I actually started this post before I even left for the trip...
The thought for this trip came out of a few things for me, first of all was the community that I'm surrounded with at Roads Rivers and Trailswhere we constantly push each other to go further and second was probably a want to do something I have never done before. For me the obvious choice of somewhere new to go was Alaska... Since I took my first big trip west over three years ago I've covered 47 of 50 states (all by car), the only ones I'm missing are Hawaii, Washington and Alaska. The initial idea started as a chatter, "Hey, let’s go to Alaska", we would say to each other and when Joe came around the shop he would jokingly ask “When are we going to Alaska?” So, in the fall of 2018 we sat down for the first time and discussed the possibility of our journey. The original group consisted of 11 people that wanted to go on two different trips, one going to Lake Clark and the other going to Gates of the Arctic National Park. We talked and talked for several months, we planned and planned and along the way we lost people and widdled down our group and our trip. In the end, we wound up with 6 people agreeing on 6 days of backpacking in Lake Clark with 3 days of sea kayaking in Kenai Fjords National Park and all sorts of other adventures sprinkled in there.
We bought plane tickets that December and began a 7 month process of building an amazing journey. Between booking float planes, guides and hotels as well as looking over all the routes and making sure everything we wanted to do would fit I probably obsessed over this trip for way too long. It didn’t kick in that I was even going on this trip until I sat down in the float plane at 11AM and took off from Lake Hood Sea Plane Base in Anchorage.