Yup, We’re Crazy. And Also Idiots.

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Let me preface this by saying we saw our land for the first time and we absolutely love it! It’s thickly treed, level, dry, and a hop, skip and jump away from a lake, two creeks and the ocean! How much better could it get?

I mean, check out our beautiful 3 part driveway:

Part 1 takes us down 14 miles of beach

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Part 2 takes us up a very interesting hill that will need some work

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Part 3 is a nice level easy road

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We spent some time traipsing around and exploring, as well as trying to find the property corners (we may need to get some professional help to make sure we find all the right boundary markers).

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And now to the idiots part: we missed the tide! Access to our property can be done one of two ways, either by 4 wheeler on the beach at low tide, or by a 4 wheeler access road that follows the coast. We had been told the oil company maintains the 4 wheeler access road and it would be usable, but boy was that wrong! The whole thing was a boggy mess at every low spot!

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We got stuck quite a few times, thank goodness our 4 wheeler came with a warn winch attached! I’m not sure why we didn’t turn around after the first time we got stuck and just wait for low tide, but we kept on pushing. Eventually it got to dark to see so at the next dry spot we made a fire, plopped down with our shotgun and dogs, and slept on the ground for a few hours until it got light again (we did not have any gear prepared for this, did I mention we were idiots?). Thank goodness for those short Alaskan summer nights! At daylight we put out the fire and made it to the beach access, waited for the tide to go out and drove the last several miles easily along the beach. What did we learn from this experience? ALWAYS play the tide, and NEVER forget your emergency gear!
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Luckily we had on the right kind of wearable gear for this adventure. Warm layers, waterproof pants and these awesome Under Armor waterproof boots. Kyle and I bought the same boots because they were super comfortable and we knew we needed waterproof shoes out there. These boots kept our feet dry through all the boggy bits we walked through, and neither of us got any blisters even though this was how we broke them in! All in all, great boots and I would highly recommend them for hiking or hunting in wet areas.

(Update: Kyle returned his boots for Danners as the stitching had started coming apart on one boot. It might have just been a mistake on that shoe though, and I’m still really happy with mine!)

By the time we got out and back to town we decided to fork out for a hotel room so we could shower and nap all day. Even the dogs refused to get up once we were in the room! We’ll be staying here for a bit to rest, then headed back to Anchorage to pick up our stuff from the boat!

Bonus picture: Bear tracks!

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This Is Not Smooth Sailing!

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Yesterday was an awesome day. We made it to the trail head about 15 miles from our property so we could do some exploring of the area. We went on a hike and ran the dogs around and saw an absolutely gorgeous sunset at 10 pm! It was definitely one of our best days in Alaska so far. We spent the night in the truck at the beach. It might have been cold (especially without a heater like this) but car camping was free!

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And then…. We came to town this morning to look for a 4 wheeler and almost lost a tire!  Luckily we had heard some odd noises and pulled over to check. The vehicle behind us pulled over as well and the driver mentioned the tire was wobbling. Turns out one of the lug nuts holding our rear passenger tire on sheared off and worked everything else loose. Fortunately AAA was able to send a tow truck quickly and an awesome mechanic in Kenai was able to squeeze us in. He also spent some time talking with us about where to go to find the 4 wheeler we’ll need, as well as pointing us to a junk yard for new rim (where we found tailgate for the truck instead). We then notified the dealership we purchased the truck from since they had done a safety inspection. They asked us to bring the bill so they could pay for it. All in all not an easy day and it totally took us off track (literally) but it could have been way worse!

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(Click here for more about our adventures in this truck.)

Now we are back on the search for an 4 wheeler so we can (finally) make the trip all the way out to our place!

 

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One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

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So we’ve hit our first major snag in our timeline. Our stuff never made it on the barge to Alaska! Rather than arriving on May 2nd (the same day we flew in), now it wont be in Alaska until May 10th. This means we suddenly have nothing to do but wait since we don’t have any of our camping supplies, so our forward momentum has stopped.

Old timeline:

Buy truck, buy hand gun for back up bear protection (since we plan on using sprays like this), unload crate and load up the truck, buy a 4 wheeler and head to property and stay until we absolutely need to go to town.

What we did instead:

Spent some time to cursing, bought a truck (yay! something went right!), decided we didn’t want to spend another week in hotels, gathered supplies to sleep in the new truck, decided we would spend this week down on our property, go to buy a shotgun for bear protection, spend an entire day trying to get an Alaskan ID to purchase said shotgun (don’t even ask, I nearly cried), give up and go to bed, wake up with the sunrise and go get ID, go buy shotgun and get the heck out of Anchorage!

Now finally headed south to our property. Here’s hoping for smooth sailing for the next few days!

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Headed down the inlet to our new home!

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Alaska For Good

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We finally made it to Alaska!

After getting up at 3am to make sure we had plenty of time to check in our dogs we finally boarded our 6am flight, and I somehow managed to sleep the entire way!

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(Click here for the kennels we used to fly the dogs.)

We arrived at the Anchorage airport just after 9am and picked up the dogs (who were very happy to see us). Ronan was still a little woozy from his tranquilizer, but Link was wide awake and panting. One thing the vet told us before we left was that the dogs needed to take their pills before leaving for the airport. If they get excited then the tranquilizers won’t kick in. Link has always been a more nervous dog, so if we ever fly with him again I’ll ask for a higher dose medicine. After we gave the dogs a once over, we rented a car and hit the road!

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We’ll be staying in Anchorage tonight, and in case anyone ever needs to know, most Anchorage hotels are super dog friendly!

Our to-do list before we even head out to our property feels like it’s a mile and a half long, but we are still waiting for our shipped items to come in so we should have plenty of time to get a pick up truck, some bear protection and shop 4 wheeler’s before it’s time to load up and head out.

Now please excuse me while I squeal with excitement!

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We Might Be A Little Bit Crazy

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This is it! Our crazy plan of moving to Alaska is officially underway!

Let me backtrack a little bit. For several years I have been looking at property and dreaming about moving out into the country on a little homestead of my own. I’d considered moving out of Washington due to land prices, but was never able to get the courage to go by myself. Then along came my boyfriend Kyle, who out of the blue asked me to move to the Alaskan backwoods and live off grid with him (okay, we may have been watching one of those off grid Alaskan survival shows so it wasn’t totally out of the blue). I said yes, but only if he married me, and he said yes too! We spent the next month or so in a whirlwind of planning, got married, then headed to Alaska for our 4 day honeymoon to look for land. After exploring the areas we liked we came home, spent some time on research and purchased our land in September 2015. Hooray for being the proud owners of nearly 5.5 acres of raw land on the Kenai Peninsula!

Well as it turns out, all of that was the easy part. We started saving like crazy for the move and figuring out what we would need to live off grid up there. Then SURPRISE! We found out I was pregnant around New Years! Our plans went from a leisurely “sometime next July” pace, to a “I’ll be to far along to get on a plane in July!” panic. So we bumped up our plans to May and started to really buckle down for the move. We had to find a company that would ship household goods, find renters for our house, and go through our year and a half of living together and collecting stuff to whittle it down to fit into one pickup load. It was a pretty large task but we did it!

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Once the truck was loaded we headed on a 3 hour drive from our Central Washington home to the Tacoma Port to load everything into a 7x7x4 box to go on the barge.

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I had the tough job of supervising all the heavy lifting, but Kyle’s dad and stepmom helped us unload the truck and load up the crate. We were able to fit everything in except a 5 gallon water jug!

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If the Alaskan weather cooperates, our crate will be waiting for us when we reach Anchorage. We have a few more tasks left to complete here, like getting our dogs health certificates so they can fly out with us next Monday, because yes, we are bringing our fur babies with us!

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Alaska here we come!

 

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