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Old 03-03-2013, 02:46 PM   #376
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So where did it end?


Fascinating read but where did the ride end? How many miles did you end up laying down? Did it help heal the wound? I would love to read a final conclusion, or wrap up of the entire ride from the author.

I leave from Stephens City, Va. May 18th, 2013 for Alaska for a similar reason you did your trip. This one is for my Dad. The trip he never had the oppourtunity to complete.
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:23 PM   #377
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Loved your ride report Anna! Thanks for sharing!

We probably know some of the same people as I lived just outside of afton for awhile!
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:44 PM   #378
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Originally Posted by olddix View Post

Fascinating read but where did the ride end? How many miles did you end up laying down? Did it help heal the wound? I would love to read a final conclusion, or wrap up of the entire ride from the author.

I leave from Stephens City, Va. May 18th, 2013 for Alaska for a similar reason you did your trip. This one is for my Dad. The trip he never had the oppourtunity to complete.
Relax. She will get to it on her schedule. You have 70+ days till launch. Anna isn't done yet. Like a fine wine great writing takes time. Sit back and enjoy like the rest of us have been for a few months.
"Do today what other's won't, so you can do tomorrow what other's can't." Jody Sears-West Point
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:55 PM   #379
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Yep... Anna stated that each new post was harder to write than the last last one. Understanding and appreciating that, I expect to see a new post from her when she is ready. She is something special, and her writing style is wonderful. I hope that she is able to complete her oddessy, and will wait patiently.

I'm sure there are plenty of RR's and riders who would love to discuss details, but that isn't, I don't believe, her purpose for this thread...

"Cleavage Juice"... my favorite from her...too much.

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Old 03-03-2013, 05:31 PM   #380
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You what?

I didn't really pay attention to the actually posting dates. I was looking at her dates in her titles,
Day 25:
June 14, 2012
Alaska Marine Highway: Haines, AK – Prince Rupert, BC: Day 1

I thought it had been almost a year since her last post and I was just reading something old. I got it now. It was a great read and I was wanting more. Well done Anna!

I will wait patiently.
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:08 PM   #381
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Anna -- you have a gift for writing bravely. Don't underestimate the rarity or value of it.

Your words vibrate and harmonize with my own experiences -- of loss, of travel... of travel catalyzed by sadness and escape. I recognize in myself your seemingly conflicting need for solitude and the solace of company. I recognize the heartache of leaving perfect places, the swelling pride of accomplishment, and the attraction of detachment. I, too, have enjoyed malt beverages with complete strangers on a ferry... it's wonderful.

You are still on a journey, an adventure: the craft of telling your tale with openness and honesty. Keep it up, you're doing great.
When they say Harleys are for 1%ers, I don't think they mean guys who sell crank and get in bar fights any more.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:59 AM   #382
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Hey, OP, just wanted to say that I've really been enjoying reading thru the whole thread from beginning to this point over the last two days. You write really well: there's a great balance of the descriptive, the lyrical, the technical and the prosaic. Thanks for sharing your journey and your reasons for it.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:38 AM   #383
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AT Report

Thanks for sharing, a friend sent me this report Friday and I savored it all weekend. Would you happen to have a write up on your hike of the AT? I'm sure that was quite the adventure as well.

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Old 03-04-2013, 02:43 PM   #384
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Just read your whole ride report.. and all I can say is: You're awesome.

And thank you for sharing your ride with us.
"You live more in 5 minutes flat out on a motorcycle than most people live in their whole lives." ~Burt Munro

“Sometimes it's a little better to travel than to arrive.”
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:27 PM   #385
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I'm struck by the emotional honesty of your report.

It is what it is, not what one wants or expects it to be--and somehow that's the best thing of all, just letting things be as they are, and knowing you can get through it.

Right on. You ever want a place to crash or ride with in Northern California with a fellow ADV woman, let me know. And thanks for the effort and self-exposure of doing your report.
Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe. --Anatole France
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:23 PM   #386
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Thanks for sharing this with me, I am enjoying reading it very much.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:19 PM   #387
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thanks for the excellent write up, Im from Wasilla and love reading abut others enjoying my home.great job !
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:13 PM   #388
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Day 26: Alaska Marine Highway: Day 2

Day 26:
June 15, 2012
Alaska Marine Highway: Haines, AK – Prince Rupert, BC: Day 2

It was a little disorienting waking in the night, darker than it had been in a while, hearing the deep rumbling sounds of the ferry at port. I squinted my sleepy eyes across my feet to see several yellow lights blinking in a hazy chilly fog beyond the edge of the deck. For a moment I was confused where I was, before hearing the familiar sound of water lapping the side of the boat. It was 2:00am, and we had ported in Petersburg.

I fell back asleep for a few hours before waking again to the booming voice over the intercom announcing the next port landing in Wrangell. It was only 6:00am but bright outside already, so I dug myself deeper into my sleeping bag to avoid the outdoor commotion hoping to sleep a little more.

Sleep was impossible as other early risers on board began to explore the ferry. A very thoughtful family with two children was kind enough to choose the solarium to bring their children to play. I peeked through my sleeping bag to see them running and screaming chasing each other while the parents ignored them in deep conversation with another couple over a cup of coffee.

I considered asking them to take their devil children somewhere else, but then thought it wasn’t the kids fault. The parents were the ones that were being so oblivious to the homeless bum buried in the corner trying to get some sleep. I secretly wished I could just rip a huge fart and get them to exit the solarium pronto. However, I’ve never been able to do that when I want to, only during the most inappropriate times, like church, or an interview, or getting a massage, or while having sex.

If only I were a dude, I could rip one anytime I wanted. Or maybe I should just start pissing off the side of the ferry. That would get them to leave. Then again, it’d be easier with a dick.

I finally stirred from my sleeping back and glared at the parents with the most hateful stink-eye I could form. They didn’t even turn their heads or notice. The kids looked at me though with a curious look. I tried to half smile at them while I packed my bag away.

I wandered down to the cafeteria for some crap coffee and was almost tempted with their breakfast special, stack of pancakes…for $10?! Yea right!
I ate a squished granola bar and bruised apple from my food bag.

I found Dennis enjoying the café special and sat with him while sipping my coffee. He had The Milepost on the table and I started studying the section on Ketchikan, our next port for seven hours. I was bored already, and anxious to get off the ferry hoping to explore and see a little more of Alaska on foot.

Before long, Billy showed up while I was refilling my coffee. I told him I was looking up stuff to do and see in Ketchikan. With a soft chuckle he said, “Oh, so you’ve already planned out our day then?”

I smirked and said, “Well, I’m planning MY day. But you can join me if you like.” We both smiled.

I asked Dennis if he’d be joining us this time. But his toe was now oozing puss, he couldn’t bare wearing more than flip flops. He was disappointed he wouldn’t be seeing anymore of Alaska and was stuck on the ferry. I promised to drink a beer for him and show him pictures when we got back.

Billy and I got off the Matanuska in Ketchikan on the North Tongass Highway in a light rain. I felt slightly like a ewe in a herd of goats being shepherded to land from the deep belly of the vessel. The crowds headed south, 2.3 miles towards town, so we headed in the opposite direction, straying from the rest of the herd like mavericks.

I wanted to see Totem Bight State Historical Park 7.5 miles north of the ferry terminal; I just wasn’t sure how we were going to get there. Within a few moments a man approached us and offered us a taxi. I asked where his taxi was and he pointed to a non-labeled blue van. I thought it looked kind of like a tourist trap and asked how much it would be to get to Totem Bight. Just as he was telling us it would be $10, I saw a public bus go by across the street. “No thanks,” I said. “We’ll take the bus,” hoping the bus went that far.

We jogged across the street to the bus stop ducking out of the rain and checked the route map. It looked like the bus arrived every 20 minutes or so and Totem Bight was at the end of the route. We waited just ten minutes or so before another bus came and I asked how much it would be to the end of the road. It was just $2, for up to three hours. Now that’s more like it.

Totem Bight is a beautiful park with a short, winding path leading through a lush green rainforest to an open view next to the Tongass Narrows. There are 14-16 totem poles (I didn’t count them and different sources say different numbers) plus a replica of a Tlingit clanhouse from the early 19th century.

In 1938, the park was founded when the Civilian Conservation Corps funded a U.S. Forest Service program to salvage and restore original abandoned totem poles and to create duplicates of authentic ones. All were carved by older skilled Natives to teach the art of carving to the young and preserve a beautiful tradition of the past.

Cedar logs were traditionally used, carved with hand-made carving tools, and paints were often made from natural sources such as clam shells, salmon eggs, copper pebbles, lichen, and graphite. Black is the primary color seen with red for secondary spaces and blue or yellow for accenting highlights.

Billy and I strolled the path gazing above at the totem poles towering above our heads. Tlingit and both Haida myths and legends were illustrated there among them. We saw the common symbolic characters reflecting the resources of Southeast Alaska often inspiring the intricate designs. The Raven and the Eagle were the most common, representing the two moieties of the region. Other images were the Bear, Beaver, Killer Whale, and Wolf.

The clanhouse, representative of the type in many Indian villages, typically would have housed 30-50 people for several families of a particular lineage headed by a house chief. It was probably the size of the average American’s living room.

In the middle of the room was a central fireplace surrounded by a platform. Rafters stretched across the ceiling often used for hanging food and removable floorboards allowed space for storage.

The rain continued to drizzle on us and we escaped a crowd on a tour while running back to the gift shop to wait for the bus. On our way, Billy said, “I’m so glad you don’t like doing the group tour thing.”

“Well, I find things more interesting that way and I can go at my own pace,” I said.

“Agreed.” We found each other enjoyable traveling companions.

After gawking at all the cheap crap resembling fake totem poles and fake Haida art and fake Tlingit crafts, we caught the bus back to town. It was still raining.

(There was a corner in the gift shop with old artifacts. This was my favorite.)

Located on the southwest coast of Revillagigedo Island, Ketchikan has an average yearly rainfall of 162 inches and average summer temperature of 55 degrees. This was exactly what we experienced.

Ketchikan is derived from the Tlingit name, Kitschk-Hin, which translates to “spread wings of a prostrate eagle.” The shape of the city, being a linear waterfront town with a creek through the center, resembles that of a soaring eagle in the sky.

Originally, Ketchikan was a Tlingit Indian fish camp. In 1898 gold was found and it was settled for mining and harvesting the abundant fish available until fishing became the main economy and it was referred to as “the Salmon Capital of the World.”

But overfishing ruined that market by the 1940’s, and the timber industry stepped in to diminish the remaining resources left. Now tourism is the most important industry there allowing the 6th largest city in Alaska with a population of 8,000 to survive.

Creek Street was the next place I suggested we check out when we got to town. It is a boardwalk of shops inside restored old houses suspended above Ketchikan Creek, clinging to the logged rocky hills. The original streets of Ketchikan were built on wooden trestles because of the steep terrain. I was more interested in the construction of these houses than the shops full of tourists like myself.

Billy and I did find some authentic gifts for our families hidden among the large amounts of stores selling the same crap around every corner. We found some unique Tlingit and Haida art to look at as well and some out of the ordinary local costumes.

It didn’t take us long in the shopping crowd to start planning an escape for a beer run. We found a little dive bar by the water and split a pitcher of beer over fish and chips before heading back to the ferry.

We both remarked how much fun we had exploring together and how even though it rained, Ketchikan was still a cool place to see. Although the historical development of the place was depressing, the existing background culture and art was an amazing experience.

When we boarded back onto the Matanuska, we agreed to meet later in the bar with Dennis after a hot shower and some rest. I went back to my cozy home under the solarium and wrote in my journal while gazing over the water searching for pods of whales as the ferry departed from Ketchikan. I never saw any.

I met the boys back at the bar and showed Dennis my pictures from the day. I was disappointed I didn’t get many because my Droid had finally filled up and no longer had space to store any. Billy was nice to offer using his laptop to transfer my photos off the phone and create more space. I was carrying a flash-drive with miscellaneous things on it, such as the manual to the Radian and my resume. He said we could play with it later and figure it out.

After one pitcher Dennis decided to go to bed. He wanted to get a good night sleep since we’d be porting in Prince Rupert to get off the ferry at 2:00am. He was the smart one.

Billy and I on the other hand, proceeded to drink another pitcher of beer, play with my photos, and watch a movie on his laptop while drinking the rest of my whiskey before finally going to bed at 1:00am.

Getting off the ferry hungover with one hour of sleep did not feel good.
It was going to be a long ride. And, it was raining.
May the road rise up to meet you
And wind be always at your back
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:15 PM   #389
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Farting on command is a myth for us guys.....we actually just have to fart a lot......

Great report once again.
Can't wait to make it up there!
"Beware of the lollipop of mediocrity. One lick and you'll suck forever!"Brian Wilson
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:23 PM   #390
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Damn (in a good way)! Why is it when I read your RR that I get the urge to go down to my local pub and have a drink?
"I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure about anything." Richard Feynman, Cal Tech Scientist
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