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Alaska Adventure

In the spring of 2010, I had a salary, benefits, my own desk, pending promotion, and a job using my newly acquired bachelor degree. I was miserable. One day at work, near to tears, I started thinking about how I had planned to get to all 50 states before I turned 25. My birthday had been the week before, and I had only been to 43 states. I decided right then to quit my job, set out on the road and drive to Alaska. By the end of the week I had quit, and within three weeks I set out. For two months I drove around the country, living out of my car and tent, visiting national parks, volunteering at a small family ranch in Alaska, and writing about it every day. Here's an index of my travel journal articles.


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Day 1: Getting Gone
Delaware to West Virginia, recovering from my last night in town, going to church, etc.

Day 2: The Gauley River
West Virginia, rafting the Gauley River, partying with the guides, etc.

Day 3: Indianapolis House Show
West Virginia to Indiana, hiking around the New River, hardcore house show, etc.

Day 4: Mississippi Blues
Indiana to Kansas, moral resolutions, lonely traveling mistakes, etc.

Day 5: For Amber Waves of Grain
Kansas to Colorado, good times in Lawrence, couch surfing, etc.

Day 6: Purple Mountains Majesty
Colorado, Boulder eateries, hiking in the snow, etc.

Day 7: Rocky Mountain National Park
Colorado to Utah, snow in june, hiking to a fire lookout, etc.

Day 8: Arches National Park
Utah, arches by dawn, exploring Devil's Garden, etc.

Day 9: Colorado River and Canyonlands
Utah, view from Canyonlands National Park, rafting the Colorado River, etc.

Day 10: Darker Days
Utah to California, driving the Extraterrestrial Highway, medical emergency, etc.

Day 11: Yosemite National Park
California, trying to find John Muir and Ansel Adams, hassled by a cop in Lodi, etc.

Day 12: Singing In Sacramento
California, dealing with a friend's death, spending time with friends, etc.

Day 13: Greater Grace
California, locked my keys in my car, figuring out what I want in life, etc.

Day 14: The Pacific, The Redwoods, and Me
California to Oregon, wading in the Pacific Ocean, driving through Redwood National Park, etc.

Day 15: Crater Lake National Park
Oregon, hiking into a volcano, hospitality from an old friend in Eugene, etc.

Day 16: Goonies Never Say Die
Oregon, driving the epic Pacific Coast Highway, a brewery in Astoria, etc.

Day 17: O Canada
Oregon to British Columbia, coffee and albums in Olympia, handling sceptic border patrol, etc.

Day 18: Country Roads
British Columbia, farewell to Vancouver, heading north through foriegn lands, etc.

Day 19: O Camerado!
British Columbia, picked up my brother in Prince George, started the Alaska Highway, etc.

Day 20: Yukon, HO!
British Columbia to Yukon, first moose sighting, making my mark at the signpost forest, etc.

Day 21: Whitehorse
Yukon, communal cooking and local beer, sweet tunes at the Sunstroke Music Festival, etc.

Day 22: We're At The Top Of The World
Yukon to Alaska, driving 500 miles of rough road, staying in a log cabin outside Fairbanks, etc.

Day 23: Lands Of The Midnight Sun
Alaska, getting by making it up as I go along, sibling rivalry, etc.

Day 24: Denali National Park
Alaska, watching wild wolves, catching a glimpse of the highest point on the continent, etc.

Day 25: The Last Frontier
Alaska, playing with sled dogs, local beer and bluegrass at a bar in Anchorage, etc.

Day 26: Anchorage
Alaska, making dinner for our CouchSurfing hosts, parting ways with my brother, etc.

Day 27: Sea To Shining Sea
Alaska, driving the scenic Seward Highway, meeting my WWOOF host at Anchor Point Llama & Alpaca Ranch, etc.

Day 28: DIY Cheese
Alaska, learning how to make ricotta cheese, exploring the town and local area, etc.

Day 29: America, The Beautiful
Alaska, taming and riding yaks, running to the beach, etc.

Day 30: Hard Days Night
Alaska, working hard on the ranch, learning the zen of chores, etc.

Day 31: One In The Oven
Alaska, making baking mistakes, breeding alpacas up close and personal, etc.

Day 32: Endless Days
Alaska, caring for children on the farm, saving a llama's life, etc.

Day 33: No Rain
Alaska, searching for solitude and solace, finding glory in the natural beauty of Homer, etc.

Day 34: Moose Burgers
Alaska, turning the tent into home, making the most tasty burger ever from roadkill moose, etc.

Day 35: Homesick
Alaska, building a massive fire pit, nursing a newborn yak, etc.

Day 36: Cowgirl In The Sand
Alaska, finding the end of the road, outdoor karaoke with dandelion wine, etc.

Day 37: Meet Me In The Morning
Alaska, feeding everyone, listening to too much Dylan, etc.

Day 38: Happy Trails To You
Alaska, discovering the most unusual house, making the most of the last day on the ranch, etc.

Day 39: Anchors Away
Alaska, exploring Seward with French friends, setting sail on the Alaska Marine Highway, etc.



Day 40: Married To The Sea
Alaska, crossing the Gulf of Alaska, eating wild raspberries, etc.

Day 41: The Road Not Taken
Alaska, thoughts on getting into grad school, exploring Juneau, etc.

Day 42: Amazing Grace
Alaska, finding glaciers in Tongass National Forest, camping by the bay, etc.

Day 43: Tramps Like Us
Alaska, taking care of life on the road, appreciating little things, etc.

Day 44: Cooler Than Being Cool
Alaska, hiking out to touch a glacier, touring the Alaskan Brewery, etc.

Day 45: Island In The Sun
Alaska, touring around Sitka, making friends with fellow travelers, etc.

Day 46: From Pent-up Aching Rivers
Alaska to British Columbia, sleeping out on the boat's deck, juice fasting causes much pondering, etc.

Day 47: Blue Skies
British Columbia, soaking in some sun, rowdy open mic in the boat's bar, etc.


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Day 48: To Be A Good Woman
British Columbia to Montana, back on the road heading east through Idaho, dancing in Missoula, etc.

Day 49: Big Sky Country
Montana, touring the extensive Missoula farmers market, tubing down the Clark Fork, etc.

Day 50: Wind Cave National Park
Montana to South Dakota, caving beneath the Black Hills, sneaking into Mount Rushmore, etc.

Day 51: Black Hills
South Dakota, taking the scenic and historic routes, paying homage at Calamity Jane's grave, etc.

Day 52: Badlands National Park
South Dakota to Iowa, sleeping under the stars, hard hiking in harsh lands, etc.

Day 53: Dear Chicago
Iowa to Illinois, visiting a violin crafting school, catching up with a childhood friend, etc.

Day 54: Columbus Rocks
Illinois to Ohio, on-air with Vocalo Radio, punk rock debauchery with a friend's band on tour, etc.

Day 55: Trans-American
Ohio to Delaware, hungover and heading home, one evening back at the hometown watering hole with best friends, etc.

Day 56: The Way Life Should Be
Delaware to Maine, northward with my father, reunion at the family beach house, etc.

Day 57: So This Is Love
Maine, my aunt's informal wedding, bonfire on the beach with the cousins, etc.

Day 58: There And Back Again
Maine to Delaware, the end of an epic adventure, unpacking and reflecting, etc.