Break Away.
June 22 , 2005
Anchorage, Alaska
The jet took off from Denver International Airport just after dark. Above the thunderstorms that sparked and rained below, the day's final streak of orange light was still visible on the horizon to the northwest. The plane turned toward that light, and for the next five and a half hours, as the night wore on, as I drifted in and out of restless sleep, that light never went out, but slowly brightened.

I was herded off the plane and into the bright twilight of 1:00 am. Welcome to Anchorage, Alaska on the longest day of the year.

There may be things to do in Anchorage at 1:00 am on the longest day of the year. I did what came most natural to me. I sprawled down on an airport couch next to my stuff and went to sleep. I witnessed the first golden rays of dawn (4:20 am) from my couch, but couldn't force myself get up. Finally dragged myself outside to put my bike together at 6:00 am, daylight burning.

I left Hawaii and spent two weeks in Denver. This is the start of a new adventure. Behind me there is some confusion. I'm not making any plans to follow what has become my traditional migration route. Meaning I'm not planning to go back to Hawaii this fall. That doesn't mean I can't or won't, but I'm not making that plan.

A big part of me really feels like I'm ready for something new. Ready for a new stab at a "career" or something like it. Ready to live somewhere with different bicycling opportunities than Kona. Ready for changes of season, and variations in temperature. Ready for a break from the full-sized ghetto that's grown from the small town of Kailua-Kona, from the escalating rental prices, from the vog-shrouded air, from the few roads and many cars, from the moldering infrastructure, the Plantation Era Politics meets New Age Faux-Utopia meets Pave it Now Planning meets good ol' fashioned Apathy/Anarchy.

The grass can seems greener, of course. But I still think that my attempt to leave all this behind is a chance for good and positive change in my life. But it's not the whole story. Because I'm also leaving behind some great friendships, and I'm leaving behind love.

Love. Probably with a capital L. There are few landmarks in my life that can compare to my happy meeting with the woman I've now left behind in Hawaii. What the future holds is, of course, part of the adventure. Like any adventure, there is an uncertain outcome, and a chance of danger.

Tomorrow I'll be leaving Anchorage. I'll be riding and hiking into wild country, to remote valleys amid huge mountains, where glaciers and rivers, where forest, tundra, and rock, where wild creatures and wild weather will shape the course of my exploration. But what the outcome will be, I do not know.



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