In the Fall of 2016 we learned that we would be moving our little family 3700 miles from Southern Illinois to Anchorage, Alaska! I was both excited and scared. I had lived in the same small town my entire life, as had my father, and his father, and his father… and his father. However, I was ready for a change!
My husband had to report for his new job in less than a month. He moved to Alaska at the beginning of December, 2016. My son, Jasper and I packed up everything we owned, and followed in January of 2017.
This was Jasper’s first plane flight. At this time he was about a year and a half old. I was reasonably concerned about how I was going to transport our luggage, Jasper’s car seat, and a one-year-old all by myself, through three airports. I ended up rigging Jasper’s car seat to my rolling luggage, and toted him through the airport attached to it. This worked OK. However, Jasper’s car seat is extremely heavy. I have not encountered another seat as heavy as his. The weight of the car seat, along with the weight of my rather chubby child proved too much for my rigging. The clips dismantled themselves at the second airport, and I found myself at the Seattle airport, camped in front of the terminal train attempting to wrangle my one-year-old, while trying to fix the car seat to my luggage. However, overall Jasper did extremely well. I even got complements from other passengers on how well he was doing.
When we arrived in Anchorage, it was dusk. This time of year, the Anchorage area only gets around 4 hours of sunlight, and the sunlight isn’t good quality. My husband picked us up from the airport and drove us about 45 minutes to our new home. I had seen mountains before this, but never mountains this large and never mountains covered in snow. I remember my husband asking me what was wrong and my answer being that nothing was wrong, I was just awestruck by the land surrounding us.
Shortly after arriving we would begin to explore our new home. Sometimes Jasper and I explored with my husband. However, more often we join other moms and their children in our never ceasing explorations. That is what they have to be, never ceasing. If we just live here a few years, or spend the rest of our lives as Alaskan, I know for a fact we wont be able to explore all of this land. Many people understand that Alaska is big, however it is hard to understand how big. More than two of the state of Texas can fit inside of Alaska. In addition, many locations in Alaska require a boat or airplane to reach. We have begun to scratch the surface of this great state, in the years to come I’m sure we will be amazed again and again by the new adventures we encounter.