Jason B. Ladd

Ask the Questions. Embrace the Answers. Make the Leap.

Chasing Alaska: I Can Tow My House Now

chasing alaska travel-trailer

So we recently moved to Alaska.

We generally enjoy road trips. I just don’t usually bring my house with me.

First we had to get the house. And by house I mean 29-foot travel trailer.

My wife had told me:

“I want something big enough for the kids, small enough to be uncomfortable, expensive enough to stress you out, yet cheap enough to break often. Can you find us something like that?”

So I brought home bunk beds from IKEA.

She told me she was talking about the trailer.

I told her I wasn’t listening. She didn’t look surprised.

“Get something with slide outs ,” She said. “Oh, and I want the inside to look nice, but don’t pay too much.”

In other words, go pay a used price for a new trailer.

That’s fine. We believe in miracles.

We finally found something in a consignment lot in Yuma. It was a bunk house model with two slide outs and ugly curtains.

Chasing Alaska bunkhouse

“I don’t think this is gonna work…” Karry whispered from the side of her mouth.

“Well take it!” I said.

What? I had a feeling.

Somehow I got confused and haggled in reverse and paid too much, but we had a house.

“How are we going to get it home?” Karry asked.

I looked over at the Accord. The V4 probably had just enough power to rip off its own bumper.

Not gonna work

Not gonna work

“We should just get something that will work. It doesn’t have to be nice,” Karry said.

“I’m not going to IKEA again,” I told her.

We ended up finding a used Suburban that used just enough gas to make me feel terrible. But it could tow the travel trailer.

That'll work

That’ll work

I think it should be called a travel-leader. Because it’s led me to do things I’ve never done before.

Like go without showering for extended periods.

In fact, living in a trailer has made me a lot less judgmental. In fact, I will henceforth judge less harshly people who:

  • Carry a slight odor
  • Re-wear clothes
  • Drive 55 in the right lane
  • Get excited about water
  • Obsess over level surfaces
  • Reserve pull-throughs
  • Run generators
  • Feel a secret kinship with Uncle Eddie

That’s just a sample of the list. It grows by the day.

Like the mold in our cabinets.

Don’t get me wrong. Traveling with 23 gallons of last week’s lunch in tow doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is that I need a plan for it when I stop.

I’m not used to generating a 5-paragrph order for how to handle my stuff. That’ what I’m going to call it–my stuff. It just makes it easier.

We could’ve driven to Alaska without the travel trailer, but my wife decided that getting gas had become too easy.

"Let's make it a challenge!" She says...

“Let’s make it a challenge!” She says…

Have you ever had to choose a gas station while towing a 30-foot porta-potty? You’ve got 10 seconds to make a decision. It’s kind of like trying to solve a Tetris puzzle you can’t really see while driving in a car full of psychopaths.

Actually, that’s exactly what it is.

My children are dangerous to other people. Mostly me.

Sometimes I have to play the who-can-go-to-sleep-first game just to get a break.

But then I start swerving.

Karry says it’s “not safe to play on the road.”

jason b. ladd fighter faith

Canada side

Jason profile 2

Alaska side

Anyway, when we crossed the state line into Alaska, I grew a beard instantly.

More on that later. A rabbit escaped and we’re out of water.

About Jason B. Ladd

Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.

5 Replies

  1. Pete Burokas

    Thank you Jason for quite a few good solid laughs I hope you fair well on the roads here in my state with that “30 foot porta-potty” and if you end up heading to the top of the world on the Dalton stop in at my cabin and rest a while.

    1. The Dalton sounds like a great road trip! Thanks for the invite!

  2. I think I have read this 5 times now so I decided to stop laughing long enough to tell you it was a great story. Why do I feel like this adventure is playing into another book. I learned about Nomads in 4th grade and often wondered if that would be an adaptable lifestyle. I’m still wondering. Maybe you can clear that up for me.

    1. Oh, Jane. You’re on to me.

    2. Jane, I think you’ll like my next post.