Let’s build a hut on a tropical island, then explore Alaska a while

Base Camp, Bradford, ME, 10-days post SC trip—where, in the hush-crash-hush of the surf, we did some deep thinking. The beach was ours after dark. We had another dismal life-is-short conversation. It was similar to the one that led us to a brief life on the high seas. Something tugged at our spirit for adventure as Chip ran ahead, coating his underside with sand, which is hard to avoid with his belly being four inches from the ground.

My heart was, and is, filled with a sense of calm since reconnecting with my sister. We messaged and emailed for two days—then it stopped. But that’s ok. I know I did the right thing by reaching out to her. I feel freed, centered and have had very little anxiety since.

So I test drove a big flat-nosed motorhome while we were in SC, and reached out to a friend in Hawaii to make arrangements.

About 14 years back was the last time I saw my friend Dani. She left me two giant bags of clothes before leaving for Colorado. We lived together as wild, fun-loving teens for a while. Those were the days. It harkens precious memories of blaring Jimi Hendrix while smeared in body paint.

Her partner is the founder of Domegaia, a company that builds highly sustainable and affordable dome homes made from a substrate known as aircrete—which is is essentially concrete with a lot of little bubbles created by mixing in a foaming agent. It is poured into forms, overlaid with a fabric for strength, and assembled into domes.

We are excited to learn the process, meet new people, tell each other the juicy deets of the years-gone-by, and enjoy the cultural heritage and tropical landscape. Kevin and I really have no idea what we are getting into in Hawaii. But it sounds safer than an eternity in Davy Jones’s locker.

Our trip to the rugged landscape of our northern-most reaches of our arrogant, wasteful country will be shared with two of our kids. Our youngest, Danny, and his older brother Simon plan to join us. (James isn’t much for adventures.)

Simon is our oldest, and a student at the University of Southern Maine. He is arranging his summer schedule to include exclusively-online courses for the second half of the summer, so he and his partner can fly out to join us for some wholesome family fun. When they return, Danny can fly back with them.

At that point, we will return to the child-free state of two terrible people feeding off each other’s dark humor and bold life choices.

At least one of us knows what we are getting into on a roadtrip to Alaska. Kevin has been to Alaska several times, and was on his way to Alaska with his father when they crashed their motorhome six years ago—exactly at the interstate exit to where I was living at the time. Luckily no one was hurt, and I was able to pick them up not long after. Though Kevin’s blind dog, Siesta, who’d gone flying through the air, was a bit shaken.

A month later I asked Kevin to marry me. A month after that, we married by the farm pond, with baby goats in the muddy springtime wedding precession. Life was good. Cute animals, strawberry beds, and the inevitable ups and downs.

Five years later we sold the farm to live on a boat. Five months ago we set out on our maiden voyage—that didn’t end well. As winter set in, we settled in a remote cabin in northern Maine, with plans to build a house on the 223-acre property in the spring. But that can wait.

Without a farm to run or stuff to buy and flip—I need a ‘real job’ again. Finding work with the ability to remotely work from anywhere is easier since Covid. I have eagerly applied for dozens of communications management, nonprofit engagement, and online marketing positions all in the environmental, conservation and human rights sectors. Fingers crossed.

Kevin and I plan to work remotely from both Hawaii and Alaska, before planning our next outlandishly glorious endeavor. We will hone our already-diverse engineering, inventing, and building skills along the way.

Canning is my new favorite thing. I canned six turkeys last week. No really. We plan to can salmon and elk in our motorhome to share with friends when we return to base camp.

I have shared these plans with a select few. Those who know us well didn’t seem surprised. Newer acquaintances gave a side-eye and brushed off our pipe dream, yet another thought I was just being funny.

Let them wonder. I’ll be shopping for body paint.

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