We made it back in a 1988 Subaru DL wagon, all the way from Alaska to Vermont with no GPS (not really a problem since we drove on the same road for half the trip) and no cruise control (a bit more of a problem since our right butt-cheeks got sore from continual pressing on the accelerator). Besides the engine’s tendency to overheat, causing us to always have the heat on and the windows rolled down a bit, the trip was smooth–especially after buying two new tires in Whitehorse.
The day before we left Fairbanks, we decided to honor our love through marriage, so on the morning we left the Viking Lodge, we drove back through Tok and, with the town librarian and judge’s assistant as our witnesses, we said our vows and became husband and wife.
The road trip turned into our honeymoon, and as we traveled through the yukon, Jasper and Banff, Idaho, down into Southern Utah, across Colorado and Kansas, and all the way to the east, we reveled in the landscape and sank deeper into our love.
As we drove we saw birds: osprey, bald eagles, ferruginous hawks, geese, arctic tern, grouse, magpies, ravens, chickadees, red-winged blackbirds, swans, ducks, a boreal owl, peregrine falcons, gray jays, blue jays, woodpeckers, red-tailed hawks, and more we left unidentified.
We saw animals: buffalo, moose, elk, caribou, deer, a black wolf, gray fox, coyotes, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and wild horses.
At night we sought out campgrounds, or took a few turns down quiet roads to hidden pull-offs where we could park for the night. In the morning we made chai, ate granola, and packed the car again for the next leg of the journey. Our days were casual with steady driving and spontaneous stops to look at birds, take pictures and stretch our legs.
We spent two days in Southern Utah hiking and climbing before making the final push home, aided with chocolate and maple syrup.
Now we are back in Vermont, living and working on Applecheek Farm in Hyde Park. In the first week we have milked cows, witnessed the birthing of calves, been pooped and peed on, put up a yurt, planned our bean and corn plantings, waited out the rain so we can plow the field, and become part of the daily chore rotation. As the season progresses, we will also be helping to develop the farm’s educational programs, sell food at markets, work in the 2-acre vegetable garden, and of course, with all this milk, we will make ice cream.I am happy. I am so happy. To be living in a yurt. To be living on a farm. To be living with my love~