Greetings after a long absence!
This post is the prequel to even more posts (to follow later) about my summer adventures while travelling in the Yukon and Northwest Territories. But first, I need to set things up for you so you know how it all began.
About 22 months ago I decided I wanted to take some time away from work. My employer has a “Deferred Salary Program”. They deduct 10-35% of your salary each pay cheque and after X number of months you have saved up enough to take 6 to 12 months off while receiving full pay. I went for it. Well, it wasn’t as simple as “I went for it”, but I’m trying to keep the word count manageable.
It took me 1 year and 7 months of deductions to save enough to take 6 months off work starting June 1. What’s kind of significant about this date is that it’s the month before I turn half a century. It’s also the same time that Kobi, my intrepid wing-girl, turns half a century in dog years. We will be 50 together for 3 months of Kobi’s life. How cool is that.
During the last three months of work I was doing some loose planning about things I’d like to do while off. Mostly I just wanted to not work, which really seemed to surprise people when they asked what my plans were. You see, I’ve never really liked “working”, but because I like wearing Arc’teryx clothes and insist on driving a Jeep (yes, I drive a Jeep because cool outdoorsy people drive Jeeps), I need an income to support these habits. I’d love it if I could get paid tons of money to showcase my average running skills with my epically cool Rez dog, but unfortunately being average doesn’t draw the attention of high paying sponsorships. I’m also not particularly entrepreneurial or highly driven so I’ve never landed a job that didn’t feel like work. I do have a job that I like so I’m not going to complain, besides, they let you take this much time off and still have a job when you come back!
I’ve digressed. Besides planning on doing whatever I felt like (after waking up WITHOUT an alarm), I thought maybe a trip to the arctic would be cool. I told my arctic plan to my partner (who didn’t even have a passport at the time and who I will refer to as Mr X from here on in) and he said that sounded cool and he’d like to go with me. I was somewhat relieved as I figured it would be me and Kobi sleeping in a tent and occasionally getting a motel. The thought of sleeping in a tent is fine and dandy, if it remains a thought. When you’re 50, sleeping in a tent is a sleepless painful night of moving from your back, to left side, to stomach, to right side and back onto your back every 5 minutes as there is no air mattress that can offer comfort to an oldish, somewhat arthritic body. Don’t even get me going if it should happen to rain.
I’ve digressed again. Now that Mr X was on board, we decided a travel trailer was the way to go. Nothing big, just something practical with a toilet. A toilet was mandatory. Pooping in an outhouse is something that has lost it’s appeal – can’t say that has ever been appealing. Mr X spent weeks researching and we landed on a 16.5’ Forest River, No Boundaries. It looks outdoorsy and the Jeep could tow it.
10 days before the planned departure date, the Jeep went to the shop for some minor tweaks for the big trip and sure enough they discovered the entire rear end needed replacing. That took 9 days to fix and cost a quarter of what the trailer cost. Off to a good start. With one day remaining before the big departure, we got the Jeep back and noticed the Jeep didn’t have the right towing electrical plug thingy that would fit the trailer. Plan B, take the one ton dodge diesel.
What you may not be aware of, thanks to my blogging delinquency, is that Kobi has developed some pretty significant travel anxiety. If you follow me on Instagram (@outdoorrunning) you may be aware of Kobi’s anxiety. It all started last August, I won’t bore you with the details of the circumstances that led up to it, that’s another blog (or two). As a result of her anxiety and because my amazing dog sitter/cat sitter/garden waterer was available, Kobi stayed home.
Now you are all up to date on the events that lead up to the start of the arctic adventure. Stay tuned for the next 12 posts about the actual trip to the Yukon (and NWT). Looking back, I honestly didn’t know travelling could be this “exciting”.