“And where we have thought to find an abomination; we shall find a God. And where we have thought to slay another; we shall slay ourselves. And where we thought to travel outward; we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone; we shall be with all the world.” – Joseph Campbell
When I decided to accept this quest of riding solo to the Arctic Ocean, I really didn’t know exactly what I was signing up for. From the start, I told myself that I am strong and capable and also totally freaked out. I also reminded myself that, “no one is making you do this, Chica.” With that, I took a deep breath on my first morning, and every morning after that, and said, “Let’s just ride for an hour and see what happens.” By the time the hour was up everyday, I was on-board and totally in my bliss. As you can see, talking to yourself really helps!
And so, over the next two and a half months, I cycled 2,559 miles in silence with music, singing, listening to podcasts, whistling to the bears and having two-way conversations in Spanish.
I have been afraid much of the time, and I have overcome my fear most of the time. I’ve fallen down and gotten back up with more strength and determination than ever.
I have cried from joy, grief, sadness, nostalgia, awe, and excitement.
I have pushed myself further outside the confines of my comfort zone than I’ve ever imagined possible, and slowly, over time, adapted and thrived in this newly expanded universe. I learned to embrace the immense space and silence that an empty road offers and be fully present in the sheer magnitude of grandeur and beauty that surrounded me.
I have unplugged in order to listen to myself, and I have learned to let go of agendas, time-frames, and outcomes in order to be open to possibly in the moment.
I re-learned that 99.9 percent of humanity is good. The power of connection, is real and both big and small acts and gestures of kindness shift the energy of the planet…or, at least of my world.
I confirmed that I have an angel that watches over me constantly and is no doubt exhausted at the end of each day from this ridiculously hard job.
And, I learned that when I want to be I am resilient, persistent, determined, capable, and strong. And also terrified, uncertain and incompetent. In short, I am a daily contradiction.
For the record…I spent almost all my time in Canada. There is one Highway that goes to the Arctic in Alaska called the Dalton Highway and one road in Canada that goes to the Arctic called the Dempster. I rode the Dempster. (Sorry, that was the teacher in me).
A Final Tally… One flat tire, five pounds lost then promptly found, new Jones bars (handle-bars), and Brooks B17 Saddle were awesome (game changers), No accidents, no bear mauling (as I had imagined everyday),
Animal sightings… six black bears, three grizzlies (one right up in my grill), two moose, one lynx, one coyote (the four legged type), a bunch of beavers, swan, bald eagles, humpback whale, orcas, seals, and a boat load of ravens.
Overhead…Aurora borealis – 2X!! and three FULL rainbows!
Food… I eat like a Suma wrestler when I’m biking. Every two hours I eat or I loose my shit. I bring a Jet boil which only boils water, so I eat only what you can boil… coffee, oatmeal, couscous, ramen noodles, instant potatoes, packaged soups, dehydrated stuff, and then of course lots of peanut butter, cheese, salami, convenience store garbage, and chocolate. I occasionally eat out. On this trip the cost of food was outrageous. A hamburger cost $20, actually anything cost $20. Needless to say, a huge part of my budget went to food.
People… You meet the nicest most generous people on a road trip. Unfortunately, I didn’t get everyones photo but here are a few that I did.
And finally, the ferry ride through the inside passage from Haines, Alaska to Bellingham, WA was gorgeous, relaxing, and the perfect end to an amazing journey. The trip is four nights long. If you don’t get a cabin, you get a million star, first-class room on deck.
That’s all folks!
It was great having you along for the ride. Stay tuned to the next adventure somewhere out there in our big green and blue planet earth!