Coloring the Void

living nomadically

Taking a break – Anchorage

Well, it finally happened – we got burned out. We have been doing a lot of travelling and touristing but not much living. Yes, our bills were paid, our laundry clean, we had food in the fridge, but our daily living had been crammed between racing here and hiking there and looking at this and learning about that. We needed a break.

We headed up to Eagle River Campground for a couple of days to rest and regroup. While there, we did run up to the nature center which is in a beautiful location, hiked around (there are many great hikes up there) and took in the views.

mountain view

View from one of the trails at Eagle River Nature Center

Internet weather sources stated that it would be cloudy and rainy the entire week. Since the campground is pretty much in the woods, we wouldn’t be getting much solar even if the sun was out (the paved, level campsites were really great though) we decided to ‘live it up’ and go to a private park with actual electricity. Whenever we are in a full hook up park, I always feel like I am in an upscale hotel – unlimited power, unlimited water, sometimes cable and wifi. It is a treat that I love to indulge in once in a while.

We went to Big Bear RV Park and Campground, just north of Anchorage in Wasilla. The wifi there is TengoNet (lousy) and there is no cable tv but the campground is quiet and there is actual grass, which Belle loved to roll around in. I was tempted to myself.

We finally did a much more thorough inside cleaning of the Short Bus, some inside cleaning of the jeep (we are still finding desert dust in it), got a ton of laundry done, and rested up for our next leg. It wasn’t a week of laying around though.

We were able to meet up with, a family of seven touring Alaska in a 31′ class C. They have four weeks and were racing from New Jersey to Alaska and back. I have no idea how they can manage but they are having loads of fun.

We also met up with the Snowmads, a wonderful couple who are touring Alaska while they work full time from their RV.

A friend of ours from Maryland just happened to be moving to Anchorage for a great job and we spent a day with her running around, trying to find a moose. We were unsuccessful but we had a great time.

We had cocktail hour (or three) with another full timing couple who happened to be from the same area as we are (DC) and who happened to be in some of the same campgrounds as we (Florida) at the same time and we didn’t even know it until bumping into each other in Alaska. A Shenandoah National Park t-shirt started the conversation. Yes, it is a small world.

We also made an attempt to drive Hatcher Pass but the cloud cover completely socked us in before we got to the good part.

And, we had a blast on the Knik River racing up and down the gravel bars and through streams in our jeep. The jeep is still working and we didn’t need a tow so all is good.

Okay, so we didn’t take it too easy. But there was a day or two in there where we did nothing. Belle and I were having allergy attacks – we still don’t know which weeds are causing it – and we really needed time to exhale.

I don’t have a lot of pictures of this time. I also needed a break from the camera. A few years ago, I worked for a newspaper as a photographer. After about a year, I hated photography, I hated cameras, and I wanted out. Photography was no longer fun, it was work. I didn’t pick up a camera for an entire year after that though, before that, you wouldn’t catch me without one. By Anchorage, I was getting that feeling again; I felt obliged to take pictures and I was taking pictures of things that didn’t interest me. Looking back at what I have captured of Alaska, I can see the deterioration of my image quality starting just after Valdez. The images started lacking expression and have become more and more about representation. So I hope, with a break and the recognition of getting that feeling again, that I can get back to enjoying capturing life as I see it.

Oh, and we also made a firm decision to buy a boat. But more on that in the coming months as we wrestle with the funding and logistics.


The first time I have every seen baby seagulls (there are three in the picture). Taken at Potter Marsh.

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3 thoughts on “Taking a break – Anchorage

  1. Wow! That doesn’t sound like much of a break to me, although it sounds like you had a lot of fun. Congratulations on your decision to purchase a boat. That is so exciting.

  2. Taking time out to catch up on “life” is essential … no matter whether we’re traveling in a motorhome or not. Of course, it’s easier to do it when your home is with you. I totally understand what you mean by needing to take a break from the camera, too. Yes, there is such a thing as camera burn-out. I have yet to pick up my camera since we left Santa Fe a few days ago … and that was just four days ago!

    • Ach! Dreaded photographer’s block! Santa Fe is a beautiful City though…it can kind of ruin it for everywhere else. I’m going over to your blog to pick up some tips for my visit in the fall…

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