Au Revoir, Alaska

Canada, I'm coming!

Canada, I’m coming!

should cross over the Canadian border tomorrow if I have a big day of miles or Wednesday if I don’t. We’ll see what the wind does and what my legs want to do. Either are fine by me. I am sad to be leaving Alaska, having started my journey through back in September last year with my arrival in Adak, way out West in the Aleutian chain.

Miles and miles, that's all there is out here. Pretty miles at that,' said a local the other day. She ain't lying.

Miles and miles, that’s all there is out here. Pretty miles at that,’ said a local the other day. She ain’t lying.

There is something about the spirit of people up here that has made me feel more connected to them then any other place on the planet during my journey. Mostly, there is a love of the wild and a can-do attitude, an appreciation that plans can and will change and, as comes with it’s history, a helpful nod to pioneering enterprises like kayaking thousands of miles – putting answers instead of questions in our path.

This lad Jesse was really taken with Hercules - loving the sense of adventure from all ages out here

This lad Jesse was really taken with Hercules – loving the sense of adventure from all ages out here

I have loved my time here and had some magic moments – with wildlife, with people or alone in the quiet of the night next to glowing fires under carpets of stars.

Suzie - the best hugger bus driver ever

Suzie – the best hugger bus driver ever

For those of you loving The Loveliest Bus Driver of my last post, I can tell you her name was Suzie and I went home with her and her husband the night after for a wonderful meal and a school visit to their local the following day. Asking the students what they thought of living next to a glacier in the mountains I grinned at the responses. ‘Awesome’ was the unanimous verdict. They all loved being outdoors in various ways – hiking, biking, mountain unicycling, hunting, trapping or as one young guy put it, ‘We middle school boys live for our snow machining.’ A couple of days later I had a lovely surprise when Anchorage dweller Chris Nolan drove out over 200 miles to come and deliver me some bananas and a hug. I had just cycled out from a cosy B&B that another friend in Anchorage had booked for me. At that same place the lady in the room next door left me a sewing kit and $40. Spontaneous, warm, friendly, can-do spirited people…. That is how I will remember Alaska, set against a backdrop of sublime scenery and vast wild spaces, latterly on fire with a warm autumnal blush.

Thanks Chris for tracking me down for the banana re supply

Thanks Chris for tracking me down for the banana re supply

It has all been especially welcome these last few days as I wrestle with the space and time away from my fiancée, Lucy and look ahead to another year away. I had never imagined that would be the hardest part of this expedition.

Camping next to a gurgling river. Comforting, gentle energy for the cyclist missing home

Camping next to a gurgling river. Comforting, gentle energy for the cyclist missing home

But now, the road is calling and I must go. Having stocked up on food at the local store – tomorrow I ride to Canada.

Until next time,

Sarah and Hercules x

 

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22 Responses to Au Revoir, Alaska

  1. Shelagh says:

    Welcome to Canada, Sarah! Although you probably won’t be cycling anywhere near me I am determined to meet you somewhere, somehow. Happy pedalling.

  2. Shelagh says:

    Welcome to Canada, Sarah! Happy pedalling.

  3. Chris Nolan says:

    I was my pleasure to be a small part of your journey. I can see why so many in schools and other places are attracted to listening to your adventures. You are such a warm and open person and seem
    like you never meet a stranger. It was Alaska ‘s good fortune that you detoured through here! Wishing you continued safe travels and hope the miles go swiftly so you can reunite with Lucy. I’ll keep following you on the internet and cheering for you all the way! Thank you, Sarah for giving me motivation.

    Chris

    • Sarah says:

      It was my good fortune to travel through Alaska too.
      Bananas all gone now – I even cooked one over the fire, my favourite way to eat them.

      Looking forward to hearing of your bike trips!

      Sx

  4. Team Tony says:

    Hi Sarah, I am glad it is going well. I have become addicted to following you on the tracker and zooming in to imagine your camp sites and surroundings (cyber-loafing at work!). I was a bit concerned the other day when you appeared to have lost sense of direction and doubled back – wondered if something important had dropped off the back of Hercules. Anyway, have a great time in Canada and I hope the weather is kind to you. Love from Bris x

  5. MALCOLM KENDALL says:

    Migraine vision at the moment. It looks like a long chain of islands going across my sight.
    But it will soon pass and I can deal with the next stage – you can as well. (The worst pun of the year!)

  6. Bruce Ellen says:

    Hi Sarah
    You told the experence of Alaska exactly as I saw it.
    I was born in the bush and that leg of your trip was exactly as I rember people in my young days.
    Are you not thankfull that you did not row straight to canada and miss all that.
    Keep out of the big cities to see the real people,keep the pictures comming and let us know if you are
    going to go backwards again for a banana or hug.

    Heres to a safe next part and remember it is all down hill [ except for a couple of up hills ].
    Cheers from sunny Queensland

  7. Antoinette Morgan says:

    Hi Sarah,
    The picture of you next to a little fire out in the wild is the romantic idea my Mom has of my travels, till I told her the truth: such things are not possible here in Southern Africa. Giving away my location is a safety threat to myself. She was shocked. Did not realise the dangers of solo traveling, especialy for a woman. I envy that freedom.
    We realise that ultimately we yearn not so much for our freedom but for our loved ones.
    Hang in there you are doing great.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Antoinette, Indeed, a fire is a luxury and out here a staple part of my camp to ward off the wild animals. Absolutely with you on freedom/loved ones. Or a freedom with loved ones -f if I can have both, that would be ace!

  8. viateur laplante says:

    Bienvenue au canada je demeure au bord du st-Laurent a kamouraska j’ai hâte de te rencontrer
    je te suis depuis le début de ta belle aventure tu es courageuse …j’aurais aimé beaucoup avoir une fille comme toi… bienvenue au canada au québec et au kamouraska viateur

    • Sarah says:

      Merci beaucoup pour ton message et encouragement. Proablement je ne visitera pas au Quebec en bicyclette, mais peut etre…. Je m’excuse ma Francais – je ne parle pas beaucoup.

  9. Belinda Dade says:

    Did you REALLY mean “mountain unicycling”???!!!! Those Alaskans are not only warm & friendly but COMPLETELY CRAZY if they really do that!!!
    I have also enjoyed experiencing Alaska and its people through your missives – it and they sound quite unique. Their positive approach to life is wonderful.
    Enjoy Canada and the Canadians – I think you’ll just miss Libby!
    Belinda x

    • Sarah says:

      Thanks Belinda. I don’t think I am going near Libby’s now that I am heading down from the North rather than incoming from Vancouver. I would have loved to see the guy on his unicycle beetling up and down the hills.

      Sx

  10. Suzi Golodoff says:

    Sarah! So long from Alaska and fare thee well! We’ll miss you. We are indescribably proud of you for kayaking across the Aleutians and thrilled we got to know you as you journeyed through. I hope our trails cross again one day. To strength, to pulling through every moment to the next, and to all good things along the way and ahead of you! Keep your posts coming!

    Suzi

  11. christina watts says:

    Those photographs are spectacular yet again ~ know you have to work very hard but the area’s you manage to see are amazing …
    hugs xtina

  12. stephen chayer says:

    Sarah,
    There is so much admiration, my English is not enough to describe. I’ve been following since Choshi, Japan when I stumbled on you. It takes courage to enter in such a journey and many may have. It takes the commitment and there many can’t keep up. But beyond that it takes a lot of … to leave the people who need you and the people you need. The personal reward is certainly beyond words. But the price of being away from home is simply beyond everything. It is beyond me. I truly envy you, like many I’m sure. From all of us, anchored, savor every instant of this world you discover. I’ll be waiting for you when you come around the great lakes, be it snow or storm, I’ll tag along for the short while, for the fragment I can afford.

  13. Suzie says:

    Dearest Sarah, I was so proud of you when you peddled away from the school bus, on your way to further adventures. Thank you for spending some time with us and speaking at the school. The students still speak of it.
    May you be blessed with continued strength and courage and the kindness of strangers.
    We watch your progress from the north. And wait for your return one day. We always have a bed for you.
    Go well….
    Suzie

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