In 2002, my husband and I took the Inside Passage cruise where he fell in love with Alaska. Soon he was reading blogs about the state, and engaging in conversation any folks who had lived there. He even invested in a business near Juneau. I bought him a subscription to Alaska Magazine so he could coo over its gorgeous photos. Soon, he started reviewing real estate listings for remote properties, none of which looked particularly realistic to me, given that we lived in a high-rise in Houston, TX and lacked the funds for the attractive or even the ramshackle log cabins featured in the listings. Still, if he was enjoying internet real estate “porn” instead of other websites, it seemed like a harmless enough diversion.
“Honey, he asked conversationally one night a few weeks later while I was busy making a particularly labor intensive risotto based dinner, “If I could buy a little undeveloped land in Alaska, under market value, would you be OK with that?” To this seemingly vague and hypothetical query, and seduced by the verbiage “under market value,” I said, “Sure,” and returned to the multiple pots that demanded my immediate attention. Little did I know that next to an overpriced ex-lodge we had both determined we couldn’t afford and didn’t want, was an undeveloped five acre parcel that very seriously appealed to him. It was less than an hour’s flight from Anchorage (by float plane). The hilly property sat on a lake about 1.5 long x 1 mile wide, with southern views of the close mountains and western views of remote ones.