Some books are required reading. Some are sought out.
The stories and poems that captured my youthful attention and imagination were those of
wilderness and adventure.
Jack London, Robert Service, Hemingway, JFCooper, Twain, and even Willa Cather, and Laura Ingalls
Their words took my mind to wonderful places but left my bones at home. Their inspiration did
move me to hike and camp and fish but all actions were micro-adventures.. The annual venture to points west with some
of my closest friends only whets my appetite for what lies north.
I'm not sure what constitutes a midlife crisis. Seems it is supposed to include an expensive
sports car and struggle to gain what one once had in high school. I don't want to go back there. Didn't like it
much the first time.
At this point in my life I can afford to take the time, kids are old enough to remember what
I've taught them, and my bride sometimes enjoys the peace when I'm gone for a while. So what if it happens
to be at my life's mid-point. My motivation is not to prove anything but to experience the pictures painted by the words
of these inspiring writers.
Fixing up a ten year old bloated dirt bike and overloading it with a first time backpacker's idea
of necessities then pointing it northwest and expecting smooth sailing is a little much to ask. Coming home in one piece
with a smattering of new relationships, pebbles from many streams, a deck of memory cards (filled with vain attempts to capture in
two visual dimensions what my senses as a whole experience), and a view of life skewed a few degrees, is success.
Twelve thousand miles- some on highways, some on remote two lanes, some on dirt roads in various stages of maintenance-
will pass under my bike. I hope to remember every one.
Let's see what the big deal is with Jack London's Yukon.