Gearing up to go home is always an adventure and quite a process. There's a lot of planning (and money) that goes in to traveling down states... packing... flights... the actual traveling ordeal. There's nothing quite like it.
I'm not ashamed to admit that I've been packed for this trip since last week. I've always been an early packer, and how early I pack is directly proportional to how excited I am about the trip. So yes, I packed early.
I'm traveling home with a backpack, an empty small duffel bag, and Rubbermaid totes.
Why Rubbermaid? Well, anyone from the AK bush can tell you that getting as much into your bag as possible is important, especially when that stuff includes food and essential toiletries. And suitcases, empty suitcases, are HEAVY. So are coolers. Rubbermaid is the way to go. They hold a lot, are durable, and very light weight.
It's true, people in the lower 48 will give you weird looks when you pull four Rubbermaid totes (stacked in each other and duct taped together) off of the conveyer belt. Oh well, that's okay- they just don't get it.
More on the empty duffel bag later...
It will take four different airplanes and three layovers to get me from the village to Denver. Hopefully everything connects on time!
My flight itinerary looks a little something like this:
Scammon ---> Bethel
Bethel ---> Anchorage
Anchorage ---> Seattle
Seattle ---> Denver
My total travel time is just over 21 hours (ick) and includes an almost five hour redeye flight into Seattle. I have a love-hate relationship with redeye flights. I love them since I get home that much quicker but at the same time I hate them because I can never sleep on a plane.
Luckily my third layover is in Seattle, so I'll be stopping at Starbucks for a morning kick!
The actual act of gearing up to travel is no small feat. The key to travel is layers, layers, and more layers. It may be 45 degrees in Denver, but right now in Scammon it's a balmy -6, and with the wind chill it feels like -25. That's a 51 degree difference (feels like 70 degrees).
When I leave tomorrow I'll be sporting the following layers (this is in no way a product endorsement, even though it reads that way):
- Underwear (always important!)
- Wool socks x 2
- Calf compression sleeves
- UA ColdGear compression tights
- UA compression top
- Cold running tights
- Cold running turtleneck/ face mask
- Snow pants
- Anorak down parka
- Muck Arctic Sport boots
- North Face Headband
- Gore-tex gloves
- Glove liners
- Cozy wool hat
The key to making this outfit transition from ridiculously cold to downright comfortable weather is to strip!
This is where that empty duffel bag comes in handy. By the time I get to Denver I'll have a full duffel bag and will be wearing pretty much just my base layer. Not exactly fashionable, but it works!
Other than that, there's nothing much left to do except sit back and hope that the weather works out. It looks good so far... let's hope it stays that way.
See you on Thursday Denver, I can't wait!!