The end of my three-year journey two weeks ago occurred without much fanfare on this blog, as I was busy chronicling what I hope was a helpful series of honest posts about getting a first book contract. But spending 31 of the last 36 months on the road is finally hitting me as no small matter--it was thrilling, challenging, necessary, fortunate, and irreplaceable. I'm still processing what it all means and how I can achieve a similar freedom from life lived in one spot--the Airstream trailer here in North Carolina. The next three posts will offer a short list of my itinerary for that year, along with a slideshow of the best of the best images. When all that's said and done, we'll orient to Airstream living and my "new life" tucked away on Coon Ridge here on my parents' 5 acres bordering the Pisgah National Forest.
I began my travels August of 2009 with a 3-week trip to Alaska. I spent the first week backpacking in the Talkeetnas with a 60-year-old friend of a friend whom I'd never met, but who agreed to accompany me on the excursion. I had a side trip on the Alaska Railroad further into the Talkeetna range as well as a berry picking trip down to Whittier and the famous fjords. After that, I putzed around downtown Anchorage and enjoyed views of the beloved Chugach Mountains, writing about a landscape and state that would eventually become my greatest muse. The remainder of my trip was spent in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in McCarthy, Alaska for a writing workshop through Wrangell Mountains Center.
I spent September/October at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Amherst, Virginia--a place I would return to again. It was my first tried and true artist residency experience and, needless to say, I was hooked.
November and December were spent back home in North Carolina, saving my pennies as a nanny and furiously applying to residencies across the country in order to plan the remainder of the three-year journey.
Here's the best of the best: