Well, that was something.
We made it back from the big trip. A monumental undertaking, I dragged my two boys for six weeks through some of most glorious wilderness still left in this world. We had a few challenges, but everyone is alive and has all of their important limbs still attached.
Being away from civilization for that long does something to you. Namely, it ruins you for civilization. Being back in the land of electricity and plumbing and walls and ceilings has been an adjustment, one I'm not eager to make.
We had six weeks of open skies, of sleeping under the moon and stars, and waking to symphonies of birdsong. We spent our days surrounded by mountains and wildflowers, fishing for trout, devouring wild strawberries, and drifting to sleep almost every night to the sounds of one wild river or another rushing outside our tent.
We saw bears and moose, had mountain goats stampede our campsite, held the Boreal Toad Racing World Championships, and the boys captured and made "friends" with enough small, slimy and/or winged creatures to fill a petting zoo. A petting zoo of small, slimy and/or winged creatures, anyway. (Might have a hard time selling tickets to that one.) But the boys loved it. And having little friends in their campsite/pocket/hair made them miss our dog less.
I'll post the story of the trip in chapters over the upcoming months, along with updates on current adventures (standup paddleboarding, Switzerland, and Vietnam are all on the horizon). Unless we just give up on the electrified, indoor, monitor-world altogether and get back on the bikes again, that is.
On the last night of the trip, while we were sitting around the campfire, my eleven-year-old son Silas said he wished the trip could keep going forever. Could we just ride to Alaska? he asked, before suggesting we return by riding down the east coast of Canada.
That sounded pretty good to me. Could be just the thing for next summer...