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So do you remember growing up there were always things you wanted to be sure you did sometime in your lifetime?  For me traveling to Alaska was always a fantasy of mine.  Not really sure why ..... heck it gets really cold in Alaska and I've been living in Texas for the last 40 years.  My wife and many of my friends frankly think I'm nuts.  Why travel 4000 miles, risking life and limb, so you can (1) cope with sub-freezing temperatures, (2) enjoy a communal bathroom at 2am, (3) haul water until mid-June to cook with until the pipes thaw out, and (4) risk your life every time you go hiking because there are animals out there that would love to eat you (a hiker got mauled last summer in Denali BTW).  I probably left a few items out, but you get the idea. I guess it's either a great sense of adventure or complete stupidity.....pick one.

So yesterday my wife and I got up at 4am and set out for our house in Pagosa Springs Colorado.  This is the "staging" point for the aforementioned great adventure :-)  It was a pretty uneventful 12 hour drive which covered about 1050 miles (longest driving leg of my journey).   It took us 10 hours just to get out of Texas! I can't imagine a state TWICE as big like Alaska :-) That's just crazy.  I am happy to report that my 2012 Nissan Frontier Truck worked perfectly and is apparently ready for more (which comes in a couple of weeks).   I'll be spending the next few days sifting through all my gear which I've collected over the last two years working at Mesa Verde.   As many of my Coolworks friends know, I have a LOT of stuff.....and clearly I cannot take all of it to Alaska (the ferry would sink).  So I'll be busy figuring out what goes and what stays for many days.  Of course Irene has supplied me with a lengthy "to do" list for our Colorado house in case I start to get bored.

For all you Alaska veterans out there, I'm still open to any last minute advice (except "Don't Go you idiot!").  More as the adventure continues ....    Ranger Rich

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Comment by Leo Anderson on April 12, 2013 at 4:11pm

Aggie aka Ranger Rich,

I look forward to reading your blog posts this summer...... Have a fun, safe and relaxing journey to Alaska ok? try to be good or at least be good at what you are doing!

Sincerely,

Leo

Comment by Leo Anderson on April 1, 2013 at 12:57pm

Aggie aka Ranger Rich,

I would suggest getting on the ferry as soon as you can, so you can get a lawn chair that is available on the deck. This will allow you to get one of the better spots on the deck to view wildlife. I seen a killer whale, a couple humpback whales and a ton of dolphins during my trip on the ferry from Juneau, Alaska to Skagway, Alaska last year. Also take a lot of pictures on the ferry and in Denali ok? I look forward to reading your blogs about your experience in Denali and exploring Alaska this summer.... I take off in less than 72 hours to head to Yellowstone National Park where I will have my summer adventure this year. I look forward to hearing how the ferry ride from Bellingham, Washington to Fairbanks, Alaska goes. Have a safe, relaxing and adventurous journey to Denali.... You are going to love Alaska Aggie aka Ranger Rich. It is even more beautiful and breathtaking in person than any picture or what you can imagine!

Sincerely,

Leo

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