“Now, in the purported wisdom of my eighth decade, I can dismiss our invincible destiny as a youthful fantasy,” he wrote. “But I also know that nothing else came along to fill the void it left behind.” Those words, the final sentence of the essay, mesh well with the final two of Roberts’s memoir: “In the human heart … there are nobler feelings than pride. And there are more important things in life than joy.” ~ David Roberts
One of my strong suites is thinking up ridiculous non-work (anything to not work in a cubicle) related schemes:
- A recent month long road trip – Lets drive to Alaska via Ontario and British columbia – work will wait. We can kayak and X and Y and Z…. the library is across the street for planning.
- Same trip as above but after B.C. We can drive up the Alaska Highway and down to Homer and camp on the Beach. We’ll bring bikes!
- P.S. that drive is spectacular – and given the opportunity (I have been trying to make one) I would do it again in a heartbeat.
- Climbing expeditions – we should drive out to Mount Rushmore and hone in our crack climbing skills. We’ll live out of the back of the RAV 4 and hit a Trader Joe’s for some cheap staples and and dig the rest out of the garbage. We’ll look online for the directions.
- Paddling expeditions – we should take a month off (next month) and paddle as far as we can on the Yukon river before the winter and cold sets in.
- I actually did a lot of research on this while I was working as a guide. I still really want to take this trip. It would be stunning in beauty and solitude. Not to mention it is in ALASKA.
These ideas all come from a place of love, curiosity, and need for change. I love being outside, and hiking, canoeing/kayaking and biking, and adding camping, a road trip to the mix only makes it more exciting. I genuinely love the excitement I feel generated from talking about leaving routine at the drop of a hat. The worst is when my enthusiasm is not matched (which is normal, someone has to be grounded). I think this type of thinking as become my own sort of hope and faith – if I keep talking about it will eventually happen.
Interestingly enough – it took me shutting up, and listening to my father for a potential wild adventure to start.
We were pedaling together on our usual saturday morning bike ride and I was rambling about what I wanted to do with my vacation time – trying to link together three weeks (hurrah for unpaid days) – so I could backpack on the Rockwall Trail in Kootenay National Park, see relatives and then hike more in the Rockies. During a pause of my adventure-travel-word vomit my Dad re-canted an idea he had always talked about – Taking the train from normal Illinois to somewhere in Montana taking bikes and some gear and riding his bike to Calgary, Canada. The wheels on my brain bus began spinning round and round.
We chatted back and forth for the next 10 lazy miles on what we would need – which was mostly me saying, “I think we have all the camping and riding gear save proper geared bikes and panniers. I think we could do it this year..” As we headed south back to town the headwind we had been dodging all day caught up with us and cut all conversations off. We dropped down into our bars and steadily pushed home.
Since our silent push back to town despite the wind’s best efforts, I have been planning and working logistics non stop. I think my enthusiasm over his idea was enough to finally make him think it was a possibility and generate the infamous “stoke” we all seek when planning vacation. So we have planned to take the trip. Worked out some prices and are looking into some bike and panniers.
General Trip Itinerary:
- Amtrak from Chicago to East Glacier Park Montana
- East Glacier Park to Waterton National Park Canada
- Waterton to Pincher Creek (maybe a bit beyond)
- Roughly Pincher Creek to Chain lakes Provincial Park
- Chain Lakes to Roughly Bragg Creek
Future Posts will cover transportation, food, gear, and Training.