Thursday, July 30, 2020

A Texan in Tibet - Throwing In the Towel

I give up.  China has really screwed the world over with the Wuhan virus.  Global economies are collapsing and peoples' lives are being shattered.  Oh yeah, and they screwed me on this trip also.  I suppose it's possible that things might open up in Nepal, but I've grown tired of holding my breath and waiting.  I will reclaim the miles I spent to book air travel and start looking forward to another adventure.  It sucks, but I'm a pragmatist at my core and I hate wasting hope and emotion on something over which I have so little control.  I have something different in mind.

If you're read this blog recently, you'll recall that I rode Hester (my Harley) to the Arctic Circle back in 2011.  I got as far north as Coldfoot Camp; about 100 miles north into the Arctic Circle. My goal was to ride all the way up to the Arctic Ocean in Deadhorse at Prudhoe Bay.  While I was up in Coldfoot Camp, a massive cold front blew through and workers at Deadhorse were being evacuated to Coldfoot to wait it out.  It had been 100 degrees F in Fairbanks the previous day.  It was 40 degrees F in Coldfoot, and the workers told me it was 2 degrees F at Deadhorse.  Acting on the advice of those who were just there, I decided to head south out of Coldfoot and rode back to Fairbanks.

I've regretted that decision for ten years.  I should have just set up camp at Coldfoot and waited out the storm.  But part of me rationalized that I had accomplished (exceeded actually) my core goal and that anything north of the Circle park was gravy.  I'm the kind of guy who would rather regret the things I've done did than the things I didn't and this is a strange case where both apply.

Shark Week (the annual Road Glide Gathering) is in Lake Tahoe, NV next year at the end of June.  I've decided to return to Alaska and this time, ride all the way up.  I'll ride down from Alaska via the Pacific Coast Highway, spend Shark Week with my Road Glide brethren, and then ride home to Texas after.  My first trip up was pretty rough.  The roads were terrible and I was beat to death, but I made it.  I'm told that the roads are better and it's really just a long ride with logistics and planning; all three of which I am very adept.  I just completed a 1,374 mile ride in one day from Gettysburg, PA to my home in Texas.  I may be ten years older (if not wiser), but I can handle Alaska again.  What I might also be able to handle this time is company.  I have discussed making this trip with a couple of other riders who have never been.  Camping in the wild, crossing into Alaska, and slapping the Arctic circle sign were major physical and emotional accomplishments for me.  Sharing those experiences with another rider who is as passionate as I am about adventure riding as I am would be another special moment.  Of course, it has to be the right kind of rider; not just in stamina and riding prowess, but in attitude.

So stay tuned for more details.  I may start adding to the Alaskapade site, or I might just write about it here.   Perhaps I could post updates to both.

Alaskapade 2021??