“We had been in Alaska only two days, but already we felt an enormous freedom. Driven by silliness, we called for a calendar check – something we did regularly at home to make sure we hadn't double-booked ourselves for dinners or committed the other to attending an event they couldn't make because of a conflict. Opening our respective day books, we noticed just three appointments for the coming five weeks: a ferry reservation from Valdez to Seward on the fifth; a date at the airport in Anchorage on the tenth to pick up my dad; another ferry reservation in Haines at the end of August. We tossed our calendars into the deep recesses of our closet and toasted our brilliant getaway with diet Cokes. We'd already been on the road four weeks, longer than any previous vacation, including our honeymoon, and it felt as if something fresh were just beginning.”
Ever dream about cutting and running from the nine to five (or whatever hours you work) daily grind and just disappearing into the wilderness? Or even just to the next town? This month's selection, by Marilyn Abraham, chronicles how she and her husband Sandy MacGregor did just that. First We Quit Our Jobs tells the tale of how these two people left the corporate fast lane and took the high road (and often the low road) to adventure and relaxation – in a word, to life in the slow lane. From New York City to Chicken, Alaska (population 37) and back, these two intrepid travelers crossed the country in a twenty-nine-foot Winnebago, getting used to and enjoying a very different way of life along the way.
“Everywhere we looked, we seemed to be on an unfamiliar planet. The mountains were bigger than those we were used to, even bigger than the Rockies. They were craggier, sharper, younger than those old gently rounded mounds of the East. Even in July many were snow-capped. The streams were either crystal clear and packed with spawning fish, or else they were lifeless and the opaque emerald green of glacial runoff. We slowed down as moose strolled across the highway. Ice-blue glacier fingers oozed down mountains toward us in slow motion. There was no poison ivy here, so I would not be spending this summer in itch hell, as I often had. Snakes, apparently, could not survive the climate either. What a shame. Even the feared and dreaded giant mosquitoes failed to appear.”
The author continues a few paragraphs later:
“It was exciting to be in this more remote area, and we appreciated the flexibility of being in an RV. Wherever we were, we home. As we looked for a place to spend the night, we read about Liberty Falls Recreational Area in our guidebook: 'large RVs and trailers check road before driving in; 5 sites, no water, no camping fee. Berry picking, watch for bears.' It sounded perfect.”
If you're work-driven (by choice or necessity) and long for something completely different out of life, then the saga of this couple's trip is for you. Be sure to read all about it!
Copyright © 2007, S. Halversen.
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