Driving to Alaska Day 2: Moving into a new rig

Welcome to post 2 of 18 in our Driving to Alaska series! We hope you enjoy the stories from this unforgettable 4,000 mile road trip.

Boise National Forest –> Emmett, Idaho

It was hard to leave such a peaceful campsite and having to say goodbye to Josh, Darci & Hannah didn’t make it any easier.  But our friend’s official departure date for Alaska was only a day away and it was time to rendezvous with them and move into the vehicle we’d be driving.  On the way we stopped at a Costco in Boise to stock up on food for the journey while keeping in mind the fact that we’d be crossing an international border.  Certain foods may not be let into the country.  The customs website made it difficult to decipher exactly what’s not allowed so we mostly held back on fresh fruits and vegetables, those being what seemed the most likely to be confiscated.  With $200 worth of groceries acquired, I crossed my fingers that my interpretation of the restricted food items was correct.

It was mid-day by the time we arrived in Emmett where Cade & Becca were staging their move at Cade’s parent’s house.  The sun was beating down on the black-top driveway and nearly every possession to Cade & Becca’s name was laid out in assorted piles as they organized, sorted, and prepared to pack the trailer that we’d be towing for them to Alaska. Parked behind the trailer was a 2000 Dodge Ram, purchased last week, that would serve two vital purposes 1) tow the trailer filled with all of Cade & Becca’s belongings and 2) be the home that Mark & I would inhabit for the next two weeks.  The Ram was purchased solely because Cade & Becca’s Toyota Tundra didn’t have the capabilities to safely tow their cargo trailer.  With two vehicles needing to make the 3,000 mile journey from Emmett to Talkeetna, Cade & Becca were hoping for some travel companions for the long days behind the wheel.  That’s where we came in. 

While Cade & Becca had an overwhelming amount of work to complete in the next 24 hours, they graciously outfitted us with all the comforts we could hope for.  Since Mark & I would be making the return trip via plane, from Anchorage to Boise, we had to embrace a minimalist mentality.  Anything we brought would have to fit in a suitcase for the trip back.  

Mark & Cade built us a bed platform allowing for maximum sleeping area with easy access to our items underneath.  The cushy pillows and thick sleeping pads they gave us combined with our plush sleeping bags eased my mind.  Our sleeping quarters were looking pretty cozy.  Becca set us up with a kitchen box of our own full of everything we would need to be able to cook, Mark lined the camper shell with reflectix in preperation for the sunny nights we’d experience as we got further and further north, and I filled various bags with food.  I hadn’t given this trip a whole lot of thought since accepting the invitation three weeks prior and all of a sudden I was getting quite excited.  This was going to be an adventure.

Cade & Becca’s packing mission went well into the night.  Their belongings spread out across the driveway reminded me of all the changes Mark & I have been through over the past several years.  Their single piece of furniture, a small two shelf stand, surrounded by all the gear an outdoor lover could ever dream of, really highlighted the vibrancy of Cade & Becca’s storied and adventurous lives.  Their many years spent living on the road, combined with Cade’s career as a pilot, is what created a friendship between us.  Our paths intersected when Cade & Mark both worked as flight instructors for the same flight school a few years back.  While Cade went on to further his aviation career in Alaska, traveling back and forth from there to Idaho for the last several years, Mark veered away from aviation so that we could embrace our love of life on the road.  But Mark & Cade have kept in touch and every year our paths naturally cross.  Staying in touch, regardless of the many miles between us, allowed this opportunity to come to be.  

Tomorrow the journey begins.  I can’t wait to see land I’ve long dreamed of seeing with my own eyes while continuing to grow a friendship with two of the coolest people I’ve ever met.

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  • It sounds like you may have some challenges ahead of you. Embrace them and I hope you enjoy every moment!

  • What a great trip and way to go with helping friends! I’ve really enjoyed your last several posts. You’re a wonderful writer Michele. I’m looking forward to reading about your drive and Alaska as I’m hoping to get up there eventually. Safe travels to you all.


We’re Mark & Michele, modern-day nomads perfecting the art of slow, full-time travel.  Our tiny home on wheels and slow-paced travel style allows us to minimize our expenses while maximizing our freedom.  May our unconventional way of life inspire you to design a life that you love.


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