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April 14 2012

In the Beginning

….in the beginning there was a desire to do some adventuring once the kids were grown up and out of the house.  Two years ago, when we started talking about this trip, everybody thought we were crazy.

The particulars: Vince McCargar, 38 yrs / Melissa Martin, 42 yrs  Married for 10 years; 5 children (Jessica, 22; Missy, 21; Lindsay, 19; Andrew, 18; and Danielle, 17); and one grandaughter, Jillian Kay, 22 months.

Two years ago, when we started talking about this trip, everybody thought we were crazy. Maybe they thought we were full of hot air, but we kept talking, and along with the talking we were planning and saving $ and preparing. We are now 24 hours from departure, unless we’re both too hung-over from the Bon Voyage party tonight to get out of bed and hit the road Saturday morning. I doubt that even a quite wicked hang-over would keep us from our departure, though.  We will be spending 12 weeks on the road, traveling from Phoenix, Arizona to Anchorage, Alaska. Transportation is a 2008 Toyota Tundra Double Cab 5.7 liter V8 and our living quarters will be a 2005 Komfort Trailblazer T25S Travel Trailer.

We had no experience towing or camping in an RV, so we purchased both a year ago in order to give ourselves plenty of practice time, and get the ‘kinks’ worked out.  One of my first driving experiences I managed to put a large hole in the side of the trailer and do some damage to another one pulling out of our storage lot. Vince and Dad managed to patch it up good as new. Amazingly, I’m still allowed to drive it!

The trip itself is loosely planned, we leave for our first stop Saturday at Zion National Park, and will most likely boondock in Dixie National Forest or BLM lands nearby.  (Boondocking definition: to camp in remote areas such as deep woods or desert locations without power, sewer or water hook-ups.) We don’t have a planned number of days for our stay, and only have to get to Yellowstone by July 6th, since we had to make a reservation there in order to get into the park. We have some ideas about other places to stop along the way, one being Jackson Hole, Wyoming and the Grand Tetons. After Yellowstone we will head into Montana and Glacier National Park, crossing the border into Canada from there. We have no plans at all going through Canada, except that we are heading for the start of the Alcan at Dawson Creek, BC. We know we have to be in Anchorage by August 17th, since all 5 of our children and our grandaughter are flying in to spend a week with us there.  For the return route we are putting the vehicles on a cargo ship in Anchorage, which will take them to Seattle, while we follow on a Holland America Inside Passage cruise that will take us from Seward to Vancouver beginning Sept. 4th, then it’s home along the coast visiting family and friends in Washington and California along the way.