There is nothing like a serious health scare to make you think about the things you’ve done in your life and what you would still like to do. It did remind me that I had, so far in my life, not flown my plane up to Alaska. Heck, I have flown all around the west coast and even wrote a book about it, but not to Alaska. If the diagnosis was bad I wouldn’t have all that much time and I’d take off and fly immediately north.
It turns out the health scare was just a scare but my wife Bets said, “you have a window of opportunity this summer – just go do it and get it off your list”. So I ordered a satellite phone, expedited delivery. I also scoured eBay and Craigs list for a used folding kayak and found one in Washington. I told the surprised sellers to keep it for me and I’d fly in and pick it up shortly.
I wanted to fly the coastal route up and within a few days a weather window was set to open on the coast of Canada and Alaska. So in flurry of activity of packing and buying freeze-dried food, I flew away. North.
Over the next month I’ll post my trip as it unfolded. First a kayaking trip in Prince William Sound then a flight north to backpack in the Brooks Range above the Arctic Circle.