Taking off from Fairbanks, I looked down at a road leading out of the city and reflected on what a unique experience this was. Was I bummed that my trip ended badly? Not really, cause for one thing: I wasn't injured once in all the events that transpired; financially speaking, I didn't come out it too badly with the insurance claim and every breakdown that I had lead to some new friendships. Plus, being pushed out of the comfort of being on my own bike and having to hitch-hike multiple times, I crossed paths with a varied array of humankind. I chatted with oil workers, cooks, overland adventurers, gold miners, pilots, professors, trappers and a snowmobile racer and his family.
Even without any of the mishaps, I gained insights into how various people live across the US and Canada and especially Alaska. I'm glad I was able to finish most of my trip before auDRey let go and on the positive side, these incidents allowed me to spend more time in Alaska than I planned, which was a good thing.
Alaska has recently been thrown into the spotlight through the rimless glasses of Sarah Palin and for all her positive traits, she probably cast a misleading image of Alaskans to the rest of the world. Yes, they're rugged on the outside as this harsh environment demands it, but also because of the harshness of the outside, I believe the people up there have to become more gentle and caring of each other. It makes it easier to survive. I was shown tremendous amounts of generosity and warmth on this journey that I am ever grateful for, and for me, it reflects the underlying good nature of humankind.
What an exciting journey. For all the meticulous planning that I did before my trip, things couldn't have gone more wrong, but what I'll take with me is how interesting my life was over these three weeks in the summer of 2008. Yes, there are dangers in partaking an adventure as such, but how would human character grow if its limits weren't tested. There isn't enough time in our lives to brood over the what-ifs: what if no one came by with a spare tube on the Dalton Highway, what if the Jacobs family didn't pass by at just that right moment, etc. Life happens. Take the positives from every situation and move forward.
Go forth and live!
The planning for the next ride has already begun. Say hello to sanDRina. I picked her up recently from Detroit. She's a 1998 DR650 and has been setup very adequately for adventure touring. I definitely miss auDRey, but I know I must move on.
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