okay, i’m going to fight my desire to blog extensively about everything i’ve done and everywhere i’ve seen so far. here’s a quick update in pictures.

this was taken literally moments before i hopped in rusty (to the left) with kate and we sped away from haines. if you can’t tell, this is lori, jenty, and i in front of the inn, aligned in chronological order of when we were innkeepers. these two were not only the best predecessors i could have asked for, they became two of my best friends and lived with me for the last bit of time i was at the inn. it was a party, innkeeper style (ie – lots of tea, baking, and good conversation).

we drove to tok to pick up karen, then spent the night in chicken, alaska. not recommended.

we swung up to dawson city, yukon territory the next day for some more authentic gold rush history. but the highlight of the day was probably the free ice cream.

watson lake, british columbia is home to the ridiculously large signpost forest. seriously folks, FOREST. and people keep adding more. i wasn’t able to find a NH plate in the few rows we perused, but i’m sure there’s one in there somewhere.

BC boasted some incredibly varied landscape, but always there was lumbertimerwood everywhere. it’s the province’s #1 export, and now i believe it. i was a big fan of rolling fields with freshly baled hay. very upstate new york-ish. we drove a very steep and windy stretch of road that is closed in the winter, to get to whistler, where we had cow’s ice cream. this trip is a bit of a ‘best ice cream in the us’ tour, in case you want to be jealous.

the sea to sky highway to vancouver, which we did backwards (as is kind of a theme on this trip i’m realizing), was gorgeous, of course. throw in a few nights of tenting in strange places with strange names,  a last viewing of the northern lights, and the knowledge that we were spending multiple days of around 12+ hours in the truck and you’ll have a pretty good idea of how we moved from haines to the lower 48.

well, we’re about to leave the coffee shop (i’m currently in flagstaff, az) so i’ll pick up with seattle next time!

once again, it’s the night before i leave a place i can’t imagine leaving.

the internet and phone mysteriously died on friday afternoon, or i would have been on here processing sooner. honestly though, i probably wouldn’t have, because i’ve been so busy! making the last beds, hiking trails for the first and last times. tonight, i gave in and bought a quick bit of internet just to let you all know what’s going on. actually, i really needed to buy minutes for my tracfone… anyways… it’s almost 1 am my time and the little warning triangle just popped up next to my battery icon, so i’ll keep this brief. though i’m essentially all packed, i still have some cleaning and closing of the inn things to do in the morning. before church, i’ll load my things into kate’s truck, and then head to music rehearsal. after service, we’ll hit the road. for the next 5 days, we’ll be driving, mostly in canada. hopefully i’ll be able to keep you all posted, but if not, don’t panic.

these hours are always a terrifying mix of the real and unreal. it’s almost a disbelief at the reality which is so quickly approaching me, and panic in feeling its true weight. with all the preparation i’ve done for ending my job and leaving haines, i’d forgotten the sensations of moving. of knowing that i’m leaving behind my life, sealing it with my departure as an irrecoverable part of my history. does this ever lose its force? as ready as i am for something new, i don’t know if i’m prepared to let go of the old.

see you on the other side

down to the wire! are you ready for the unveiling of: the. most. epic. trip? no, i’m not just out of a job and moving into my parent’s basement. i’m going crazy. and i’m taking everybody with me. important travel information in bold.

this friday, 31 august, i will make breakfast for the last guests of the summer inn, clean their rooms, the house, and close.

on saturday, 1 september, from 2-4 pm, i will host a farewell reception for the community to have one last look around the good ole house, and eat pie.

one week from today, 2 september, i will pack my bags into kate‘s trusty truck rusty, attend my last music rehearsal and church service here, then jump in shotgun and we will pull away from haines.  approximately 8 hours later, we will arrive in tok to pick up karen, and continue back into the yukon.

on monday, 3 september, we will enjoy the gold rush history of dawson city, then hit the road again, this time southbound for seattle.

by 7 september we will have arrived in seattle.

at 9:45 am on 8 september, i will be on amtrak‘s coast starlight, heading for sacramento.

20.5 hours later, on 9 september, i will have arrived in sacramento, and will be preparing to board the california zephyr. at 11:09 am, it will pull away from the platform and i will be speeding towards colorado.

on 10 september, at 6:38 pm, i will pull into the denver train station and be gloriously reunited with my best friend, hannah ashleigh.

after a wonderful stay in centennial, 18 september will find me at the frontier airlines terminal at the denver airport, seated on a plane, lifting off to los angeles at 1:01 pm. at 2:21 pm, we will land at LAX, where i will find my long ago oxford roomie, annalyssa.

on either 22/23 september, kate and karen will have made their way down the west coast in a newer SUV, and we will leave the pacific behind, cruising historic route 66.

a detour at the grand canyon is a must.

trying to travel as much of the original route as possible, we will pass through california, arizona, new mexico, texas, oklahoma, kansas, missouri, and illinois, arriving in chicago around 4 october.

we will then cut through michigan to get back into canada.

after visiting toronto and montreal, we will reenter the states through vermont, where we will visit the ben & jerry’s factory.

heading one state over will mean a return to the 603 for me, and a quick stop back home in nottingham to dump some goods and get some hugs.

next is a pop down to boston to pick up a cousin and a mom who will travel northwards with us into acadia national park in maine.

turning back again, i will be home in time for the roberts family apple cider day on 14 october.

karen and kate will continue roadtripping for about another month, but i will be officially moved back in with my parents, penniless and directionless. the plan is to live at home through the holidays, working somewhere relative pain-free (i.e. no return to mcdonald’s), while cleaning through my things, organizing my life, and searching for the next adventure.

here’s where YOU come in: thanks to the oft-frustrating miracle of facebook, i have already been able to connect with many dear friends living along the path i shall travel. if you live in, around, near any of these places i will be, LET ME KNOW! even if we don’t need to sleep/shower/launder when passing by, chances are i would love to see your face for a bit of time. for me, one of the most exciting things about this trip is the chance to reconnect with people who have been a part of my life, but are no longer living within a pleasing geographic radius. that was one of the saddest things about returning from my time abroad: most of my program/housemates whose lives had taken place within the same walls for at least 3 months were now spread back across this wide continent we came from. the majority of them i have not seen for years. a surprising number of these great folks reside near my route. but, truly, anyone reading this is someone i would want to see. so if i somehow missed you, shoot me an email and we’ll make it work.

here’s where YOU come in, part 2: if you’ve heard of any opportunities, programs, jobs, or general adventurous things you think may interest me in the slightest, i would love to hear about them. preferably something starting in the new year. seriously, if your neighbor’s cousin teaches paragliding, or your great aunt has an apartment in her barn in west virginia for rent, i want to know about it! you get the gist: help me brainstorm the future. my survival is the limit.

it doesn’t seem real, does it?

mail.1 – the postcard challenge is open until the end of the month, so if you have words and addresses, feel free to send them my way.

mail.2- as far as me receiving mail goes, it would be safest if no one posts anything to me in haines after the end of this week (8/25). though i’ll be setting up mail forwarding for the beginning of september on,  i don’t have full faith in the system. thus, if you have any snail mail you’ve been meaning to slide my way, it’s now or never! and by “never” i mean “just send it to the nest”:

my name, duh                   [no, my name is not: “duh,” clever people]
po box 93
nottingham, nh 03290

phone notice – for those of you who have ever called me at/have on file my alaska number (the 907 one that i answer, “summer inn, this is hannah”), i will not be reachable there past september 2nd, so you’d best delete it. however, if you happen to prank call that number after that point in time, it’s none of my business… this is where i wink, if i could (squishing my cheek into my eyebrow never looks quite right).

well folks, the end is approaching. some days i think about it and suddenly my eyes are coated with tears. a few hours later i get giddy at the thought and can’t sit still. it’s because this ending has so many components, is also a beginning, and is completely unlike others i have yet experienced. up til now, i’ve been on a schedule determined by the seasons of academic life. though i certainly ended that with a bang (hopping on a plane to alaska 4 days after my college graduation), i have yet to make a move in the “real world” unmotivated by class terms and breaks. in fact, it’s almost been like summer vacation for the past 15 months. okay, not quite. but now that i’m departing and not going back to school, it’s starting to sink in just how much TIME i have. i’m only 23 years old. i could still live in a new place every year for SEVEN years and be in my 20’s every time. there is no rush! seriously, the only looming deadline is that in 3 years i get kicked off my parents medical insurance…

the prospect of all those empty decades to come (hopefully), freaks me out. if i keep going at the rate i’m going, i’m still going to be hopping planes and packing up my life every year or so, getting restless in some of the least boring places in the world. and what the heck am i supposed to DO? i’m quickly retracting credence from the so-called “career path” way of living, but there are loans to keep me from becoming too wandering and carefree. mostly though, i try to focus on the exciting. look how God has blessed me so far:

2003 [momentarily] not accepted to the “public/private” school where my best friends would be going to high school (if i remember correctly, i was convinced it had something to do with the fact that i played no sports). in the small gap of time when i thought i couldn’t go there (i believe it was all of one or two days between the letters), i was accepted to a private christian school where i knew no one. SIGN. i spent the next four years at portsmouth christian academy.

2007 begin receiving college letters. first to come is gordon college, where, because i was a pca student, i had the easiest, free-est, joke of an application to hop through, which was designated the one safety school, the only one within 2 hours from home, the cheapest one by far PLUS scholarships. but i had done my time with christian education, and it was time to go off into the world and be a light. translation: i was greedy for academic prestige. here we go. i was also accepted at hamilton college, the one place i decided after applying to that i wasn’t quite thrilled about. then i was wait-listed at *drumroll*: carleton college, davidson college, kenyon college, reed college, williams college. 7 colleges, no rejections. being wait-listed means you’d better put a deposit down somewhere because all the “we really like you but, my your graduating class is large!” schools make no promises. you have to wait til all the other kids in america decide where they’re going, and then hope your name comes to the top of the list. i think i knew deep down this was a SIGN, but i wasn’t quite ready to submit. so i sent my deposit to gordon, then waited for more notices. no, no, no, no… phone call. reed college, home to one of the best undergraduate philosophy programs, was willing to take me (no, i still have not read “blue like jazz”). the acceptance packet had confetti! but it was expensive. and across the country (ha!). and i’d seen gordon at this point. my best friend was going to gordon. i took the [very nicely laid out] leap. and went to gordon. but i was not happy about it. for a year. how stubborn i can be.

2009 multi-layered application process to study at oxford university for a year complete, but wracked with self-doubt, because, well, look at my track record. then, i get it. because i attend a small liberal arts christian school that isn’t self-centered and self-reliant, i have the privilege of spending an entire academic year at the best university in the world.

2010 my time at oxford comes to a close. not only did my mind stretch and strengthen more than i could have imagined, i lived with people who taught me the true value of community – spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, musical, culinary. i traveled across europe to spain, ireland, switzerland, germany, france, scotland, and italy. i have found traveling, especially solo a/o in a foreign country, to be one of the best ways to build confidence.

2011 having finished my college classes, with nothing but a [second] thesis left to write, i search for a spring internship. philosophy isn’t exactly practical by the world’s definition and i felt i should have something meaty on my resume. feminist theory was dominating my academic life and i thought it would be incredible to find an organization where i could give my analytical framework something to chew on. what did i find? the consortium on gender, security and human rights at u-mass boston. perfect! this could launch me into a masters in gender concerns in the developing world, or feminist political theory. i could change the world with philosophy! fast forward: i help this organization do some incredible work. i learn how much i know. and, more significantly, how much i don’t. i realize that i may not be (at least not yet) the right kind of person to jump into the things i was so fired-up about. okay, grad school on hold. i need a job… remember that college i didn’t really want to go to? well, they have a job posting website. some people in alaska who were looking for someone to run their bed & breakfast decided to advertise on that site. i saw it. i wanted it. more importantly, God wanted it.

how can i doubt? how can i fear? in 9 years God worked miraculous opportunities and blessings in my life, of which these are only a few of the more pretty sounding ones. how can i justify being anything but willing for where i am led next? through the fire, the dark, the pain (of which i know so little). for if God can shower such wonder and deliver such joy out of such little sacrifice and tribulation, think of what He can work from utter dependence and submission! His largest obstacle is me.

WOW. that was not where i was planning on going at all with this post. i was simply going to tell you all my travel plans… whoops :) sorry if you just learned way more about my life than you ever wanted to. but it never hurts to celebrate how God works.

let’s count this as a part one discussion of my departure. this was the part where i wrote about what i think on when i fear for the unknown of the future: the paths of the past. although, david hume would be very disappointed in me expecting the future to follow the same patterns of the past without direct observations of the causal connection between trusting God and leading a fulfilling life. but i suppose that’s the definition of faith. it leaves plenty of room for miracles.

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