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January 15, 2013: Pack, Pedal, and Paddle: Another Trip Option

And so Pete and I are still waiting to hear if the academic powers that be are going to grant him a sabbatical. This decision is going to determine what type of trip we’ll be doing this summer, if any. If he gets the sabbatical, we may do Part II of the Tolting the Divide trip, because we’ll then be able to head south in the late summer. If he doesn’t get the sabbatical, we may do an in-state trip. Last night I laid awake most of the night, thinking about a possible in-state trip. As I mulled this over, I became as enthused about it as about our proposed out-of-state trip.

Here’s how the in-state trip might go: (I’m saying “we” here, although I’m not

sure yet what part Pete is going to be doing. We’ll take the horses and go to Fairbanks in early July, and do some trail riding. We’ll then participate in Fairbanks area competitive trail ride. Raudi, Siggi, and Signy will get to do this part of the trip.

Then Pete will take the horses home, and after, we’ll ride bicycles from Fairbanks to Willow. From there, we’ll horseback ride over Hatcher Pass, and continue on home. After, we’ll continue on to Sutton, again on area trails. Right now, I’m thinking that Pete and I will ride Raudi and Siggi, and perhaps pony Signy. We might be able to find a rider for Tinni. Hrimmi and the dogs will also be putting in some miles.

Sutton will be yet another transition point. We’ll hop on our bicycles and continue on to Valdez. The next leg of our trip will involve sea kayaking to Whittier.

The beauty of this plan is that it involves a variety of silent sport activities. I also want to further people’s awareness of our local trail system, which to a large part has been trashed by motorized users. My proposed plan may involve spending a few days on the home front, and doing some rides here – I am thinking of spending a few days riding the Jim Creek Parcel in the Butte – more about this area tomorrow.

I also like the fact that good friends, that is other silent sport enthusiasts, will be participating in this grand adventure. This would be far more fun than doing this solo.

At the same time, Pete and I will be drawing upon years and years of silent sports expertise, acquired while doing long distance bicycling, sea kayaking, and (one major) horseback trip.

This adventure will take approximately two-three months to complete. In between, we can return home, and tend to the garden. (Groan.)

We’ll document it, and do the social network thing. Raudi is gung ho about recording her trip perceptions on Facebook. And I’d like to keep the dispatches going, these taking the form of words and images.

I once read a book by Robert Nolan, who wrote The Making of a Surgeon. It was about aging and remaining mentally flexible. Thinking of it reminds me that I must remain open to possible trip options. It is also important to find ways of remaining physically flexible. I’m horseback riding fit, but I’ll need to again become bicycle and sea kayak fit.

So, in light of the above, I hope that we soon find out what’s up with Pete’s sabbatical plans.

Next: 16. 1/16/12: Pete’s Sabbatica