I 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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