Lentil Luggage

Half of my luggage bag is going to be lentils going to Alaska.

I am going to have the most radical diet challenge of my life up there.

Also, was researching Barrow last night. And it’s called the canary of global warning. That the biggest of evidence of global warming can be seen in Barrow. How the sea ice is melting, and the polar bears natural habitat is begin destroyed. And there are more polar bears wandering into town than ever before.

When I was walking around downtown last week, I met this woman who was a refugee from China for being a practicer of Falun Dafa. Really interesting conversations.

Alaska is challenging me to be braver. Sitting on the top deck of the megabus as we fly toward San Francisco.

I’ve had this strange attraction to Arctic countries that started last year— Iceland in particular, Greenland, the other Nordic countries, Russia, and then this whole year— Alaska. And now I guess I’ll get a taste. I was also thinking over the past year what my next quest would be. All through college, after England, it was about San Francisco and Portland. Had to get to the West coast and live that Northern California hippie life. Well, here I am driving to San Francisco right now again, for my regular weekend getaway. And I was thinking, what’s my next thing? England, California, then what? All these places that I want to go, they just seem to pop up when the time comes. And I go with the flow. And I thought maybe the next step was India. But now that I learned this news the other day, I realize it’s been Alaska all along. It’s been the Arctic. Ever since I watched the new “Secret Life of Walter Mitty” this past summer with my parents, and saw Ben Stiller gallivanting around Greenland. Here I come, Arctic. I’ve also had this fear of flying for quite awhile now, and thought I was being clever and getting the best of both worlds– setting up a roadtrip with Ben and getting out of a flight. I thought I was homefree– face every other fear this year, but that one I can set aside. Well, think again. I’m not going to be able to graduate this program and pay off my student loans until I fly 8+ planes in a month and a half. How’s that for irony? The only way into Barrow is by plane. The only way to get around most of Alaska actually, which I only recently learned, is by plane. You can drive from Anchorage to Fairbanks I think, but that’s about it.And my friend Eric from the coffee shop, he’s just messaged me today that he’d love to have me visit. And he has a house there, and the whole third floor of his house is empty. And I’m welcome to bring whoever else I want. And I think, when else am I going to get a chance to stay at a friend’s house in Fairbanks? When am I going be an an hour and a half plane ride away from Fairbanks again? I think I might do it. Bring a few teammates. It’s a $350 ticket. We might be able to roadtrip down to Anchorage, too. But really, I think I’ll be quite content in Barrow if I don’t’ end up wanting to spend money. We’ll see. : )

“How do you guys think you’ll do if you get placed in a remote area next, and you won’t be able to give each other the space you’re giving one another camping in Sacramento?” “We’ve already done it, all year before Sacramento. Silver Falls, Willits. That’s our strength as a team. We make whatever is presented to us work, we adapt.” Little did I know. But oh, I kind of knew. x
Also, as I was riding the light rail to the megabus station, I realized that I will never fall in love with anyone. I was madly in love with traveling, writing and challenging myself.

I saw all of these sad looking uptight people on the train, coming home from work, talking into their earpiece. Never off work.

I never want to be off work either, but I want every minute of my life to be work. I want to make art out of my life. I want to make me.

Just talked to Matt, one of our sponsors who we met Monday and learned he was from Alaska. He’s from Fairbanks. Came to California because thought Alaska was too conservative.

“That’s where we’re trying to go,” I said.

And we just told him today that we’re going to Barrow, and he was like, you’re going to the northernmost city in America.

And then he told us about polar bears. How any other bear in the world is probably not going to want to bother you, eat you unless you get in its way, or get in the way of its cubs. But polar bears have nothing else to eat up there, and will eat you if they get the chance.

And then told us about the mosquitoes the size of birds. How they can kill moose because the moose can’t swat them off.

He told us about this football field on the ocean in Barrow for the local high school, and the kids run in the Arctic when they win a game. And how there is a watch tower right next to it, with men with guns atop it. To shoot the polar bears that comes out of the ocean before they attack the players.

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