July 17-25: Campground Hosting. I figured for this blog post that I can give an update about our experience and also answer some questions. *UPDATE* We are doing very well here in Alaska.
We have officially seen the beautiful Mount Denali. It was exactly how I imagined it would be like. We went out to the grounds to start our work for the day and BAM!
There it was in its full glory. It’s interesting that you only have a 30% chance of seeing that beautiful mountain when visiting the Denali parks. Good thing we have 2 months to thoroughly enjoy it. Some people don’t get so lucky. Some people spend thousands of dollars to experience it and never do. It took us a long 5 days before we even got to experience it. Not only do we get 2 months to enjoy it when its out, but, our grounds have an exceptional view of the Alaskan Mountain Range. We get to stop our work and just marvel over its beauty. We have been absolutely loving this location. We are right next to the Byers Lake. It’s a beautiful lake and a local hang out to go paddling, swimming, or fishing. We finally got a chance to take out the park employee’s canoe.
The paddle out on Byers has got to be one of my absolute favorites. You could see the entire Alaskan Mountain Range from the lake. Mount Denali seems to tower over it. There is something enchanting about being on a lake that is surrounded by mountains. It was almost difficult to concentrate on paddling.
After our paddle, we jumped in the lake’s clear water. The weather has been warming up recently. It made the chilly water seem refreshing. Our campsite has continued to be wonderful and provide for our needs.
The cabin next to our RV has a washer and broken dryer. We just have to hang our laundry to dry. Reminds me of my childhood. My mom never allowed us to machine dry any clothes. I have vivid memories of going outside and hanging up our laundry on a hot summer day. We made a little clothes line on Callie. We now officially have whole water, power, and sewage for Callie. I had mentioned that there is a decent sized generator at our campsite. Alec has hooked that up to our RV. The cabin also has water hook ups, so Alec connected that. The only thing that we didn’t have at first was sewage hook ups. Alec took no time in figuring out a way to rig up a dumping system. He found old pipes in the yard and went to work connecting them all together. He duct taped the piping together leading it towards Callie. He even cut wood to help with the slope of the pipe so that they would properly drain.
I just love watching his mind and hands create something. So now we officially have sewage. That means that I don’t have to worry about it building up and conserving water. We have made a habit of having to turn the water off in between washings during showers and even washing dishes. With our full hook ups, we don’t have to worry about it at all. It’s nice.
Work here is great.
We love the people that work in the parks department. They are super friendly and always down to answering any questions we may have. We have also been blessed with meeting another family who are also hosting a campground down the street. Previously, they maintained the grounds that we are at now. Jay and Reem for Texas and their two kids. They are a lovely family. It’s been really helpful having people around. We are in the middle of nowhere or at least it seems like it. To get to a Walmart, you are looking at a 2 hour drive there. The local groceries are extremely overpriced and usually don’t have anything you need. It’s just nice to have a support system if they happen to go into town or if we need help with anything. They even had a little cook out for the parks employees. We got to just hang out everyone with beers, games, and chili. Now that we have been here for over a week, we seem to understand our job responsibilities more. On Thursdays, we all get together at a location and do bush work, painting, etc. That’s something I have noticed around here. It’s a never ending yard work project. Trees needing to be trimmed, grass needing to be cut, trails needing to be made. It’s been fun being able to work around other people again. It’s something that Alec and I have both craved.
I had people ask me questions online about our travels. This is what I got.
How are you guys handling being so far removed from a city/ huge society?
Ten years ago, I did some mission work in Nicaragua for a full summer and then again for 2 weeks during Christmas. It was in a small village that didn’t have a big grocery store, we hick-hacked everywhere, and lived simply. We never knew when the locals would come around with fresh veggies/fruits. We sometimes didn’t have fresh water to drink or take showers. We had to burn all of our trash/ toilet paper. It was different and it was eye-opening. You really form an appreciation for the things that you had back home and realize that you don’t really need the fancy crap to survive. The shirts, the shoes, the make up, the fancy technology…none of that matters. At the end of the day, you just need your basics to survive and that’s it. I really craved for that simple living. It’s been refreshing to be able to sell all the crap you don’t really need and live simply again. With that being said, we are in no way are we struggling. We have more than we will ever need even with living in a small RV space now. I just really enjoy living like this. We have an amazing set of people around us and a job to do. We have water, food, protective clothing. We even were blessed with cell phone service (we were not expecting that at all). It’s more of a challenge to live far from a big city, but you just have to plan your meals and plan your visits. It’s easy and it’s relaxing. This will be a nice season for us both.
What did you learn about your spouse that you did not know before your adventure?
I think that the biggest thing that I have learned about Alec is how well we work together. We have made furniture in the best, but this trip stretches you, challenges you. It’s a great thing to see that even if we might find a problem, we always find a quick solution.
What was your greatest challenge?
I just think that leaving your entire life, quitting your job, and moving away from your family can present you with problems. At times it has been a challenge to always be together. Initially, I think that we had to really learn how to have our space. I think that the greatest challenge for this trip was just relearning how to fully communicate with someone else. We are almost forced to have full, honest conversation. Since we live so close, you have to be that way to function. It’s been annoying and sometimes painful, but that’s what we found works best to have a functional marriage.
What was our favorite location?
We both LOVEDDDD Utah.
Oh my gosh! It was just gorgeous and so different from anything we have ever experienced. I don’t think that we could ever move there, but it would be a top place to visit. We recommend that EVERYONE goes to experience that weird, “alien” land.
How do you take time for yourself when you’re with your spouse 24/7?
To be honest, we are still trying to fine tune this. Like I said before, we were extremely blessed with a great friendship. We both really do love being around each other and exploring together. With that being said, you need your “you” time. Now that we are settled in Alaska, there is definitely more room to have our own space. Alec can work on a project outside and I can have my space inside. Before we settled down, I found a lot of “me” time in the car. I would put my headphones on and listen to my own music. I tapped out a lot in my mind as well. We had a lot of car rides that were completely silent because we were just recharging. We would find interesting podcast to listen to. Everyday is different and requires more or less personal space.
Have you guys decided where you want to live when this trip is done?
No, we haven’t. We have a few places that we are extremely interested in so far. We have a solid plan up until just after Christmas and then will decide from there.
Do I ever get home sick?
Absolutely I do. I don’t necessarily miss Florida, but that’s not my “home” anymore. I miss my family and I miss my friends. I went through a bad homesick stage where I just wanted to go be back with my family again. I think that that is extremely normal to desire to be around the people that mean the most. We have been to dozens of cities. We have seen so much of what America has to offer. America is grand and beautiful and amazing, but it all doesn’t matter without having your loved ones near.
New blog posts every Friday.