Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Keeping This Blog

I haven't really decided until recently what I wanted to do about this blog - I have written some things on here that I am really happy with but on the other hand it chronicles what was a painful time for me. My other blog is a great place to write about my life on Unalaska, but it is limiting because I have self-imposed restrictions about the content - I take all the photos myself and I keep it intentionally non-controversial as after all, I live on an island and do not want to offend anyone.

What I've come to realize is that it might be nice to have a place to post other folk's pictures or talk about things not related to Unalaska/Dutch Harbor. To keep this blog required that I edited it a bit - not much, just a bit - by removing a few photos and changing a bit of the content. I started that process today but am not finished; it is important to me to preserve everything associated with KC and Lydia as they are still in my heart, even if I am not in theirs. I hope they are safe and happy and loved.

The Anchorage Daily News carried an article today that Exxon is asking the Supreme Court to hear the punative award case, you can read about this here. It's great this case is finally coming to a close in the next 12 months and we can either let it go or pay the damages. Over 20 percent of the original claimants have passed away since the oil spill in 1989 - I'm still alive however and promise to invest my share of the damages in something smart, like a 22 foot C-Dory with a 90 hp Honda 4 Stroke, 8 hp Honda trolling motor, swim step, diesel stove/heat for the cabin, power trim tabs, and a wash down pump and hose as options - not that I've given it any thought . . . . .

Monday, June 18, 2007


Arrival in Anchorage

It ended up taking me 6 days to get to Anchorage from Payette, Idaho - the last day being a laid back 350 mile ride from Tok. I'm not sure when or if I'll ever be able to ride from coast to coast on a motorcycle - I know how lucky I was to be able to do that twice just in the last year. For those that dream of doing something like that, it is both easier and harder than you realize and the best part of the trip will not be the scenery or the wildlife, it will be the people you meet along the way. Listen to their stories for they are dying to tell you them. Don't boast of your achievements, just bask in the fellowship of the road and listen. My favorite encounter occurred in Tok, the last night of my trip. There were two brothers, ages 73 and 65, who were on BMW motorcycles and camping like I was. The older brother didn't begin riding until 1999, and bought his BMW RT touring bike new in 2003. He had 77,000 miles on it and had earned the Iron Butt Association award for visiting all the national parks in a year, and also the 4 Corners Award for hitting the four corners of the United States (Maine, Florida, Washington and California) in less than 10 days. On my rides across the United States I have always missed my brother, but these two guys gave me hope that our time would come to get our riding in eventually. It was an inspiring evening of friendship on the road. Love you bro, and hope we can do the Prudoe to Patagonia trip someday - even if we're 73 and 65 . . . . .


Critters Along The Way

I was surprised by all the bears I saw along the way - maybe 25 or 30 bears in all. Although I have driven the Alcan 9 times now, I don't think I have ever driven it this early in the year and that might be why there were so many bears along side the road eating greens. It was cool that I saw both black and brown bear cubs - the mama bears seemed to be so intent on filling their bellies they were amazingly tolerant of me taking pictures. As always, the best bear photos are mental ones, bears that didn't wait for me to get stopped and get my camera out before running into the woods. I only had one close call with wildlife being unexpectedly in the road, and it was deer and not really all that close - a great trip for wildlife overall.


Day Three

Day three I made some good mileage despite the snow on the road here and there at the higher elevations and you can see the ice was just barely breaking up in some spots. The weather was perfect for riding and I found a decent place to camp for the night. There were lots of bear in the area (and lots of mosquitos) so I lit a fire to keep the critters at bay, large and small. Had a great nights sleep and awoke to sunny skies!


Day Two

Day two was probably the best day of the trip even though I had yet more rain, severely testing my supply of dry clothes. I got a late start because of the waterlogged bike but was soon riding though Banff and Jasper Provincial Parks, amazing scenery no matter what the conditions. I only managed about 500 miles due to the late start but found a perfect campsite for the night, built a bonfire, and dried out all my gear. The woods were so soaked from the weeks of rain it took me three attempts - using gas from my bike - to get a fire started. What a glorious evening I spent! The next morning dawned clear and sunny, perfect riding weather.


Leaving Idaho

The first day of riding was wet, windy and cold. I had a goal of 600 miles for the day in order to make Anchorage in 5 days but after getting started late from Bren's and pounding rains (even some snow in northern Idaho), 550 miles was all I could manage. It was about 10:30 at night and dark when I picked this little side road to drive down for my campsite. The little road ended at the control shack by the railroad tracks so that's where I set up my tent. I quickly got set up and stripped off my wet clothes (raingear only does so much, and my rain pants were shredded from the headwind and burning on my exhaust over the years and not much protection). I fell into an exhausted sleep and woke to the sound of silence - the rain had stopped!! I poked my head out of the tent and was greeted by the scene in the top picture - the river had flooded during the night and almost completely covered the little road to a depth of 2 plus feet! I had to push my bike out through the flood to the main road in water almost up to the seat and then dry it all off before it would start on the other side - a pretty exciting start to my adventure. There was an osprey nest right by where I camped which I didn't see the night before - that was a major clue there was water very near by and I would have picked a different spot. I found out later that lower British Columbia was experiencing severe flooding all over - not just at my campsite - and that many areas were applying for provincial disaster assistance. The top picture is the osprey nest - there was a mated pair that were fishing and feeding baby chicks in the nest.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


What A Great Time!!

Trevor's wedding in Fargo was just about perfect, it was wonderful for so many people to come from all over (3 countries and a dozen states from Virginia to Hawaii and Alaska and points in between) to see this couple get married. I talked to him last night and he was just glowing, fresh from 10 days in Costa Rica. His wife's family are first rate and I'm so proud to welcome her as a daughter-in-law. Congratulations Trevor and Megan, I love you - Dad

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Last Day of Work

In about 20 minutes I have to head to Augusta for my last day of work before I hit the road. It is with mixed feelings that I leave my job - almost every day I loved the challenge and the people and the work. I looked long and hard to find a job that was a good fit for me, and I did well ending up where I did. While I'm thrilled to be spending the summer on a motorcycle again, I will miss a lot about my job.

To all my friends at work - Lou, Duane, Lisa, Kamal, John, Charley, Nick, Pat, Gerry, Clyde, Scott, Pete, Anthony, Pam, Brandi, Paul, Josh, Sam, Vearn, Randy, Joe and Sue - thanks for your friendship, your patience, and your hard work. I had a great time getting to know you all and hope you stay in touch; best of luck in the future and I hope to see you all again!

Saturday, April 28, 2007


Just 10 Days

Hey, looks like Blogger has all the kinks worked out of the new Beta version, and photos are uploading better than ever! I haven't posted in a very long time for a number of reasons - there were technical problems with Blogger for awhile, I was conflicted on whether I should start a fresh blog given some of the content of the this one, and I was experiencing a whole range of experiences and emotions last fall and this winter that I didn't feel needed to be re-examined here. I have had some wonderful times here in Maine - lots of time with the best big brother in the world, I saw a bald eagle fly over my childhood home (how I wish my Mom could have seen that), my job has been a fun challenge that I look forward to most of the time. I got all the slides scanned and lots of work done on the house but wish I had got more done. I got to spend all too little time with Dad before he headed to Arizona for the winter. I'm heading west to Trevor's graduation, his wedding, my niece's graduation, and then on to Alaska, again on a motorcycle, in about 10 days. I have decided to start a new blog, but not while I'm on the road. Because when I stop traveling this summer, I'll be finally in a home of my own, and that certainly deserves a fresh start.

The service I used to post audio files from my cell phone while on the road last summer is no longer in business so I need to find another way to do that since it worked fantastic. A lot of my posts from that period were truncated when Blogger switched to the new Beta version - that's a bummer since it is not really realistic to rewrite any of those posts as they captured a time and a moment that is gone.

When my new blog is up and running, when I am finally home, I'll supply the address to those that want it. Cheers everyone, I need to get back to work on the house.

Monday, January 08, 2007


Testing . . . Testing

Well, I still can't upload photos here - just thought I'd try a text only. Cheers Everyone!

Friday, January 05, 2007


Happy New Year

I haven't been posting because there seems to be a problem posting pictures. I haven't figured out if the problem is with the computer or with Blogger but I am trying to get it fixed because I have tons of new pictures to share! Cheers, Steve

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Happy Belated Halloween!

These are pictures of Aubrey Elizabeth on Halloween night in the onesie her Aunt Brenda sent. In the middle picture you can definitely tell that the whole parent thing has aged Trevor quite a bit - must be going to classes during the day and watching Aubrey nights while Megan is working - he looks pretty bad for 21 years old! Aubrey is looking enormous compared to when I saw her in September! I remember being a bit apprehensive about meeting Aubrey for the first time since I had not been around any babies since . . . well, since her Dad was a baby! I lay on the floor in Trevor apartment and really got a good look at her and I was hooked from then on! I still can't believe I'm a grandfather though - I'm still a kid myself!

Trevor and Megan, you are fantastic parents and Aubrey is going to have a great life! I'm proud of you both, now and always.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Still (Too) Safe In Maine

I can't believe it has been over 50 days since I last posted here. It wasn't an intentional lapse, it's just that this is a declaratory format for me, not an exploratory one, and I had nothing to declare. Let's see, what have I been up to since I last posted . . . I have moved, gotten divorced, and started a new job - pretty much the trifecta of stress for an adult male in America. I guess I should be thankful I have weathered things so well, all things considered.

The move . . . . I am not living where I thought I would be, and I am still not at peace with that decision. I feel there is more for me to help with in Idaho but I also feel there are some very big things to be accomplished here in Maine, some of which are not clear. I have had to make a sometimes painful transition from a fearless adventurer who can do anything to a son and baby brother who needs protecting and pretty much screws up everything. And yet, my abilities dreams and passions are like banked coals, protected from a (probably imaginary) storm of criticism and doubt by a thick layer of insulating ash. In the quiet of the early mornings I scrape back the ash and make sure things are still hot underneath and I am terrified of the day I discover my fire is out.

The divorce . . . . very painful for me but necessary. There really isn't anything else to say. I think of the girls daily and wish things were different. I hope their Mom is happy and has found someone she likes more and can truly love with all her heart. KC and Lydia, I love you always and am here as a Dad if you ever want me. My cell number and email are the same. I hope to see you at Trevor's wedding.

The new job . . . . I took the most challenging one of the offers and it requires all of my abilities when I am there. I am learning quickly and the pay and benefits package is decent for the area. I work nights right now (the irony!) and have been very protective of my time and schedule so I can have as normal a life as possible. I have many small pleasures . . . time with my Dad and brother, an extended riding season (I'm riding to work tonight, November 10th!), time to read and reflect. I watched, dismayed, as some dreams dissolved before my eyes and I've carefully built new ones to take their place.

I am for now, (too) safe. After 13 weeks of vacation, I began work on Halloween night. I had nothing to do with my first paycheck but place it in savings, I stay in a spare bedroom that is almost as big as the first floor of my log cabin in Alaska, I know nothing of deprivation. I belong here though - I pulled in to a rest area a couple days ago and it no longer felt like home, the wanderer has settled. I know why I am here, to learn humility. I have mastered a lot of other tough lessons in life, and I'll apply myself to learning this newest challenge on the road to the apex. I certainly have some help learning this one . . . .

So, I'm back posting! Cheers everyone, I'll get the pictures posted from the Idaho to Maine portion of the trip soon. It's interesting, I tried posting yesterday and the post was lost due to problems with the Blogger site . . . today's post is nothing like yesterdays, so strange . . . .

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Fryberg Fair With Dad and Bro

Monday, September 18, 2006


Safe In Maine

I arrived in Maine last night after a perfect two days riding with my brother. We arrived at the campsite in Niagra within 10 minutes of each other - is that planning or what! After we got our tents set up and gear unpacked we went out for a nice supper at Red Lobster then built a fire and got caught up (we may or may not have played some cribbage as well). The next morning we got rolling towards the tourist area by the Falls by 9 or so after breakfast at a flying saucer themed restaurant.

We went through the Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum and browsed some of the shops - the falls itself was spectacular and I'll be posting photos soon of all my travels since I left Idaho heading east. On the way across the border into New York my brother appeared to have some kind of difficulty while passing through customs but I waited patiently while he got it sorted out and we quickly got through the city and on to some fantastic riding on secondary roads across upstate New York.

We didn't want to miss any of the scenery on Route 3 so we stopped in the tiny village of Cranberry Lake for the night not long after sunset, logging 300 miles for the day. The room was more of a camp than motel room but it was just perfect after the day's riding and the owner was pretty funny - she somehow thinks Brad Pitt looks like Fozzie Bear from Sesame Street. Again, we may or may not have played cribbage depending on who you talk to . . . . There was a small diner just a few steps away from the room and we had a nice homecooked breakfast with the local game warden and his cronies sitting one table over - the ambiance of the place was like a movie set.

We had a nice warmup ride the first 30 miles with the roads empty and the pavement perfect, twisting through a balsalm fir forest and just enough chill in the air to feel wonderfully alive. With my trusted riding partner finally by my side we had one of the best days riding of my life, just a hint of fall in the air and the leaves starting to turn, Route 3 connecting with Route 2 after just a brief stretch of interstate, one quaint little town after another connected by winding two lane begging to be gobbled up. We pulled into my brother's driveway just as the sun was setting on a perfect day - thanks Bro for meeting me in Niagra Falls and riding that last 700 miles with me, it was awesome all the way around!

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Upstate New York and Home To Maine

this is an audio post - click to play

Friday, September 15, 2006


Niagra Falls With Bro

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Marquette, MI to Arrival In Naigra Falls

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Duluth, MN

this is an audio post - click to play


Heading East

Yesterday was a relaxed day of football and good food. While Trevor was in class I took a ride around the town of Valley City and got the lay of the land. Trevor made some fantastic spaghetti for supper and we watched football then I rode over to the college football field and watched Trevor play in an intramural league game. Back home to watch some more football then off to bed.

Today I am joining the kids and their friends at the local Pizza Hut to devastate the buffet, then I'm heading east. It's been a wonderful visit and Aubrey is indeed perfect! I made reservations at the Niagra KOA for my brother and I and look forward to seeing him soon!

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Valley City, North Dakota

I arrived at Trevor and Megan's last night close to midnight after a 720 mile day. It definitely didn't help that the first 100 miles took over three hours due to extreme switchbacks heading up to 11,000 feet and back down on Route 212 - but it sure was fun riding! Today we drove to Argyle to visit Megan's parents - they are wonderful folks and on short notice (I woke up this morning and announced I wanted to go see the parents!) they fed us a wonderful meal of ham, corn, and garlic mashed potatoes with lemon mereigne pie for desert. After that we watched a little football and headed over to see Megan's grandparents in the nursing home and then to Fargo for Mongolian barbecue and back to Valley City.

The grand daughter is beautiful! Aubrey has gained a couple pounds in the last month and I'm estatic I got here to see her. What a cutie - and what great parents. Good job Trevor and Megan!

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