After submitting my vacation request and making my Amazon 1-Click purchase of the 64th annual edition of the Milepost travel guide, I convened a family meeting with my 3 children, Daughter #1 (17), Son (15) and Daughter #2 (11), and laid out the “guidelines” for our summer adventure:
- We would fly from Phoenix to Seattle, visit some old friends, embark on a 12-day tent-camping road trip across British Columbia, the Yukon Territory, and Alaska, and then return on the sea, camping on the top deck of a public ferry, chugging down the west coast for 35 hours.
- No Smartphone or Internet usage, except during refueling stops. Gasp!
- The children (not me) would be responsible for planning 25% of the trip – at least 1 full day each, from sunrise to sundown (or the closest thing to such a thing, in The Land of the Midnight Sun) – responsible to research the 6000-mile route, plan a full day of family activities, and then arrange everything that would be needed to support those activities.
- Bonus: there would no budget constraints (for this initial reboot experiment). And, to be honest, there are not really that many expensive activities available on this desolate Northern route.
And so, the children, who had never been north of Seattle before, truly had a blank sheet in front of them, filled with the Great Unknown.
NEXT: The Results