Home is where the heart is right? I would think so. Even after leaving for an unforgettable journey its always nice to be home. To sleep in your own bed and hear the meow of cats. This morning at 4am i woke up not thinking I would leave so soon but I did. I lied saying I would sleep late but I didnt. Truth is…I slept just enough to re-energize myself. I had a good breakfast this morning and felt good enough to continue. I should have started writing since the beginning of my travels but I didnt. I recorded audio of my thoughts during the trip but havent written or typed anything but what you have read on here so far.
It was very comfortable and stress-free most of the trip. I saw plenty of turns in the roads and wild animals. From bears to beavers, to moose and things I dont even know the name. I tried as much as possible to stay away from my laptop. I did very well. Only used it a few times. Couldnt really use my Blackberry much. The damn battery is shot to hell and I still need a new one. good thing i had my Tmobile Dash with me just in case! So this trip has totaled 6,586 miles. Alone with no one around to slow me down or bother the hell out of me. It was comforting and relaxing. The traffic sucks as usual but once you get away from it and hit open road it became a haven for beautiful scenery. You will see in the pics I will be uploading. I took about 30 pics total. Not sure how many I will post. Some look blurry and shitty. Some look breathtaking. My favorite pictures of nature consist of roads extending intothe distance and the scenery beyond them. Lakes, oceans, sunrise and sunsets….etc….Even a few odd shots.
I said before that everyone should take a trip and be spontaneous. Just go somewhere. Or just drive and see where you take yourself. Have you ever just drove or rode and not paid attention to the signs? I have. I do it often. The Metallica song “Wherever I May Roam” comes to mind. A great travel song and jam in general. As much as this trip was to free the mind of stress and problems, this also was a trip to listen to the soundtrack of my life. I have written about these bands before in a previous note. RUSH was a huge part of the playlist. Of course classical music was as well. You would think it would put me to sleep. Nope your wrong. It does put me to sleep when I want it to and it also can be very relaxing when I want it to be as well. Music played a very integral part in this trip for me. It also allowed me to come up with ideas for my own writing as well.
So im laying here. Finally got my boots off and sitting here shirtless with my feet propped up and my laptop. The sofa is so comfy. My soft bed and the cold touch of the sheets. I even had new sheets! The only downfall to coming home is that the TV is screwed up. I retract that last sentence. Its working fine. I think my mind is playing tricks on me. You would think I would be enjoying coffee right now but nope. I had some earlier. Right now I am enjoying a nice cold Mountain Dew. I had cooked up a hamburger patty and ate that. Full now. What I must remember is that now I am home its back to keeping my weight off. I gained two pounds back. Thats okay though. I will fix that soon enough. I feel great now. My mind feels free and clear. The air at home smells fresh and I have thought of a decision that has had me thinking seriously about a few things. Not about the band but something else. I wont disclose that right now because I do not yet know what I plan to do but I think over the next few months I will be able to make that decision much easier. You know thanks to my awesome friend Stang, I managed to not loose my mind on these travels. It was nice to have someone to talk to throughout this journey when I felt stressed or just needed someone to throw some thoughts to. She always listens well. So if you are reading this Stang, THANK YOU! =) If you dont know who she is, then just goto my pics. You will see some pics of us when we met up a few years ago. She is a rockin chick!!
Ok ok so lets see what else can I think of? Oops I just ended that sentence with a preposition. Shame on me. I know i am not perfect on my grammar but I dont have to be. These are my thoughts. Im not writing a book yet I feel like I should. Im sure it would be quite boring because I am not the only one that has done this sort of thing. I am glad though that I got to see places I never have seen. Some of the places I went to I have seen and been to before but much of it was new to me. I love the adventure in it. One of my classmates had sent me a message and said “that sounds like freedom” referring to just getting on the bike and riding off to wherever I want. It is a liberating feeling to be able to do so. Even though it can be lonely at times it feels nice to be able to have such freedom. I dont have a wife and kids to tie me down. Although that is exactly what I do want its nice to be so free. I could be attacked by a bear and left to die and I would know that I dont have kids that would miss me or a wife that would spend all my money on another man. Im thankful for being this free right now and I only hope that I am blessed with my own family one day. Even though I have come back from this ride free of the stresses that overcame me so much. Weight, disgust, depression…etc….I do still feel envious of many of you that have children and wives. Thats ok though my time will come and if it doesnt then it wasnt meant to be. Yo god, get your ass busy and bring me a girlfriend or wife dude! lol….
I endured long days of travel, snow, rain, fatigue and wild animals but I wouldnt have had it any other way. Alaska is beautiful. the people were very nice and helpful. I learned things from some of the people and this old man that told me what to look out for and wished me well on my journey. He said I wasnt the first person he had come across on motorcycle and I surely wouldnt be the last. I was sitting on the bike in Anchorage Park when he walked up and said “you came along way friend.” “Yes I have sir” I replied. He asked me where I was heading. I told him, “honestly sir I dont know. Just riding wherever i take myself.” He laughed and said, “dont get lost. The weather can be unforgiving.” Words of wisdom from someone much older than me. I took his words with much praise and thanked him. He had a thermos full of coffee and unscrewed the cap and poured me some. I drank the cup and he poured himself some in a small cup. He told me stories of ships that had sank in the area. Fisherman that died and bears that attacked people. It was awesome. Where else could you hear something like this? He said, “well i better get my old butt back home. I told my wife I was going for a short walk and here I am.” I shook his hand and once again thanked him for his words and the cup of coffee. It tasted great and was nice and warm. He said again to be careful and tapped his hand on my beanie covered head. In his words as he turned around he said, “be careful sonny boy.” Then he walked off. I sat there for a second thinking what a nice old man. I thought, maybe he had done exactly what I am doing and traveled by motorcycle. He said in conversation the freedom was great. He must have been a motorcycle rider too in his younger days.
Then in Dawson I met a woman who gave me tons of insight on where to NOT go. Her husband ran a store in town and he helped me with supplies. Nice hospitality. Its amazing how nice they were. I thought I would be such an outsider but they didnt treat me like one. Sure I didnt fit in but I was made to feel at home. I had home cooked food there too. I stayed at Bombay Peggy’s Hotel. Funny name huh? I had a few drinks in their pub. If you are ever in the area I suggest trying their “Spank Your Naughty Ass” Martini! Funny name but a great drink! I even had a great dinner at the Jack London Grill. Well, I thought it was great. Maybe you are used to 4&5 Star Hotels but even the smallest of places can seem like home. I spoke to some of the locals about my travels when they asked. They said I was crazy coming out this far alone. The guy I was talking to bought my drink so I returned the favor and bought him one as well. I didnt stay long as I needed much rest. Returning to the hotel I was told if I had planned to take the 600 mile ride to Inuvik I better be prepared for flurries and a possible snow storm. Shit! You cant be serious but he was. This put a dent in my plans and I ended up staying another day. Thats when I decided it was time to come back home.
It was a positive experience on the trip and I had nothing more to prove to myself. Although it was a goal to reach one more destination, there will always be another time for that. I wont go into detail about the rest of the trip because in my last two notes I described how things went. During the trip on the way into Alaska and getting into Juneau nothing really exciting happened. I thought, wouldnt it be funny if I saw Sarah Palin out here! lol….The only interesting thing to happen on the way to Juneau was the bear incident on my piss/lunch break near Petersburg. LOL….yeah that fucking bear scared the living shit out of me. Upon walking in the door and realizing that I was home I laid on the bed and thought how much I missed the trip already. Maybe one day I could do it all over again and have someone along for the ride. Maybe next time I ride out there again i will see Neil Peart on his next voyage there. Who knows. All I know is that I loved every moment of it and regret none of it. In a way I feel sad. Almost like crying because I miss the experiences. I think of that old man that gave me a cup of coffee or the people that gave a helping hand in town. Even the waiter bringing me my meal at the grill. It really was a great meal. So this trip is in the books but soon enough I will embark on another. Maybe this time around wherever I go I will make time to meet up with friends along the way. I never have for reasons. Wondering what they will thnk of me. “That fat guy” or “He was weird.” I guess I shouldnt care what others think.
Goodbye to this journey. It was very different from the others I have been on. This truly was a healing trip. I couldnt ask for anything more. Im just thankful I didnt get mauled by the bear! I look forward to another trip and more stories to write about and share. As I close my eyes I can picture every breathtaking bit of scenery I saw. Pictures can only give one an idea of the beauty within but with each passing day a new picture of natures beauty passes.
I think I slept 4-5 hours. My Blackberry goes off. My sole means of waking up. I dont like traditional alarm clocks. Their annoying “beep beep beep” drives me insane. Makes me not want to get up at all. I tried to prepare as much as I could for the night travel which honestly was cold and a bit scary. You could literally get murdered and no one would find you but the bears. My mind at this point is thinking clearly although physically i am not all there. My shoulders have severe pain. Doing 100 push-ups solves this. So I do my 100 push-ups in 4 sets of 25 then do some stretching. This followed by some time for meditation. Have to clear the mind of everything. I showered then downed two cans of tuna, a bag of potato chips and a Canada Dry Ginger Ale. How convenient huh? Canada Dry! lol….So the bags are packed, the bike is ready and im full of protein for now to begin this leg of the ride.
Not being sure of what could happen here I decided to wheel the bike into the room just in case someone decided to steal the sucker leaving me stranded. Now that everything is packed up and I have gone through my checklist making sure nothing is forgotten, I grab my heavy jacket, helmet(still cracked but fixed up with some bond shit to keep it from cracking more), wallet and keys and its time to wheel out the toy. I do a spot check to make sure everything is working. Lights are on and tires are in good enough shape although will need replacing soon. The key is popped in and I turn it. I start her up and nothing. WHAT! I try again….nothing. At this point I am frantic. I have no idea what could have caused this. I check the gas and its full and its not frozen. I check the lines. Nothing frozen. So I checked the oil which was in need of a change. The filter looked bad. So I did the oil change there. Thanks to having a spare filter and oil available! So I try again to start her up and voila, she starts! I dont know much about mechanics but im not going to complain.
Hearing the sound of the engine kick in and revving her up I put on my helmet and it was time to head out. For the first 5 hours I went non-stop. No bathroom breaks or even a breather. Just kept on going. Then as daybreak came I decided to stop to a beautiful sunrise. Another moment to bask in the beauty of nature. I had some oatmeal for breakfast. Thanks to quick and easy ways to fire it up and heat up some water it was a delicious meal accompanied by a banana. Being that there is nothing out around here and I was parked on the side of the road away from any oncoming traffic, as if there was really going to be any. i laid down for about 15 minutes in the grass. It was soft and you could just smell nature. Looking up into the sky I imagined back to when I was a child doing this exact same thing and wondering where I would be the next time I did this. Already well past Whitehorse I had to get back up again and remember that even after a nice short break, its time to become a traveler again.
My shoulders were once again killing me and I had began to get a headache. I took a few aleve and downed 24 ounces of water. I was thinking that maybe I should listen to some music. First I thought nah…..Then a few miles down the road…really more like 25 or so, I decided to listen to my favorite travel music. A mixture of RUSH and Frederic Chopin. Yes I know I am weird. Its amazing how fast my headache went away after taking the Aleve and listening to Chopin’s Grande Valse Brilliante and Tristesse aka Etude in E. My favorite key on piano is C# Minor. I dont know why but I love that key. Nocturne #7 and 20 or Impromtu in C# Minor; all some of my favorites.
Mentally I am beginning to wear down. Im thinking I should just STOP and get more rest. That is stay the night somewhere else. Maybe Prince Rupert. Wrong….I didnt. So not only am I getting hungry again but I am also pushing myself too far. Knowing its time to stop I dont. I am fucking up here. Although I see it more as a test of endurance and mental strength I started thinking this was just plain stupid and idiotic of me. So what do I do? I continue on! What, did you think I was going to stop? I did to rest again but thats it. My goal was to make it to Seattle before Midnight. I fell short of that goal because I was too tired to go on. I felt disappointed because I did not make it. Then again I felt relieved that I gave myself a break for the night. Hence me sitting here typing this in a nice cozy cold room!! YAY! I am a bit disgusted in myself for rushing. There was no need to but I saw it fit to do so. I should have taken my time but I didnt. Next time on this trip as the goal will be Inuvik in August I will take my time because this is supposed to be fun. Am I right? I am not supposed to be rushing myself.
So as this is being typed and about to be published for your reading pleasure, I feel tattered and torn. The Slipknot song has become a reality in my life. In the song you dont really understand whats being said or the music being played. Its just chaos. A slur of vulgarity and disgust. Thats how I feel right now. In the morning I will feel refreshed. I think what I really need right now is a good relaxing bath, a small filling meal and some good ol’ sleep! So with that said, I bid you a goodnight and a good weekend full of fun and…..well whatever you decide to do.
I thought of doing somewhat of a storytelling thing. Recording my thoughts and publishing them here or somewhere online for others to hear. Ive always enjoyed hearing someones life experiences from their own words literally. Maybe I should try this. Not that I would expect many listeners but its a thought. Im not much on vlogging my ugly face. What do you think? Answer if you wish…..
Riding from Cali to Alaska to who knows where….
So I left home from Malibu on my R1150RS for Seattle. Stayed the night there and then headed to Vancouver for a quick stop then made my way up to Juneau Alaska. Possibly a trip west to Anchorage if weather permits. It was a cold day out here but not too bad. Tonight it will be in the 20s and was in the 40s today.
I dont know where to go next honestly. I thought of hitting up the NWT of Canada for possibly Inuvik just as Neil Peart did but not sure if the Dempster Highway would be safe at this time of year. I would have to research and find out I guess. This is the closest in the Americas I have been to the Arctic Circle. Maybe not that close but close enough.
So im just south of Juneau near Petersburg when I stop for a quick piss break and down a small can of tuna and some water when a fucking bear starts grunting! Holy FUCK! He was a good distance but I started making noises and hopped on the bike FAST and rode off! Scary shit but I was able to piss and eat fast! lol
Made it into Juneau and got a cozy room at this small hotel. Dinner was steak with a glass of wine.
On a Slipknot note, follow Clown on Twitter @ http://www.twitter.com/MShawnCrahan
Shawn is posting pics to twitpic while working on his project.
See you soon Europe….