Thursday, August 18, 2005

 

"The Eagle Has Landed." (Finally, Damn!)



It’s here! Hooray! After almost two weeks of waiting it finally made it! So after I finish some errands I’ll set off for Canada! That’s it, I’m off to get this stuff done and get going! (O.K., so the next entry will be more interesting! Later.)



Wednesday, August 17, 2005

 

Still Waiting...


Well it’s August 17, and I’ll still in Valdez, ding-dang it! The package that I have been expecting is on the way it just hasn’t gotten here yet, so I wait. It has been a little frustrating, but what can you do? I have had a great time in town but I’m getting a little anxious to get moving and start making my way out of Alaska and into Canada. There’s a lot of Canada to get through—about 2,500 miles I figure—and I’d like to make it down to the states without rushing through Canada and also before the snow flies. The damn thing is supposed to be here tomorrow, or at least that is when it’s scheduled to arrive in town, but that doesn’t give me much faith because it was supposed to be here last week! Anyway, in other news…

The weather in Valdez has taken a turn for the wet (groan!). Yes that’s right children, it’s raining again. It started looking like it could rain at anytime yesterday morning after I awoke and today it’s been threatening to down pour all day and just started as I was making my way inside the library. Oh well, what can you do? At least it waited until I was safely in side the security of the Valdez Public Library before starting to fall and luckily the library is open until 8 p.m. so I can put off being wet for awhile before having to set off in search of a dry place to sleep tonight. But enough of my belly-aching already! I didn’t sign on to this thing thinking that it would be beautiful and sunny every day; although I was getting used to being dry. I knew that there would be rainy days like this before I even got started, so why don’t I just suck-it up and shut my mouth and take it like a man?! Right-right? Right-right.

O.K. then, what else can I write about…let me think…ummm…well, honestly folks it’s been pretty uneventful since I last wrote. I mean it’s been fun site seeing and pedaling around town but nothing really exciting has happened—though watching that salmon shark being butchered was pretty crazy, no shit! Mostly, I’ve been getting ready to cross the border into Canada, making sure that everything that I am carrying is legal to carry through their country, etc., as well as trying to figure out my route…so, you’ll have to give me a moment…let’s see: I did get out and do a little exploring of a trail that was suppose to be bike friendly, but wasn’t (at least not on fully loaded touring bike)…I did a modest bit of hiking while in town…ummm…I got familiar with the shotgun at the firing range here in Valdez…Oh yeah! I met a couple of really cool people while waiting in town for this blasted package to arrive; Jeanne Passin and her family and friends. Jeanne, Douglas, John and Kyla were very welcoming and let me pitch my tent in their front yard and hang out at their place for a couple of days. I got rip and import a bunch of CD’s/music and add them to my lap-top, take a shower, and go geo-cache hunting—exploring the nearby mountains and valleys searching for little stores of items left by previous seekers with a GPS—not to mention get my fill of “The Family Guy,” while visiting and getting to know some more very cool people. An awfully nice break in all of the non-action that has made up the past couple of days and is possibly the coolest thing about bicycle touring; how you can go from being complete strangers with people to friends in a matter of minutes after meeting. It is one thing that is constant with this way of life. It happens often and it’s usually when you least expect it, kinda like rain. But, unlike rain, it never gets old. Speaking of rain, its 7: 42 p.m. so I’d better go and get prepared for the long, cold, wet night that’s just waiting outside these warm, dry walls to bathe me and my gear in water and darkness. (Holly shit-balls! How mellow-dramatic was that? Next entry will be more interesting, I swear!)



 

Shotgun


Because Canadian Law prohibits handguns of any kind from entering into their country, I sent my .44 back to Anchorage with Jonathan and bought a shotgun here in Valdez; for protection in the not-so-remote and very realistic chance of a bad bear encounter. It was a good deal and I would rather have one than not while traveling for thousands of miles on a bicycle, through serious bear country, alone. A lot of Canada is as sparsely populated as the Dalton Highway, if not more so. And again, it’s not something that I want to carry (much like this friggin’ lap-top) but I feel is necessary. It is much heavier than my ultra-light .44 magnum by about 5 lbs and it is not as easily accessible either—actually I have to keep it unassembled/broken-down in order to tote the thing around sufficiently. It will be assembled, and ready for use when I am camped out or when hiking the back country alone. The same rationale applies to the shot gun as it did to the revolver; better to have and not need than need and not have and it’s only for bear protection. Once I am out of bear country it will be sent back to gun store in Alaska for safe keeping until I finish this tour. Alrighty then, on with the story.