~Friday, March 11, 2022~
Last night about 9:00 p.m. we noticed an ATV scouting our dispersed camping area and wondered why anyone would be out here ATV’ing at that time of night., especially with the weather the way it was. Enter….a very large travel trailer. Yeh……more company. I love not being the only souls out in the middle of nowhere, as long as our neighbors are polite and don’t make a bunch of raucous. Pretty smart to have the ATV do the campsite scouting ahead in the dark rather than hauling a 35-foot rig to find one. We felt their pain of arriving without a shred of light. At least our dispersed area is nice, big and flat for easy access.
Oh no people………slow internet speed! Have I reached the end of my hotspot data usage? And I still have 10 days to go until renewal. The signal here is pretty good, but occasionally there’s a poor connection. Time to put a call into AT&T to check things out. Turns out, it was just a glitch. Jeff and I each have 40.9 GB of hotspot service on our phones. So if one person maxes out, you can tap into the other. It turns out, the slow internet speed was just a temporary thing. I have about 7 GB left as opposed to Jeff’s 30 GB and have done the bulk of our online research for the trip anyway so we’re good. Whew!!
The campground list for Alaska is complete…or at least we think so. Now to plot everything out on the map which will help us decide our approximate duration at each location so we can book campgrounds accordingly. As I’ve said before, we’re keeping our reservations to a minimum for obvious reasons; too much can change between border delays, road conditions, maybe liking an area so much we want to stay longer, etc. There are just too many unknowns with this portion of our journey.
We knew with it being a Friday, that our quiet location would soon turn into a happening spot. A family from Ann Arbor, Michigan showed up in their 35 foot 5th wheel, with 3 young kids and a slew of bikes. Super nice family. They are full-timing after selling everything and buying their dualie and rig. Kristin is a former school teacher, now homeschooling their kids on the road. Derek works remotely for a church so of course a good internet signal is important. Their plan is to travel for 2 more years, then reevaluate.
When Kristen and Derek’s friends showed up today, that added 7 more people + 2 dogs (Sky and Cocoa) to our neck of the woods. Sadie is just thrilled to have all these new playmates. Between the cows and kids, what could be better? Amy and Mike are from Texas and think the story goes that they all met while camping at a Thousand Trails campground about a year ago (Thousand Trails is a collection of campgrounds around North America that are owned by the same company). The two families really hit it off and have caravaned together ever since and they share the same philosophy of homeschooling their kids on the road, trading the conventional classroom environment for real world experiences. And the kids all seem to love the lifestyle. They also became connected with another family on the road who will be showing up in a few days in yet another 5th wheel.
Before dinner and just about dark, Jeff decided to take Sadie on a walk on the main road with a Rum and Coke in one hand and a leash in the other, but no headlamp on his noggin’. Not being able to see very well, it didn’t take long for a rock to impede his smooth walking. With a tumble to the ground, there went the freshly made cocktail, losing the Yeti lid (which he found later) and the entire drink in the process. Of course he was upset with himself that he didn’t bring a headlamp. On the way back, he spotted a slew of headlights off the side of the road, wondering if there’d been some sort of accident. A young Prius driver got a little over confident trying to get into his site and ended up getting stuck in a berm. In the regular community spirit of our RV world, there were already 3 or 4 guys trying to push it back onto the road, but needed just one more body to make it happen…..enter Jeff. I don’t think he knows his own strength sometimes, but that was the ticket. A few handshakes later, Jeff was back to tell the story.