Airstreaming to Alaska – Chapter 1: San Diego to Malibu

Posted April 13, 2022 – Narrated by Carmen
To listen to the podcast, click the play button

On our way at last!

Airstreaming to Alaska

Since the moment we met Beauty in 2015, our thoughts turned to an overland journey to Alaska, a place we’ve never been. But, as new inductees to RV travel, we took a four-year pause for research and outfitting before daring the challenge.

“In due time” was our motto.

With many advisors and consultants on hand, in the end it is Jim’s determination, forecasting and exquisite attention to detail which keeps our Alaska vision and progress on course.

Preparations

Preparations began in 2019 when the Airstream Factory, (The Mothership), installed new axles and a lift kit.

Then, while in position for a mid-winter 2020 departure to Alaska from San Diego, the pandemic forced a detour. Setting northward ambitions aside, we retreated to the east into the familiar comforts of the California and Arizona deserts, then up to see the majesties of Colorado and Utah.

In 2021, we set out for The Maritimes hoping the Canadian border would open for Summer tourism. It did not, but we discovered the exotic barrier islands in the Carolinas, and Virginia, before crossing north-east into Upper Michigan.

Last August, when the Canada-US border reopened, we returned to San Diego with the goal, “Denali or Bust!”

airstreaming to alaska
Photo of Mt. Denali courtesy of The World Mountain Database

As we hug the Pacific coast in true 4-3-2 style we project a Canada entry in the late-spring thaw.

Every two weeks we will report the high points, mishaps and discoveries.

Thus far, all is well despite a beating Beauty suffered from a ghost tree in Oregon (more about that in a future report), but our Alaska hope remains steadfast. We signed up for adventure and the hail marks, bumps and bruises go proudly before us as we slowly ascend toward North America’s last frontier.

Our health is good. The cool climate fortifies our appetite for outdoor exercise. The salty coastal air mates with the tang of the winter forest floor and every whiff reminds us that we are not in the desert anymore.

Each day we waken to the glories of the rugged California and Oregon coastlines and gape in awe at the dramatic promontories and verdant wetlands teeming with wildlife and shorebirds. The wet conditions – coastal fog, low temperatures, wind, rain, hail, rain again, hail again and the occasional snow – give us an excuse to bundle up with a steaming cup of Mexican cocoa and burrow into a good book, or sit fireside with freshly drawn pints of frothy porter in the local public houses.

Our Journey Song

Before a long sojourn away from home, some indigenous American families sing the travelers on their way. The mysterious rhythms of these ceremonial songs heave with longing for the familiar, and with wailings for the sad specter of a permanent departure.

The custom is wise. If these last two years have taught us anything, the truth of our mortality is an ever-present cognition. There are no guarantees. Still, our senses hunger for signs of a safe journey ahead. And on that mid-January night before pulling out of San Diego, we felt the heavens had tossed us a blessing.

The next morning, snowcapped mountains flanked by palm trees escorted us all the way to The City of Angels.

We stopped in Riverside to lunch with dear friends, Margie and Uly Pabon from high school …

… before continuing the surreal journey through Los Angeles

to Highway 1, The Pacific Coast Highway, (PCH) …

and, finally, to our home for seven days in…

Malibu

malibu beach rv park
Malibu is named for the Ventureño Chumash settlement of Humaliwo, which translates to “The Surf Sounds Loudly.” This pre-colonial village was situated next to Malibu Lagoon and is now part of the State Park – Wikipedia

where we settled into our perch on the hillside with an ospry’s eye view of Escondido Beach and Paradise Cove

As if the public beaches are not enough …

we arrived with tickets for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa Museum.

The recently re-opened museums are L.A.’s best kept secret. If they charged $50 entrance it would still be the best thing in town, but it costs nothing other than a bit of planning and a small parking fee.

The Getty Center

The following morning we left Pico to enjoy the view …

and drove 24 miles on the 405 ….

to a secure lot …

and rode the Getty tram up to the museum grounds …

The entrance features a boy presenting a perfectly naked frog to a woman who is apparently so overcome by the spectacle that she loses her footing and tumbles down the stairs.

Score #1 for Art. We were all eyes.

Back in our house-poor days we would bring our own lunch and picnic on the lawn before perusing the galleries. Celebrating the end of a two-year museum fast, we made reservations for The Restaurant at the Getty Center.

then we toured the exterior …

For decades The Getty has served as our special place, our thinking place, where we come to unwind after a crisis or gird up for a challenge.

The management limits the crowd, so it’s always a relaxing atmosphere. We come for the views …

the galleries …

getty center

to see old friends …

and to view the gardens.

Something different always captures our attention.

Before the pandemic we would stay after closing for a concert, film or play, but the event calendar had not resumed so we settled for a bottle of wine on the patio.

In a small way, we carry the Getty with us. The used street banners make gorgeous weather-durable outdoor table covers, floor cloths and wall coverings, indoors or out. We’ve used the same banner for ten years now. The used street and exhibition banners are available at The Getty Store and can be ordered online.

Santa Monica

The next day we drove into Santa Monica to have lunch at The Curious Palate

where we met a friend from our distant past, Chuck Martinez. In the early 70’s Chuck was the owner of the magic shop on 30th Street in San Diego. His expertise in the art of prestidigitation served as a godsend for local magicians. In 1976, his mother, Mary, found our first house and kindly waived her fee giving us a head start in San Diego real estate. Today, Chuck is president of the illustrious and legendary Magic Castle.

The next day we returned to Santa Monica on business. The Bike Shop had a Dolphin eBike in stock to replace the bike I lost in Chula Vista.

The Journey Song continued …

when our forever-buddies, Sam and Jim Pascarella drove up from San Diego for a day at the Getty Villa …

Samantha Pascarella is an artist, writer and illustrator.

The Getty Villa

We met at the Villa Cafe for a bite …

before diving into the galleries …

Sam is a recently retired middle-school art teacher …

so we tried to be good.

At least we stayed out of the water features.

Later, we met at Beauty in The Bu for a sunset view.

Douglas Jacobs, my writing teacher, joined us the following day. We exchanged salt and chocolate, and shared a pot of Jim’s pork chili verde.

Solstice Canyon

On the seventh day we hiked Solstice Canyon, right off PCH. The trailhead is a short drive and an easy walk from the campground.

This trail – if you will excuse the expression – has Energy. Everything glows with a singular Presence …

Right away, Pico picked up on the excellent vibe …

We connected to this place where the stream lays low …

parrots rule the sky.

Voices seem to murmur from the old homestead.

The wind stirred a mournful howl from the fire hollowed oak …

the final note of our Journey Song …

setting us free to go over the mountains to see what we can see.


Chapters in the “Airstreaming to Alaska” series


If you want to see our exact route, click here.

*photos in this post (unless otherwise noted) were taken and copyrighted by Living In Beauty.


173 thoughts on “Airstreaming to Alaska – Chapter 1: San Diego to Malibu

  1. Ah – so at the moment it sounds as if you are enjoying the beautiful weather of Oregon. Safe travels 👍

    1. Hey Kevin!

      Yes we are taking a snowbird break again this year. If we don’t the bucket list will never get done. Save some sun for us. We’ll be back in October to grab our share.

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  2. Safe/happy travels. We are also taking our Airstream to Alaska, leaving Northern California around June first. Hope to see you on the road!

    1. Hey Dusty!

      We hope to see you along the Alcan or the Cassiar! Email us if you think we’re nearby. We’d love to meet up!

      Woo-hoo!!!

      Carmen@LIB

  3. Looking forward to watching your progress. An overland trip to Deadhorse was one of the main driving factors that ultimately resulted in us purchasing an RV and going full time.
    I’ve got the route planned out, just need to drop it on the calendar.

    1. Hey Bill!

      So far, Deadhorse is not on our schedule. Should we give it more consideration?

      Thanks for being with us.

      Carmen@LIB

      1. It definitely seems to be the type of place that is more about the journey than the destination. Driving up through the Arctic Circle, going as far north and west that you can drive in North America …

      1. you guys are the best. Always fun to read your adventures. also, is that a real picture above? if so, what state?

        1. Good eye, Cate. No, it’s not a a real photo. Jim, an avid student of the school of Frank Di Bona, photoshopped Beauty onto a pic of Denali. I suggested he throw a moose and a bear in there just to clue people in that it’s a mash-up, but nooooo. However, I am hoping to take a real photo this summer. BTW, do you teach landscape photography? If so, I’d love to take your class!

          xoxo,

          Carmen

          1. Well he learned it from the best. The doctor is a legend at his craft, and clearly Jim is a studious apprentice. I’m a horrible teacher but I know another Airstreamer who holds photography workshops where you’d learn WAY more than anything from me since I’m more of a hobbyist. Kenny LeRose Jr. is his name and he’s on IG @klr_photo or mister airstream. I will go take pics with you anyday though and have fun

    1. Thank you! We’re sqweeeing all the way there! So exciting!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. Chris! How wonderful to hear from you! We are honored to have you on board!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. Hey Janice!

      We’re just not into whirlwind vacations. The caravans pace the trip too fast for us so we’re taking our chances going it solo. Thank you for the well-wishes. It’s so encouraging to have you good vibes coming our way.

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. Hey Bridy!

      You’re right! It’s a loooong way there! Most who fly or cruise to Alaska have no idea the challenges of an overland route – especially with a potential gas crises. Someday we may fly to Alaska to see what we missed, but at this moment it is ALL new to us and that IS epic. Oh no … now that I’m really thinking about it I have the shivers!

      Thanks so much for being with us!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. Hey Greg!

      Thank you for reminding me of the omission. Here is Jim’s amazing and FAST recipe for delicious pork chili verde that your friends will swear you picked up at a restaurant:

      https://livinginbeauty.net/pork-chili-verde/

      The recipe is for two – two servings each – each serving is 300 calories. It’s a miracle recipe really. You can double or triple this recipe if you like. Just watch the fluids. It’s spicy!!!

      pork chili verde

      If you make it, let us know what you think. Jim is writing a recipe book of 600 calorie recipes with as much bulk as is physically possible to make for a hearty meal. I think he’s a genius!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

      1. Well the the recipe looks awesome and I’ve got to give it a try. I’ll send a report on the first batch. Had my forest chile verde working in Southgate CA and have been hooked ever since. It is one’s of those dishes that is a little different everywhere we go so I try it all the time just to what the new offers. I must say this recipe looks ¡Sabroso!

        1. Chili Verde is a passion for us too. We make our own carnitas as well and I can’t turn down a plate of huevos rancheros. We’ve been trying to maintain our weight – and not give up beer completely – so Jim developed this recipe to satisfy our cravings for Mexican food. I am trying to nurture a little cilantro plant to take into Alaska … more new on how that goes, haha.

    1. Hey Anne!

      We are also studying those who have gone before us. Interestingly, we haven’t really found materials from people who stay for the entire season.

      So far the journey has been slow and steady, but in a few weeks things will speed up considerably – and will have to if we are to complete our itinerary.

      Thank you for keeping an eye out for us.

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

      1. Have you seen the youtube series by Mortons on the Move titled Go North? A wonderful 23 part series on their journey to Alaska.
        We are headed to Alaska 2023 from Florida. Mid May to early Sept is our plan.

  4. Enjoy the Journey and Adventures. Wishing you safe travels. Say Hi to Bulwinkel and Yogi for me 😂 😇

    1. Hey Richard!

      I will give them your kind regards. I can’t wait to see them. Thank you for your well-wishes. We treasure them.

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. Hey Linda!

      Safe is our game and enjoy is our name. We thank you for the reminder. Every time we forget something goes wonky.

      So great to have you with us!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  5. Have fun. Susan and I went with friends in 2016. We especially enjoyed our return on the Cassiar Highway, BC 37. Most of the 450 miles was without cell service. Very peaceful and wonderful Provincial parks.

    1. Hey John!

      Thank you for the report of your experience. Yes, we hear there are huge gaps in cell service. We have prepared for that as much as is possible with a satellite emergency service. We are staying at quite a few of the Provincial parks. Whew! We’re really, really going …

      We can’t wait to dive into the Peace …

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  6. You’re going to have a great trip to AK, but then, it seems no matter where your travels take you, you find beauty and fun! We went in 2018 from mid May to mid August and had the best time! Check out Talkeetna’s 4th of July parade if you get the chance. It’s the cutest little town, and the parade is perfect. That was the only time we made a camping reservation our whole trip. Enjoy, and safe travels!

    1. Hey Marla!

      We will be in Talkeetna! Yay!!! Honestly, Jim has planned this whole thing and I am along for the ride. He would tell me everything if I asked, but I want as much as possible to be a surprise. I have looked up some pics of some of the towns but that’s as far as I let it go. I’m so excited. Thank you so much for stoking the fire!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. Hey Cathy!

      Thank you so much. What a pleasure to have you with us! Jim says Hi!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. Hey Alicia!

      Thank you so much for joining in the excitement!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. So we hear, Vicki!

      Thanks so much for being with us. Don’t hold back. Share any tips you are willing to share. I’m sure they will be a blessing to someone.

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. We are so happy to have you with us, Lori! There should be around 18 posts describing the highlights.

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. We’re hearing a lot of people say 2023 is their goal. We sure hope the border stays open and gas prices hold …

      Thanks for being with us, Carol!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. We’re doing our best, Dewana! When you and Carl getting a rig? Come on! xoxo

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

      1. We got 14 chickens and 4 ducks to take care of. But we might get one down the road. Have fun! xoxo

    1. Thank you, Carmen. Staying warm is a priority! In fact, today I am hitting the outfitter outlet stores here in Seaside. Oregon is the best place to find deals on warm duds!

      Thanks so much for being with us!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  7. 2022 is Stella’s year too after the 2020 cancellation!! Hope to see you on the road up in the Great North!

    1. Wonderful to hear that Stella is rarin’ to go, Barb & Ralph! Email us if you think we’re nearby. We would love to meet up!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  8. Awesome. We’re heading there from Michigan Mid May. Maybe see you on the road? I’d love to share itineraries if you’d like- reach out to me if so!

    1. Hey Barbara!

      Our plans are still a bit squishy because we’re waiting to see what happens with the road conditions due to weather. We would love to meet up. If you think we are in your area, email us and we will reach out.

      Hope to see you in Alaska!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. That’s great, Mickie! You are in charge of entertainment! xoxo

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  9. What an epic trip! Can’t wait to see your photos and hear your stories. How does Pico feel about snow?

    1. Hey Stan!

      Pico hates the cold and snow … We bought him a highly rated dog parka but the last time we tried to put the thing on him he called the ASPCA on us. Other than his wife-beater and old fishermen’s sweater Pico is vehemently anti-dog duds. He will take the necessary walks, but he prefers to stay inside curled up beside the little fake fireplace while he flashes me some very surly side-eye. I wouldn’t be surprised if he filed divorce papers in Anchorage. Staying in the kitchen and whipping up homemade wild boar and sweet potato treats is probably the only thing that keeps him from cutting loose and running to Arizona.

      Sign me, A Victim of Toxic Male Chihuahua Syndrome.

      xoxo,

      Carmen@LIB

    1. Hey Aunt Sue! We were at Deadhorse in Moab – no where close to you and avoiding the pandemic. However, we are working on Utah and Idaho plans. We’ll keep you updated.

      xoxo,

      Carmen@LIB

  10. It’s gonna be an adventure, for sure! I drove from Ontario, Canada to Fairbanks, Alaska in ’92. If you get the chance, check out the “Sign Post” in Watson Lake, B. C. I can still taste the Halibut we ate at an outdoor fish fry in Fairbanks.

    1. Hey Kevin!

      Thanks for the tips! We’re trying to think of something to post at Sign Post! And, ohhhh…. Halibut! yes we will find some of that! Can’t wait!

      Thanks so much for sharing in the excitement!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  11. We are so excited to hear you are going to Alaska. We drove up in 1980, in a Dodge van, with our tiny tent, a camp stove, paper maps, and no plans whatsoever, except make it to Denali. We have an Alaska trip planned for 2023, with our Airstream, a 60 gallon fuel tank for our Ford truck (plus quite a few other extras – especially double spare tires for the trailer and the truck), a Garmin inReach Mini, and a fully-planned itinerary, on RV Trip Wizard. We will be following your trip closely, as not only will it be an inspiring read, but it will better help prepare us. And yes – we still bring paper maps.

    1. Mary Kay!

      You are true explorers! Yes! The Garmin inReach Mini is our kit as well. It’s a new feature for us. It took coming across a rattler on the trail last year to wake us up, but now we are more confident without that vital communication device. Hope we never need it. Great travel tip for ANYWHERE – especially in remote areas of the Alaska interior.

      Thank you for following. Please feel free to chime in anytime – you can always email us if you want more info or to give us more helpful advice.

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. Thank you for joining us, Helen! We hope to treasure every moment!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  12. LOVE ya’lls web page! BEAUTIFULLY put together!! “Table Book”……I”m tellin ya!! Your pics are AMAZING!!!!

    1. Debra!!!

      One of these days I plan to send you a file with all of the best pics. Thanks so much for keeping an eye on us.

      Jim is the web page guy. It’s his rainy-day hobby and I agree that he does a great job.

      One of these days we need to meet you and Janine in NOLA!

      Love you gal!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

      1. Keep in mind we visit Nola AFTER storm season! Right before Thanksgiving is GREAT as the city is decorated for Christmas!! Beautiful!! We have been for Thanksgiving AND for Christmas. It’s just beautiful!! (I’ll send you a few pics!!) There is even caroling in Jackson Square with the Mayor and they hand out candles to everyone….WAX BURNS FOR EVERYONE!! (Don’t ask me what year this was…2008!)

    1. Kathy, that title photo is a piece of work – one of Jim’s rainy day activities. I hope you had a great time in Texas. I LOVE your bird photos! One of these days we need to go on a birding expedition together so I can see how you get such great shots.

      Thanks for being with us. Safety in numbers!!!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  13. Happy travels, you guys!

    Your excitement overflows and it is lovely – what an adventure and more especially, I believe, with the anticipation having built up for much longer than initially thought…I really enjoyed your sharing on The ‘Bu as I lived there many years ago. Nice to revisit through your experiences.

    Have fun!

    1. Sabrina!!!

      It is always a delight to hear from you. How fortunate you are to have lived in that enchanting land. We missed some of the sights we had planned to see – and almost all of the hikes – but we hope to go back again someday. Our little beach boy, Pico de Gallo loves it there.

      Thank you for keeping an eye out for us, Sabrina.

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. Thank you, Melinda! Wish you were here. Keep an eye out for us. We’ll back south before you know it. xoxo

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  14. We did it in 2017. I highly suggest going up the Cassier Hwy and back the AlCan!! A great trip. And buy a recent copy of the Milepost, well worth it.
    Of course, you’ll need current vaccination papers for animals

    1. Hey Guy!

      That route sounds like a great plan. Thank you. We’ve been reading the latest edition of Milepost. It came in the mail the day it was released. Pico is covered for vaccines by our wonderful veterinarian in Coronado and we have all of the documents scanned and in our document file on our iPhones. We also have paper copies in the glove compartment. Great tips!

      So happy to have you with us!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  15. We love your writing. We love both Getty Museums too, plus have camped at Malibu Creek State Park. We’ll check out the one you stayed out as well.

    1. Hey Janice

      Thanks for sharing Malibu Creek State Park: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=614

      That park is a great option for our next trip through Malibu. We stayed at the Malibu Beach because we’d always seen it from the highway and going there fulfilled a fantasy – but it is expensive. Staying by the month is a better deal, but we just didn’t have the time.

      The wind came up when we were there – sometimes with 40mph gusts – up on that hill you take quite a beating. It might be nicer, in heavy winds, to be down beside the creek.

      Being able to camp near the Getty museums is one of the best things about Malibu. We also so many RVers enjoying the free camping along the highway – mostly surfers I think.

      Thank you so much for being with us!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  16. Best of luck on your adventure and I hope for a safe trip there and back again! Looking forward to your blog posts. Recommend you take a couple of things with you based on the experience of our friends Sean and Tanja who have made the trek to Alaska like four times. Put a rack on top of Da Beast and carry extra tires up there for both the truck and trailer (unmounted). Their experience was that while they couldn’t find replacement tires in the middle of nowhere, there was always someone with a tire mounting machine. They also carried a flat fix kit if you don’t have one (I can’t remember if that is part of your kit or not). They also carried extra diesel in a non-red fuel container. Red screams “FUEL” and “STEAL ME” to would be thieves. I can’t remember what color they had, might have been yellow to match their truck. Anyway, just wanted to pass that on while I was thinking about it.

    1. Hey Steve!

      Thank you for the tips. The potential for road hazards in the middle of nowhere is the primary reason we waited. Watch and learn is a time-honored strategy. We have spares mounted under the rig (the lift helped with that project). Jim has a theory that since we’re only traveling short distances – no crazy-long all-day treks – that we will not stress the tires in the way that so many Alaska-bound motorists must do in order to cover the territory within a time crunch. It’s just a theory though. We shall see. We have time to change our minds. The can of diesel is a great idea too. These next few weeks before crossing the border will be loaded with decisions and prep activities.

      So great to hear from you Steve. Your well-wishes mean the world to us.

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. We are delighted to have you on the Alaska journey, Brenda!

      Hang on, it should be a fun ride!!!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. We’re so glad to share the view with you Liz. Thanks so much for being here and bringing your sense of wonder. The world is beautiful.

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. Hey Amy!

      We’ve been watching and (hopefully) learning from others for years now. It truly is the journey of a lifetime. There should be about 18 posts in all, covering the highlights.

      Thank you for joining us!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  17. From the forever friends: what great memories of that day. Thanks for including pics of us in the LIB gallery. It really gave Sam a lift to see that you put in a link to her site.
    Good luck on the great northwest trip. Say hello to Sgt Preston of the Yukon and his dog Yukon King

    1. Thank you, Melody! We are doing our best to make this a safe pleasure trip. We are up for adventure … but only “so much” … that’s why we’re taking every precaution and going s-l-o-w …

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  18. Safe travels guys! You know Mom & Dad went to Alaska in ’84. I think there were 5 rigs and they were gone all summer. I have Mom’s journal around here somewhere. We just moved into our apartment and it is still chaos, so not sure where it is at the moment. May the travel gods be with you and enjoy the adventure!

    1. Hey Cyndie! How are the new digs! I read about your progress on Facebook. No pressure but we’d love to have a peek at Coqueeze’s journal if you find it. Email us your new address if you want a postcard from Alaska!

      xoxo,

      Carmen@LIB

  19. My friends. I am wishing you a solar storm that lights up the evening/night sky with a resplendent aurora borealis. BTDT. Best of luck and safe travels on the northern trek and return to USA. Looking forward to your posts as the Big A is the only state I have not visited. Also looking forward to your Beauty and Beast road trip to Hawaii, Porto Rico, Wake, and Guam… 😉

    1. Hey Herb! World affairs being what they are right now 😵‍💫 you’ve been our minds. Oh, absolutely we’re up for pulling Beauty and the Beast onto a random banana boat and sail off for some forgotten island where we can be hunter-gathers and live on fish, coconuts and papayas. It’s kind of always on my mind … Before long we plan to check out the Baja beaches and wine country. We hope you are well, wherever you are. Email us your address if you’d like a postcard from Alaska. xoxo

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. Thank you, Carol! So wonderful to have you along for the journey!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  20. I will be following you on this excellent adventure! I am hoping I can do an Alaska trip next year so we’ll be really interested in your experiences. Travel safe and having a wonderful time!

    1. Carl!!!! Great to hear from you! We’ve just pulled into Washington. It’s not as cold on The Puget Sound as it was in Oregon. Hanging out The Sound would probably be a fine way to wait out the thaw but there are some things we want to see so we will be crossing into Canada in a couple of weeks.

      It’s good to have you here. Thanks for keeping an eye on us!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  21. Another amazing post, Carmen. Steve and I enjoy every minute. We just returned to Michigan from two months in Florida. I miss Lola (Flying Cloud) from the minute she heads back into storage. I must say, your posts don’t help but they do inspire and motivate.

    Several years back you told me you were taking photos with a Nikon mirrorless camera. I bought one and I’m not fond of it. What type of camera are you using now, same one?

    1. Kathy! So sorry you don’t like the Nikon. I like it and still use it from time to time because of the powerful zoom which I think is better for capturing birds from a distance – but my #1 camera is now the Sony RX100. I just wrote a review on in Our Gear on our website. The pocket sized Sony was recommended by Bob Krist who teaches a master class. I decided to spend the big bucks and I am thrilled with the quality with this little powerhouse and I haven’t even begun to tap it’s apparently limitless capabilities. Here’s my review: https://livinginbeauty.net/product/sony-rx100-vii/

      Best to you, Steve & sweet Lola. Thank you so much for your encouragement and advice along the way.

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. Keep the encouragement coming, Airstream RoadTrip! Any advice on where to eat in Seward? And thank you so much for being here!!!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. I think you may be right! I just hope it warms up a bit! We just pulled into Washington today. It will be in the mid-30’s tonight. Sheesh!!! Adventuring is COLD!!!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. Oh my, that’s Jim’s doing. He’s amazing, yes? Up to the moment precision data, that’s Jim. It’s so great to have you with us!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  22. Great post. I like the idea of a prayer/song before a journey. I will start doing that. We will be following your posts more closely as you head to Alaska. We were scheduled for the 2020 Airstream Caravan to Alaska before COVID. We are hoping that next year will work out. Happy Trails!

    1. Hey Streamininshiny!

      I always look for signs, but Thomas Merton’s Prayer of Unknowing is a keeper in these uncertain times which have always been uncertain it’s just we are all really really good at veiling our fear sometimes better than others:

      My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that, if I do this, You will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust You always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for You are ever with me, and You will never leave me to face my perils alone. Amen.

      Just so wonderful to have you with us. xoxo

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  23. Love you guys. Love your heart. Love your adventurous spirit. Love that your our friends. Love your pictures. Love living vicariously thru y’all. Love that we’ll see you again, God willing. Love the recipe and think it would be a great addition to each post. Okay, we just really love y’all!!! Safe travels, follow that gut instinct and catch us when you circle back to come up for air!

    1. 🌼 Margie,

      Goes two ways, Gal 💕 All that mushy stuff right back to you all.

      See you soon,

      xoxo

      Carmen & Jim

  24. Safe travels. Carmen your reading of this episode is superb. Your photography provides the perfect compliment to a well written piece. Keep up the good work.

    1. Well, hey there Pete you Listener, you! ☺️ Thank you so much! I try to keep in practice with the voice-over. I must get this story-telling thing from my great grandfather who would sit on the porch steps of his Alabama farm house and give the weather report to anyone who came by – but he also applied funny stories and intermittent tunes on his harmonica – a real character.

      Thank you for dropping by Pete. Don’t be a stranger.

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. Now that’s GREAT news! Thank you Michael. I hope the anticipation isn’t the best part.

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. Hey Debbie! How cool is that! We should still be there in July. We plan to stay as long as possible, weather permitting.

      Safe & Happy Travels to Alaska!!! 2022 or Bust!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Roy!

      Safe & Happy Travels! Keep it coming – we may need it 🫣

      Carmen@LIB

    1. Thank you, Sharon. We will do our best. There will be some huge dead spots for cell service so there may be some gaps, but we’re excited about the challenge.

      Great to have you with us!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  25. I know I’m not supposed to be jealous, but I am SOOOOOOOOO jealous. We had planned to go to Alaska in 2020 and, well, ya know… Are you making reservations or just winging it? I’ll be curious to see how busy things are this year, but from what I had read, there’s so much roadside camping, you really don’t have to overplan.

    However it all shakes out, you’re gonna go from one extreme to the other, starting in sunny southern California and ending on the frozen tundra of Alaska. It’s gonna be EPIC and I can’t wait to follow it all!! Stay safe out there!

    1. Hey Laura!

      Woo-hoo! I needed that pep-talk! The chihuahua isn’t much encouragement. He may never forgive us for Alaska. Even at this moment he is casting surly side-eye for this Washington night in the mid-30’s. He’ll make it through and will eventually forgive us but it’s going to cost us a lot of Arizona.

      Yes, we booked pretty solid but it’s all refundable without penalties. You know how it is – you gotta get there to find the goods. We’d prefer to do a mix of dry and partial and full-hook ups but we will give up a spot for better views – and from what we’ve learned the best views are often free. Yes, we’ll see how it all shakes out. SO exciting!!!

      Thank you for checking in and big hugs to Thor xoxo

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  26. Always wanted to go to the Getty. Still on my list. You guys be careful and have fun. Two things that you already know how to do. Checked out the banners to order online. That’s the bomb. Love you guys, Linda Sanders

    1. Linda!!! Thanks for checking in. The posters are a kind of insider’s thing at the Getty Store. They don’t put them out, you have to ask. They keep a catalog of what they have in stock and then they go to the back to pull them out. Some of the banners are in better condition than others and they mark them according to their quality. Craftspeople buy them in quantity and make the most wonderful sturdy soft luggage and backpacks out of them. In Texas you can probably find a good leather worker to make anything you want out of them. You never have concerns about identifying your luggage on the turnstile at the airport.

      Always great to hear from you! Until we meet again …

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  27. Good luck on your trip to Alaska..I have heard some good, bad, and ugly about that trip, but I know you are going to love it.

    1. Hey James!

      Wonderful to hear from you. Yes, we’ve heard reports – everything from horrifying to absolute bliss. Prepare for the worst and expect the best is our strategy. So far, so good. Can’t wait to enter the Yukon!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  28. Jim, your travels are so inspiring. I predict that you and Carmen will especially enjoy Homer, Alaska. It’s a beautiful “little” city and arts mecca. Have an amazing adventure in the last frontier.

    1. Leah!

      Thank you. Homer is on the itinerary. We hope The Pier One Theatre will have something in production. So wonderful to hear from you! We look forward to seeing you next time we pass through Santa Fe!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

      1. So glad you are visiting Homer. I can’t believe it, but I was there (gulp) 20 years ago. Fished for halibut nearby, successfully! And absolutely I’m counting on you to let me know when you are in New Mexico. All my best.

  29. I live in Alaska. One disadvantage of resident vs tourist is the resident doesn’t or take the time to see what tourists see. I grew up in Arizona and drove past the Grand Canyon a few times but never saw it til I got a job there. So I will be following your adventures. I’ll probably learn something. Usually go south to travel always say this year I’m traveling here at home. Oh and FYI I live 50 miles from a small town up on a mountain not in one of our cities which actually is just like your with snow

    1. Hey Bruce!

      We have a lot in common. Jim and I are finally seeing the Bay Area north of Santa Barbara. We’ve lived in California for all or most of our lives and this is our first time to see San Francisco together.

      From what I have read, the introduction of cheap air-fare in the early 80’s began the trend for locals to abandon exploring their own localities. It’s just human nature to go as far as your money will take you. But since Covid, more people are traveling closer to home, acquiring camping gear and taking the homeschooling family out on field trips. I hope traveling closer to home is a trend that sticks around for a while.

      Thanks for following along on our low and slow journey to Alaska. It’s a pleasure to have you aboard!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  30. Alaska, here you come! And you won’t be alone. Everyone we met on the road in Baja and many of our RV friends are heading that way this summer. Most are somewhere in … Oregon right now. 🙂 It will be a spectacular trip – Enjoy!!

    Loved your snapshots and stories of LA. The food looks delicious. We are preparing for sticker shock tomorrow, when we return to the US (San Diego!) after 3.5 months in Baja.

    1. Liesbet! Apologies for the late response. We’re in the Olympic National Forest with really poor connectivity.

      Dang! So sorry we missed you in San Diego. Do you have a house-sitting job there?

      Baja, we hope, is in the near future. We will go to your blog and study up!

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

    1. Hey Kathy,

      We are holding your travel wishes close. Thank you so much for keeping a light on for us in San Diego. Hopefully, we will not be limping back home, battle scarred from the journey.

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

  31. What did you do to your airstream to prepare for the roads to Alaska? Different tires? Lift kit? Other??

    1. Hey Carol!

      We prepared the rig before the pandemic with a lift kit, new axles, new tires, checked the brakes and repacked the bearings, had a hitch inspection, had a leak test, new lithium batteries and some other proactive work. When we left San Francisco, we went to our technician Vinnie Lamica at Vinnie’s Northbay Airstream Repair (http://www.vinniesairstream.com) to check the bearings and inspect the hitch. There will be more about that in our next post. Thanks for asking! It’s SO important.

      Safe & Happy Travels!

      Carmen@LIB

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