In the summer of 2016, Henderson Productions and Poggio Amorelli B&B set off for a culinary and photographic journey through British Columbia, the Yukon Territory and Alaska. Stories of the Road is a series of snippets of that journey. Stay tuned over the coming months for additional stories of this and other journeys.
Anticipation. (Can we even say it without hearing the song?) Funny thing – preparing for a trip. There’s the logistics and the cultural, the spiritual and the physical. There’s prepping what is left behind and rushing to get things done on the home front before actual departure.
My process almost always begins more than a year in advance with the idea. Then the gathering begins – books to read, people to ask about the locale, determining credible sources. By six months prior a huge pile to digest and absorb exists and details are starting to lock in.
The quest for the best prices and experiences requires research and patience. Thank you Eielson Air Force Base Outdoor Recreation office for the hot tip to purchase the Northern Lights coupon book which took 25% off a $300 flight over Denali National Park from one of the most reputable flight excursion companies in the state. We wouldn’t have found either the company or the book if you hadn’t taken three hours on a cold February morning to chat and provide such excellent service. All I called for was to make a campground reservation!
We had the original idea to visit Alaska when a family member was assigned to Eielson AFB. Nineteen months in advance. By a year forward, friends had expressed interest in joining us and a plan was launched to drive the Alaska Highway in a rented motor home. By the six-month point, February, we were deep into making advance reservations with National Park campgrounds and maritime ferry service and flight reservations. The itinerary was locked in by April for an August trip.
As each detail comes into play – excitement builds. Piles to pack start transforming in and out – we don’t need that but where are those binoculars? Travel essentials are all jumbled together in a laundry basket before the final packing cull.
Bless you Peter Jenkins for your exquisite writing in Looking for Alaska which has guided our cultural and spiritual planning to commune with Nature and find the essence of the Place. Thank you Jonathan Raban for providing a sense of history and authenticity to the now-tourism-laden ferry runs on the inside passage in Passage to Juneau. Understanding the incredible journey of the original British founders gives a stark contrast but connects us to the what we see along our own trip.
Thank you to the many, many friends who’ve given so much information and advice – some of which we followed but all of which we absorbed. We bent and pulled, stretched and shrunk our time in search of balance and exploration for the trip. Often underutilized tourist boards provided direct links to unique experiences we can’t wait to experience and share.
We have sun charts, northern lights prediction links, route maps, photo shoot lists, a comprehensive itinerary including all confirmation numbers and contact info for 20+ activities and sites. We have a supply list begun for our initial stocking of the RV. We have clothes for widely varied climate and sent final email connections to friends along our route. We’re ready.
All that is left is to leave the home front in a way we would like to return – clean and tidy. There’s nothing worse than to arrive back home with piles of laundry to add to some already there. Same with dishes and bills. There will be plenty to do when coming home without muddying the memories with instant chores and a jolt back to normalcy.
For now, we will relish the anticipation, take our vitamin B to thwart legendary mosquitoes and dream of possibilities.