Welcome to Intuition Diaries, where Les and I tell you about our adventures on our happy little boat. We’re heading to Alaska this time!!!
One of the factors in choosing our little boat (a 25ft C-Dory) was that it could be trailered to most any body of water. Its compact size houses the helm, sleeping area, eating area and galley plus a bathroom inside the cabin. So not only could we take it places, we could “camp” on it while exploring different locations. We’ve had Intuition for about 11 years now, and one of the biggest trips we’ve dreamt about was this one: to trailer the boat to Alaska and explore the Inside Passage.
After towing our boat halfway across the country, we’re ready to embark on this adventure. We finished outfitting the boat with our new inflatable dinghy, recently bought groceries and topped off our water supply. We already gassed up the boat, while still on the trailer, at a gas station called Twin Peaks. (They had good coffee there, but I forgot to try their donuts.)
Over the past four days, we traveled from St. Louis covering 2150 miles, including sections of eight states. Les did the majority of the driving, and I learned to appreciate the immensity of towing a 7000 pound boat and trailer behind our truck. (I’ve never driven with the trailer and boat hooked up to the truck before, so when I drove 79 miles straight without incident, I was pleased with my effort and Les guiding me in the finer points.) The section I drove was fairly flat and desolate. Les managed the mountainous climbs and descents with apparent ease, and I was glad to let him.
This trip will be more challenging than previous ones. The first challenge was the long distance of getting the boat here, which thankfully included sunny days and no mechanical mishaps. The second challenge will be traversing 750 miles of waterways to get to Ketchikan, Alaska. To make this work, we need to pace ourselves, and stay alert to the weather, tides, protocols of entering Canadian waters, and then navigating and enjoying the waterways of the Inside Passage in southeast Alaska.
On the way here, I noticed that we stopped more often than in the past. Les told me that we could stop at as many of the rest stops along the way as we wanted, plus we stopped twice a day to fill the truck with gas. Sometimes a meal coincided with the gas stop, or we made a picnic lunch at one of the highway rest areas. Getting off and on the highway is the most stressful because we have no idea which gas station will fit our rig or if there’s enough room to park at a McDonald’s. (We don’t do drive-thru with our 54 foot rig.) On average we paused about 6-7 seven times a day, often clocking 14-hour days including travel and stops. Each night we camped on the boat aloft the trailer. We stayed in Walmart parking lots and one campground under the mountains of Baker City, Oregon. At the end of the fourth day, we navigated around the Port of Everett marina to get to the ramp, where we put the boat in the water of Puget Sound.
On the road trip portion, I noticed that each rest stop had its own character. In Nebraska, the green space and sculptures gave us a beautiful place to stretch our legs. In Oregon, the rest stops provided corrals to exercise your horses. In Washington, we stopped at Selah Creek, where we were warned to watch out for rattlesnakes. It reminded me that rest is necessary, especially when dangers abound. I noticed little things like a bear face on the door lock, the welcoming roses and volunteers at the Oregon info center. I couldn’t stop oohing over the beautiful land forms along our route. If I am this mesmerized by nature and signs and rest areas, how will I be able to embrace all the celebrated majesty of Alaska? My answer: Pace myself. Stop and smell those roses. Admire the fountain wash basin. Read the signs. Walk around and take photos of everything. Notice flowers, birds and little ground squirrels, who act like they might climb right up your leg.
Each leg of this trip will have its own character. The preparations seasoned us for decisions we will have to make in the days ahead. We’ve learned to pause and listen, to ask clarifying questions, and make suggestions as needed. And I’ve learned to walk away when I feel frustrated or say I need a break for a bit.
Today was a “rest” day, but it was constructive rest. We rested from the road. We walked around the marina to get showers and do laundry. We drove into town for a last few minute items. Les successfully took the truck to the storage place, and I washed up dishes. The days ahead hold a lot of promise, and one thing for sure is that we will relax and enjoy as much as possible, while being realistic about the challenges.
If you’d like to see more photos from the trip, check out Kel’s Facebook page. She also posts some pics on Instagram…kelrohlf
I said to myself, “Relax and rest. God has showered you with blessings. (Psalm 116:7 The Message)