Sketchbook Detour

***Temporary Sketchbook Detour***

I began a solo motorcycle trip from Los Angeles on Friday, June 22, 2012, heading north, as far as I'm having fun. I'll be updating my sketchbook with posts from the road, and not necessarily artwork. I'm too beat by the time I'm in camp or in a cheap motel.

I'll continue with the sketches when I get back in a few weeks.

Yeah right! It's been months! I'll get back to it as I finish up some classes and have more time again. Maybe in another month, like in February, 2013.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Not-a-Sketch: Arctic to Santa Monica

After hitting the Arctic, I left Fairbanks, excited about changing directions.  I was now heading towards dryness, warmth, and mainly, more new places.  First I needed to get back down the Alcan to Tok, then I'd head up over the Top-of-the-World highway to Dawson.

In Delta Junction, I happened upon some Rotella-T motor oil in the gas station, so I figure I should change my oil while it's available.  See...  Motorcycles (in general) use special motor-oil free of detergents and additives because they share that oil with their transmission and it won't work correctly without the right oil.  So I appeared very manly, changing my oil in the dirt behind the gas station.  

As soon as I turned north from Tok, the road and landscape got fun!  I have no idea on how to explain the landscape I saw, but it went on as far as the eye could see, and it was beautiful.  And the roads got narrow and a bit more twisty.

I stopped in Chicken, a settlement of four or five buildings (that I could see), then headed up the loose dirt and gravel road over towards Dawson.  I was completely alone for hours, and started to realize that I might miss the operational hours of the Canadian border.  On smaller roads, border crossings aren't open 24-hours.  One on top of a deserted dirt road definitely wasn't going to be open very late.  Luckily, I made it with fifteen minutes to spare.

I made it to Dawson City, a mostly-preserved historic mining town.  I had arrived on a Friday night, and while I paid for my room and got my key, three belligerent girls, all "young-adults," were arguing about all sorts of things and just wanted to "get drunk."  That was a perfect first impression of Dawson.  After going out and exploring, hitting the gambling hall, deciding it was too crowded (I had been alone in the vastness of Alaska and the Yukon, and my helmet for weeks), and while sipping some tequila, I realized that this town felt like Tijuana, Mexico (where I, too, acted as a belligerent "young-adult.").  Dawson had a timelessness to it.  People had been coming to town to party for a century.  Of course they weren't fall-down drunk, playing volleyball in the middle of the street after midnight until the sheriff came and told them that they had to stop or they'd be cited.  Probably not volleyball anyway...