Is 40 the last frontier?


Last year, I thought that I had taken the trip of a lifetime.  In one way I did, trekking across the U.S. by train for a one month tour of national parks on a mostly solo excursion.  It was the most amazing trip I have ever been on to date.  I have high hopes that this trip to the 49th state, the last frontier to celebrate my 40th will be just as amazing.

Although last year’s travel was a month long, there are several reasons why this trip has amazing potential.   The first is I will be traveling with my partner this year.  We have planned and organized for six months to create this itinerary.  It doesn’t hurt that although he lives well within his means in almost all aspects of life, he delights in the luxuries of travel.  So I’ve graduated from sleeping on the seat or floor of an Amtrak train to the world of first-class experiences.  We compliment each other well since he is a how are we getting there and where are we staying in class and comfort and I focus on what are we going to experience.

The second is my awe of the land of the last frontier.  I grew up in the mountains and love to hike and be in the wilderness.  The first half of our trip has a big focus being on out in the wilderness and seeing the sights the world has to offer.  There is something wonderful about seeing how people live a life connected to nature and the world around them.  In a world, infatuated with technology and seeking connection through social media, I am looking forward to unplugging and practicing JOMO for the next few weeks.

The last reason is to look at 40 in the face and say, I’m going to live life to the fullest within my means in a way that I enjoy.   In my twenties and even thirties, I would measure my birthday by the gifts and thoughtfulness of others.  Now I measure my gifts by the time I can spend with others and the experience was can have together.  This process has been an ongoing gift of planning for the last six months.  I hope that I am blessed with the opportunity of many more experiences like this one.

As a teaser for what’s to come, here is an abbreviated itinerary of what the next two and half weeks entail.  If anyone would like the full details, reach out to me privately and I can provide an abundance of information.  After all, this trip was inspired by a conversation of by a couple at a Christmas party in 2017.

So no, 40 is not the last frontier but I’m hoping it’s an amazing place to start the first day of the rest of my life.

Blake’s 40th Birthday Trip August 8-August 25

August 8

  • Travel: JetBlue Flight 197 BOS-SEA:
  • Activities: None
  • Lodging: Grand Hyatt Seattle

August 9

  • Travel: JetBlue Flight 197 SEA-ANC:
  • Activities:  Space Needle, Pop Museum, Ferris Wheel, Pike Place Market
  • Lodging: Hyatt House Anchorage

August 10

  • Travel: Rental Car,
  • Activities: 9:30AM Trolley TOUR 546 W. 4TH AVE Log Cabin Visitor Center  Leave at 11AM.  Drive 4.5 hours to Healy, AK
  • Lodging: Earthsong Lodge Healy, AK, 99743

August 11

  • Travel: Rental Car
  • Activities: Denali Backcountry Tour 6:00am-8:00pm. Mile 229 on the George Parks Highway,
  • Lodging: Earthsong Lodge Healy, AK, 99743

August 12

August 13

  • Travel: Plane/Tour
  • Food: Breakfast: Grocery Store Lunch: Grocery Store; Dinner: TBA (grocery store to BBQ outside).
  • Activities: Arctic Circle Tour. 10 hour day, return between 4:30-6:00pm.
  • Lodging: Candlewood Suites Fairbanks, AK 99701

August 14

  • Travel: Rental Car
  • Activities: Leave by 8am Drive 10 hours to McCarthy, AK Hike/Picnic at Caribou Creek Trail, Nabesna Road, Slana, AK 99586.
  • Lodging: McCarthy Road

August 15

August 16

August 17

  • Travel: JetBlue Flight 908 ANC-SEA: Leaves 1:00AM; Arrives 5:30AM. Celebrity Solstice Cruise departs Seattle 4:00PM.
  • Lodging: Cruise

August 18

  • Travel: Cruise
  • Activities: Day at Sea,
  • Lodging: Cruise

August 19

  • Travel: Cruise
  • Activities: 7:00AM-4:00PM Ketchikan, AK. Lumber Jack Show Downtown, 8:00AM. Hike Carlanna Lake Trail, 10:00AM. Directions Explore downtown Ketchikan with leftover time.
  • Lodging: Cruise

August 20

  • Travel: Cruise
  • Activities: 6:00AM-10:00AM Tracy Arm Fjord. 1:30PM-10:00PM Juneau, AK. 2:00PM-7:00PM take Tramway up the Mountain. If good weather, hike up from tramway station at mid mountain. If bad weather, explore downtown Juneau.
  • Lodging: Cruise

August 21

  • Travel: Cruise
  • Activities: 7:00AM-6:00PM: Skagway, AK. 7:30AM Leave forGlacier Point Wilderness Safari return 1:30pm: Eat lunch if needed, then Skagway AK. 2:00-4:00pm Go past airport cross bridge for a 2 mile hike out to Yakutania Point and Smuggler’s Cove.
  • Lodging: Cruise

August 22

  • Travel: Cruise
  • Activities: Day at Sea
  • Lodging: Cruise

August 23

  • Travel: Cruise
  • Activities: Victoria, BC; 6:00PM-10:00PM, Explore Inner Harbor Downtown,
  • Lodging: Cruise

August 24

August 25

  • Travel: JetBlue Flight 498 SEA-BOS: Arrives 8:14AM

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