Northern Lights (instead of Kansas sunsets)
I am heading to Manley Hot Springs, Alaska. I am in no huge rush to get there and I want to leave around the first of March 2015. I have family there and an opportunity to explore with the safety net of a home and something like a tribe. I will continue to take pictures, edit less for others/write more for me and take risks that most people reading this wouldn’t be willing to take BUT would be happy to read about.
I am reducing my Stuff down to 100 items. Even writing these words makes me tremble a smidge. I talked sternly to my pack today and I am still at 72 items. That is just clothing. Some difficult decisions will be made. They get made every day, dammit. Killin’me here, Smalls (I say that to my stuff a lot.) Who really needs 16 pairs of socks?
I plan on traveling primarily by train, (Amtrak not freight) across the western half of America and am doing so specifically so I can stop in as many places as time and space allow, to hug everyone who has impacted my life. Or, at least have coffee – I can finally concede that hugging isn’t for everybody. I am in a unique position to do this. My kids have moved away, parents have passed, homes bought and sold and now that Stuff has been stared down, I’m not bound by the same societal laws as everybody else.
Almost all of these people I want to hug wouldn’t be in my orbit if it weren’t for facebook. So, technically – I am taking the facebook tour to Alaska to check on some loves, meet some others for the first time and find probably even more brand new ones. Social media has changed my life in dramatic ways that don’t even need hyperbole. It’s nuts. I have reason to believe (a bazillion conversations to support the notion) that there are a LOT of people like me out there. I have to go find out.
Along the way, I need to find out some other stuff and I’m not getting any younger, so I’m weaving this into an immersion course in things that make me curious. It will rock, it did before (this is not my first rodeo on the road.) And, as luck would have it – my numbers are rock solid legit right now, so chop.chop. No time like right this instant.
While I did perform this kind of magic trick before, and just leave my hometown to find happiness anywhere far away, this is not that same dance. I sang on street corners, I caught rides on Craigslist, I couchsurfed way before airbnb, I took some mighty big chances and I still had unresolved Stuff issues in Kansas. That was all about leaving from and not going to.
So, I believe I’ve built a way for all of us to get what we want. I get to travel safely and well within reason and hug everybody and gather stories and spin them into laughs and colors; You get to hear stories and see things and have questions answered that you hadn’t even thought to ask yet, all from the comfort of your life right where you sit.
Feels like winner.winner, to me.
Click on over here (here.here.here.) if you’d like to vicariously see the western United States from a train and find out what it’s like to live in a village of 73 people (most of whom are Athabaskan Indians) in the hard serious interior of Alaska, where there is no indoor plumbing and smokin’hot wifi but electricity that comes from generators powered by gasoline. Yes. Gas from a gas pump thing, EVEN when it’s 60 below and there’s only 3 hours of sunshine a day. And, there are bears. I will probably have to learn how to shoot a gun like Daniel Boone, and shit.
Those already sound like some pretty tasty stories, right there.
Jump on. C’mon. It’ll be fun. (or scary, but mostly fun. I promise.)
And, if you can throw down a dollar or two, do that. It makes the stories more funny, less scary.