The time it took Ville and I to ride bicycles from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Bahia Lapataia AND the time it took for me to write a book about it. Who knew writing a book would be so difficult, time-consuming and vastly different than riding a bicycle? Surely, not me! But guess what friends? The writing is complete! I know, I can hardly believe it either. But first, here is a brief update:
The last post I wrote was from Finland, just after Ville's father passed away and we found ourselves moving there to help out his Mom at the same time a global pandemic shut down the entire world economy. After six months of Ville living with his Mother in Lahti and I living in Helsinki, an hour south of them, we got a flight back to Oregon, where we found ourselves in a completely changed place. My hometown of Bend, Oregon had already been one of the most popular cities to move to in the United States pre-pandemic, but COVID refugees fleeing big city life only worsened the situation. And if Ville and I have learned nothing else, it is BE THE FISH THAT GO AGAINST THE FLOW. So we rented an apartment in downtown Portland, Oregon, a place with a mass exodus of people and also home to my siblings and our niece and nephew, and settled in to finish The Book and The Documentary.
Somehow, a year passed.
A year is 12 months, 48 weeks, 365 days. A year is an exorbitant amount of time. Plenty of time to write a book and complete a documentary, right? Well, yes and no. We are the coolest Aunt and Uncle and wanted to spend time with the kids; playing at the beach, rock climbing, critter hunting and obviously riding bikes. I also continued to work as a real estate broker in Bend and with the surplus of sales due in large part to those moving in partnered with extremely low interest rates, I spent many weeks driving back and forth between Bend and Portland, a nearly four hour drive each way. We also happen to love the outdoors and the Pacific Northwest is full of beautiful places to explore. Although we were grateful to stay employed and busy, non of those helped in book writing or documentary building. So it took a bit longer. Like, a year longer.
No matter, it is done! I had set a deadline for myself a month prior, to take a much needed work break during the holidays and we booked airline tickets for Nov. 17th to go to Valencia, Spain to begin a short bicycle tour. After booking flights, Ville went to hang out with my Dad in the woods and I broke my foot! As you can imagine, it put a bit of a damper on things, but I kept furiously writing. At least I hadn't broken a finger I rationalized. Then, on the evening of Nov. 16th, I completed the writing of the book! I sent all of it to my editing friend, Alison (a saint who has stood by me through the entire process) and a finish editor (Chuck) and we hopped a plane to Spain early the following morning. Phew! What a rush!
How does one do a bicycle tour in Spain with a broken foot you ask? No idea! But, if I can ride a bike from Peru to the bottom of Argentina with a broken tailbone, then I imagine I can figure out how to do it with a broken foot. Positive thinking is at the very least, a fabulous start. :) As I write to you now, Ville and our good friend, Roy, whom we met while biking in Chile, are out fixing Roy's front tire while I am catching up with you good people. Because I hadn't written enough over the last five years, I figured I would haul this brick of a laptop with me on this adventure and keep you all updated.
What is the plan, you ask? As per usual, no plans. We are going to head towards the mountains and see where the trails take us. So stay tuned. We have a tentative plan to fly back to Oregon mid-January because I will need to design the cover and layout of the book and get it printed once the edits have been completed. We are very close to getting a completed book in your hot little hands, so sign up for the Newsletter if you have not already, and I will be releasing the book title as well as announcing Pre-Sales shortly.
We pulled our new bikes from the bike boxes yesterday, put them together and will take them for a short little lap around the town this afternoon, just to make sure nothing falls off, before our planned departure tomorrow morning. I am planning to carry our camera, a couple lenses and a laptop to keep the Blog going. Although it is a lot of work, I just plain miss you all and want to stay connected. I will try and get an update every week or so as WiFi permits, so stay tuned. If you want to connect with us, we would love to hear from you, click on the CONTACT button above or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Wish us luck! Until next time, keep on keepin' on...
K.G. & Ville
Back in Oregon.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” - Hunter S. Thompson