12 Mile Cabin, Prince of Wales
1) We are ready to travel full time.
We've been planning/talking/dreaming about travel for SOOOOOO long now, that it sometimes seems like it will never happen. This was our first taste that it really is going to happen...and we liked the first bite. And we learned this amazingly dumb piece of advice...you will never be ready...therefore you are totally ready. Right? You can't plan for everything, so you just become adept at adapting.
This trip was nothing if not an exercise in learning to adapt. When we pulled up to the parking area for the Sweetwater Creek cabin, and then walked down the dark path to the row boat and the arrow pointing across the lake to no where...well, we knew it was time to adapt. And we did, we were able to crash at a friends cabin for the night where we woke up to thousands (literally) of sand dollars on the beach. Generally we found the fun was in the surprises...not in the plans that went exactly according to the schedule. (plus it makes for better stories!)
2) We love simple things so much!!
While we were on vacation we had no power, so the only things we packed were things that don't require power. We brought the bow and arrows (which rarely get use) and a BB gun (which was brand new to us), card games, books...and that's about it. In the end the favorite activities of all were; archery, target practice, wood cutting, beach combing and reading.
Since we arrived back home we've been trying to keep with the simple things; we've read through two more family novels since we returned (The Lost Children and Spirit's Key...we love a good spooky adventure) and with spring in full swing here (finally) and summer around the corner, we have walked (instead of driven) or hiked, or beach-combed nearly every day since we returned.
3) We like each other.
Granted, we already live in rather cramped quarters. 250 square ft for 4 people and a large dog...most modern Americans cringe at the thought. (I have actually had people cringe when I tell them) Then they say something like...man, I would hate to be so close to my kids...I could never do it.
Well, that's not the case with us, I LOVE being with my family. I loved being on the ferry, I loved being stuck in the car, I loved the cramped chilly cabins (at least until the woodstove got crankin')...I love being stuck with kids stinky feet and sweet morning breath. I loved roasting marshmallows crammed around the woodstove because it was raining outside. Stinky feet and marshmallows...it's what good family memories are made of. (Plus 700 pound bears running away from your very remote Alaskan cabin...Polk Inlet...beautiful but very remote.)
Prince of Wales island is a beautiful place to learn some of these life altering (though pretty obvious lessons). Sometimes it takes a really dramatic change of scenery to teach us some of the most basic things.
Thanks goodness we're open to learning them!
The view looking out at Clarence Strait