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{ Monthly Archives } July 2009

“Aren’t you scared?” or: some fears, examined

“Are you alone?” It is the first question anybody asks, invariably followed by, “Aren’t you scared?” The first matter is easily disposed of but the scope of the second enquiry is never clarified so I am left wondering… scared of what, exactly? Bear attacks, murder, rape, robbery, a traffic accident, illness, losing my way, of […]

thompson pass

Not long after I turn back onto the highway a man in a pick-up truck stops to warn me that he had seen a bear on the road only a couple of minute ago and so I set off on my way ringing my bell and singing bear songs. The road out of Valdez rises […]

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The ferry docks at Valdez at about 8.30 pm and I ride to a campsite just outside town to camp for the night. Valdez is where the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, that I followed for five hundred miles along the Dalton Highway from Deadhorse until Fairbanks, terminates. The pipeline carries millions and millions of gallons of crude oil […]

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prince william sound

Whittier, one of the port towns on the Alaska Marine Highway, is approached through a long narrow two and a half mile tunnel that was blasted out of the rocky mountain in a matter of months as part of America’s preparations for World War II. However, it has only recently been open to private traffic […]

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diamond jim and mary lou

You’ve got to wonder what kind of gifts Diamond Jim and Mary Lou are selling on the Seward Highway. It’s only marginally heartening to see that they are being supervised by Santa.

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leaving anchorage

Leaving Anchorage, marks the end of the first part of my trip which has been – despite the amazing landscape, experiences, and meetings – in some ways, confused and troubled. I started the journey as part a project that has since fallen through, for me, due to personal conflicts. It was somewhat sad and disheartening […]

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an enchanted garden

Johanna who I met in Talkeetna, where she provided me with a shower and a bed for the night in her hotel room, sent me off armed with her Anchorage phone number and the promise of a welcome there from her husband if she happened to be still away when I arrived. It was thus […]

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tom and bridgette

Any action on the side of the road immediately attracts a travel weary cyclist’s attention, so a caravan in a pull-out ahead, clearly with goods for sale, has me instantly wondering what the potential is. Food is constantly on my mind so an array of jerky is like a gift from heaven – classic and […]

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midnight sun

Due to an unfortunate set of circumstances, I spent my summer solstice above the Arctic Circle camping beside the airstrip in Coldfoot. A party, attended by all the young seasonal workers of Coldfoot and neighbouring communities, and which I had no desire to go to, was underway at the not-too-distant river. A constant stream of […]

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relflections on the dalton highway

The thing that I found fascinating about the Dalton Highway is the sense of community that exists on the 414 mile ribbon of mud, gravel and occasional asphalt that traverses the arctic tundra and mountains north of Fairbanks. There are very few permanent residents on this road. The main settlements are work camps – mostly […]

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