It is final sorting time. Throw away, give away, sell, keep. Decision, decision, decision, for every thing we own, down to scissors, pens, and shampoo bottles. It is cathartic to shed so much accumulated stuff. We have done it several times in moves to and from Alaska. It always feels good.
There are space and weight limitations in the trailer, of course, so deciding what to bring is an exercise in speculation and imagination. Will we use this pan more than this one? How many pairs of pants do I really need? Some things are easy–my insulated, spiked running shoes will not be going with us.
I am perplexed about what to do with my Chaga. It is a birch fungus harvested from a tree that we had to cut down behind our house.
It is supposed to have all kinds of health-giving properties because it is loaded with antioxidants. And Chaga from really cold regions like Alaska is especially prized. Whether it’s truly beneficial or not, I don’t know, but I do like to make tea with it. I would like to bring it with us, but it is never pleasant to receive unusual scrutiny at border crossings. The crumbly texture and yellowish-brown color of my Chaga pieces suggest that they could be anything from dried animal parts to some sort of hallucinogen. They scream out for extra scrutiny. “What is this, ma’am? A fungus? And you use it for what?” Best to leave the Chaga behind.
We have also been pondering our route through Canada. We have driven the Alcan several times over the years, so are pretty familiar with the traditional route. I have never driven the Cassiar Highway and would like to try it for a change, but that means that we would miss Liard Hot Springs–a tough call. We will wait to see what the road conditions are like and how many campgrounds are open this early before we make a decision.
Our favorite Alcan trip was one we took with the kids in 1983 from Fairbanks to the East Coast in our yellow van. That trip planted the seeds for this one. Here are some pictures.