Month 1 Review from Janine
Written by Janine Marek, the Ignite Possibilities Tour Bus Driver
Coming at you with week four already in the review:
Can you believe that? We’ve been doing the get up, pack up and move on dance for a month now. We average 100 ks/day so by now we are well North of familiar and have been North of normal for weeks (possibly years according to some).
Travelling the Alaskan highway has been educational, exciting, thrilling, beautiful, adventurous and at times nerve wracking. My nerves tend to get wracked in areas with extremely deep ravines and no guard rails! Seldom guard rails. Back home they guard anything over 10 feet deep but up here it seems they trust that you can actually drive. Challenging for me because there is often a glorious vista beckoning for your attention.
I’m still loving my summer job! I wake wondering what adventure the Alaskan highway will offer up today and never have I been disappointed. Every night, becomes its own unique adventure as we scan the countryside for “home”. There have been no regrets on our choices thus far. Other than that sleepless night doing a mosquito massacre. We’re mindful now not to park on top of grass, the pull outs and approaches have been issue free, well except for that bear but our most incredible memories have been made simply by daring to go a little off the beaten path.
We’ve been in the Yukon for 8 days now and I’ve gotta say, it’s slowly sinking its claws into our hearts. Getting here the road weaves you back and forth across the BC/Yukon border a total of 7 times. They don’t have a sign post at every crossing because seriously how funny would that be “welcome to the Yukon”… “thank you for visiting” …welcome …thank you… welcome.
In the Yukon residents are not that interested or dependent on cell service, which has us embracing a more laid back and up close and personal relationship with Mother Nature. Being of a mature age, I’m finding this highly addictive. For those that aren’t that excited about seeing yet another river or treed vista they feel stress at times navigating our current reality.
They say we’ve entered the Twilight zone, which is impossible because we’re getting around 19 hours of daylight right now – no such thing as twilight. I’ve gotta say with that much sunshine it feels like you are having a summer.
We are finding things to be pricey off the beaten path, so much so that the store owners put signs by the cash registers stating NO SNIVELING! For example at one stop they had the much sought after Wifi but for the cost of $11.00/20 mins! (didn’t snivel, didn’t pay) Gas $1.90/L (no sniveling and yes paid) large Pie made by a retired executive chef of the Niagara on the Lake Resort $60 or $10/ slice (we were shocked but paid and enjoyed) hamburger and fries $18.00 (didn’t pay) With all this No sniveling I’ve been able to work on my poker face!
As we travel the local newspapers along the way have been running articles on Ignite Possibilities and their epic journey cycling to the top of the world. This brings new excitement and attention to the fund raising aspect of the ride. The Ignite Possibilities goal is $35,000 which will build a school of hope in Cambodia. The on line sale of any of their 14 books goes towards funding this project As a result the extra media attention we get a lot of hand waving and horn honking going on. Whew! What a relief! I thought for sure it had something to do with my driving, but the people are just friendly up here.
The summary of sleeping around for week 4 took us to a Rest area by Rancheria River July 17, July 18 we were in an approach by Smart River, July 19 was pretty cool as we stayed at the Teslin RV Park, just over the historic Teslin Bridge a unique 7 span bridge. This was a fun stop for me because I got to visit with a longtime family friend and former Delburnite Joyce Young. Joyce retired to Teslin from many moons spent living and working in Whitehorse. I cherished my time with her, enjoying many laughs and being toured around her new home town. Believe it or not we talked nonstop for hours catching up on the last decade since we’ve seen each other. Thank God for Face book though as it helps to keep us all connected when getting to each other can’t happen!
July 20 we were at the Little Atlin Lake boat launch. This was an amazing surprise where I was grateful to be hanging with a couple of adventuresome spirits. The cycling had stopped at a T-intersection in what would have been a noisy 24 hour truck stop. Instead of setting up camp it was decided that we take a little off road adventure. Sure enough we found a little piece of heaven a short drive away and set up camp alongside the most beautiful calm lake. I went to make friends with a couple camping at the boat launch as well and as usual grilled them with questions and inquiries. Ted and Marg Wagner were very gracious people and in the morning offered to take Peter and I fishing with them in their freighter canoe. I’d never seen such a canoe and although a canoe isn’t my transport of choice I instantly felt like I’d be comfortable in this big brute. Ted assured me it was good for up to 5000 pounds so as I type this, I wonder why he’d mentioned that? We were out early morning and got to watch a family of trumpeter swans swimming around and watch seagulls take on a bald eagle. The best entertainment came from watching the two of them catch 6 large pike in short order. Once back to shore we watched as Ted filleted them and educated us on internal fish anatomy, then gave us half their catch so that we could enjoy a fresh fish fry for supper that night. What a gem of a couple and such an incredible memory!
July 21 found us at McClintock Bay RV Park another on the water reprieve that welcomed us with a double rainbow over the water as we set up camp. When the owners found out what we were doing this summer they gave us our site free of charge along with some really good homemade cinnamon buns. Wow! So many blessings every day! We round out this week set up for the business calls July 22/23 in Whitehorse, parked street side in front of the Days Inn. Again this stop was fun and special as I have some long time friends living here. Joy Ross and Teryl Twidale, more Delburnites (Delburne sure raises up fine people) that graciously came to meet me for lunch and we got to spend the day together doing a walking tour and history lesson of down town Whitehorse, 6 hours went in a blink and our family reunion was over. My heart was happy and my tummy sore from laughing. Thanks ladies!
As I post this we are soon to embark on week five which will have us on the top of the world highway, which is destination of this amazing journey. Stay tuned and enjoy as the adventure continues