Sunday, July 12, 2009

The drive so far

Wow. Alaska is far away. And endurance driving is hard. But Canada is kinda pretty. Thus the urge to come on my blog and post pictures.

I'm actually online right now because both my debit and credit cards were put on hold today. Impeccable timing. I love the way credit card companies freeze your accounts only at the times it's most inconvenient for you. I guess purchases in Silver City, New Mexico, one day and Jasper, Alberta, just a few short days later may look a little suspicious. I don't know. I do know I was throwing around the last of my cash today on $4/gallon gas while stressing that I was going to be completely broke before I made it to the Yukon. Yeah, driving is way harder than biking. At least cyclists can beg for food.

I drove 800 miles today in 16 nearly nonstop hours (narrow, winding roads and a gutless car make a 50 mph average the best I can do). I did take the time to do a tiny little hike near the icecap this morning. This is near the crux of the Continental Divide, where droplets of water bound for the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans go their separate ways. The Continental Triangle.

Thunderstorms moved in during the afternoon as I made my way into northern British Columbia, where gray daylight lingered until 11 p.m. I drove right through to dark. I was completely stressed about the storms all afternoon, even as I tried to remind myself that I was inside a car on pavement and they weren't going to hurt me. I'm having a hard time removing myself from "Divide" mode. I still pretty much only think about road conditions and weather, and I respond to fatigue with junk food. I was nearly wiped out in Dawson Creek, so I ate a huge bag of M&Ms and washed it down with coffee. I felt better until Fort Saint John, and then I started craving giant brownie. Luckily, I was mired in credit card problems at that point, so I missed out on the 600 sugar calories that I no longer need.

I listened to every single Tour Divide call-in via old MTBcast episodes today and Friday to pass the long drive. That's probably not helping me reintegrate back into civilization, but many of them were good for laughs (and groans of painful understanding.) Those many hours of variations of "I hurt my (fill in crucial body part)" and "it rained all day" (to which I contributed fully) is probably the reason why my brain isn't working. I forgot my social security number when I was on the phone with my bank today, and had to call my parents to get it. The misadventures in driving continue. I'm hoping to reach Whitehorse tomorrow. After that, it's just a quick jog and a ferry ride south to a place I haven't seen in three months - my home town.