Willowbound! Packing Up for Winter in Willow, Alaska

That old saying “Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it!” rings true for us. Right now, these two future Willowbillies are getting our life organized and packing up for winter in Willow, Alaska. There’s so much to do!

our spot for winter in Willow Alaska
We found our spot for a year!

Another saying that is so true right for us now? “It’s all who you know.” Back in March our FOY friend Al introduced us to his friend, a property manager from Wasilla. In a no-bullshit Alaska manner, she gave us a good reality check on what to expect as far as housing and how leasing for a year is probably the only way we would find a place. We parted ways when the FOY season ended, and had no idea that six months later she really would find us the perfect rental.

Let Our Snow White Winter in Willow, Alaska Begin!

After my own failed attempts at finding any kind of housing we could afford or even that had indoor plumbing, Al’s awesome friend managed to secure a spot for us. We signed a one year lease last week, and money’s been exchanged. This place has everything we hoped for: a pet-friendly cabin with heat, indoor plumbing, covered parking, and best of all, it’s less than two miles from Willow. Plus, it’s literally right on the Iditarod Restart line. In March, this historic event will happen just steps away from the cabin.

I couldn’t believe our good luck when the cabin fell into our laps.

My perfect plan didn’t happen as I originally envisioned, but this arrangement is pretty darn close. We’ll take it! No, the cabin is not furnished, so we will have to buy some basic home goods. We also had to lease for a year, which will be the longest we’ve stayed in one place for the last 16 years. Plus, we had to start paying rent on it now in order to secure the lease. So that bites, and is forcing us to move north faster than we want. But really, that’s a small price to pay for the winter of our lives.

We are finally on track for an epic snowbound winter in Willow Alaska with dogs, snow, and the most uncomfortable, crazy season of our lives.

Am I excited? You bet! But I’m also terrified, stressed, and overwhelmed.

sorting through stuff for winter in willow alaska

The wild emotions are driving me to get the logistics in order. From getting all of our medical check-ups out of the way, to managing our rental rehab projects, to sorting through huge piles of stuff in order to decide what will go with us on the road and what will get shipped (not much!), we’ve got a ton going on to make this happen. Our Nellie is sick, so there’s that vet visit tomorrow. Family is visiting next week, too.

Meanwhile Jim endures his own stress of building out our Project M. All of this has to get wrapped up by the end of July (earlier, if possible).

Jim's testing the Project M galley setup.
Jim’s testing the Project M galley setup.

It feels quite overwhelming to both of us, especially because there’s this little matter of getting paid client work done. We need the cash to actually pay for this adventure.

We haven’t felt this stressed since we sold our business and home in 2007. But if that big change was any indicator of how making such a huge life shift can lead to great adventures, well then we should be in for a really, really good time once we are Alaska-bound in a few weeks.

4 thoughts on “Willowbound! Packing Up for Winter in Willow, Alaska”

  1. I’m so excited to follow your winter in Alaska! We thought just going in the summer in our RV was an adventure,. Your adventure is way out of my comfort zone. You guys are doing it!

  2. A whole year!! Yikes! I can see why you’re stressed out. I can’t imagine trying to get ready for a year away. It will give you a real taste of Alaska. That’s for sure. You’ll definitely have a wonderful time. Hope all goes well with Nellie.


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