The Call of the Wild

Route to Tuktoyaktuk, Canada

Please ignore this post if you already read it. I’m having technical difficulties!

I’m excited to finally dust off this old blog, as well as my bike, in anticipation of a new adventure. I’ll be leaving Bremerton, Washington on my bike June 26th and making my way North towards the Arctic Ocean.

I saw the route in a youtube video a couple years ago and said to myself, “I’d never do that.” But then I read a couple blogs of other people who had done it and said, “Heck, why not?” As it turns out, my work site is closing for the summer, so I figured this ride was meant to be.

I invite you to join me as I bike to the northern tip of Vancover Island, take the ferry to Prince Rupert, cross over to Haida Gwaii (formally Queen Charlotte Island), then up through British Colombia, the Yukon and NW Territories to the Beaufort Sea (part of the Arctic Ocean).

T-shirt from my brother from Alaska

Yes, I know. There are will animals out there. Did you know that Vancover Island has the biggest population of cougars in North America and maybe even the world! Plus, a huge black bear population. Who know? I was freaking out about the Yukon. I didn’t know I had to freak out about Vancover Island. Not to worry…I have bear spray (well, not yet) and I will hang my food (after I buy some rope). Seriously, I got this…kind of. That said, if anyone out there has a bear canister they can lend me for the summer that would be cool. My friend, Matt Clark, who is also a biker, sent me a link just yesterday of a biker who was chased by a grizzly on the Yukon Highway, the exact same highway that I will be on. Thankfully, that bear will be gone by the time I get there!

How long will this take me you ask? I have until mid-September until work starts, but, it could start snowing up north by mid-August. So, my plan is to finish by the first of Sept. fly back to Vancover and then spend a couple weeks of “vacation” just coasting back to Seattle and enjoying a leisure return. Years ago I biked from Banff to Jasper in the Canadian Rockies. It was my first self-supported solo ride. I wasn’t prepared at all (but had a blast just the same). I ran into bears at every turn and snow over the pass. Of course now those are my best stories!

I hope to interview First Nations people along my route. If there is anything you would like to know – let me know! If you have any questions about this ride or anything else – let me know. I know what’s in my head, and I assumed everyone else has the same information. I’ve been alerted to the fact that that’s not true, so what you ask everyone else may also want to know.

Last but not least…my Crownhill grade school buddy, Mark King, (and his brother-in-law) are joining me for the first two days of the ride out of Bremerton. First day Port Townsend second day Port Angeles. So happy to have such a loving community send-off! We Crownhill/Bremerton High folks stick together! From there I take the ferry to Victoria. If anyone else is heading north this summer and would like to meet up that would be AWESOME! Let me know. My WhatsApp number is 206-402-2599 (which is different from my regular cell number which I won’t be using). See you on the road!!!

Love,

Denise

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5 thoughts on “The Call of the Wild

  1. Wow! Denise! I felt surprised and excited to check my email after some time and discover your email. I remember you from a chance encounter where I work, and rooted for you all across South America, altho at the time was coming off two years of homelessness and didn’t have any funds to contribute, sad to say. We met … 3 yrs ago? Soon before you were to leave Seattle for Bolivia. Oh, who the Hell am I? LOL! You wouldn’t remember me. My name is William, and I work at the Seattle REI store. You were in biking attire. We got chatting about stuff, and I ended up listening to you all spellbound by your plans and your journey, and you handed me a card with your website info on it. Or something like that! Been a while, LOL!

    Glad you are back upon another journey. I look forward to reading about your new adventures. And, no, did not know Vancouver Island had the largest population of cougars! Encountered a few without any problems.

    Take care, & all the Best!

    William

    William Bass Seattle, WA

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    1. William, thank you for your reply! So nice to hear from you and know that you are following me. It’s hard to find time to write connected to WiFi but hopefully I’ll get another post in soon. In the meantime, happy the REI job is working out for you and hope you are planning your own adventures! Cheers, Amigo

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    2. Hi Williams! I’ve tried to reply to this several times without it actually posting. Let me try again…
      Thank you so much for this post. It was so great to get it and know you were out there following my adventure. There is a energy I get from every message that propels me forward. I hope you are well and that we run into each other soon in REI!

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