I barely had time for any excitement or anticipation for the journey ahead during the 10 days prior to the ferry in Enumclaw. To be honest, when I arrived into the States I was pretty overwhelmed with what i'd got myself into, I had 10 days to get everything ready and although the USA isn't all that different from Australia culturally, I didn't know my way around or even which shop i'd be able to find a screwdriver. I actually had some preliminary moments of homesickness. I was definitely nervous and a little stressed out from all the planning and hard work over the prior few months..
Funny though, because when I got on that ferry heading towards Alaska, all those concerns and worries seemed to dissipate. Suddenly I felt myself surging on a hard-to-control adrenaline high - I was meeting people left right and centre, seeing whales, the fresh North West Pacific wind in my face. As the bow ploughed forward through icy blue Pacific I could feel my spirit begin to soar.
I found a great little spot to pitch my tent on the back deck where I met other like minded travellers. One Canadian guy especially made a bit of an impression on me, a little older than me perhaps, with a giant smile and creases round his eyes that hinted at the adventures he'd seen. He had done some of the the most comprehensive cycle touring (not motorcycle, push bike) i'd ever heard of; circumnavigated Australia, circumnavigated New Zealand, ridden the length of the Americas twice and was on his way up to Prudhoe Bay to do it again (but this time taking the mountain route). He'd seen a lot and made it through a lot, been robbed and been stabbed just to name a couple. And yet here he was, a totally switched on character, intelligent and personable and off on another quest. We talked for an hour or two, about pretty much anything except the economy or housing prices or what we'd purchased lately. It was a conversation i'd missed living in Melbourne. I didn't get a photo of him and I cant even remember his name, but I don't think i'll ever forget our chat... all the best mate, inspirational.
I also met a bunch of other travellers and riders, each on their own trip such as Bruce and Vickie (who I also did not get a photograph of) who were even kind enough to buy me a beer and meal aboard the ship (i'd been cooking my stove), great to learn about so many different people's lives and outlooks. Or there was Greg Kibble a kind career sailor, who had a lot of great stories and even wrote an article on my trip in the BMW owner's newsletter. I am going to endeavour to photograph the people I meet from now on... good for the memory bank.