Thursday, May 3, 2012

Alaska preparation

There's a new journey about to begin. Alaska. Going as a team of 5 + 3 dogs. Starting in Sacramento, driving up California through Canada and all the way to Homer, Alaska. It will be a long ride approximately 3,000 miles. In our last few meetings, we've thought about supplies we will need and most importantly how to outfit our mode of transportation which happens to be an old Blue bird short bus for the special ed kids.  We are special.

Testing out my 2 person tent in the backyard.  Went mostly well, need to find a cushier sleeping pad than what i've got. Temperature was great, but i need more padding even when sleeping on a cot.

Dogs having their own conference

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Bro and Otis

Lumber for our Sultan bunk bed idea

Moving an original seat over to the other side of the bus.. Had to drill new holes into the metal.

Fastening the seat to the ground.

Our Sultan bunk bed storage unit. Peeps on top, Stuff on bottom.

This took so much prepration to leave.  You never really know what you need to prepare for until you’re already on your way if it’s a first time experience.  All five of us have travel experience, just not in a group of five.  To my surprise I am finding that the advantages far outway the disadvantages.  When you are lucky, there are five helpful people who pick up the slack where the others leave off, so work is always getting done.  There’s room to be lazy and room to put in your energy and when you do, it benefits the whole so it feels more inspiring. 
My Mom- probably the most thoughtful and helpful human being I know was there to see us off.  She helped us stock up on food, supplies.  There’s something she has that I don’t – which is years of family road trip prepration experience.  She has this knowledge of proper quantities – 2 bags of carrots, 1 loaves of bread, 4 pasta sauces.  To all of us, this looks like an unnecessary amount of food, but I now her thinking is right because of all the times she’s bought food for the family.  I subletted my house during this trip so I don’t have to worry about rent.  Mom helped me pack all my things into a closet and lean the house.  She’s amazing.  We all gathered at Cole’s house, brought all of the supplies there.  I’ll be honest, with everything layed out on the ground – packs, food, supplies, blankets I it honestly seemed like it would not be able to fit into the bus.  Somehow we made it work.  The boys built a large platform bed taking up the width of the bus.  There is an oriental carpet on the platform with pillows lining the perimeter so it looks and feels like a hookah lounge.  We all climbed into the bus and there was a feeling of “rightness” like all of our efforts finally made sense.  It all came together.  This is our new home.  We waved goodbye to our people and started the journey, leaving Sacramento.
            We were quickly shown a gap in our collective forethought – we didn’t secure any of the stacks of food or tools down, so they of course fell into the galley way.  Thomas and I secured everything with a couple bungy cords – problem solved.  The ceiling has a large stretch cargo net attached to it where we’ve stuffed all our stoft things like sleeping bags, blankets and pads.  Their weight pushes down with the cargo net and there is a constant wave motion of the ceiling when the bus is moving.  We took turns driving through the night all the way up to Eugene Oregon. 
            We decided that whoever is driving needs an awake and mentally stimulating co-pilot… otherwise it’s just too difficult to drive long distance at night.  Dinner was at a rest stop – hardboiled eggs that my lovely cousin Courtney made for us the night before, with Sriracha.  Peanut butter & Jelly sandwiches, Apple with peanut butter.  Now we understand the inmportance of how much food we brought.  The amount of stars I can see always lets me know that I’m on a vacation – to somewhere worthwhile.  Stars make me feel connected to my spirit somewhow, like I know I’m on the right track, or like everything is chaotically in its beautiful order. 

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