Introduction - June 14, 2014

Last summer, while closing out the commercial fishing season in the Southwestern District of Prince William Sound, Alaska, I started thinking seriously about what the next summer would be like. I've been seining for pink salmon over the summer off and on since I was thirteen years old on my father's boat. I have loved this experience for too many reasons to list. Over the years, my entire family have, at one time or another, been involved in this industry. The salmon runs in Alaska have coincided perfectly with my public school teaching summer vacation. Over the past fourteen years, I have taught many different courses in grades four through twelve. Most of my time has been spent at the eighth grade level. I love my job. For the past five years, after saying goodbye to my students at the end of the school year, I've hopped a flight to Cordova, Alaska, to help get the boat ready in time to make the early run of pinks in Valdez Arm. The summer always ends fishing the later run in the southwestern part of the sound. I typically return to my home on Whidbey Island about a week before school starts. It's been interesting living in two completely different worlds every year. I decided to commit to living another new lifestyle the next summer - one of a bicycle tourist. It was time to say goodbye to Alaska for a season and realize my dream of cycling down the Pacific coastline, something I'd been wanting to do for quite some time.

So here I am, sitting at my computer two days before I plan to embark on this journey. The school year ended yesterday. Fourth quarter grades have been recorded and my classroom is clean. I'm happy to have a wife (Christina) that supports my wanting to give this lengthy trip a shot. I haven't started packing and don't really know where the first campsite will be. I am bringing good bicycle maps and am lucky to have my teaching colleague and longtime friend, Charlie Snelling, join me for at least a portion of the trek. I plan to use my iPhone 4 with the Blogger application to frequently update this page with descriptions of the day and, hopefully, several pictures. I'm truly looking forward to this.

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