Across Continents

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Moose loose

September 27th, 2011

Moose loose from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

At last, some wild wildlife. Well, a moose. In the distance..

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Later in the day

September 27th, 2011

Later in the day from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Another brief road side stop en route to the small town of Tok. But still no signs of bears or moose. Cue next clip…

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After the rains

September 27th, 2011

After the rains from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Heading for the small town of Tok, Mike and Ken enjoy a short break after the rains have passed

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Fearless

September 27th, 2011

Fearless he’d said. Or at least, we thought, he’d absolute mastery of fear, able to control it with such exactness as to appear fearless. And, faced with a large bear or other wild creature, that was what counted. Exuding a certain confidence, an unequivocal command of the situation, deterring potential aggressors. We believed him.

Midway Service

Jay, together with wife Debbie, ran Midway Service, half way along the Tok Cut-Off. He’d had a life in computers, but was now settled with the small shop and a few cabins. It was tough, but he could at least supplement his income with work for the local electricity company.

He’d little time for bear spray. Preferring a .44 Magnum. Explaining he thought the repellant probably did little more than inspire confidence in the user. But that was fine. Show no fear. I’d nodded, adding I found that the most effective means of dealing with aggressive dogs had been to shout loudly at them, the words not mattering so long as they conveyed real venom, hatred.

Debbie

Jay had to leave before I’d chance to capture him on camera. Customers to cut off. He grinned and headed out. We joked later he probably used bear spray as aftershave. Without flinching. Wiry but tough. Very. Not that Debbie wasn’t. There’d been one bear in the yard in the last fourteen years. Jay was away so she’d had to deal with it. The pelt hung on the wall behind us.

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Midway Service – Part 3

September 27th, 2011

Midway Service – Part 3 from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Inside Midway Service..

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Midway Service – Part 2

September 27th, 2011

Midway Service – Part 2 from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Ken reflects on conversations with Jay and Debbie, owners of Midway Service along the Tok Cut-Off.

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Midway Service – Part One

September 27th, 2011

Midway Service – Part One from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Around Midway Service, half way along the Tok Cut-Off. Features some interesting modes of transport…

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On the bus – writings on the wall

September 26th, 2011

On the bus – writings on the wall from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

The Midway Service bus. Popular, Ken discovers, with passing long-haul cyclists..

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On the bus – introducing Mike

September 26th, 2011

On the bus – introducing Mike from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Introducing fellow cyclist Mike. Bit foggy – no special effects, but heating comes courtesy of Calor Gas, one of the burn products being water vapour.. Just in case you were wondering..

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Meeting Mike

September 26th, 2011

"It’s a bus. Bound to be room for more than one" I’d said. Explaining I’d arranged to spend the night inside, in the yard of Midway Service, close on thirty miles further along the Tok Cut-Off. It was almost half six in the evening. Daylight would likely to be failing as we approached, but the highway was good and the traffic light.

I’d stopped at Posty’s, a small shop and cafe in Chistochina, feeling suddenly tired. Weariness in part brought on contemplating the miles yet to be covered. Been there a little while when I noticed a fellow touring cyclist pull up. He’d seen my bike. Wandered in. His name was Mike. Destined for Minnesota, having set out from Anchorage some days earlier.

Mike

We chatted for a while. Both enjoying a break from our respective saddles. He’d planned to wild camp a little further along the highway. But, like me, he was intrigued by the idea of sleeping in an old bus. Of the sort that’d featured in the film "Into the Wild". Not exactly a Box Office hit in the UK, but one I’d seen. Well told tale of a young man’s break from society, and his eventual sad demise in the relative wilds of Alaska. Suggested Mike might want to join me. He nodded enthusiastically.

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