Week 1 Review from Janine

Written by Janine Marek, the Ignite Possibilities Tour Bus Driver

With week one in the review, we’re all finding somewhat of a routine. LOVING it! The adventure started June 26 with a quick trip to Edmonton to be introduced to the motorhome; it was love at first sight. Straight back to Red Deer, to pack, prep, sort and stack, Tetris anyone? Cycling started late day on the 27th cycling Sylvan Lake to Rimbey, then Cynthia, Whitecourt, Valleyview, (where I got to meet up with long time Delburne friends Jean, Gilbert and Kareen Havell) ending the week with two nights in Grand Prairie.
It’s certainly been challenging for the cyclists, riding in this heat wave but they start early and quit shortly after noon. We’ll be repeating this program throughout the next 7 weeks checking into a hotel Thursday, as Fridays are full blown business days for Jb and Peter to manage the thriving Ignite Empire. This schedule is perfect for me as well as it allows me time to make a weekly post and more importantly get up close and personal with ‘Ol Red (my bike)

I’ve had adventures so far of my own, all of them taking place in and around the motor home. Learning curves can be so refreshing at times and really informative when in troubleshooting mode. Glitches have been sorted out, allowing my confidence to grow. Driving feels comfortable and apparently “solid” as per my young capable co-pilot. Maneuvering the rig was my biggest concern as it has been years since I’d driven a bus, but it all came back to me just like riding a bike. With a couple issue free parking jobs under my belt I was feeling pretty smug. Soon after we take-off I’m once again all “farmer”, with nowhere to go and all day to get there, it allows me time to breathe, check the crops, scenery and the ever changing countryside. For me, this is seriously a sweet gig.

So far my biggest challenges come as the result of not being used to using anything too “new”. My young cohorts question some of my antics, like why I boil water in the kettle to do the dishes. I said “well I need the water hot to help kill germs” and that’s when they simply pointed to the button on the control panel which turns on the hot water tank. Seriously! and they weren’t even joking – it’s really that easy! And out in the middle of nowhere, when it gets dark simply flick a switch and boom. You’ve got light!! My mind which is unpredictable at times has been blown! The days are fun, interesting and full, which is great as I’ve never been one to do down time well.

Get up. Pack up. Drive ahead. Wait. Repeat I’ve had several “I love my life” moments following the cyclists. It takes me back to my sunrise journey 13 years ago we left July 4th and every day the only plan was to get up and head east. When I watch Jb and Peter doing this cycling trek I totally “get it”. I understand how important it is to have someone willing to come along side as it takes a team to chase a dream.

Waking in a different place everyday reminds me of what I did to my mom (sorry mom). She was the safety net and pace car driver when I cycled across Canada. We were a good team – I was the dream weaver and she was the dream catcher…so grateful for her and the memories we gathered crossing our beautiful country very, VERY slowly. Why? “just because we could”…there are time that what’s felt in the heart can’t be explained to the brain.
Ok, gotta go. But before I sign off I need to let you know there’s been a change in destination. The journey stays the same as there is only one way up the Alaskan highway, but instead of turning to go up the Dempster to the Arctic Circle we’ll now keep going to the top of the world highway in Alaska, it runs between Dawson City, Yukon and Fairbanks. The change needed to happen due to the reality of what the Dempster Highway could and most likely would have done to the bike and motorhome. With it being 734 kilometers of total “Gravel Travel” they had to rethink that due to time restraints. Rough and dusty or rough and muddy are the road conditions and either would have been brutal and time consuming eating tires along the way I’m sure! Allrighty then…

Week two – here we come! Be sure to stay tuned and follow along