Photos My way North (NY-Alaska)

amines

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33
Age
24
Current Location
Utrecht, Netherlands
This is not a story about a tough guy train hopping, hitchhiking, hiking and making his way across the north American continent. This story is mine. Couple of months ago after my collar bone surgery I got into a mental state where I couldn’t get out of my house, couldn’t ride a bus, was terrified of flying, and could never picture myself travelling again. Broken, not knowing who I was before I chose to pack my bag again and hit the road to rediscover who I once was, or better, to discover who I would become. So please take this with ease as for me this was a big deal.

On June 25th I rode my bike to the restaurant I worked at, said my goodbye and biked across town (Utrecht, the Netherlands) to buy myself a new backpack.

I took my best friend hitchhiking across Europe, in Slovakia we said our goodbyes and I stayed a couple days to say some more. Made my way back to the Netherlands, booked my flight, the cheapest (150$) I found flew from Norway. 3 days of hitchhiking and I found myself home-bumming in Bergen. Arriving too early I hiked around all day to get over how flat the Netherlands were. Norway is one of the most expensive countries in Europe, bread will cost you 5$ water 3$. Regaining my travel-self I fed only on cans of tuna (50c) and beans (20c) and dived into what turned out to be one of the best dumpsters I’ve ever seen.

August 15th I’m standing on the side of highway 17K in upstate NY, as I’m writing my sign WEST a car stops. I’m on the road again…

//I know I was hitchhiking in Europe already, but that’s more like my way of transport and not very adventurous. I needed to be somewhere new again.

Anyway, I won’t bother you with the entire story. Here’s my favourite part.

Mile 5.5 headed towards the Dalton Highway, traffic is almost non existing. The nice lady behind the bar keeps feeding me coffee as I am chain-smoking. Feeling the caffeine buzz, might as well finally write a few words describing the latest events.

Aug 24th 2018
"Just stand here and you'll get a ride in no time" said George right after we got off the ferry across the Yukon north of Dawson. It's 1:45pm.
I put my backpack down and stick my thumb up. Four cars pass. Twenty minutes later another four cars pass. This cycle repeats every time the ferry comes. Finished my Dharma Bum I start a new book.
All of the sudden a wolf-like creature appears and I piss my pants. I knew I was in the wilderness but did not expect this. As he gets closer I see a collar and relax. He and a fox came back hours later to check on me.
It's 6:45am, I have fourty-five minutes to catch a ride before the US border closes. Pedestrians that took the ferry into Dawson hours ago are slowly returning and giving me the "I feel ya" look. In between is a young looking fella with a well beard. We chat, he's heading to Prudhoe Bay and Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Same route as me, expect he's riding a motorcycle. (I just saw him on the delta highway coming back from the north).
7:45pm I'm heading back to town to see him at a local bar. Few beers later I learn from a local that the "wolf" dog I saw is missing with a fat 1,000$ reward. "Fuck me"
We call it a night, and go to the camp site where I found a shelter with a fire so I lay there, half miserable half happy the alcohol kicked in some happiness into me I crawl into my sleeping bag praying it won't freeze that night. There's a tent at the other side of the shelter. "Whoever is in that tent is getting me to Alaska tomorrow" powered with that Jager shot I'm half optimistic.

Freezing I wake my 6"3' body up in the six-foot sleeping bag. The fire is non existing and the temperature has dropped. Miserable. I try to crawl deeper into the bag and closer to the fire. "You're warm Amin, the mind is strong, you're warm" I fall back to some sort of sleep. Cold dreams haunt my exhausted mind. I curse my gear, my decisions, my goals, my timing and all the events that lead to this miserable night. My sleeping bag is wet from the night before, I'm wearing everything I own, my last shower was 4 days ago, my food supply is two cookies and peanut butter. I can't afford to restock in the Yukon since everything is triple priced. (Six fucking dollars for a bag of chips)
"I'll be telling this story and laughing about it in a week" I think to myself slowly regaining my faith.

"Hey, do you want to lay your head on this?" I see a silhouette handig me a blow-up pillow. Freaked out I reply "No, thank you I'm good" and close my eyes. Three nights ago I woke up in the hammock face-to-face ten inches away from dirty kid high off his ass on meth with the words "Are you gay?" It was 4am I was with my backpack and shoes in the bag in the hammock without any chance of a defense. He was just standing there inches away staring at me like a paedophile into a stroller. Anyway, that explains why I freaked out when offered a pillow.
Slowly I'm waking up to the sound of wood being chopped and the fire starting all over again. I feel the rays of heat hitting my sleeping bag little by little warming me up. A smile appears on my face, I open my eyes and see a young girl with an axe chopping wood "You looked cold so I started the fire again" says she with a slight French accent. I can't remember what I replied but I'm sure it didn't make any sense and was barely words.
She's from the tent across the shelter where her boy and little girl are asleep, her name is Chloé, she's 24 and offers me coffee. After a little talk she plays Tetris with all her stuff and makes some room for me in the car and I sit in the front with my backpack on my lap and off to Alaska we zoom.

Happiness

Later that evening

"It's 11:11, make a wish"
"I'm European, it's 23:11 for me, I'll make a wish in 12 minutes" We're staring into the campfire, the kids are asleep in the tent and we just chat about travel, Alaska, the road, life and everything else.
"23:23" I yell out loud whishing. "Would be cool to see the northern lights" she says. "It's too bright outside and the full moon is out too" "Yeah I know but it would be cool"
I stare at the sky hoping to see something and there it was, a little piece of what looked like a green cloud. "LOOK, LOOOK!!" We run across the trees towards the flat campground to get a better look. Across the sky a flair of green light was dancing like a snake. "There's a field that way, we could get a better view" says she since there were trees all around the camp. We run towards the field like kids running downstairs on Christmas to open their presents. We look up and what we saw I can't describe. Yelling "Oh my God" "Holy shit" "whaaat the fuck" jumping around like two idiots screaming towards the sky. All of the sudden we just shut up with our heads up and gaze into the universe. No words can describe the show we saw. Anyone who has seen Aurora before probably gets it. Waves of green, some white, pink and purple in between dancing up there. At some point we got surrounded by lights from every way and it looked the holy gate to heaven opened about us. A symphony, a symphony of lights playing in the sky it was. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. 24 hours later I still can't understand what I saw. That's the road, you wake up miserable and cold giving up on hope. You go to sleep with goose bumps not knowing what just happened.

So here’s some photos of my NY-Prudhoe Bay 6,000 mile trip

img_7136-jpg.45283_My way North (NY-Alaska)_Travel Stories_Squat the Planet_12:34 PM
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Koala

sleeps 22 hours a day, eats chutes and leaves
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Holy shit, dude. What an epic trip.

Gorgeous photos. Such simple subjects and composition but so, so beautiful and powerful. And that story!!! Those days are the days that remind us exactly why we do what we do!

Thank you for sharing!
 
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This is not a story about a tough guy train hopping, hitchhiking, hiking and making his way across the north American continent. This story is mine. Couple of months ago after my collar bone surgery I got into a mental state where I couldn’t get out of my house, couldn’t ride a bus, was terrified of flying, and could never picture myself travelling again. Broken, not knowing who I was before I chose to pack my bag again and hit the road to rediscover who I once was, or better, to discover who I would become. So please take this with ease as for me this was a big deal.

On June 25th I rode my bike to the restaurant I worked at, said my goodbye and biked across town (Utrecht, the Netherlands) to buy myself a new backpack.

I took my best friend hitchhiking across Europe, in Slovakia we said our goodbyes and I stayed a couple days to say some more. Made my way back to the Netherlands, booked my flight, the cheapest (150$) I found flew from Norway. 3 days of hitchhiking and I found myself home-bumming in Bergen. Arriving too early I hiked around all day to get over how flat the Netherlands were. Norway is one of the most expensive countries in Europe, bread will cost you 5$ water 3$. Regaining my travel-self I fed only on cans of tuna (50c) and beans (20c) and dived into what turned out to be one of the best dumpsters I’ve ever seen.

August 15th I’m standing on the side of highway 17K in upstate NY, as I’m writing my sign WEST a car stops. I’m on the road again…

//I know I was hitchhiking in Europe already, but that’s more like my way of transport and not very adventurous. I needed to be somewhere new again.

Anyway, I won’t bother you with the entire story. Here’s my favourite part.

Mile 5.5 headed towards the Dalton Highway, traffic is almost non existing. The nice lady behind the bar keeps feeding me coffee as I am chain-smoking. Feeling the caffeine buzz, might as well finally write a few words describing the latest events.

Aug 24th 2018
"Just stand here and you'll get a ride in no time" said George right after we got off the ferry across the Yukon north of Dawson. It's 1:45pm.
I put my backpack down and stick my thumb up. Four cars pass. Twenty minutes later another four cars pass. This cycle repeats every time the ferry comes. Finished my Dharma Bum I start a new book.
All of the sudden a wolf-like creature appears and I piss my pants. I knew I was in the wilderness but did not expect this. As he gets closer I see a collar and relax. He and a fox came back hours later to check on me.
It's 6:45am, I have fourty-five minutes to catch a ride before the US border closes. Pedestrians that took the ferry into Dawson hours ago are slowly returning and giving me the "I feel ya" look. In between is a young looking fella with a well beard. We chat, he's heading to Prudhoe Bay and Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Same route as me, expect he's riding a motorcycle. (I just saw him on the delta highway coming back from the north).
7:45pm I'm heading back to town to see him at a local bar. Few beers later I learn from a local that the "wolf" dog I saw is missing with a fat 1,000$ reward. "Fuck me"
We call it a night, and go to the camp site where I found a shelter with a fire so I lay there, half miserable half happy the alcohol kicked in some happiness into me I crawl into my sleeping bag praying it won't freeze that night. There's a tent at the other side of the shelter. "Whoever is in that tent is getting me to Alaska tomorrow" powered with that Jager shot I'm half optimistic.

Freezing I wake my 6"3' body up in the six-foot sleeping bag. The fire is non existing and the temperature has dropped. Miserable. I try to crawl deeper into the bag and closer to the fire. "You're warm Amin, the mind is strong, you're warm" I fall back to some sort of sleep. Cold dreams haunt my exhausted mind. I curse my gear, my decisions, my goals, my timing and all the events that lead to this miserable night. My sleeping bag is wet from the night before, I'm wearing everything I own, my last shower was 4 days ago, my food supply is two cookies and peanut butter. I can't afford to restock in the Yukon since everything is triple priced. (Six fucking dollars for a bag of chips)
"I'll be telling this story and laughing about it in a week" I think to myself slowly regaining my faith.

"Hey, do you want to lay your head on this?" I see a silhouette handig me a blow-up pillow. Freaked out I reply "No, thank you I'm good" and close my eyes. Three nights ago I woke up in the hammock face-to-face ten inches away from dirty kid high off his ass on meth with the words "Are you gay?" It was 4am I was with my backpack and shoes in the bag in the hammock without any chance of a defense. He was just standing there inches away staring at me like a paedophile into a stroller. Anyway, that explains why I freaked out when offered a pillow.
Slowly I'm waking up to the sound of wood being chopped and the fire starting all over again. I feel the rays of heat hitting my sleeping bag little by little warming me up. A smile appears on my face, I open my eyes and see a young girl with an axe chopping wood "You looked cold so I started the fire again" says she with a slight French accent. I can't remember what I replied but I'm sure it didn't make any sense and was barely words.
She's from the tent across the shelter where her boy and little girl are asleep, her name is Chloé, she's 24 and offers me coffee. After a little talk she plays Tetris with all her stuff and makes some room for me in the car and I sit in the front with my backpack on my lap and off to Alaska we zoom.

Happiness

Later that evening

"It's 11:11, make a wish"
"I'm European, it's 23:11 for me, I'll make a wish in 12 minutes" We're staring into the campfire, the kids are asleep in the tent and we just chat about travel, Alaska, the road, life and everything else.
"23:23" I yell out loud whishing. "Would be cool to see the northern lights" she says. "It's too bright outside and the full moon is out too" "Yeah I know but it would be cool"
I stare at the sky hoping to see something and there it was, a little piece of what looked like a green cloud. "LOOK, LOOOK!!" We run across the trees towards the flat campground to get a better look. Across the sky a flair of green light was dancing like a snake. "There's a field that way, we could get a better view" says she since there were trees all around the camp. We run towards the field like kids running downstairs on Christmas to open their presents. We look up and what we saw I can't describe. Yelling "Oh my God" "Holy shit" "whaaat the fuck" jumping around like two idiots screaming towards the sky. All of the sudden we just shut up with our heads up and gaze into the universe. No words can describe the show we saw. Anyone who has seen Aurora before probably gets it. Waves of green, some white, pink and purple in between dancing up there. At some point we got surrounded by lights from every way and it looked the holy gate to heaven opened about us. A symphony, a symphony of lights playing in the sky it was. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. 24 hours later I still can't understand what I saw. That's the road, you wake up miserable and cold giving up on hope. You go to sleep with goose bumps not knowing what just happened.

So here’s some photos of my NY-Prudhoe Bay 6,000 mile trip

View attachment 45283View attachment 45284View attachment 45285View attachment 45286View attachment 45287View attachment 45288View attachment 45289View attachment 45290View attachment 45291View attachment 45292View attachment 45293View attachment 45294View attachment 45295
View attachment 45296
Thanks for this. Am going that way in 3 years and 10 days. Great story. ~ peace
 
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amines

amines

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Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Messages
33
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24
Current Location
Utrecht, Netherlands
Thank you all for the comments!! I will find a place to crash for a week in SoCal to edit the videos and write some more!
 

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