Saturday, August 23, 2014

Coming and Leaving and Coming Back to Alaska

Howells have come and left Alaska four times over the past twenty-five years. Four times!

Time #1: Ken and his friend, "Uncle Paul" came in 1989, freshly discharged from the Navy, spent a month hiking and kayaking around, then left to come home to RI. Ken soon proposed marriage and the crazy idea of driving to Alaska and setting up our home.

So young.

So dangerous.


Time #2: I said yes and we began our trek, taking six weeks to visit places and hike along the way. We got to Alaska and poked around the state, then pitched our tent by the Salcha River outside of Fairbanks, heading into town each day to search for jobs and an apartment. We found a tiny place above an attorney's office and two minimum wage jobs, which we worked for six months before Ken decided to re-enlist (with the Marine Corps this time) and get some edgy-cashun. So we left for North Carolina. Because the Marines.


Welcome to Alaska, Allison!

Teen Challenge of Alaska (no longer there)
Driving north of Fairbanks

Time #3: Four years later, we came back to Alaska, this time with a baby boy, a theology degree, and a job directing the now-closed Teen Challenge of Alaska. When that baby boy was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, we left again after just one year to pastor a church in the mountains of North Carolina.

The truck was not moving. This was taken with a normal camera long before The Selfie.

Time #4: That disaster (See conversion story page above) also lasted one year. We packed up and came to Alaska again; now with two sons, two vehicles, and zero awaiting employment. We realized that Alaska was the only place we fit in; we decided to tough it out and make it work. We have.

Growing up in the shadow of Denali.

Easy-does-it, Joe!

Craigie Creek Trail. She's not sleeping; just thought it'd be fun to hang.

Some beautiful lake by Dogsled Pass.


It has now been seventeen years since that fourth and final time and we're doing fine (Decent job and house and lots more kids)! Alaska is home.

Adventures and peace to you,

1 comment:

  1. i'm gonna cry if this is some hint at Rees' next plans ~ but overall, the lesson still rings true! Everyone who's meant to be Alaskan always comes back. ;)

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