A Dog Named Spoons, and Other Alaska Myths

I may not have any signal before my weekly email goes out, so I’m throwing up these photos and a few FAQ about our camping the last few weeks in central/southeastern Alaska.

Friends ask me questions that make me realize I’ve neglected giving even the basics about where we are and how we’re living.

Boondocking Is Not Illegal

Since we hit Yukon and travelled north, we’ve been camping off the side of the road wherever we can.

Which is totally legit, as long as you’re parked on government land where camping is permitted.

There just happens to be a lot of that up here.

Denali Is Not a Town

Actually, I think the little tourist section at the entrance to the park might be called Denali. Otherwise, it’s a national park, a state park, and a mesmerizing mountain—that stands out higher and snowier and more commanding than its neighbors in the Alaska Range.

I took the above photos while camped off the Denali Highway, but below is Denali the mountain.

You can’t tell without context what a joy it is to see. If you’re interested in my impressions and missed this post, I wrote about being flabbergasted here.

The Weather Is Not Even Remotely Warm

I received a weather alert on my phone recently for extreme heat: I was warned that an area near me might get to the low 80’s. I think it hit 78 for about two hours, between 5 and 7 pm. Otherwise it feels like it’s in the 50s. The pool is open in Fairbanks, though!

Alaska Is Not a Stereotype

Okay, I haven’t been here long enough to know the place, but I’m going to assume it’s more diverse than what we’ve seen. ‘Cause we sure have see a lot of log cabins, kit planes, people selling furs under pop-up tents. Scraggly-looking dudes giving tourists the side-eye.

And yet, Tracy and I have both been mistaken for locals several times lately. We are scraggly, that’s true.

Banjo Is Not Getting a Twin Brother

Tracy saw this sign for a dog who needs a home in Talkeetna and texted it to me while I was doing laundry. Seriously? I found a picture of Banjo from the same angle, and as Cara said, it’s a Spot the Differences puzzle.

Before you conclude what other friends have, that we should adopt this dog and name him an instrument so we’d have a band (“Spoons” is my favorite), note that he’s described just as Banjo would be.

A home where I will be the only dog.

Banjo feels the same way, dude. So, they are real siblings, separated by 4,300 miles, is all. Banjo and Spoons though, what a pair of dogs that would be.

Next up, we make our way onto the Kenia Peninsula, but we’re waiting for the season to close for people fishing for salmon with open nets, since they’re packing in the campgrounds right now. We hope to camp around Anchorage while we wait.

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