By: Mr. Open Sky
During the year prior to our move I had many large decisions to make. One being since we were in essence “car free” we were going to need to acquire another vehicle. I am one who does not buy on a whim and will do probably more research than is necessary on just about anything. Here was my dilemma. Do I buy a fuel efficient smallish vehicle knowing that we would purchase a truck or SUV once the property was purchased and we start building or do I buy the truck from the get go knowing that I could buy a small 5 X 10 enclosed trailer which would allow us to keep a few more of the items that we knew we would end up replacing in the future.
By now you know the decision I made. Buy small and get rid of EVERYTHING! Looking back I do not believe that that was the best of decisions. Did it work out okay? Well, sure. But after being back in Alaska for some time I can see how the decision may have affected us a little more on the negative than the positive. For starters, we have moved four times since the original move from Spokane. Three of those moves required renting either a U-Haul truck and or trailer to move the essentials that we got after moving back, for example our couch and our bed plus some of the tools that I had been getting knowing that soon we would start building somewhere.
The trailer that I was originally looking at cost about $2,000. What I spent in rentals moving in Alaska well exceeded that. One of my original thoughts on buying the trailer before the move was it would be a good form of storage while we were getting our plans together after moving. Man, I wish we would have just bought the trailer.
Having a six month old who was dealing with a severe lip tie (which we were unaware of at the time) was a challenge and thinking of driving 3,000 miles with a screaming baby was not exactly a pleasant thought. We could drive across Washington State and catch a ferry from Bellingham direct to Juneau, Alaska and we could rent a stateroom aboard the ship knowing we could just sit back and “enjoy” the 3-day trip. Having a full bathroom with shower and a comfortable room sounded okay but there would be things to give up doing it this way. For starters the ferry ticket for the car alone cost more than the cost of the trailer that I wanted to buy and pull behind a truck. Not to mention that there are still fares to pay for all travelers as well.
In all reality it would have been cheaper to pull a trailer the 3,000 miles and stay at hotels the entire time. One major thought that drove us to just float was that the stress factor of driving was much higher than leaving the trip in the hands of the Alaska State Ferry System.
Being back in Alaska now for the 3rd year and having already sold the Subaru and bought the SUV to pull the trailer (that I have ended up buying anyway) to move building supplies to our farmstead has led me to the thought that I could have done things a little different and benefited a little more. I don’t feel that the way we did it was wrong but looking back I see that the decisions that we make can definitely change our courses of action in the future. We will always have coulda-woulda-shoulda moments but I thought that I would share this tidbit to let you know that things do not always work the way we plan and we can only do what we feel is best at that moment in time. I am glad that we took the steps that we did and I am glad that I can look back and say “yup, I learned another valuable lesson”. As long as we are humble and allow ourselves to learn, we will only grow and hopefully find success.