If you have time to read only one posting, click the following link to read the entry for the last day of our journey.

July 1, 2013 - Decisions, decisions, decisions

I still hope to get on the road on July 15th, although as my to-do list gets longer, that date may have to slip until July 22nd.  My first rule for these trips is to leave when I am 100 percent ready and when I am well rested, and I follow the rules I lay out.  Fortunately, I have my last five trips to fall back on and I started the preparaiton tasks for this trip much sooner.  I will not find out if I won a slot in the Denali lottery to drive the whole road to Wonder Lake until July 15th. If I win a slot, that changes the plans for the trip somewhat because I will have to prepare for the severe winter weather that can occur in Denali in mid-September, and I would not be returning home until about Octobr 15th.

Fortunately, the dogs are in good health and I have not had to rush to the vets every other day with one new problem or another as I did two yers ago.  The Defender has been in the garage a few times for a few problems (e.g., would not start in the rain), some of which would hve been trip-stoppers if they had not been resolved, but they were.  I also added a new AC for the dogs, an air-snorkel for the dirt and gravel roads as well as for a few steams I may have to cross; added new side runners; and added a new radio that is both USB and BlueTooth equipped.

I am adding the complete works of Mhaler and the Best of Arvo Part to to my iPad music collection.

I am still trying to decide if I should take some audio books to listen to on those empty, long Alaskan highways, but my guess is that  I will not, and opt to listen to the music or just think.

I am also trying to decide if I should take along a i-book or two, but my guess is that I will not as they consume the iPad's battery which I need for other things.  Worse, the only time I have to read anything other than trip related materials is late at night, just before lights out, and the white light from the screen  interferes with my circadian rythm and makes it harder to fall alseep, the last thing I need on a road trip involving hundrdeds of miles each day.

I am also still trying to decide which hardcover books I should take along. The probem is that these books take up valuable space in the Defender and I have virtually no time to read on days that I am moving on, which is most days. I am inclined to take a bunch of those Decline books (e.g., Kennedy's book on the Decline of the West, Gibbons book on the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and Diamond's book Collapse, among others), but my concrn is that I will not get to then more than it is their sense of where we are going ourselves.