Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Week #6, Muncho Lake to Whitehorse

Video of week #6:

As I wind my way north. The mountains are giving way to hills and the road is becoming wobbly as it flows over the melting permafrost on the flat tundra. In some places the highway crews repair and patch the road with a thick layer of tar and cover it with gravel for a sand paper like finish that is as course as my unkept beard. They call it Chip Seal and I think it is worse then the hole or frost heave that it is covering. Slowing me down with every vibrating bump while shorting the lifespan of the tires.

The only benefit is that I'm not the only one that the roads force to take heed. The cars and trucks would be stranded for weeks if they busted their suspension, and so they too have to navigate the drops, heaves, holes, and soft spots with care if they want to make their destination on time and in one piece. Otherwise they fly past me as if they had wings and were trying to take off. And who is to stop them? When you have one Highway Patrol officer for every 8,000 square miles, it's not likely that anyone gets caught for speeding.

The days are getting longer and longer. It's strange because time starts to not be very important. You can start anything at 5 in the afternoon and still have 6 hours of sunlight to finish it. I can wait till 3 in the afternoon to begin a 100 mile ride, and a lot of time I do; it's the warmest part of the day. As magical as this never ending visibility is, there are a few down sides. Most notably, it is hard to go to sleep at 11 pm when the sun is still up and it's hard to not wake up at 4:30 am when the sunlight is nearly bright enough to read by. Also, I've succumbed to the fact that I will not be able to catch an Alaskan sunrise because I will not be getting up 9 hours before noon to catch it. And similarly I don't think I will be filming any sunsets as I need too much sleep to stay up that late.

But the long days are bringing warmth and the possible arrival of Spring. Every day feels like the last day of winter and I have so much hope that it is. With every additional snow flake, ball of hail, freezing night in the tent, I tell myself that it will be the last. And though this has yet to happen, I have to believe and convince myself that it will. Otherwise I don't think I could keep on going. I have to pretend that I will know what it feels like to be warm again and that it will happen soon. If I thought that I would make it all the way to Mt. McKinley with ice on my back, freezing wind on my face, and clouds in the sky, I'd rather just drive there and save what little enthusiasm I have left for the climb.

1 comment:

  1. Chris-

    I am really enjoying your photo journal. Stay strong and thanks for the inspiration!