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May 4, 2020: Perhaps

I think that perhaps would be a great title for a book. It exudes hope and optimism. There is also a bit of uncertainty there, just enough to keep a person wondering. Perhaps is a far better word than maybe, which is a word with a 50/50 proposition. Perhaps indicates that there is a 75/25 proposition. Perhaps is also more inclusive than exclusive.

So Perhaps soon, doors will again open for me. Yesterday, as I was working at the plant sale, I got an email from Pete that he forwarded from me. It was from Frank Soos, who when I was working on my MFA at the University of Fairbanks was my committee chair. He was an excellent mentor and good friend. It was not so

Pete and a drunk guy fixing a flat on a bike tour in Ireland

much that he was the teacher and I was the student, but that he was the coach and I was the athlete. He encouraged me to go to New Zealand and after, write about my bicycle-related experiences. And he gave Pete and me a lot of useful advice when we were working together on the Alaska Bicycle Touring Guide.

We lost touch with one another after I graduated. As I was cleaning my cabin, I found myself traipsing down memory lane. I tried to keep my jaunts short and not dwell on any one specific time in my writing life. I did find drafts of work that Frank commented on, and in a journal I read a passage where I wrote that he said to me that I must be working hard – my eyes looked tired. This surprised me – I had no idea that I was working hard or that he took notice of this.

Frank, in his message, said that he’s working on putting together a proposal for The University of Alaska Press, he wants to edit an anthology of essays by bicycle tourists. What, I wondered, were the odds of this, at a time when I getting ready to embark on a bicycling adventure? He also said that he was wondering if he might approach the editor, Nate Bauer, about our doing a revision of the Alaska Bicycle Touring Guide. Coincidently, just the day before, I thought about mentioning to Pete that we do this next year. The thought slipped my mind because we have so much going on.

I have of course been running essay ideas though my mind – then, riding the Parks Highway in the 1980s, and now, doing this in the year 2020. But I am going to trust what I know and let the ideas that materialize during the trip shape the subject matter. In this way, I’ll show readers the path of my thinking.

And I had been thinking that I’d gather information on the Parks Highway portion of the trip for the book. This’ll be easy.

I am hoping that I can meet up with Frank and Nate in Fairbanks. Perhaps this will come to be.

Next: 156. 6/5/20: Oh Where or Where did that Dispatch Go?

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