Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Come Along For the Ride? Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Canada, Not Canada, Idaho, Washington, Alaska

Let's Roadtrip!

4 Years ago, I threw my leg over a Fatbike for the first time.  We had just gotten a few inches of snow back home in Iowa and at the urging of our local bike shop, out for a spin we went. And that as they say "was all she wrote"
That seemingly innocent little ride led to a love affair that continues now as I head to Alaska to attempt the Iditarod Trail Invitational in February.
If you'd like to see the amazing sights between Iowa and Fairbanks, Alaska, follow every breathtaking and at times ZANY stop HERE on YouTube.
The above video is from the road ... one of the most amazing places I have ever experienced. (If you enjoy it, subscribe and you'll be a part of every moment)

A few pics from the first leg thru Nebraska. 6 States to go.

The rig is loaded and ready...
Ole's Big Game Steakhouse...

The Sand Hills of Kearney...

The sweetest lady on all of I-80. Lucy. Owner of Lucy's Place Sedgwick, Colorado...

And finally...the road leading to my dream, Fairbanks, Alaska...

To your dreams,

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Leaving it all behind...Alaska bound (Day 1)

The mess of it all. For weeks, setting in different piles, occasionally a piece would be moved in order to grab the necessary item for the day's training ride. Fall was giving way, reluctantly to winner and my strong, very strong dislike for being cold warranted a buff around the neck and at least one extra layer than was really necessary. Leaving piles here and there, each nearest the plastic tub that would be there home for the trip to Alaska. Bike gear in this one, camping stuff in that one and the "daddy sized bin would get all the clothing, less the "oh shit" parka I am still deciding on.

Surprisingly, the loading of the truck went easily and without incident. Organization (see above photo) is not my strong suit. To look at it (see below photo) you may have thought differently.

For weeks, the anticipation of the depart to Fairbanks filled me with a "why the heck am I the only one awake, it's Christmas morning" kind of excitement. The moment could not arrive soon enough. I'd been fortunate, month's earlier to be accepted, as a rookie, into the Iditarod Trail Invitational. A 350 Mile race by foot, ski or fat bike (my weapon of choice), once the confirmation email had been received I'd decided to go all in. Fairbanks was advised as the place to train. Located in the "interior" of the state, temperatures get well below zero, an environment I would need to get comfortable with. No better way I figured than to move there. Train there.

With the help of friend's friends...a sort of six degrees from Kevin Bacon sorta thing my digs were set and a couple of what I think will be new friendships have begun. So much to learn. So much to see. The race is February 25th. In nearly the same instant it can seem so far in the distance and close enough to touch.

The cabin that will be home...
To know one's place, to call it home with no sense of "I wish I lived here or perhaps if we had lived there" is such a blessing. I love Des Moines, Iowa and it's people. My writing skills would not do justice, not even close, to how wonderful the place and those who live there are. You either know, cause you've been there or ya don't. I hope someday you get to experience both, fully.

It is said, and I believe it to be true, that no growth happens without challenge, discomfort ... That no goal worthy of it's salt is obtained without stepping outside one's comfort zone. Putting the 515 in the rear view mirror for a land more wild than I have ever known, some 2800 miles away filled me with as many emotions as the northern lights of my dreams have colors.

To your dreams. To all of our dreams.