Austin —> Alaska


a good idea we had

Upon the expiration of our lease August 1st, my boyfriend Star and I decided we’d pack up our life and drive to Alaska to spend a few months with my mom. July 25th we stuffed only our absolute necessities (which in Star’s case included a sous vide machine, pressure cooker, and a vita-mix) & our french bulldog Bertie into our honda fit and started driving. It felt like 50% of the drive was Texas, but that’s just because Texas is an interminable flat hellscape. Eventually we did escape into New Mexico and then Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. 50% of the drive actually was Canada.

Canadians are helpful and kind in small ways that jolt you into realizing that Americans are pretty awful to each other on a regular basis. And my standards are not incredibly high. A homeless lady smiled at me while she dug around in a trash for cans and my heart melted. Immediately afterward I watched a bro say, “excuse me” and walk toward her and I braced myself, but he was just thoughtfully bringing her some cans he had in his car. A woman in line next to me offered me a quarter when I was short at the post office. Both Star and I had so many doors held open for us. Our arms atrophied from never having to touch doors in Canada.

a buffalo bert met

a buffalo bert met


camping in whitehorse

Laird Hot Springs, Canada

Laird Hot Springs, Canada (mercifully free of nudists)

Our favorite overnight stop in Canada was at an airbnb in Grand Prarie, Alberta. An very extremely kind Mennonite couple took us in and read us the Bible, and when we left the wife even gave me a copy of a book of fiction she’d self-published written from the perspective of Mary, the mother of Jesus. I appreciated this because I interpreted it to mean that I had successfully made my face solemn enough during the prayer part of breakfast. I will treasure her book always and never read it.

It took us 68 hours of driving over 10 days to get from Austin to Wasilla. This is a fairly leisurely drive by the standards of people that drive to Alaska. People who aren’t from Alaska are impressed by us and/or think we are stupid. Alaskans just think we took our time getting there.


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