Winnebago Minnie

Loosing My Cool in Chicken, Alaska

Tisha Made Me Do It After successfully delivering the rhubarb pie to the sweet folks at Red Eagle Lodge, I had to decide on my next destination. I had two choices—return the way we came, or take a slightly-out-of-the-way route through Chicken, AK and Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Tisha made me go the unknown route. I read Tisha in my first year of teaching—and it inspired me to stay in my profession despite the difficult students I encountered. When we…

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The Long Journey Home Starts in Homer

Between now and January, I’ll be writing about my solo journey from Alaska to Arizona.  If you want to catch the first part of the trip, you can go to the landing page for my #write31days series, 31 Days of Living in Beauty. The first stop on my solo journey is Homer, AK. The Journey Continues and the Lessons Never Cease Pedro flew home on July 11 from Anchorage—leaving me with Beauty and the Beast and three weeks to make it…

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The Surprising Beauty Tip I Learned from Sled Dogs

Sled Dogs of Denali The next morning we made it to Denali National Park in time for Pedro to have good cell service. Unfortunately, vacation is also a relative term when one works as a school principal! Sarah and I went off exploring while Pedro conducted a phone interview via a conference call. We purchased tickets for a bus ride to Eielson Visitor’s Center for early the next morning. The park restricts vehicle traffic into the interior to park-operated tour…

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Finding Red Eagle Lodge Should Have Been Easy

When Your GPS Lets You Down When I entered in the address for Red Eagle Lodge at the border crossing into Alaska, my excitement surged. I sat up with prairie-dog alertness, noting every landmark, road sign and tree. Finally! We had entered the home stretch! Sarah started texting, wondering when we would arrive, and offering advice about the best place to fuel up. After driving over interminable frost heaves at a snail’s pace, my phone announced, “You have arrived at…

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The Surprising Lesson I Learned Along the Alaska Highway

We left Champagne, Yukon Territory by eight thirty and hoped to make it to Chistochina, Alaska by suppertime. But, as we had learned, traveling the Alaska Highway often yields the unexpected. Before we left we heard road rumors such as, “The Alaska Highway is gravel, isn’t it?” and “The potholes will swallow your car!” We considered ourselves lucky to have only encountered one major construction site on the road thus far. All of that changed three hours out of Champagne.…

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Don’t Stress the Small Stuff on the Long Roads of Life

The Long and Winding Road I have always suffered from incurable optimism (in most areas of my life). Sell a house on my own? No problem. I read a book and did it. Weave baskets? Sure, why not? I gave the results to everyone for Christmas one year. Make twenty period costumes each October for a full-length play? I sewed between classes, on weekends and every day after work. But I got it done. You get the picture. Drive to…

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The Walmart Parking Lot is NOT the Destination

Things That Distract From Reaching the Destination We figured that we should try to travel about 500 miles a day in order to reach our destination in Alaska in five days. I could have spent a month in Banff National Park, but alas, I haven’t retired yet. A constant push and pull plagues me when we travel—do I stop and take a photo of THIS stunning sight? Or do I push on towards our destination? After passing through Jasper National…

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The Importance of Shedding the Unnecessary Stuff

Unnecessary Stops When traveling with my camera, I find it difficult to not stop every time I see something beautiful. Just about any time I step outside, I have an urge to record the beauty with whatever photographic device I have at hand. So you can imagine my dilemma when we started our drive through Banff National Park. The fuel gauge hovering on empty dictated our first stop, and we discovered the major difference between Canadian National parks and U.S.…

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Running in Calgary, Running to Calvary

Running After a Hiatus After five short days in Bozeman, we headed north to Alberta. Unfortunately, we started late in the day and only made it to a Calgary Wal Mart parking lot the first night of our adventure. I decided that the time had come to get back in shape—I hadn’t run very much for the past three weeks. After a good night’s sleep, I got dressed, laced up my running shoes, grabbed my bear spray and cell phone,…

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Why it’s Better to Have a Learner’s Attitude for Life’s Tests

My First Driving Test My first real driving test came when we left Bozeman and headed towards Canada. We decided that I would drive so that Pedro could work while we still had Internet. He hooked up the trailer, and I nervously hopped in the driver’s seat and adjusted it for me. I like driving his truck, don’t get me wrong. But I feel like I’m driving an army tank down the road—and now I would have an army tank…

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