April 7, 2014. 10om
The Mackenzie River Delta
Northwest Territories, Canada hey, what’s your name? what’s your name? Iohan where did you come from? Ontario but I’m going to Argentina where?
Argentina on your bike? yeah oh man I love you 6 days ago the plan is to work the summer in British Columbia then cycle from Alaska to Argentina but I had 30 days to spare and what better way to do a warm up ride… than to bike 3000 kilometers from the Arctic Ocean so let me take you along for a ride but not the kind you would see at the movies, on TV or on the cover of National Geographic there is no pack-list, rationed food or a breakdown of where I’ll sleep every night the set is the vast Canadian north-west the director, the unpredictable weather the stars, people I meet on the way and the script, the open road and whatever it throws at me I want to see the world
the north I could only afford the flight to Whitehorse from there, I will have to hitchhike the last 1500 kilometers to the Arctic Ocean big wolves up there, big fucking claws on them no game out there buddy good luck, unless you are packing a gun and you can shoot the pricks you better have a lot of bullets yeah you sleep with an eye open it’s been about 3 hours and there has only been 1 car, going on The Dempster it’s the morning of April 4th… or 5th, i don’t remember and I just biked out to Tombstone Mountain Park and I’ll see if I can get a lift to Inuvik the scenery here is awesome I guess it’s a good waiting spot,
I have my stuff all on the ground and let’s see what happens I waited 2 days for a ride at The Dempster highway it’s customary for travelers to dip their wheels in the ocean but I can’t do that and that is a good thing because I will be sleeping on it with a population of just under 1000 Tuktoyaktuk sits on the shore of the Arctic Ocean I cycled to the end of town to get a license plate for my bike and then, like any tourist
visited the local grocery store to take pictures nothing’s in there ooo, beautiful hey, those are mine what are you going to do now? that’s my glove, give it back! now you’re gonna eat my shoes? now you’re gonna eat the camera Chapter 1
The Ice Road so this is it, the ice road the forecast was light snowfall and wind but I didn’t come all this way to hide from the weather there is snow here 9 months of the year and I wanted to see the North as it truly was you’re riding your bike to where? British Columbia I have a motorcycle and there is no fucking way I’ll bring it out here a little bit too cold on the face I’ve reached the Mackenzie Delta,
I just had my first fall on the ice it was this crack right here
big sucker I really hope the road gets better from here because I still have a long way to go the forecast was wrong this was a storm complete whiteout it was unreal I was lost somewhere on another world a world of blue ice and white sky a world, where the only things that mattered were staying warm and moving forward I wasn’t doing either of those very well there are lots of cracks on the ice road you get your wheel into one of these
and you come to a complete stop…
like this one everything was strange, even the snowplows werent on the road so I’m pretty much wearing everything I have where?
Argentina on your bike? yeah o man I love you that’s beautiful! you sure you’re okay? kind of, you got any water? yeah is that what you’re doing? you’re kidding me are you serious?
yup this is the guy, famous guy… he’s driving to Argentina …from Tuktoyaktuk
I’ve just seen him in this blizzard I don’t know if you guys can see what’s going on out there haha, anyways he is going as far as Reindeer Station
he’s going to camp at one of the cabins there at night this guy sleeps on the road if he has to he’s pedaling his bike to Argentina “this guy on a bike… I almost ran into him all of a sudden”
-cause there is a whiteout in his truck he says:
“I almost ran into him… so you better look out Jerry, on your way down” was that the guy with the oil tanker?
yeah ok, what happened was
I see the guy, I’m like okay I’m gonna take a nice picture I take out my camera and then I fall ya, he said “he fell over on his bike” he says “I slow down and I…” he said “and I slow right down and all of a sudden I look in my rearview mirror and he’s on his bike pedaling again” yeah I saw him stop and then I was like
I don’t have enough time… you know what congratulations how could I forget this the calming view of the moon as the storm settled
(Reindeer Station, 12:30am) and making out the silhouette of Reindeer Station as the trucker suggested, one of the cabins was left open and there was a wood stove (Road Radio Channel)
…Good enough, the weather is turning half decent… I guess he’d be okay so where was he headed to now? earlier that day… I was headed to Aklavik this is some special kind of ice
it’s so slippery that when you fall, you can’t even get up somebody got blown off the road
during that storm few days ago it took me 18 frigid hours to cycle 160 kilometers and now it was time for some well earned rest and then I got a chance to pet some dogs watch the snowmobile race and best of all, ride a skidoo myself but this isn’t me neither is this that’s me, moments before I got stuck on the powder snow how long did it take you to come from Tuk? I took… 1… 2… 2 days to Aklavik then I waited one day because the road was snowed in and then one more day to here where do you sleep? I sleep in churches, wherever I can find… on the Arctic Ocean or on the side of the road just for the fun of it? the north is a cold and unforgiving place but the hearts of the people are warm aside from my first night on the Arctic Ocean
I didn’t have to sleep outside thanks to sister Fay the Macloud family and Paul but that was about to change,
the next town is 700 kilometers away chapter 2
The Dempster Highway