No Window, No Problem
November 11, 2022

Today I fixed my window after breaking into my own car and driving around like this for the last four months and 7,000 miles:

Why did I break into my car and why did I choose the front driver window, one might ask? Well, after flying over Denali back in July, I was emailing back and forth with another company to do a similar collaboration. One morning they called and said they could get me on a flight if I could be at the airstrip in 20 minutes. I was parked way down a forest road, and while packing my stuff I stepped out of the car and realized with horror that I’d locked myself out (the only time I’ve ever done so). I think a jar of peanut butter fell on the lock button. I would have done unspeakable things to get on that plane, so breaking into my car to drive to the airstrip in time was an easy choice.

Why the front window though? Well back in June I had a less-than-enjoyable experience with some Canadian border officials when crossing from Haines back into Canada. They were extremely suspicious of me, searched my entire car, asked for employment details and bank statements, and made me sign a bunch of stuff promising I wouldn’t try to permanently live in Canada (honestly tempting given the state of American healthcare). Knowing I’d be crossing into Canada again at the end of the summer and thinking that they might have flagged me in their system, I figured a busted window probably wouldn’t improve the chances of a smooth border crossing. I also figured that if it was the front window, it would just look like I had the window rolled down like normal when passing through the border checkpoints.

So after a few seconds of deliberation, I grabbed a rock and threw it through the window and was on my merry way to the airstrip. But when I arrived they said they miscalculated the passenger weights and couldn’t get me on the flight, and then proceeded to ghost me when I tried following up with them later. Their loss I guess, but mine too because I REALLY wanted to fly around Denali again.

So anyway I’ve been driving around without a window since July and have been wearing earplugs while driving to block out wind noise. And if I want to listen to music/books while driving I just crank the volume way up, which essentially normalizes the music to road noise ratio. My plan with the border crossings worked perfectly— I just took off the plastic cover a couple miles before the border, drove through with the window “rolled down” like normal, and then replaced the plastic cover on the other side.

I didn’t get it fixed until now because that would have required committing to being at a certain place at a certain time, which would have constrained my photography endeavors in the far north, which obviously would have been unacceptable.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Drove through this -15ºF blizzard with no window a few days ago in Montana

Got a replacement window from a salvage lot in Salt Lake City and then found this guy to install it in front of his house in St. George today

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