I found this photo on my computer and it saddened me. Why?
When you ride your motorcycle in places like this, it changes you. The photo reminds me of how truly wonderful and magical the area is. Photo was taken in the Kluane Lake Yukon Territory, Canada. Googlemaps show me the lake with the causeway crossing, so that must have been where I took the photo. It also shows the mountains covered in white, those are the glaciers. My photo shows a small portion of the top of one of the mountains, there were many more that I did not take photos of. Those photos will be embedded in my mind as part of the change that occurred while visiting the area. They are my special memories.
That area truly captured my heart. The isolation was surreal. As you ride through the mountain pass the wind gusts make the ride a bit scary. The colors of the glacier covered mountain peaks control the essence of the magical valley that surround them. The color of the water, so aqua blue that it makes you want to stop and stay there.
There are no people. No shops. Very little traffic as few venture this area. Very few power lines. The thought of riding it at night alone or having a malfunction on my bike brought chills to my spine. I stopped to listen. I heard no birds, only the strong whirlpool like winds. The sound was eerie but peaceful. As a solo rider from the lower states (USA) I found the solitude a bit overwhelming. I enjoyed being there but riding alone took the fun of the experience away. I wanted to stay and camp there. There was no place to safely pitch a tent without getting attention from the truckers or anyone else riding the Alaska Highway. The thought of being there alone with my tent and motorcycle would attract unwanted attention. The jealousy towards the folks that drive their large RV's and are able to spend the night in places like that really took a toll on me. I started to hate the feeling of being so exposed on my bike. The overwhelming desire to stay in this area controlled the mood with sadness as I do not know when or if ever I will be able to return. The irony during those moments was that I decided to enjoy Alaska and the Yukon Valley on two wheels. However, the thought of the safety on 4 wheels was SO strong, that I actually missed my truck.
I touched the cold glacier water and wondered if there was any life in it since it was so cold, what could live there? My experience from the lower states is seeing brown lakes. This was truly fascinating to see aqua blue lakes. I still cannot understand the physics of why the water is so beautiful!! It must be because of the runoff of the glaciers melting. Mineral deposits? There are millions of explanations on the web, for now, I will just enjoy the photo and reflect on the feelings that the area shared with me. My world tour will clearly present challenges like this. If only I could find a riding partner that would provide a bit more level of security; as they say, safety in numbers.
Here is another photo that desired the use of 4 wheels during my trek to Alaska. I had just seeing a large wild black wolf crossing the road and a huge grizzly bear. I was riding as fast as possible running away from those dark overpowering clouds that were following me and the dangers the wildlife could pose if I had some sort of malfunction. I was not carrying a weapon. I was alone. I came around the bend and there was this poor man stuck on the side of the road. The tears on his face told the story. He had been there for a while and nobody would stop to help him. My efforts resulted in getting him help. I feel terrible for the guys that are riding alone, when they need help, people do not want to stop. He was very lucky that as a female asking for help, people stopped and helped, another act of kindness. During this experience I learned how to tow a motorcycle. Hopefully I will not have to use my new skill for myself during the world tour.
My future dream is to drive back to Alaska on 4 wheels. The dream is to come back from my world tour, save some money to complete the ride. I never reached my goal of visiting Inuvik and put my feet in the Beaufort Sea. Or even better, next time, ride my bike with a partner. Perhaps you can join me.