The Great Northern Horizon
Nomadic Life by bike
Alaska - 2019
Whispered in the wind,
this land sings its essence to us
As an echo, its name comes back to us, Alaska, Alaska, Alaska
Alaska is so intense that there is no clear path, sooner or later, this land takes us into its mystery, into its wilderness. To touch and vibrate with this wild territory is to accept to go further and deeper. Deeper, to enter into our inner wilderness, to follow our free and wild being. This land pushes us to recognise the greater part of our being. But it is uncompromising, disconcerting, insatiable. The human being can lose his soul and fall asleep in a long sigh or become alive and vibrant in the heart of his wild immensity. Entering Alaska, you can only be done fully, body and soul, completely immersed in the intense experience you receive as a gift.
THE VASTNESS OF A WILD LAND
Already at our first encounter, it was there. It took us 9 years to reach it. 9 years to finally vibrate with this land and its sumptuous and dramatic landscapes.
It has kept its power of attraction and also of mystery. Yet it is a world of extremes. It is imprinted in the mind of men as an inaccessible, untouchable and brutal place. It is a land of perdition, a land to hide, a place to be lost..... A land to find oneself!
Its whisper brings us the breath and spirit of the animals there. We are not alone, we belong to a world that is beyond us. We only have to be humble in the face of the law of life.
In the habitat of wolves, moose, beavers, otters and caribou, we are also in bear country. Their presence alone leads us to change our routine.
We now have two tents, one for sleeping and one for eating in case of bad weather or as protection against mosquitoes. The latter will prove essential from the very first days.
Welcomed by a blue sky along the Cook Inlet facing the Chugach Mountains, the weather is changing rapidly. We are bathed in freezing rain as we cycle beside the snow, the peaks covered in a mist of white veil.
WE ARE NOT ALONE
We didn't know which way to go, of course, we were going to meet Jessie, Pat and Jody. Tears in my eyes to see them again and to share this strong friendship. Yet this land has taken us further than we had imagined. Snow-covered mountains and glaciers plunge into the ocean, into majestic fjords. The landscapes bear this metallic hue characteristic of Alaska. We pass Thompson Pass under a bright sky to enter the interior and join the Denali Highway, a 200 km trail that crosses the sumptuous wilderness, to reach the sight of the highest mountain in North America, Denali. Everything is vast, majestic, intense. We are in remote and wilderness areas. We have to cycle to reach food points, which are sometimes more than 6 days away.
We are amazed, immersed in the song of this land, in the majesty of a nature that transcends us. Little by little, we feel that we are entering the dance. We feel that we are one with this land, we vibrate in unison. We live in its endless light. The midnight sun now illuminates each of our nights. We are filled with boundless energy, with extraordinary vitality.
IN REMOTE AND WILDERNESS AREAS
However, the way is not yet over. It is a land of extremes. The nights are getting shorter and shorter. The girls are so full of energy that they cannot sleep. The distances are getting longer and longer and we now have to cycle 70 km every day. The boreal forests are at times endless, we are submerged in their vastness. Mosquitoes can be an ordeal that tarnishes each of our movements. Hail does not spare us either. Yet we feel vibrant with a tremendous energy that takes us to the heart of the taiga, the tundra, the Arctic scenery, and to the glaciers that calve into the ocean.
Taïga, Toundra and Arctic scenery