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.
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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.
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 ride again. After over a month hiatus off the road we returned to the highway for our voyage north to Alaska. We’d, again, like to thank all of those that supported us in our fundraising efforts that enabled us to finish the expedition. It means a lot to us, and is greatly appreciated.
From Denver, Steve, Celeste and Craig ventured north to Loveland to stay at Steve’s Mom, Judy’s, place, while I headed to Rocky Mountain National Park with an amazing female for one last adventure in Colorado. We met up the following morning for a delicious breakfast prepared by Judy and her husband, Tom, said our goodbyes, and got on I-25 North headed to Bozeman, Montana.
We have been in Denver for thirteen days. This is the longest our crew has been in one place in a long time. Faces and places are familiar, there’s no longer a language barrier, and the food meets the needs of my simple palate. The contents of the trucks find their place in the garage, and our packs occupy a corner of the rooms where our heads rest. Two makeshift offices, one in the mud room where Shoppman works, and one in the dining room has Craig’s computer and mine.
It was another crazy week for us on the road. The week began in Austin at Hostelling International-Austin, where they graciously set up a dorm room/work room for us in their television room, and ended in one of the greatest cities in the world, Denver, Colorado. From Austin we made the 551 mile trek to Roswell, New Mexico, where UFO shops, museums and a research center showcase the 1947 Roswell UFO incident. A nice Days Inn on the main road through the town had both cable and high speed internet, so for the first time in awhile we were able to sit back, relax and got to watch the NCAA national championship game.
We are in the last few days abroad before we cross the border into the United States. Bouey’s quote of the week, puts our situation into a certain perspective. The trucks are very functional, but have seen better days. The absence of shocks in both vehicles makes the roads that much more interesting. The dashboard of the Tundra looks like Las Vegas.
While all of the final details are being sorted out to get us back on the road, the crew is getting deep into Buenos Aires checking out the sights and sounds of one of the most fabulous and entertaining cities in Latin America. We often get questions from our readers about music, movies and books […]
Since entering Europe we received quite the welcome from the local media outlets. In Bergen, Norway we were featured on the front page of the main newspaper in town. In London I was interviewed by the Guardian, and as we were told by a friend in London, it is one of the most respected newspapers […]