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BIG Change of Plans…or… North to Alaska! ……….again

October 30, 2011

OK.  To set the stage, my initial plan upon graduation was to stay here in AZ for the winter dividing my time fairly equally between giving massages, hiking in Sedona, taking continuing ed classes, and generally just enjoying the sunshine.

Well, it seems there is another plan.

As I shared with a few of you, immediately upon graduation, the thought of staying here in AZ wasn’t sitting right with me.  It had come to feel more like biding time, which I’m sure we will all agree is a most  dissatisfactory feeling.  But what else should I do, I wondered.  I thought of traveling the southwest with my mobile massage business, but that didn’t sit right either.  The idea of returning to AK early flitted across my mind for about a nano second before it was quickly dismissed as crackpot.  I mean, who chooses a dark, cold, winter in Alaska over a sunny and warm winter in the Southwest?  Plus, the logistics of getting there at this time of year are a bit interesting so say the least, but the more I thought about what to do, the more it became clear that my “Walkabout” is over.  Done.  Complete.  Fini.  Whatever I set out to do is done.  It’s time to go home.

I must say, this realization made me smile from ear to ear, even in my heart.

OK, so it’s time to go home.  What’s that going to look like and how on earth is that going to happen?  My National Board Exam is scheduled for November 17th, so I can’t leave until after that, which means driving over 3,500 miles up through the Northern United States, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon Territories, and entering Alaska not too far from the Arctic Circle (relatively speaking) before heading south to Anchorage…at the end of November.  Hmmmmm, I don’t know about you, but the idea of driving Dora with Lil’ Pea in tow along that route at that time of year gave me pause.  Plus, let’s see…my house is rented so I have no place to live and oh yeah, my “job” isn’t expecting me til May.

Fast forward exactly 48 hours from the “your walkabout is over and it’s time to go home” announcement and here I sit with a job waiting for me and a place to live.  Amazing.  When I called my friend Carol, who owns the Clinic where I will be working to find out if there is any chance she could use me 6 months early, she said she had just been thinking she should call me to see if I could come early since she was just thinking she was going to need to hire someone to fill in.   Also, the efficiency apartment she has put together in the bottom of her house is now vacant and she kindly offered it to me.  How ‘bout that?

So, the only thing left is to try to figure out how I’m going to get Misty, Mosely, Me, and my meager belongings up there safely.  Do I drive Dora?  Yikes!  Do I sell her?  Do I store her and come back for her later?  At the moment and after a bit of research, I’ve decided not to drive Dora unless I can hook up with a caravan of Winnebagos heading that way for delivery from Minnesota.  I learned they make their last runs by the end of November and don’t start up again til late March.  I should know more about this tomorrow.  I also learned that the RV resale market in the Lower 48 is awful, but the market in AK is still good, so I’ll store her here til the Spring, sell Lil’ Pea, buy a car with AWD or 4WD, pack and arrange to ship my stuff North, study for my exam, take my Exam, pack the car with winter survival gear for myself and the dogs (they say at that time of year its best to be prepared to spend up to several nights in your car in temps that could dip to -40.  Of course the chances of that happening in late November aren’t nearly as likely as it happening if I were to travel up there in January/February), and head out on the 18th/19th.  What an adventure.  I have a feeling that trip will make for some great stories.  By the way, it will work out perfectly to store Dora here, since my sister and Carol were going to come to Sedona the first week of April for some mountain biking.  If the storage idea pans out, then we can just all fly in together, still stay in Dora, still enjoy a week of sunny, warm, mountain biking, and then I can drive her North under far more civilized conditions.  Lovely.

That’s it for now.   I’ll keep you posted as to how things unfold from here, so stay tuned.

Here we are in May 2003 entering Alaska via the Top Of The World Highway.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 30, 2011 12:22 pm

    Sometimes we just know when it’s time to move on. Then the path will open and provide the right opportunities.

    I will miss not getting to see you in AZ this winter but am happy for your going home. In fact I’m glad to know someone in AK for a someday trip there myself.

    It will all work out.

    • October 30, 2011 10:06 pm

      Hi Gaelyn,
      I’m sorry to miss you too as I was looking forward to seeing you and working with you. Perhaps if you get this way before the 17th…
      Please let’s stay in touch. I’d love to “host” you in AK anytime!

  2. mukto permalink
    October 30, 2011 3:03 pm

    YFI…. I just heard, that AWD or 4WD are not great on snow or ice, you still need special tires, the heavy nubby ones. And you need the right height for snow clearance….
    Love, Mukto

  3. Sue C. permalink
    October 30, 2011 6:04 pm

    I am so excited that you’re coming back home early!

  4. Silver Hjellen permalink
    October 30, 2011 10:53 pm

    Wow, what a surprise!!! Once again I am so impressed how you follow your heart, and will soon be back in Alaska. Sounds like your plans are working out almost perfectly.

    Gil and I are HA with 3 of his siblings–we came to put their mom’s ashes in the water at
    her favorite spot on Waikiki Beach. There are 6 of us all together–having fun snorkeling and playing cards.

    See you soon!!!! Love, Silver

  5. Li1gray permalink
    October 31, 2011 3:29 am

    Good Luck, I am sure you are now studying for the big day now too that you have your “date”. It was nice to hear Meljo read her mail this morning and shared this news with me earlier today while we were out caching. Just tell me when I can schedule my first ever massage! It will be nice to see if it gets rid of the knot in my back. 🙂

  6. Heather permalink
    October 31, 2011 7:32 pm

    Wow! Your post made my head spin. I am so glad it is all working out for you. Good luck with the studying. Keep us posted. Love, Heather

  7. JoAnne Schaub permalink
    November 2, 2011 12:07 pm exciting! It feels good to know when a decision is right within! I’m happy for you! Just as you are coming to an end of your walkabout; Dan and I have decided to begin ours! The idea has been to begin traveling fulltime as of March 1, 2012 in an RV. We began working with a health and wellness company in Raleigh and will be able to do this work from anywhere. Talk about knowing when something is right!

    Enjoy your final days in the warmth of the SW! I know your next adventure is sure to be soul-fulfilling! -joanne

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