Tuesday, May 7, 2013

BQ1 – Bear's Quest

The miles seem to click off as I round the corners on Hwy 202. Today is the 5th day of my Cycle commute and the ride seems to be easier with my new touring bike. I lay into the peddles over the small rising hill, only having to click down one sprocket. At the end of the day, I will have put in 230 miles this week (48-52 miles per day). Gaining ever closer to the end goal of 1000 miles over the Month of May. It is the Cycle Commute Month, sponsored by Group Health and Cascade Bicycle Club. Last year I made 750 miles.

But there is another reason that I am doing this. I many ways, this is a 30 day Challenge to myself that goes hand-in-hand with “Bear's Quest” for a Sober life. In the last year I have noted that alcohol has began to consume many parts of my life. Using it as a way to channel the way I felt from a sense of loss that had always been there. I would crawl into the bottle, leaving what I thought my were my troubles behind. Over the long road, they only have gotten worse. Loosing connections with people, failing relationships and overall decline of my standards of living.

The reality call was a DUI, that canceled my Alaska Trip/Job. An action that I truly regret placing myself in and those that I may have injured and affected in life. Now bounded to not drive for 90 days or more, I have chosen to focus on a human-powered lifestyle and rebirth of my spirit. I owe a debt to society for my choices and I am grateful that this wake-up call has occurred. In the end, I wear a amulet of Thunderbird carrying Whale to his new ocean as a daily reminder of promises made. So peddle I go...

From the dawn of the sun across the valley floor, to the jeweled lights of stars on my commute back. Each mile seems to make the soul settle more into the journey ahead. Yet one days light is not the last, there are many more to come, yet each to cherish.  In this case I will focus my time on Bear's Quest for recovery via cycling.. Seems to best way to change my stars, by being inspired by landscape, movement and reflection...

– Ridgewalker

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

AKV 1 - Call to Alaska

For the last few years, since leaving New Zealand I have lived in among the Rain Forest and Sounds of the Pacific Northwest. Done my best to make a life of it, worked the ski slopes, the waters as an instructor and outfitted many who headed off on distant adventures. I tried to lay down my wanderlust and find me a lass to settle down with. I worked the Tree Farm of my professors, and even made peace with my mother. But all along, something didn't seem right, something missing. Driving me more and more towards a crazy edge. Locked in the civilized world of fear and responsibility, I paced back and forth like a rat, tending my field and working the familure trails.

Till a voice, as bad as Conscience, rang interminable changes
On one everlasting Whisper day and night repeated -- so:
"Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges --
"Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and wating for you. Go!"

The haunting words of Kippling that I once read over the kitchen at Camp Parsons Lodge. The words that had always sat deeply seeded within. Driving me through years of staff, following me along the Cascade Crest, and then to distant shores of the South Island. Here as I tried to make what all others seem to strive for work... The words spoke again, reminding me what I had seen before...

I remember lighting fires; I remember sitting by 'em;
I remember seeing faces, hearing voices, through the smoke;
I remember they were fancy -- for I threw a stone to try 'em.
"Something lost behind the Ranges" was the only word they spoke.

As time drew on, I became more and more distant. Unfullfilled by what the grounds from the Cascades to the Puget Sound had to bring me. Somehow I knew where this voice was leading me. Summers spent along Coastal fiordlands and Yukon tundra. A vitality that one cannot purely explain with words or picture, but can only be gained by sitting before it and breathing it in. So with a snap decision, I decide to make my way north, proded on by the weight of a heavy heart.

But at last the country altered -- White Man's country past disputing --
Rolling grass and open timber, with a hint of hills behind --
There I found me food and water, and I lay a week recruiting.
Got my strength and lost my nightmares. Then I entered on my find.

Now that transition begins, as days come closer and closer. Snow still grips the Port that the next 6 months will be my home. I plan to bike, paddle and scramble the lands that surround. Gather myself for the coming journey and the cycle ride back down. But deep within, as I say my goodbyes, and will be back again, somehow I know that I will only then be passing by. For this life I have lived has not bore any fruit that I have not turned cold and the trail calls my back again. And the road as I have learned keeps going without end.

I do not know where my feet lead me, or when my travels will end this time. But I know that my life is best lived simple and in motion driven my by own energy within. I know that when I come to rest once again, I will find myself older and hopefully wiser, maybe even at peace within... For now Alaska calls, a place that has always lured me time and again...

Have I named one single river? Have I claimed one single acre?
Have I kept one single nugget -- (barring samples)? No, not I!
Because my price was paid me ten times over by my Maker.
But you wouldn't understand it. You go up and occupy.

-- Words from The Explorer by Rudyard Kippling (as written above Meany Lodge, Camp Parsons)