Small World

I’ve thought about writing a post that would tell you about all the connections of some of the people and places on this trip so far.  A few would be about cyclists that I’ve run into a few times, others would be about people we met along the way that recalled meeting cyclists I’d heard of that came through just the other day or years before.  The moral of the story would be that especially when biking through parts that often only have one or two highways through it, cyclists and people who have met these cyclists will often run into each other more than once.

But for now I’ll tell you a little story about some folks I met on the train almost two months ago sometime around Montana.  Karl and Emmy had hitchhiked their way from the east coast and were behind schedule, so had to get on the train.  They were spending some time in Seattle and then headed to Alaska.  We chatted and played cards for a few hours in the observation car on the train.  Great folks, and talking with them convinced me that if I wasn’t biking arond, hitchhiking would be the best way to see places and meet people.  So many cars going everywhere with empty seats…

Anyway, a month later I was in Fairbanks just having repaired my rim and trying to figure out how to get back to Delta Junction.  I looked at the ride-share page on Craigslist, and noticed a Karl needing a ride from Fairbanks to Tok, same direction I was headed, and the area code was from Maine!  I had a feeling I knew who it was.  I called, sure enough, it was Karl from the train.  He was on his way back to Maine after his time in Alaska.  He hadn’t found a ride from anyone yet so I didn’t actually meet up with him, and later that day I would end up taking a shuttle back to Delta.

Now here comes the crazy part.  We were no more than a mile or two out of Whitehorse yesterday when I saw two hitchhikers ahead.  I had some witty remark all prepared for them (“Jump in, make sure to buckle up”), and then, my jaw dropped and I let out a big yell.  It was Emmy!  Her and another friend were hitching from Alaska across Canada and had been dropped off by their previous ride only a few minutes before we biked by.

After a reluctant departure from the bakery, this encounter brought a much needed smile to my face.  Emmy is the only person I’ve run into that I knew before starting the trip in Alaska.  We chatted for a bit, and saw them wave from a car a little while after.  Good luck Emmy and friend on your way back home!

PS.  All the hitchhikers I’ve encountered (myself included) on this trip seem like safe, interesting people.   If and when I get a car, I’ll look forward to picking them up.

4 comments to Small World

  • Cooper

    That is awesome Matto. It is definitely a small world. Keep on chugging.

  • Strom

    Speaking of if and when you get a car, Kajsa just got her Learner’s Permit again (for the fourth or fifth time). Let’s see if it works this time!

    If there’s one thing that 60625 has/had it’s the largest population of non-amish natives who don’t know how to drive!

  • Uncle Neil J

    Matt — Good story. However, I am curious where you were/are. It is fun to follow your progress (and occasional lapses) on the map. Best wishes to you and Baptiste, and God speed.

  • Carissa

    I’m going to work on perfecting my cinnamon roll recipe for your return. Glad to hear you’re enjoying your journey.

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