and still be back in time to earn income this summer. That's the challenge of living in Alaska. The economy has a huge upswing in the summer season, due to tourism. This is great for finding work, and fun work, at that. What it's not ideal for is people who like to hike in the summertime. It's becoming apparent that if we want to live here, we're going to need to find spring, fall and winter trails to hike. 

Seward has been gifted with an extra snowy winter this year

Our plan involves quite a bit of transportation to get to the trailhead at Coronado National Monument in southern Arizona, and a great deal of trust in the goodness of humanity. We will drive from Seward to Anchorage, visit with our generous friend Margaret and then leave our car at her house for two months. From there, we'll board a plane bound for Seattle. Fly half the night, layover in Seattle for 4 hours in the middle of the night. Next morning, board a plane bound for San Diego. After that, we don't have our plan worked out yet. Most likely, we'll get to include Amtrak in our trek to get to the trailhead. I've long wanted to take that drive or train ride across the lower left corner of the USA. Now's our chance. We've been getting kind offers via Couchsurfing and the Arizona Trail Community, to help us with all variety of needs - water caching, rides, a place to sleep. The world is full of generosity. 

Seward's Waterfront Park walkway

The next few days here in Seward will be focused on winding down our lives here, finishing up projects. Reed will continue working on transitioning our shed into an extra bedroom. I will keep working on writing, cooking and making plans for getting to the trailhead and how to resupply once we are on route. It's not yet spring, and already life is speeding up. As the daylight hours lengthen, the fullness of our days also grow. Lengthening of days, thawing of winter, I give thanks!