I posted the following to several boards and lists I belong to on March 6, 2004. The idea had been running around my head for about 30 years now...I guess something finally went "ping"....
I have been pondering where to go on my annual summer trip this year. My walk-about so to speak. I do at least one every year, and have worn out lots of bikes doing so. Current estimates are that I have over a half-million miles of riding under my belt.
The ultimate dream trip has always been Alaska. Riding the Al-Can highway all the way there and back again. It is 4365 miles each way, Dallas to Fairbanks . . . and I expect I would add another couple thousand miles in side trips (may stop and say “Hi!” to a wildthing).
I have been “planning” to do this for about 25 years. Every year something is not quite ready . . . not enough money, not enough time, not the right bike (a dual sport would be ideal . . . like an ST1300) and so on.
I am not quite sure I understand why I have not gone so far. I have made many summer runs that are well over the mileage and have no fear of the open road.
I also have no fear of the bears, moose, or countless other “boogie men” that folks are quick to point out will befall me if I attempt such a trip. I have faced worse things in my life than could ever be found in the wilderness and prevailed . . . or at least survived. One day I may not survive an adventure . . . but there are worse things than that.
I have finally realized (much like when I said “screw it” and bought The Dragon, my first new machine) that the time will never be “right”. Just gotta drop it and go, or one day I’m going to be 75 and wondering why I never went.
Maybe a solo trip . . .
The hell with it. I’m off to Alaska.
What follows are the logs and stories from my time on the road. It was a great trip....10, 158 miles, incredible thunderstorms, raging forest fires, dense smoke, hail, sleet, cops, a half-a-dozen paramedics, bears, and even a dragon or two...you know...the usual stuff. Look for the complete and refined collection of these chapters in my third book, Life Is a Road, Ride It Hard! , available everywhere. These are posted pretty much in the order they occurred, not necessarily in the order they were written:
I know deep in my heart that life is a road, and how we travel that road is at least as important as where the road happens to lead us...
I found myself wondering what was ahead and at the same time trying to understand what it was I was leaving behind...
Somehow, "A dragon made me miss my turn" just didn't seem right in the rational daylight....
Alaska via Wisconsin?
1100 miles. 18 hours...
I'd imagine there are a few choice swear words echoing about south central Minnesota today.
Passion in the Night
For me...tonight...the stars will have to do.
Gas? What Gas?
…running out of fuel a full 40 miles sooner than expected can really put a cramp in your day....
The Black Hills
…Spirits, visions, or just a bad breakfast. I know. You decide.....
Folks often ask me why so much stuff happens to me.....I have a theory...
Length of a Heartbeat
Time! Oh jheeze…I can't hold…
Angels in Unlikely Places
"It's a gift." She flipped her hair back. "It's my gift. It's mine to use. And it's mine to give."
Damn...there sure is a lot of west out here...
A Few Pictures
Some choice pics from the road
Imagine roads that are so interesting, that the mountain goats hang out there to watch the tourists go by...
“It’s okay. I don’t mind. But do you know?” The chill hadn’t lifted, even at her warm tone. I knew. Hell yes, I knew.
Things change out here...fast!
She came to me in the middle of the night…
Smoke, wind, and bug juice. I'm addicted, plain and simple. Guys, this is better than sex...
All the southbound riders I've met are starting to have a dazed look on their faces…
A Dragon Born
He didn't tell me about the dragon...
We screamed and leapt. Not the wisest course. I don't always take the wisest course.
Dragon on Gravel
Heh heh...you get used to it....
I liked the attitude, and I had seen a lot of it on this road. Life is passion…why hide it?
There are times in a man's life when he's just gotta kill something...
The Price of Desperation
I bought some today…off of a gal that had extra. I didn't need it either, but that really wasn't a problem. See, you can't carry it while riding a motorcycle.
It must never come down to a choice…the only thing to choose would be which part of me should die.
There are several additional chapters and added details and refinements to these chapters available in Life Is a Road, Ride It Hard! available direct from me or for order everywhere you buy books.