I’ll be honest: we knew almost nothing about Seward when we decided to move here.
On our trip from Homer back to Anchorage, we dropped by¹ and did a drive-through of the town (that didn’t take long). I also met the team at the facility where I hoped to work, and I liked the place and the people instantly. Seward also had a good word-of-mouth buzz, both from tourists we talked to at Denali and locals that we met in Anchorage and other places. The latter carries extra weight—when an Alaskan tells you they like something within their state, you should pay attention.
That being said, the wise thing would’ve been to spend a little more time in Seward before moving all of our belongings cross country, committing long-term to a job, and moving to this tiny, remote town. But that’s how we roll, man.
Our year in Ketchikan, Alaska, plus an announcement!
We left home the day after college graduation. Dale picked me up from my parents’ house, the house I grew up in, and I told my parents and sister goodbye. I was 23 but still so attached to my parents that you might say it was via umbilical cord, yet here I was, moving thousands of miles away. I climbed into the Ford Ranger, its camper stuffed with our belongings, and turned to give my house one more look. Then I started to cry. Even after we had hit the highway and were headed north, tears continued to stream down my face. It started to rain, a storm so heavy that Dale could barely see, but he said later that no way was he going to stop; I would’ve made him turn back. I cried until we hit Dallas, and then, suddenly, I quit looking back, and the tears stopped.
It was May, 1993, and Dale and I were moving from New Braunfels, Texas, to Alaska.
One month in: Random thoughts about the camping life
“So… can I return to using porta-potties and baby wipes after two weeks’ of indoor plumbing?”
“Will we be OK with going back to an air mattress again?”
These were questions that we’d been bracing ourselves for.
I mean, I hog the sheets and Dale tends to take up more than half the bed, issues that become more pronounced when you’re sleeping on an air mattress more appropriate for a large child than two adults.
But we’d adapted, you know? We were sleeping well, and I’ve mostly gotten over my squeamishness about using public bathrooms. We’d made some good progress.
But, after four weeks of camping, we’ve now moved indoors for side trips to Las Vegas, Idaho, Portland, and Seattle. These were planned stops and we knew this time was coming, but we had to wonder–would our return to the civilized world for two weeks thwart our desire to go back to the nomadic life?