Posted April 3, 2023 – Narrated by Carmen
Atmosphere is way over our heads.
We can’t tell a cirrocumulus from a stratus, but we know what we like. A good cloud show is a thing to behold.
I was hooked from the moment Mama first laid me down outside on a blanket, face up.
In Alaska, the sky is the Greatest Show on Earth, and clouds are the elephant parade, dominating every scene.
Beauty and The Beast is like a cloud passing through, trailing a silver lining.
We fancied ourselves rainmakers because summer thunder storms continually shadowed our path.
Until recently (1789), the Kahtnuht’ana Dena’ina were the sole culture of The Kenai Peninsula which they call, “The Good Land.”
Weather permitting, we hoped to go kayaking but cool and wet conditions threatened these once-in-a-lifetime plans.
Jim wisely scheduled long stays in each of our August destinations. August, is the rainy month. Using the “broken clock” theory, he projected we would, at least catch a few rays if we remained in each destination for several days.
He was right. Most daylight hours were like this
with rare moments, like this.
And we seized those opportunities with gratitude knowing they would not last, and that shortly we would be cocooning in Beauty again playing Five Crowns and resuming our Mary Tyler Moore Show binge party.
With the dental problem behind me and taking a course of antibiotics, I was fit for travel and able to appreciate the scenery along Highway 1.
The views of the Alyeska mountain range prepared us for adventure.
Road construction delays were no longer a big thing. We’d learned to plan for the worst.
The majestic summer landscape rolled out the fireweed carpet. Things were looking up.
Until summer of 2020, we traveled like wolves with no reservations – thrilled to get a spot, any spot. Now we’re more like sand hill cranes, reserving months ahead to secure a space where we can spread our wings. We traded spontaneity for a new challenge – getting the best spot – which Jim continually slays like a silverback.
With a unobstructed view of Kachemak Bay …
and easy access to the water …
one way …
or another …
our outside time on The Spit flew by.
Fortunately, whatever-the-weather distractions are a Homer speciality.
We love the Homer vibe and fantasized spending an entire summer on The Spit.
On the first perfectly beautiful dry day, we pulled out.
The long daylight hours flexed our schedule so we stopped at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge for a hike.
Jim and I share the wheel and that arrangement really paid off in Alaska,
giving both of us equal access to the scenery.
There’s not a moment to rest your eyes.
In Alaska, the drive is the destination.
And the views! What sorcery is this?
A neighboring eagle, perched in the trees above us, kept a keen eye on … Pico
So our little security specialist went undercover…
which only prompted Eagle to change vantage points. Perching only a few yards away on a post, he seemed to be asking me, “Hey, you gonna eat that?”
Like Homer, it rained every day in Seward.
On drizzly days we cozied up by the fire, to watch the bay traffic …
and strolled to town …
and visited the Alaska Sealife Center …
and marina …
Almost everything is within walking distance.
The Exit Glacier hike is just over the hill. Pico stayed home because we needed poles for this trail and a downpour was predicted.
There’s no easy way to say it.
At this point. I became seriously ill.
I suffered a bad reaction to the antibiotic prescribed as follow-up for the dental surgery. Though I took probiotics and yogurt daily the antibiotic still ravaged my gut. This was the sickest I’ve ever been in my life. I was unable to travel – even to fly – and I doubted my ability to finish this trip.
Whenever a storm comes around, Jim and I scan the dark turbulent atmosphere for God-light.
Rainbows, shafts, and silver linings are not only good omens. I’ve heard these special deliveries from the magnetosphere also bestow healing effects.
Focusing on signs of hope in bad situations can also cause body and soul to flourish under the most trying circumstances.
Abuse of this natural phenomena is widespread. The Pollyanna injunction to “search for the silver lining” is often a cue to hide your symptoms, implying there is a right and wrong way to do pain – that the condition of suffering is annoying to others and equivalent to failure.
In the 1980’s at Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital, my niece, Beth and other children there taught me the work of suffering is communal. Sharing the good and the bad can be an act of heroism.
It is a radical transformation to choose to focus on the bright side of a dark situation. I’ve seen this force in action, watched the light break through grey concrete-thick misery to gestate hope and clear the air for Joy if not comfort; Love if not health; Peace if not independence; Cheerfulness if not full-mobility; treasured memories over anguish and regret.
But talking wisdom now is cheap. I thought I was going to die.
I darkened the bedroom and fixated on my cremation …”Alaska or California?” Meanwhile, Jim reached out to his wonderful San Diego doctor friends to consult with them about my condition. Almost instantly, the situation brightened.
These magnificent docs prescribed new meds and food therapy which, they said, was the most important protocol. Yes, I needed yoghurt and probiotics, but I also needed beans, apples and broccoli. Additionally, they prescribed red wine, beer and very dark chocolate – my favorite – several times a day. Seriously? Day drinking and dessert before dinner will heal me?! I felt like Woody Allen in Sleeper when he woke up in a hospital bed in the far future being treated with hot fudge and cigarettes.
So, leaving Seward, with a local IPA in one hand and a bar of Godiva in the other, we continued on, practicing the fine art of being human in an uncertain world, looking for the silver lining under the tutelage of the Alaska sky.
Chapters in the “Airstreaming to Alaska” series
- Chapter 1 – San Diego to Malibu
- Sun Outdoors San Diego Bay – Chula Vista, California
- Malibu Beach RV Resort – Malibu, California
- Chapter 2 – Malibu to Morro Bay
- Morro Bay State Park – Morro Bay, California
- Chapter 3 – Morro Bay to Santa Cruz
- Santa Cruz Harbor RV Park – Santa Cruz, California
- Chapter 4 – Santa Cruz to San Francisco
- San Francisco RV Park – Pacifica, California
- Chapter 5 – San Francisco to Eureka
- Vinnie’s Northbay Airstream Repair – Wilton, California
- High Water Brewery (Harvest Host location) – Lodi, California
- Harmony Wynelands (Harvest Host location) – Lodi, California
- Van Ruiten Family Vineyards (Harvest Host location) – Lodi, California
- Four Fools Winery (Harvest Host location) – Rodeo, California
- Lawson’s Landing – Dillon Beach, California
- Mia Bea Wines (Harvest Host location) – Redwood Valley, California
- Johnny’s at the Beach – Eureka, California
- Chapter 6 – The Oregon Coast
- Harris Beach State Park – Brookings, Oregon
- Bay Point Landing Resort – Coos Bay, Oregon
- Blue Herron French Cheese (Harvest Host location) – Tillimook, Oregon
- Seaside RV Resort – Seaside, Oregon
- Chapter 7 – The Strait of Juan de Fuca
- Washington Land Yacht Harbor Airstream Park – Olympia, Washington
- Salt Creek Recreation Area – Port Angeles, Washington
- Chapter 8 – Victoria, British Columbia
- Weir’s Beach RV Resort – Victoria, British Columbia
- Chapter 9 – Victoria to Mackenzie
- Riverside RV Resort – Whistler, British Columbia
- Big Bar Rest Area – Clinton, British Columbia
- Walmart Parking Lot – Prince George, British Columbia
- Alexander MacKenzie Landing – Mackenzie, British Columbia
- Chapter 10 – The Alaska Highway
- Northern Lights RV Park – Dawson Creek, British Columbia
- Former Prophet River State Park – Peace River, British Columbia
- Hay Lake – Fort Liard, Northwest Territories
- Northern Rockies Lodge and RV Park – Muncho Lake, British Columbia
- Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park – Liard River, British Columbia
- Chapter 11 – Yukon
- Watson Lake Visitors Center Parking Lot – Watson Lake, Yukon
- Teslin Rest Area – Teslin, Yukon
- Norsemen RV Park – Atlin, British Columbia
- Hot Springs Campground – Whitehorse, Yukon
- Real Canadian Superstore Parking Lot, Whitehorse, Yukon
- Gold Rush Campground – Dawson City, Yukon
- Chapter 12 – Top of the World Highway to Chicken, Alaska
- Downtown Chicken Cafe and Saloon
- Chapter 13 – Tok to Valdez
- Tundra RV Park – Tok, Alaska
- Gulkana River Rest Stop – Gulkana, Alaska
- Bear Paw RV Park – Valdez, Alaska
- Chapter 14 – Glacier View to Anchorage
- Grand View Cafe and RV Park – Glacier View, Alaska
- Alaska Raceway Park (Harvest Host location) – Palmer, Alaska
- Ship Creek RV Park – Anchorage, Alaska
- Chapter 15 – Kenai Peninsula
- Heritage RV Park – Homer Spit, Alaska
- Marathon RV Campground – Seward, Alaska
- Chapter 16 – Whittier to Talkeetna
- Williwaw Campground – Whittier, Alaska
- Talkeenta Camper Park – Talkeetna, Alaska
- Chapter 17 – Denali
- Riley Creek Campground – Denali National Park, Alaska
- Chapter 18 – North Pole to Chena Hot Springs
- Riverview RV Park – North Pole, Alaska
- Chena Hot Springs Campground – Fairbanks, Alaska
- Chapter 19 – Tok to Haines
- Fast Eddy’s Restaurant Parking Lot – Tok, Alaska
- Gravel Turnout – Beaver Creek, Yukon
- Gravel Turnout – Destruction Bay, Yukon
- Haines Hitch-UP RV Park – Haines, Alaska
- Chapter 20 – South to the Lower 48
- Gravel Turnout – Haines Junction, Yukon
- Teslin Rest Area – Teslin, Yukon
- Jade City Parking Lot – Jade City, British Columbia
- Mehan Lake Rest Area – Bell II, British Columbia
- Fort Telkwa Riverfront RV Park – Telkwa, British Columbia
- Walmart Parking Lot – Prince George, British Columbia
- 100 Mile House Municipal Campground – 100 Mile House, British Columbia
- Mt. Paul Golf Course (Harvest Host location) – Kamloops, British Columbia
- Crowsnest Vineyards (Harvest Host location) – Cawston, British Columbia
- Final Chapter – Lessons Learned
- Mileposts (the book)
- Cash and Currency
- Dump Stations and Potable Water
- Internet Connectivity
- Canada Border Crossing
- US Border Crossing
- General Observations
- Final Thoughts
- Our Camp Sites
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.