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Emily from Alaska - Broke Down in Astoria

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“Broke down in Oregon--have not left yet.”   This is in the top three reasons folks end up living in Oregon. 

The story of Emily from Alaska is a classic.

A resident of anchorage, this 22 year old is headed south to NorCal so she can pick Merlot grapes on her grandmother’s vineyard.  While surfing along the coast, her '89 land cruiser, complete with the high water package, lost all gears except reverse on the beach.  She was able to drive backwards off the beach and get towed to Astoria, where she waits for a new transmission.  That was three weeks ago.   For once, cash is not the problem, it’s finding the right part.  So she waits.

Her rig is well suited.  It is equipped with a 170 pound St. Bernard for companionship and intimidation, a build-in bed, and a space for her surfboard.  She had been sleeping around parking lots and rest area when we met in St. Stephens’s state park.  There was a simple mix-up; she was assigned a spot that was reserved.  There was a very nice chat between her and the folks who reserved the spot and Emily needed find a new spot. I offered to share ours.  For the rest of the night, we shared stories from the perspective of a 5, 22, and 45 year old, and professed our love for stickers.

I asked her about the culture of Alaska. “Tell me that it’s so normal, that you don’t even recognize it.”  After a few hours, she came up with Etratuf boots and Carharts.  The combination of the two is requirement to living in Alaska, as well as the dozens of coats everyone owns.  She also mentioned that Alaska has a plethora of coffee shops.

Hmmm,  maybe your heart is calling you home to Alaska if you like boots, coats, coffee, big dogs, mountains, back country camping and trucks that can go through anything.

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