1 August: A small plane lands on a lonely landing strip and around it nothing but wide, unpopulated meadows, mountains and in the north – the Arctic Sea. Deadhorse is the most northern town in Alaska, which is still reachable by a rough, 800 kilometre long gravel road from Fairbanks. This remote place was the start of our epic four-month journey through eight states and provinces to the Arizona desert. During this trip we rode 7,778km, climbed 75,198m and burned 170,000kcal (Caro’s values) where we usually averaged 90km per day.
‘Minimal Weight, Maximum Adventure’ was the motto of our incredible trip. We limited ourselves to the lightest equipment available for bicycle and camping equipment. We chose to use the Robens Osprey 2 tent, the Lite 700 sleeping bag, silk inner bags and the Air Impact self-inflating mat as our camping equipment.
Sometimes we are asked why we went on this crazy trip. There are a variety of answers, but the final statement is always: “Live is too short to spend too much time in the office.” We live in a time where we can escape from our daily lives and go on adventures, like our bicycle trip that took us through almost the entire North American Continent. The equipment needed is already invented, now it is time for adventurers to use it for great experiences.
Sometimes we also get asked if we regret taking the time off. Time when we did not earn a single euro but only spend hard earned money. No, because we humans are not only made for earning money, we must also go out and do incredible adventures. A camping trip in the most remote places on earth is one example, how you will leave all stress from the office behind and find out more about yourself, your partner or your friends?
Our trip was a great opportunity for us to get in close contact with people all along the way. Another amazing part was the hospitality; everyone was extremely friendly and we got invited many times to stay in homes of the Americans and Canadians we met. We took the opportunity to find out more about the customs and how the people from the different regions of the continent spend their life and also presented our European way of life. Experiences included: gold-mining with a family from Fairbanks, Alaska; digging for muscles on Whidbey Island, Washington to prepare a delicious meal; harvesting lemons from the backyard of a friend in San Francisco, California; and mountain-biking on our friend’s local Arizonan trails.
We not only got in contact with the people, but also with the animals from the different regions. In the far north grizzly bears are a big issue and it was absolutely forbidden to have any type of food or toiletries in the tent. We sighted a grizzly bear and 20 black bears during our trip. It was an amazing experience to see these animals in the real environment and watch them play around, eat blue berries and to see out how curious these animals are.
There was a very specific experience with a mama bear and three cubs. The mama stood up on her hind legs to see us from a better perspective and then the little ones tried to imitate her movement, but they were not ready to keep balance and always fell over. We watched this family for about an hour and enjoyed seeing the three little bears.
Further down in Oregon we had some trouble with raccoon. These animals look very cute but they will do anything to get something to eat. We did not know how precise they are with their paws, but they opened the zipper of our backpacks and ate all our coffee powder and also all the energy drink powder. This specific raccoon probably did not sleep for weeks with the high dose of caffeine.
We never left anything unsecure from then on and were prepared for the hungry coyotes of the desert and the ravens. Luckily we came down there just in time to see the mating season for tarantulas. There were many of them directly on or next to the road, crawling to find the right partner.
During the journey we got to know each other in a way we would not been able to do during our daily work routine. Of course, this puts high demands on our relationship and before the trip started we did not know how this will turn out. We had days where we kept a ‘good safety distance’ to the partner, but other times we were talking with each other the entire day. This trip definitely answered the question if we two are a good match. The quote from a friend from Prince George: “They still talk to each other, they are meant to be together” should answer this question!
Thank you Robens for your great support through your products.