The night before leaving to Alaska I set aside a few items knowing they needed to be packed including long underwear, gloves, Canadian flag, banana shorts etc. For some reason, I wasn’t feeling well so I decided to go to bed early and pack all my usual travel stuff in the morning. Falling asleep pretty quickly I set the alarm for 5:30 giving myself an hour to pack in the morning. However, this happened:
After landing in Anchorage I got a taxi to the Hertz car rental place where I negotiated a 3.5-month lease of an all wheel drive car for $2,500. Not going to lie, that was a pretty sweet deal considering some companies were asking over $10,000.
Jumping into my Jeep I headed north to Fairbanks stopping for the night in a familiar town called Talkeetna which I stayed in while climbing Denali. I got there just in time to record this video of the sun going down.
Waking up around 6:00 I started the remaining 4-hour drive north. This journey takes you through the Denali National Park which is home to North America's tallest mountain. With tremendous views, excellent road conditions, and all while listening to the audio book Alibaba I arrived at what would be my Alaskan home. As I drive into the driveway, I am greeted by a sign reading, “Home of the Iditarod.” Now you know you are in the right place to learn how to dog sled when he has this at the end of his driveway!
As I pulled in Ken was splitting firewood just after the cabin I will be staying in. Stopping the car; he greeted me and started to show me around the property including introducing me to all the dogs. With 38 names and dog stories to remember I decided I would try to learn two names each day. He showed me to the cabin I would be staying in over the next three and a half months. I was blown away how nice it was. It's a two story cabin with the main level having a fridge, cooking & wood stove and the upstairs being the sleeping area. The cabin is referred to as a “dry” cabin because there is no running water. Apparently, this is very common here in Alaska. For water, I have two jugs that I refill about every two weeks. There is a sink that I could do dishes in which drains into a 5-gallon bucket that gets dumped out whenever needed. However, I choose to bring my dishes over to Ken's house which is about 50 yards away. This being my first time living in a home without a bathroom I took to the lifestyle of peeing outside and using the outhouse very quickly. There is something about making life a little harder which makes everything easier.