Journey to Alaska

alaska camper

Our travelling Alaskan palace!

In a few days my brother and I will be setting off on a road trip of over 2000 miles from Portland, Oregon to Anchorage, Alaska. This will be my first journey into that wild frontier, despite feeling a strong attraction pulling me towards Alaska since I was a kid. I’ve always held off from going there. From the stories people told me, and knowing my own deep love of nature, I feared that I would fall in love and never want to come back. In case that happened, I vowed to myself long ago that I wouldn’t visit Alaska until I had the means to stay there if I wanted.

I don’t know if I’m quite there yet, but the opportunity arose and I felt it was time to see that great state. Not only that though, I’m really looking forward to a great road trip with my brother. He’s the only family member I haven’t taken a road trip with, so I’m really looking forward to the bonding time we’ll have. As siblings, we grew up hating one another, but as adults we’ve become great friends. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

View Alaska in a larger map

The way this journey came about has nothing to do with me. I’m really just along for the ride. My brother has a friend who picked up some property in Alaska on the cheap. It’s up near Denali National Park, and it’s totally undeveloped – just wild tundra. He agreed to lease my brother a chunk of the property in exchange for helping him clear and develop a small area for a house.

alcan highway road armor

A steel grate protects the lights and grill from gravel. A new suspension ensure the truck can handle the rough road.

The first step of that process is developing a ‘base camp’ to start from, hence the truck and camper you see here. My brother pieced it together over the last year. It’s got big, deep-cycle batteries, a dependable generator, new suspention and tires, and road armor to protect the lights from gravel. His wife knows a few of the cast members on Ice Road Truckers, so he was able to get some great advice on how to prepare a truck for the Alcan Highway.

This first trip will involve punching in a simple road and a lot of exploration of the area. Before leaving, we’ll winterize the truck and drop it off in a covered parking area near the airport, then we’ll fly back home. After this trip, a $250 round trip air ticket will be all we’ll need to get to a truck, camper, and private property in Alaska.

In the years to come, my brother and I plan to build a small cord-wood house for each of us on the property. At first, they’ll just function as hunting cabins, but eventually we hope to develop them into summer homes. Only time will tell. For now, I’m looking forward to a great road trip!

Related posts:

The Nature of Evil
Summer Sailstice
Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 2
3 Responses to “Journey to Alaska”
  1. Cool! I’m passing this blog post on to a friend of my daughter’s who has homesteading stars in his eyes.

  2. Alan says:

    Take me, Alaska has always been a dream of mine. I would love to ride my bike up the Alcan some day. Next summer I’m hoping to sail the inside passage, you should follow us and keep us in supply of fresh water and ice in exchange for wine 🙂 Take lots of pictures. A

    • Chris says:

      I’d love to travel the inside passage with you. I hope to cruise the inside passage next summer, but realistically it will probably take a couple years. I’ll be cruising mostly on electric and using the tides to my advantage, so I’ll definitely be the slow boat / mother ship. I’d love to move as a fleet!

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