Best of 2023

I love putting these compilation posts together! Each year I’m amazed by how many places we lived in just that one year and how freaking far we traveled.

This year we went from southern Texas, up through Central U.S., into Canada, around Alaska, then back again into the U.S. and down to Texas. It was a lot of territory to cover for us, and we hurried through the U.S. sections so we could spend as much time as possible exploring in the north. Yukon and Alaska turned out to be worth our sacrifices in the Lower 48, many times over.


We began 2023 where we’re ending it, in Brownsville, the far tip o’ Texas. January 2023 was all about having visitors: Finn and I saw the Van Gogh exhibit, Doug and Melanie enjoyed the extraordinary birding, and Banjo enjoyed the warm, winter sunshine. Little did she know this would be her last reliable sunshine for the year.


We stayed in Brownsville for Charro Days and my first rodeo (really) and we spent afternoons on the beach near Starbase and took day trips into Mexico: all getting in the groove of being in one place for so long. And then we left!


All I need for March is just one photo and a link, because I saw one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen: 10 millions bats at once near Garner State Park, Texas.


We finally left southern Texas! I spent time with a favorite person in central Texas (yes, still Texas), and we were surprised in Oklahoma by the brilliant Woodie Guthrie and Bob Dylan museums. The bummer was the high winds that broke the kayak racks; we had to leave the kayaks in Iowa for the upcoming trip to Alaska.


In just one month we booked it from Michigan (where we saw Finn), over to Montana, up to Edmonton, and on to the start of the Alaska Highway in British Columbia. Nothing but north from there.


Finally we met up with our Alaska travel buddies, Doug and Melanie, at Muncho Lake; we placed our sign at Watson Lake; hiked at Faro and Tombstone; drank a human toe cocktail in Dawson City; and enjoyed Yukon in general much more than we’d expected. Tundra, mountains, moose, bears.


We made it into Alaska! Doug and Melanie met us in Fairbanks and again in Denali National Park, and we did some amazing hiking near Anchorage, and heck everywhere we went in Alaska.


August was about salmon, salmon, salmon, plus bears eating salmon. We took a boat tour of the Kenia Fjords, spent a couple of days at the Alaska State Fair, and saw wolves near Kluane Lake, spying a line of Dall Sheep on the mountainside. Almost as cool as those bats.


The famous Alaskan brown bear did not disappoint in the Kenia Peninsula. But the weather along the Alaskan coast sucked, so we booked it south, through Yukon, British Columbia, and into Montana and South Dakota. Once we left Alaska, the weather became nice for the first time all summer! We saw wildlife all along the way.


This was a fun-filled, fabulous Friends and Family Tour of the Midwest (and elsewhere). These shots are from Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, and then Tennessee. Maybe Minnesota? After our time in Alaska where we saw only four people we knew all summer, this social time seemed like a fast, wonderful whirlwind.


We picked our southernly route this year along the Natchez Trace, which felt like no other place I’ve ever hiked. Old. Then we hit the beach in several spots on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Grey coastal weather sucked and drove us once again to skedaddle early.


Here we are again in Brownsville! Same town, same beach, same radio station (damn that Grace Jones) but different campground. We’ll be here until mid-February this year, but already I can tell there will be much to blog about.

If you’re into these retrospectives as much as I am, check out the ones I made for 2022, 2021, and 2020. Now that we’re approaching a full four years on the road, I’ll need to put together a succinct one for all that time. If you have a clever idea on how that can be done, please let me know!

10 thoughts to “Best of 2023”

    1. I’m glad I found yours! (And you might not think this life is so cool if you heard how infrequently I shower.) 👀

  1. I love following vicariously along on your adventures. Can’t wait to see what 2024 brings!

    If you’re recapping four or five years’ worth of travel, maybe highlight some of your biggest adventures? Like, have categories for Best Meal, Best Sunrise, Best Wildlife, etc.? That could be pretty interesting.

    1. That’s a good idea – I’ll think on it. And, you and I have known each other for a year now, haven’t we! Wild stuff, big changes for us both.

  2. Great post with lots of inspiration for travel. The US is a great place, shame it has Trump in it…also, as a Brit, the battle to get through immigration is a little off-putting