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Couch Surfing Across The Yukon

November 6, 2011

Before we begin, let’s everybody wish Frances a very Happy Birthday!

I don’t know who I’ve told and who I haven’t about becoming a Couch Surfer, but I found myself composing an email to my family about it and thought, shoot, I may as well just tell everybody at the same time, so here we go….

Isn’t it fun?  I’m on the move again and have lot’s to talk about!

Since I’ll be driving up to AK  in early winter, I can’t just pull over and spend the night wherever I want, so some pre-planning is necessary.  Given this, I took some time the other day to sketch out a rough driving timeline, so I’d know where I’d be each night.   This is especially important along the Alcan since you can’t simply pull into a hotel when you are tired of driving because there may well not be a hotel or an Inn or even a lean-to within 200 or more miles of where you are at that given moment.  So, armed with my itinerary, I called Dawson Creek, British Columbia, which is Mile O of the Alcan Highway.  I figured it’s going to take me 6 full days of driving to get there, and,  it being the jumping off point, I’d stay for 2 nights in order to take a break, gather any last bits of advice, weather reports, and supplies I might need to get all of us and The Black Hole to Anchorage.

Here’s what I found out:  1)  The hotels in Dawson Creek (and along the rest of the Alcan) are either full or next to full for the dates I need due to all the Oil Workers, and 2)  the rooms are $130.00- $160.00 per night at the more reasonably priced hotels.  Yikes!  I swallowed hard, put a second mortgage on my house, sold some stock, and began making reservations with a credit card that is still smokin’.   Next stop, Fort Nelson.  Same story.  Next stop, Watson Lake.  Same story.

My brother Hill happened to be in Dora with me as all this was transpiring and he made a few suggestions which led me to Couch Surfing.  In a nutshell, the very basics of Couch Surfing consist of millions of people over 230 some odd Countries either staying with people they don’t know or are hosting travelers they don’t know.  Now Hill has been successfully Surfing couches and Hosting surfers for going on 4 years and he really thinks it’s a cool deal.  He had told me about it on several prior occasions, but it just never clicked, that is, until now.  He helped me see what an amazing opportunity it is, not just to save $, but more importantly to meet really neat local people as I travel north.  Instead of arriving at yet another Super 8 or whatever the local equivalent is, I could be arriving at someone’s home who is interesting and who finds me interesting.  How much better is that?

It wasn’t long before I had joined, filled in my Profile, uploaded pictures, and began searching for available “couches” along my route.  I sent out a handful of requests and have had two people accept.  What this means is that for the two nights I’ll be in Dawson Creek, I’ll be staying with Brad and Courtney and for the night I’m in Watson Lake, I’ll be staying with another couple who kindly accepted my request.

I’ve pasted Brad and Courtney’s reply to my request below.  It feels so good to be anticipated with such enthusiasm.

We would be delighted to have you stay with us. Your trip through the US sounds terrific; we’d love to swap stories of road trip travels. Courtney and I just finished a similar (although shorter) excursion across the western states. 
Courtney and I work in town, we are out of the house from about 8am-4pm. Our evenings are usually spent making supper (Courtney is a foodie and terrific cook), walking the dog, doing some house repairs and relaxing by the fire with a book. We have a guest bedroom that you are welcome to. 
Aurora will surely enjoy Misty and Mosely’s company. Unfortunately, our yard is not fenced-in but there are several fields nearby to let the dogs rip.
Your visit is highly anticipated and we’ll be happy to share some time and local highlights with you!
Brad and Courtney
SO much better than a hotel, right?  I wish this had clicked with me earlier, it would have been so much fun to Surf my way around the Country in Dora.  Oh well, better late than never.
If anyone is interested, you can click here for more info.
Their tagline is , Participate in creating a better world, one couch at a time.
On a side note,  for those of you who wonder if I’m studying in the midst of all this buying of cars and trip planning, I am so happy to report that I am!  I’ve gotten into a routine of studying for about 2 hours in the morning as soon as I get up and for another hour or so before I go to bed.  As time allows, I can sometimes even get a bit more squeezed into the middle of the day.  Thank goodness.
Stay tuned for more.
5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 7, 2011 12:23 am

    So glad you joined CouchSurfers. I’ve hosted a few times and stayed with a wonderful couple in South Africa. Now we need RV Surfers to offer a place to park and maybe an electrical outlet.

    Good luck with the studying.

  2. Carlene Van Tol permalink
    November 7, 2011 2:18 pm

    Hey, Margie! I’m so glad to hear you’re studying! Another website you may check out is as I stayed with different hosts while in Malta a few winters ago. It is similar to couch surfing and a WONDERFUL way to meet locals and have a real cultural experience while traveling. I’m looking forward to seeing you again. Have a safe drive!

  3. Marilyn permalink
    November 7, 2011 3:07 pm

    Happy Birthday Frances! i just wish i had a pair of socks in a zip lock bag to give to you.

    Margie,,,,surf away! have fun. Cheers!

  4. Suzanne permalink
    November 8, 2011 7:21 pm

    Love it! And, as I heard of you migration back to Alaska, I wanted to tell you that I hope you keep up your blogging even though you aren’t roaming the country. I love your writing and all the neat things you discover – like couch surfing!

  5. Li1gray permalink
    November 9, 2011 10:51 pm

    Wow, that is a neat way to meet other folks and get the skinny on what is what at your stops, where to eat where not to, and what is a MUST SEE! We enjoyed our March 89 drive up the Alcan, we were sure glad we got lucky without any reservations with 2 kids. Glennallen was the only place that did not have a room and ended up going to the Copper Center roadhouse that night. Enjoy the couch surfing. (don’t get any sliding burns!) See you in a few weeks! May have to check out the site for a geocaching trip down south. Drive safe and have fun!

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