Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Lovely stack

January 12th, 2012

"Lovely stack. Can’t wait to drizzle maple syrup over them" I said. The humour was lost. Fortunately. I’d stopped a small cafe and grocery store in the village of Richards. Established 2009. Meant just to enjoy a coffee indoors but quickly succumbed to the notion of a few pancakes. Side of bacon. Despite my tardy efforts at wit with my server, they were the nicest I’d ever tasted. Even if they took quite a while to come. Leaving me thinking I’d been forgotten.

Thoughts drifting back to Alaska. Small roadhouse I’d stopped in for breakfast after a night’s wild camping over the border in British Columbia. My server leaning across the table. How, she asked, did I want my eggs? So wanted to say poached. But just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Instead muttering scrambled.

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True Grit

December 12th, 2011

The sign had said "Welcome to Arizona. The home of the Grand Canyon". I’d have taken a photograph but jaywalking on the Interstate lacked appeal. Besides, it’d hadn’t taken long to realise that a more apt description of State should include prodigious references to gravel and cacti. There was a lot of both. An awful lot.

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I’d seen quite a few Recreational Vehicles parked up in the desert. The attraction alluding me. All the appeal of caravanning in a gravel pit. Reliant instead on my father unlocking the mystery. His suggestion that they were probably Alaskans wintering down south.

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When a plan comes together..

August 5th, 2011

Coming together. Finally. Plan for the on-move to Alaska in a month or so’s time. Suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised by the complexity. The frustrations. For, in terms of hours in the air, it does equate to flying roughly half way around the world. Pacific a big ocean. Ask Thor Heyerdahl.

All airlines now booked. Confirmations received. Hospitality in Anchorage. Sorted. Press release for local media. Done. The first draft had been a bit ambiguous. Suggesting, like Kazakhstan, I’d been detained by border guards in Australia. But, truth was, I had been. Sydney airport. And I’ve no plans to let them off the hook. Ever. No longer any regrets about atmospheric nuclear tests.

First impressions do count. And it’s looking good for the US. Friendly, helpful Consular staff in Sydney. Very understanding when it looked like the Chilean ash cloud might mean I’d miss my visa appointment. Generous offers of hospitality from Anchorage. Pretty informative replies from US Customs and Border Protection to my queries about prescription medications and emergency rations. And lots of practical advice on sharing the woods with bears.

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Prelude to Alaska

July 11th, 2011

Road ahead

Today’s Kiwese word or phrase: "will fear". Benefits for the poor

The smaller places. Frontier feel. Empty, open roads. Steep, wooded hillsides. Dry cold. Snap rather than sharp. Reminded me of Alaska. Not that I’ve ever been there. Just how I imagine it to be.

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