Unfortunately there is some bad news I have to relay. The ITI2020 was officially cancelled due to dangerous issues on the trail ahead for us. So, as far as being the first kiwis to getting to Nome on bikes, we may have to go with first kiwis to Unalakalett on the Bering Sea (that’s unofficial). The challenges were already multiplied by the Coronavirus and villages closing down to any visitors, but we still had a strong plan to jump from shelter cabins. As long as we could get our food drops, we were fine. But, at the end of the day, Alaska came out guns blazing with the perfect storm to shut our path down. Winds and a storm surge turned the sea ice into a death trap. The overland trail had not been set in so fly or swim were the only options for getting across, but I forgot to pack my swim goggles and ferry wings. I got asked the question many times if they will cancel due to bad weather, the answer was always no, but this was something different.
This is a tough pill for me to swallow as a lot of work has gone in from my family and friends to give me this opportunity. Everyday was a battle and out of the 700 miles there were no gimmes as they were all earnt. I never felt Nome was given but I always felt like if we stayed strong, made smart decisions and kept healthy we would finish. It was much more emotional then most people can ever imagine. The fear of the unknown. For instance, I broke my chain 3 times. Then when I put on a new chain and my happy 3rd gear no longer engaged the chain. So my #getstrongtogolong has now been amended to #getstrongishtogolong. All I had to do was nurse it and be gentle -not one of my strong suits. We got tested multiple times by mama Alaska and we didn’t fold, but eventually had to bow down. George’s tenacity and mental fortitude were stronger then I ever seen in any human being, period.
Anyways, we had one hell of adventure knowing that we held out shit together when things were going pear shaped. The sun will come up today we are little banged up but healthy and blessed to have been given this journey. My daughter still won’t laugh at my jokes and I will still enjoy looking at people as they wonder did he just mean to say that or is he just confused..
Thanks, and big love to all.