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Alaska

Farewell Alaska

When we first arrived in Anchorage, literally the first thing every person would say upon hearing our plan to move in a year was everybody says that, but no one ever leaves Alaska. In our true humble fashion, we were still laughing (scoffing?) at this the day we pulled our packed out UFO trailer out of town. However, as the weeks have passed and we dream of fall in Alaska, we are starting to realize… they were right. It doesn’t take long and Alaska grabs ahold of you. We’re homesick already. As a tribute– and as usual, a memory-jogger for my future elderly self– we are posting a slew photos from that time the young Murphmans brazenly spent just one year in Alaska. (more…)

Sleep/Eat/Shop: Road Trip from Anchorage to Seattle

It took us just three and a half days to drive between these two cities. We had everything we owed– plus three adults!– in the car and trailer pictured above. It was a tight fit and long, long days of constant driving. Would we recommend a slower pace, allowing for leisurely sight-seeing? Yes. Yes, we would. Either way though, you have to stop and sleep, eat, and maybe even shop somewhere! Here are some of the bigger cities on the first half of our trip, and our top recommendations for places you should sleep, eat, and shop!

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ANNOUNCEMENT: Plans for Year Two

Long time no see, friends! It has been awhile since we’ve posted.. we’ve been in the throes of moving. Packing all our things, selling belongings, moving out of our apartment, temporary residence in our friends’ home, #allthecrazy!

But now.. we are already on the road and out of Alaska. How has this time arrived already?! Year one of travel. Done. We said from the beginning– and had to convince many an Alaskan doubter– that we would not allow the Last Frontier to entice us to settle down. We accomplished the feat, but not without doubts of our own and a part of our hearts permanently stamped with a longing for the wild north.

But now it’s time for the next season of our adventure! Since we’ve been getting lots of questions from friends and family that we’ve seen in person– and we assume there would be questions from other distant connections if you even realized this time had arrived– we decided it was about the right moment to announce our plans for the next year. Hope you enjoy our little video with our newest news!!

Boating in Homer and Halibut Cove

Alaska is spectacular. From the moment we arrived, we’ve been calling it breathtaking and snapping photos at every turn. Our weekend in Homer and Halibut Cove did not disappoint– we got the perfect weather and an amazing experience!

A few weeks ago, friends of ours from Indiana finished their Alaskan cruise vacation with an extra week here with us. When we found out they were interested in doing some fishing, we decided to take them down to our favorite small town and do some boating near there. Homer is the “halibut fishing capital of the world”, and while we didn’t exactly have the fishing success of our dreams, we did get a chance to explore the waters, visit an island community, and put a line or two in the water.

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^^^ We blew up our 13 foot Zodiak in the parking lot near the “real” harbor, then carried it down to a public beach where we launched straight into the waves. Who needs a dock?

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^^^ The ride over was beautiful, and the sea was calm since it was an overcast day. Our little boat powered through really well, considering we were asking her to haul five adults! We didn’t manage to find our dock on the first try, so we decided to stop on a deserted beach for a little lunch break.

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^^^ Our next stop was a neighborhood dock, where we were quickly informed we needed to move along to a public dock. Oops! But we were super lucky and passed an otter (!!!) chilling in the water beside us. AHH! Highlight moment for sure. Even if I frequently see otters here, it still makes my day every time. (If you want to get this excited too, look really closely at the photo above…)

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^^^ We finally made it to the right dock (although actually there was still one even more official place for us to dock) and we stopped there to get out and stretch our legs again. Halibut Cove is an island of grassy hills connected with miles of boardwalk. There are about 20 year-round residents and the number doubles in the summer. It was such a peaceful, laidback atmosphere, kind of magical in its remoteness. We’d love to return someday. There are house rentals there if anyone is interested! They have a ferry that can take you over if you don’t have your own boat, and there is a fun coffee shop and a delicious restaurant as well.

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^^^ That night we enjoyed the sunset from our house rental in Homer, and then the next morning we drove the four hours back home. It was such a beautiful Alaskan weekend, and we are hoping to get back to Homer one more time before we leave! Next time we’ll try camping along the Spit, where we’ll have an up-close look at the bigger ships and easy access to touristy shops and diners.

Alaska: A Short Trip to Valdez

It’s been rainy all week, which has effectively withered any little love bud that was blooming in my heart for staying in The Last Frontier permanently. Sorry, Alaska. It’s not you, it’s me.

But this gloomy weather has reminded me of a trip Tyler and I took a couple months ago over to Valdez, a city pretty much straight east from Anchorage, over on the other side of Prince William Sound. We left Anchorage in clouds and a drizzle, and a few hours later we ended up in Valdez with clouds and a drizzle. That seems to be our vacation luck 50% of the time.

However, the overcast day really lent a dramatic vibe to our drive, the views out the window looking like someone had already applied a moody VSCO filter to our photos.

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Skiing and Snowboarding at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska

A new vlog! It’s been awhile since we’ve uploaded anything to our youtube channel, so we thought we’d record some of our latest adventure out skiing/snowboarding. As fun as it is to write posts and be able to go back and read them as memory-keepers, having video is even more entertaining. Every time we watched these clips during editing, we laughed at the same parts and made fun of [mostly my] several weird conversation quirks. I think these are going to be my favorite types of posts to return to in the future!

While watching this one, a few things to take note of:

– Snow conditions were awful!

– Tyler picked snowboarding back up pretty quickly but I skied like a little old lady. Not pictured: me self-destructing every time I picked up any speed at all.

– It was such an empty day out on the mountain since it was the middle of the week.. prime time to be learners since we had a lot of space to ourselves!

Ok… enjoy!