A Look Back (Elliott’s last post)

Now that I’ve been back in Chicago a few days, I’ve had time to reflect on the trip.

Geoff is still on the road, sounds like he won’t be “toofless” and “passportless” much longer. Geoff, I red your retorts to the bets. Fine, I should have shook hands on the $1000 bet so we’ll let that go, but you lost the $20 border/passport bet because they would have let you in without too much trouble and you know it. Plus I think you owe me at least $20 for putting up with you for about 10,000 miles.

I guess being back home I think about the scale of the trip more than anything. I ended up riding close to 12,000 miles in total. That’s halfway around the world. That’s like riding a motorcycle from Chicago to Australia. Just thinking about how big Alaska is – especially how long that road to Prudhoe Bay was. That Prudhoe Bay trip was like riding from Chicago to Florida in the rain and cold and on a dirty, muddy road. That explains why Geoff has spent three hours cleaning his bike and still isn’t done (and I haven’t even started).

I also think about how beautiful some of those places were – camping with Megan on the edge of the glacier in Kennicott, the rainforest of Valdez, Telegraph Creek and “Canada’s Grand Canyon”, the road to Skagway and many more. Coming back to Chicago I’m reminded of how cities hide nature and how many people there are packed into one place.

Geoff, I don’t know about you, but when I think of all the people we met, I always think of the native guy Darrel, out at Telegraph Creek with his salmon smokehouse and his family’s tent city. That was a crazy place.

Annette and Don – thanks again guys, your hospitality made our trip to Alaska so much nicer.

Tad – great seeing you and riding with you for a few days. Hope to see you in Chicago soon.

Megs – thanks for coming to Alaska and being so awesome – we had such an amazing time.

Dad – that was a special experience being able to ride with you (and fix stuff with you) for those four days. I’ll never forget it.

I guess the things I don’t miss are packing up every day and dealing with the rain (although the last couple weeks of the trip were very nice). I also don’t miss starting fires in the rain and paying $12 for a bag of shredded cheese.

I do miss seeing new things and exploring all those crazy remote parts of our world. I miss just being on the bike and just letting your mind run free and thinking weird things. I miss making pb&j sandwiches on the side of the road.

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