Our journey is almost at an end. What is there to say? We are 3 days away from the destination that we have worked so hard to reach. I can remember the long meetings in Nathan’s apartment, the dry erase board covered with our to-do list littered with things still not complete, I remember having to balance homework, school, ROTC, church, Community Leader duties, and making sure the Alive Campaign Website was up to date and Alive Campaign’ emails were answered, I remember looking at the daunting task of raising money not sure if we were going to reach our goal, coming up with back up plans just in case things didn’t go the way we wanted them to. To believe that I have finally made it, it is unimaginable. I still can’t fathom everything. It’s even hard to reflect right now, I just don’t know how I feel. I am both happy and sad. I’m happy because we’re almost there! I’ll get to see my family I’ll get to return to school a self proclaimed man, I’ll know deep in myself that I accomplished something big, that I took a chance and won. But underneath it all I feel sadness creeping over me. It’s done, no more adventure, no more stress, no more. I’m sad because I’ll be back at school, under the same routine before the Alive Campaign, no great Alaskan adventure. I feel that I’m struggling to remember it all. Like I’m pushing the pause button on a television remote, filtering through the static picking out the true picture, the memories that will last.
Yesterday we found ourselves at the Red Eagle Lodge off of Highway 1. We set up camp and for the first time since the trips beginning pulled out our camping stove and safety rations. There wasn't a little restaurant in site so we made do with what we had, mixing white rice, black beans into a boiling pot. Although not the best meal we've had it was enjoyable nonetheless. We were still hungry and began to pull out more of our rations. Spam was our next course, after frying it in the skillet, Alyson had her first taste at a military delicacy, pulling the pink pork into her mouth unsure of what she was eating. Alyson rejoiced that it hadn't killed her, so we went on pulling 4 cans of the speckled meat and filling ourselves until our stomachs were satisfied.
Today we rode from Christochina to Glennallen, a short ride compared to the many long treks we have done, and all I could do was stare up into the trees, the Boreal forest’s of Alaska, and looking to the snow covered mountains counting the peaks, hoping that some day I can pull them out of the recesses of my brain and jump right into the memory again, to be in a place of comfort. The rain didn’t even bother me. They say that the rain in Alaska is unusual for the summer season, but I actually enjoyed it. It wasn’t that cold outside and the rain helped cool my human engine. The skies were the usual overcast but the clouds retreated further into the sky allowing me to catch a glimpse at the mountain’ tops, that’s my favorite thing about Alaska, it’s the mountains. I remember saying in past entries that man was meant to live next to the mountains, and I still believe that. These mountains are incredible. They couple together like they are part of a family, holding one another close.
My bike ride ended by arriving at Glennallen and meeting with a local radio station where we held an interview live on air. It was the first time any of us were featured on a real live radio station, it was exciting seeing how it all went down, watching the buttons switch on and off and our host turning up all sorts of levers keeping the volume in check. We were even able to pick some songs to be played at their 4 o’clock show. After the hour-long interview we arrived at the only bible college in Alaska, The Alaska Bible College where our hosts treated us to vegetable lasagna and our favorite, chocolate ice cream. Full and satisfied we hosted a meet and greet where we enjoyed the company of several residents and had fun telling our story and being enjoyable guests.
I’m looking at my computer screen again, my clothes bundled in my suit case, my bike with the golden pins of all the states I have biked through, remember again the sounds and sites of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Texas, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, the Yukon, and Alaska and trying to hold on to these memories dearly. Like they are golden pins in my mind, I will never let them go.