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As it turns out, Kraz and Kat’s 2011 Amazingly Awesome Alaska Adventure doesn’t end here.  If you were a follower of this blog, stumbled across it by accident, or for some strange reason just enjoy poorly written bad humor and shallow plot lines, please join us vicariously on our new trek: Kraz and Kat’s 2018 Amazingly Awesome Alaska Adventure (Again):  The Sequel  https://ak4fun2.wordpress.com/?order=asc

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About the Blog

Note:  WordPress automatically sorts the posts from newest to oldest which can make following or reading an adventure such as this a bit awkward if you are not following the posts day-to-day as they are posted.  If you prefer to read the post in chronological order opposed to tring to read from the bottom-up or balance on you head while scrolling to make sense of the order;  use this link:

 https://ak4fun.wordpress.com/?order=asc

 

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The Full Story!

Checkout the unabridged story of the Alaska Adventure at:

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/3463824

Kraz

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Even though the Alaska adventure has been wrapped up, there are still many more treks and pilgrimages ahead of us. Please follow our continued RV Trail Tales at the new blog site: rvtrails.wordpress.com

RV Trail Tales

Kraz n’ Kat

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Now that our 2800-mile inauguration into RV ownership is complete, traveling by RV has taught me a few things about camping and human nature.  Some of these revelations came while sitting behind the wheel and staring out at 2800 miles of road while others stemmed from the 4-hours spent scrubbing bugs off of the front of the motor home at the end of the 2800 miles.  Nonetheless…

The Outhouse:

After much consideration, I have concluded that traveling by RV is exactly that: traveling.  It no longer qualifies as camping.  Having progressed from tent camping to the VW Westfalia camper van and then to a pop-up tent trailer prior to joining the ranks of the motor home indebted has provided the necessary insight to draw this conclusion.  In the aforementioned variations of camping, each one was a step up in amenities, comfort and, with a little imagination, luxury.  However, there is one key distinguishing element that separates these other forms of shelter from the motor home and defines the difference between ‘camping’ and ‘traveling’: the outhouse.  With the tent, van and tent trailer you were quite limited to where you could camp due to basic bodily needs.  As such, campgrounds were built around facilities that filled this need which would otherwise involve squatting over a log and using leaves.  Moreover, this basic bodily need usually arises in the middle of the night where upon stirring restlessly for a bit, a person would relent to waking their spouse in order to escort them through the dark to the camp facilities.  I was the designated escort.

Some campgrounds have very nice facilities with running hot water and even showers.  In particular, the facilities found in Oregon State campgrounds are extremely nice.  Not Taj Mahal nice, but nice in relative campground terms.  However, there are the other extremes too: the decade old, hole-in-the-ground, spider and fly infested abyss without a seat.  Or even worse, the ones that even the spiders and flies wouldn’t inhabit.

Conversely, the RV takes this amenity with you where ever you go or spend a night; sans the spiders and flies unless you are very poor housekeeper.  Having your own personal throne to sit upon in semi-privacy (because the walls in the RV’s are NOT at all sound proof) is the key distinction between traveling and camping.  Some people might argue that this deprives you the true experience of camping and I will accept that because after all, simply traveling is just fine with me.

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Observing other drivers from the helm of the RV has lead to some insight regarding the primordial core of human nature. Specifically, being a driver of a vehicle behind an RV is apparently equivalent to the 7th level of Dante’s inferno. Even on narrow two-lane roads with blind curves, motorists trailing an RV are overcome by a biological involuntary reflex that is not that different than the ones that keeps your heart beating, eyes blinking or lungs pumping. This reflex is the spontaneous extension of the right leg against the gas pedal. It is as fundamental as any phobia, fetish, craving or subconscious thought but is also much more systemic. It is the undeniable need to pass a motor home resulting in the loss of all common sense or self preservation. This holds true even when churning along at 10+ mph over the speed limit as well as on blind winding roads or even parking lots.

Although our motor home big and clunky, it is no slouch on the road given that it is powered by a 6.8-liter Triton V10 pumping out 300+ horsepower. Of course hills remain the nemesis of any RV but on flat ground speed limits are easily maintained. Yet even when a pushing along at a fair clip above the posted limit people are still driven to pass (pun mostly intended). Even more interesting is that once these people pass they frequently end up going slower than you were to start with–just as long as the RV is NOT IN FRONT. Even the most gentle and timid little ol’ grandma turns into a fierce speeding demon, pushing the redline on her 10 year old Corolla, just to be out in front where she can now slow back down to a comfortable pace of 5mph below the speed limit.

I highly suspect that there is no limit to this uncontrollable impulse. In fact, if ever given the opportunity to mount a pair of Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 afterburning turbo jet engines –the same ones used on the F22 Raptor stealth air-superiority fighter—with each engine producing a peak thrust of 35,000 pounds and achieving a supersonic cruise speed, grandma would undoubtedly still try to pass. Of course this is purely hypothetical and ignores the basic limitations in the applied physics of such a notion since the exterior awning on the RV would hardly sustain mach 1 before tearing away from the RV.

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Green River at Nairn Falls Provincial Park, BC

We pushed off early today after a quick walk to the river and a few more photos.  We stopped in Whistler for a latte (yes, Starbucks) after navigating the RV through the narrow corridors of the village and bouncing our way down streets littered with molguls (ie: cars).  We sipped our coffee in procrastination of ending our vacation but returned to the RV in fear that the parking enforcement would complain about us taking up multiple spaces.  My theory, however, was that if we paid for an hour’s worth of parking but took up 6 spaces then we should be fine for 10 minutes.

Kraz and Kat at Coudre Point, Nairn Falls Provincial Park, BC

Heading further south, we pulled into Horseshoe Bay and had lunch out on the patio of the restaurant overlooking the harbor.  We had developed a substantial appetite after circling the back streets of the small town in search of a parking spot.  The RV sure seemed a lot smaller back at the expansive lot of the RV dealer and park next to the mammoth class A rigs. This was also our first meal “out” since we left my aunt and uncle’s place in Wasilla over a week ago. 

With excuses for procrastination running out, we finally pushed on to the boarder.  The crossing back into the US was effortless.  In fact, I was a bit surprised and disappointed that the customs agent didn’t pick up on the fact that our residence was in Seattle yet the plates on the RV were Alaskan.  Another interesting contrast between the US and Canada was noted.  When entering Canada, the primary questions were regarding firearms.  However, the US boarder agent was only intent on knowing if we had any fruit.  Apparently, alien citrus has been deemed the next biggest threat to national security now that Bin Laden has been fed to the fish.

Horseshoe Bay, BC

Arriving home was truly a bittersweet moment.  It is always good to be home but it also signifies the end of the best and most memorable experience we have shared.  In our absence, we had the house painted.  Pulling up, we were anxious to see the house and if iridescent orange had been a good choice.  Luckily I had left Kat in charge of final color selection and the neutral tan that greeted us at the far end of the drive way looked fantastic.  The cat, the fish, and the bird all survived the three weeks of social deprivation—not that the fish were really all that social to start with.  The cat has decided that it likes being petted and fish still seem adverse to it.  The only causality of our absence was a circuit breaker that tripped during the painting resulting in a defrosted freezer.  Still, we can’t help to wonder what the repercussions of the career would be if we just called in “sick” for another week.  Alas, the imminent return to work will be a harsh reality.

Final Tally:  2,885 miles driven in our new RV from Anchorage to Seattle.  3,450 miles total for trip.

Number of pictures taken:  1,623 (seriously!). 

Alaska to Seattle

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