The Best-laid Plans

OK, so…work on the house took a little longer than a couple of weeks. And as expected, the allure of Alaska was quite strong. The desire to stay was — and is — strong. But comes a time…

I had planned to be here until the house sold or Labor Day; well, the work was completed around Labor Day and there’s been little to no activity in terms of people looking at the place, so I stayed until mid-October. Today, to be exact: October 18. St. Luke’s Day. That’s right: it’s my namesake saint’s day today. That’s an auspicious day to make a bold decision. So on that note, I’m heading south starting tomorrow.

It’s time to get busy again. It’s been an uncharacteristically spectacular autumn here in Southcentral Alaska, but with the last leaves falling from the trees in my yard in this evening’s breeze and the termination dust in the mountains, it’s time for me to follow the V’s of geese departing to the east and south. And practically speaking, all my cold-weather clothes and toys (hockey equipment, skis, etc.) are in storage in Solana Beach…so even if I were going to stick around for the winter I’d need to go get ’em. That, and sleeping on an airbed for three-plus months is getting old.

Tomorrow, it’s northeast to Tok (as in: “One ___ over the line, sweet Jesus…”) and the border, then southeast, around the Wrangell Mountains and the St. Elias Mountains to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. On Wednesday, down the Alaska Highway to Fort Nelson (with a stop at Liard Hot Springs, of course). From there, either south to Jasper or southeast onto the plains and the Edmonton area. That’s TBD. Then across the 49th parallel and into the Lower 48 on Friday.

I’ll try to post updates from hotels each night along the road — this time of year, sleeping in your car is not advised and driving at night isn’t wise, what with all the mega-fauna (bears, moose, bison, caribou) along the road and the potential for slick spots. The weather forecast is quite good for the coming week (another reason I’m bolting on such short notice) so I’m hoping for some jaw-dropping visuals; if so, hopefully there will be photos.

And then, upon arrival in the mainland U.S., we shall see where the road leads…

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