April Update

I indicated yesterday that I would be punishing myself through a century ride as some catch-up training. The good news is that I survived, the bad news is that I did not do a century. I cut it in half, which probably saved me, as my legs and lungs are not quite up to par with the expectations in my head. I turned back at the top of Battleridge Pass after a wonderful bit of cool morning climbing, only to turn back around into miserable up-slope winds coming up the Bridger Canyon. As is always the case with that ride, I ended up working as hard or harder to descend than I did to get up to Battleridge. Nonetheless, it was a sunny warm day on the bike and I was glad to finally get in some mileage.
There is some additional news to pass along regarding the trip, both positive and negative. On the positive side, I have secured myself a job for the next couple of months. I am working in Gallatin Gateway at Medicine Hat Design on a modern prefab house that will get trucked to its final home in Alder, MT in June. The project is very exciting, and I feel lucky to get to participate in the final wrap up of construction. They needed someone to assist in the general contracting, and I needed to secure some additional funds for my trip, so we all are benefiting from this relationship. The down-side to this job is it is leaving me very little time to do additional trip preparations. As a result, I believe I will suddenly find myself sitting in Deadhorse, AK a wee bit unprepared. I assume all that will be put behind me within the first few weeks of riding, as long as I can arrive with a bike and other necessities in order.
As I focus my weekends on some necessary planning and preparation activities I continually get overwhelmed. Where to start, what is most important, what can I push aside and take care of on the ride, etc.? There are many things that I obviously need to do before I leave, like acquiring gear, and sorting out the logistics of leaving my Bozeman life behind for a year and a half. But, there are also things that I am realizing I can set aside until the trip begins, like article research, website work, and Kickstarter fundraising. Even with an organized and detailed list, of which I do not have, I realize that come the middle of June I will be rather panicked and unsure about my hasty departure on July 1 (ticket to Anchorage is already purchased). Once I get to thinking of all this stuff to take care of, either in the middle of the night when I lie awake in bed, or in the middle of a Sunday afternoon, I suddenly find my feet getting cold. There is so much to do, so much to prepare for, when I really don’t even know what to expect. I am very fortunate to have overwhelming positive support from people I encounter, and friends and family, but then I return to the obvious reality that this is a trip I will undertake by myself and its success rest squarely on my shoulders alone. So, hopefully over the next couple of months I will begin to take things one step and peddle stroke at a time and ultimately I will find myself rolling up and over the Brooks Range in Alaska basking in the glory of the arctic summer sun and the majesty of the arctic tundra and realize that there is ultimately nothing I would rather be doing.
Thanks again for all the encouragement. If I don’t yet know you, please drop me a line and tell me how you found out about the trip, and what you are looking forward to hearing about. Again, if this trip is an inspiration to anyone I would love to hear about it, as it will continually help motivate me to make this big life leap. Lastly, I have set up a donation link on the website so anyone interested can offer a few dollars of support to help me get set-up and ready to go. Any support I receive is greatly appreciated as the reality of 18 months without a job is very stressful. For those of you who have followed along from the beginning, I have decided to hold of on my Kickstarter fundraising until near the end of my journey. This will allow my focus for the Kickstarter project to be much clearer and my acquired funds to be applied much more specifically to an intended art project (book, photography, something along those lines).
I hope you are all enjoying the spring weather (it is lightly snowing outside in Bozeman as I write this). I am off to soak my cold feet at Norris!

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