Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Never Say Never

Be careful of exaggerations.

A NOTE TO THE READERS: To quote Mark Twain, “The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” The next few posts will chronicle the reason for my absence. It has taken a bit of time to get over the shellshock.

Less than eight months ago I told a friend, “The only way they’ll get me out of Alaska permanently is to put me in an urn and ship me out.” Consequently, I must be writing this from the great beyond. 

One of life’s little jests is the reason there have been no posts on the blog for an extended time. We left Alaska. Permanently. Yeah, yeah, I know, I also swore the last move in Kenai was the last move I’d ever make. I seem to lie on a regular basis. (See post from February, 2012.)

It all started last November, with a visit to my dad. We had planned a little side trip to see our friends in Silver City, New Mexico while visiting Dad. We also noticed Dad could use some help now and then taking care of his place. Well, one thing led to another, and the trip to Silver City turned into a house hunt.

Dad, of course, thought we should move to where he lives in Arizona. That idea was immediately discarded. The founding fathers of his community originally considered building the town on the face of the sun, but ultimately decided they wanted some place a little warmer and chose a particularly parched spot outside of Tucson, Arizona. Even the lizards there wear sunblock. 

Our friends found us this gem in December.
We didn’t find a house we wanted in November, but did make contact with a great realtor who worked with us long distance. Our friends in Silver City went out to check on places, took pictures, called and in general acted on our behalf. In late December they found one worth looking at seriously. Another trip down, and an offer was made.

It was then we called a local realtor who suggested we list our house in Kenai before the first of the year. We signed a sales agreement with her at 4 pm on December 30th. Twenty-two hours later we received a full price offer. At that point panic set in. 

Starting the first week of January we held three moving sales, sold the motor home, sold the ATV, sold most of our furniture and stuffed whatever remained into boxes. On February 24, the movers came and carted everything off to begin the roughly six week trip to Silver City.

What wasn't sold was stuffed in boxes

Our plan was to drive the ALCAN Highway in the truck, pulling the car behind us on a trailer. With everything we suspected we would need stuffed into the car or stashed in the bed of the truck, we piled the dogs in with us and headed down the road February 29th.

I have always heard the best time to drive the ALCAN is in the winter because the road itself is in better shape – no loose gravel, no mud, no potholes. Using The Milepost, I planned the trip so that we would be driving in the daylight most of the time. Since daylight hours are somewhat limited in the north that time of year, that meant we would be driving around 400 miles a day for the first few days. What’s that old saying about “the best laid plans?” 

A farewell to Kenai

Next up: The Travelogue.