September 3, 2010


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...


  1. I am impressed! As a dad with two young girls, I look forward to pulling off something big like this one day. Can't imagine actually writing this one up, but I look forward to any and all installments.

  2. You are amazing parents. Your boys are blessed.

  3. awesome! I've been looking forward to hearing how it all went...

  4. Nice trip, Aaron... can't wait to read/see all about it!

  5. Looks like an amazing trip, hope to do something like that one day!


  6. Tell your boys this...What seems normal to them is not so normal for most kids that grow up these days. They are getting to take part in some absolutely magical experiences. Someday they will really understand that. But hopefully they will also think we don't need to do it the same as everyone else. We can do it the way our parents did it.

    Bravo to you and your lady.

  7. Hello from Japan!

    What a wonderful life you have up there in Montana! I went to Carroll College in Helena years ago, but I never had a chance to explore the wilderness like you do.

    Oh, your blog really makes me want to go back to Montana!!!

    Looking forward to reading about your next trip.

  8. I live in Whitefish, and have been checking out ways to go bikepacking from here. Any chance of posting your route at some point? Looks like a great one.

  9. that trail-a-bike sprung?!

  10. That is just fantastic. You children are really privileged to have such parents.

  11. Thanks for all of the great comments everyone.

    Jessica: Inside North Fork to side roads in the North Fork to Trail Creek. From Eureka we followed the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route through the B.C. Flathead Valley. Great dirt-road touring.

    Anonymous: yep, suspended trailer-bike. From Tout Terrain. Check them out -- great gear.

  12. This is amazing! And the fact your oldest son didn't want to go home the last day and wanted to keep going... always a good sign.