We all have been beyond fortunate on this expedition by being able to meet incredible people, see unbelievable sights and enjoy adventurous activities graciously accommodated by great companies, so it was really nice to be able to give back a little when we road into Anchorage, Alaska.
Author Archives: Nels Thoreson
The sun is shining, the grass is green, and the birds are singing. It must mean summer festival season in Colorado, and the first one that comes to mind is the Mile High Music Festival. It’s the second year of the festival, and it appears that everyone involved is doing everything needed to be done to make this year’s festival even better than last year’s great couple of days. The festival, just like last year, is being held at Dick’s Sporting Good Park (click here for directions), which is located in Commerce City, Colorado, and is home to the Colorado Rapids professional soccer team. The 18 practice fields surrounding the stadium turn into the festival area, which make it spacious enough for the 5 stages, vendors, and services. The doors to the festival open at 11 a.m., with the parking lots opening their gates at 9 a.m, and tickets can be purchased by clicking here.
The long road has almost come to an end. We’re sitting here, at Steve mom’s place in Dillon, Sunday afternoon, with only an hour and forty-five minutes from home and the completion of the on the road portion of The World By Road Expedition. We’ll be making our way to Denver mid-day, Monday. Just the thought of the end of the road is a beyond eerie feeling, so I haven’t a clue what’s going on in Shoppman’s mind, for this has been his life for the last 29 months. It’s been an incredible ride, and has been an amazing experience. Blogs on the finale will be up soon, put first on to the week in review.
The sense of community we all felt when we arrived at the Old Minto camp for an Athabasca Indian potlatch was incredible and inspiring. We were all very fortunate to interact with them and learned a great deal on our tour of the camp.
It began with a 30-mile boat trip up the Tanana River from Nenana, Alaska to the site that was originally settled in 1912. They have since moved their camp to a new location based on the flooding that continually caused them to flee, but still return to their old location for celebrations. It was here they were having a celebratory potlatch, as they come to the Old Minto a few times throughout the summer.
Miles, upon miles, upon miles. Miles in the rearview mirror. That, for sure, was the theme of this week, as we traveled from Valdez, Alaska to Edmonton, Alberta. That is a haul, spanning close to 2,000 miles.
We spent the weekend at the wonderful Brookside Inn Bed and Breakfast, and were graciously accommodated by hosts Jerry and Susie. We had some great meals and conversations with them, and were beyond lucky that they had an abundance of halibut. Home cooked meals are never taken for granted by anyone on the crew.
We’ve really enjoyed ourselves in Alaska, and all feel very fortunate for all that we’ve been able to see, experience, and the people we’ve been able to meet, so it was nice that we got to give back a little this week, as well. This week has been another great week in the northern most state. It began with a great lake and river kayaking trip/fly fishing trip with Denali Southside River Guides. We got the opportunity to go out with Craig Jorgensen and two of his crew members on Byers Lake to thoroughly enjoy a day on the water. “I wouldn’t give this day of kayaking and fishing up for anything,” said the fisherman of the crew, Craig Johnson.
Off in the distance were rapids. The Teklanika River raged. The volume and force of the water was powerful. There was nothing that could be done. We were 16 miles out on the Stampede Trail, now called the Stampede Road, 8 miles from the “Into The Wild” bus, and there was nothing we could do. Craig, with a rope tied around his waist, attempted to wade across, but to no avail. It could not be done.
Sometimes I have to take a step back, look around, and maybe even pinch myself to realize that this is real. We are beyond fortunate, and this last week has been like no other. When one is able to mix incredible people with amazing adventure its result is almost surreal. Alaska and its people are one of those places, hands down.
Perseverance is defined as a steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement, and that is exactly what we had to do to make the voyage on the Dalton Highway from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. To reach the farthest north point on the Pan-American highway we had to take the 1,000 mile roundtrip, mostly gravel road, that really put our driving skills and minds to the test. It is a desolate highway that doesn’t see many tourists, usually just semi-trucks making their trek north. We endured and made it to Dead Horse, and to tell the truth, it felt beyond bizarre and kind of empty. We had driven for the better part of a day, on a terrible road, coupled with the never-setting sun, and in the cold and came to an oil field in the middle of the tundra.
We put some miles behind us this week, that is for sure. We took off from the wonderful home of Rosel and Wilf at their bed and breakfast in Prince George and headed north. Again, their hospitality was incredible, and it was a pleasure for all of us to sit at their table to have breakfast with them.