North to Alaska
This is more than your average travel post. After a deathbed direction from her mother, this adventurous farm girl and her equally spirited husband set up a vacation spot in Tok, Alaska, where they return again and again:
"As I've mentioned before, my mother was sick for a long time. She battled cancer for five years before she passed away when I was sixteen. I went to every doctors appointment with her, and was very involved for a child with what was happening. I wanted it that way. But it was difficult. She asked to die at home, which was kinder on her, but maybe not so on us. It was, put simply, brutal. There was a long time before she passed that she stopped talking, she just wasn't able to anymore. But the night before she died, I told her through my near hysterical tears how much I loved her, and I told her all the things I could think of that I wanted to, knowing it would be my last chance. She never moved, her eyes closed through my whole speech. As I got up to leave and walk away, she pulled on my hand, and I turned around to face her. Her eyes were still closed but she spoke to me and although it took a great deal of energy to get anything out, she told me she loved me. Then she said, 'Whatever you do. Go to Alaska.'"
Image credit: Evolve/Photoshot via ZUMA Press.