So soon I'll arrive on Canadian territory. Maybe tomorrow morning. Now I'll
tell you how I got here.
By the way I've invented the new saying "ot-here and do-here" (ot Russian for from and do means to).
Do-here is the town Tok. It's 96 miles from the border. The border will come tomorrow, so what's the sense of talking about it now? :)) Though the locals are saying that the custom officers on the border are pure beasts. They are especially tough on bikers. What if I've been carrying a kg of explosives or a couple of kg's of pot?:) Just by my looks one won't tell that I'm a narco dealer. Or terrorist… Or one can tell? The knife, the Peter's gift they definitely can cease from me. I won't let them!
By the way there is a pure socialism in Canada. Even the health care is free. There is a lot of good socialists in Alaska too, as well as everywhere in the States. For example if you are poor and got little kids you will be provided with free cereal, milk (up to 40 liters a month), and some other stuff. Also, they've been paid a northern allowance. Two thousand bucks per person. However, they don't have the maternity leave. The pregnant woman works until the last day, and then she stays at the clinic for a couple of days after she delivers a baby and then in two weeks she's back at work. For this "idle time" she's not being paid.
She's just being charged. (The clinic charges are enormous by our relations, in the vicinity of ten thousand dollars. So the patients are not staying there for an extra day. America is a free country! Give a birth or don't give a birth. As a matter of fact Peter in Anchorage paid just for one day of stay at the hospital plus examinations (heart problems) six thousand dollars.
OK, I'm telling you about the road and not about the socialism. I was describing
my arrival at night at the city of Fairbanks and was warm welcomed by the Chinese
citizen mister San at his friend's Kreag MacKaa's house, who left for Yukon
just a couple of hours before I showed up. There was a Kreag's note for me on
the table inviting me to help myself with everything I need. I fixed myself
a coffee and a toast.
It's not that I was very hungry, but why refuse if I was invited… Then I crawled in to the internet for an hour, then I hit the pillow and lost myself till the next morning.
Next morning I called Elena Forman in the nearby city. (Her phone number Kreag
left me in his note).
She was very glad that I arrived and it was decided that today I'll clean the carbs (there were some problems caused by the dirty Russian gas) and tonight I'll visit them at their city of North Pole. The road description was wacky - "pass the Santa Clouse House, then turn left". Oookeyy … soon I'll find out where the Santa Clouse lives in summer. Now I know, he lives on the St. Nicola's street.
By the evening I finished the carbs clean ups. I finally won the battle with that Russian gasoline. What it's been diluted with? Something like donkey piss for sure.
I sad goodbye to mister Sun and his wife Ma and after laying the route to the North Pole with my GPS I hit the road. Sounds great is not it? After some time I figured out that I got lost between the fifth's avenues and third streets. Again the GPS came to the rescue. What a damn nice gadget! It will lead you out of every ditch you'd been stuck in and will tell you at what latitude this ditch was. I would everyone recommend to get such a thing. Thank you NAVICOM!!! Certainly you'd venture somehow a trip to your local convenience store without it but in the Taiga or on the long trip that is the rightest thing you wanna get.
When I got to North Pole there was some disturbance. Elena with her husband
drove outside the city to meet me, in case I've got lost. There was a man standing
by the cute home with a little balcony and looking at me.
- Hello, my name is Igor, I am from Russia … my sort of standard greeting.
-Privet we are waiting for you, Lena is in the house. He replied in Russian.
-Oh, you speak good Russian!
-Sure, I'm Elena's Dad. Came from Vladimir in April to stay with her for a wile.
Wow … and he still speaks so good Russian! So we met. The whole family counted Elena herself, her husband Garry, daughter Lea two dogs and three cars. Also Elena's Mom and Dad came from central Russian town of Vladimir for a visit. I was lodged in a camper, such a trailer with all the goodies. There are lots of them in Alaska. Americans love to travel with comfort. If the whole family is traveling, they take all their dogs and horses with them and all their bikes and even a car. They just taw it behind the camper. And those houses on wheels can be huge! Sometimes they were blasting by me with a good speed. A pro pos speed. Almost all Americans have speed gun detector in their cars. Even some bikers have them. Like, I'm a free man, I want to speed so I do. However, I speed only until I meet another free man, a policeman with a speed gun. So, right is the one with more freedom. Usually the policeman has more rights and in some cases he will be happy to read them for you.
Generally the speed limit is 65 miles an hour. For me that's not enough. Usually I drive faster, though the roads here are pretty rough. Like our famous highway E-95 (Moscow - St.Petersburg), or Vladivostok- Khabarovsk. In most cases the surface is all right, but sometimes when the front wheel got into a track I'm getting a hard kick on the handlebar and that can be very unpleasant. There are lots of unpaved roads, like the construction zones but road signs are telling you everything. I mean literally telling you. For example right on the yellow rectangular sign is written; "right lane will end now!" or "drive only on green" or simply "bump" which means you'll be thrown up on that bump soon.
Generally speaking I like to drive across Alaska. It is such a nice country!!!
There is lots of wildlife, virginal (so far) nature and the people are nice and friendly. This is obviously because it was our Russian territory. Traditions can't be changed over a century. Our hospitality in particular. Well, maybe also because this region is tough and unfriendly to the humans. There were winters when the temperature dropped below 58-60 degrees. Forty degree is a normal temperature in winter. Not very worm but not very cold either, so-so… All cars are equipped with the block heater. Such a plug hanging over the front bumper. At night they plug it in and the temperature in the radiator is being kept worm enough to start the engine in the morning. Otherwise all the cars would just stall…
I recollect how the drivers start their mornings somewhere in Central Primore (Russian Pacific coast). Well, usually by the lunchtime they manage to start a car up.
In the mean time I made it up to the North Pole.
The town is small and quiet. Two days I lived in the camper. Thanks to Elena and Garry, they organized me an interview on the TV. A minor thing but nice. I have to say that our TV guys work more thorough. They would put you in the right spot, they would turn the sun in the right direction and they would squeeze all the hot facts from you from your early days. Here they placed me against the sun and told me something like "come on". Good that Elena was near by, she helped to interpret the stuff I was saying.
Also I visited Santa Clause.
He lives in a neat white house on St. Nicolas Street. Rudolph is grazing by the house while waiting for the winter to come. Santa himself is doing some business. He opened a gift shop and sells souvenirs. Sure thing, it's hard to live in America without dough. By the way you can make a Christmas gift request right here. For the future. I think our Ded Moroz (Russian Santa) is somehow better. He's kinder, a little drunk, got a red nose and he's not that obviously involved in business.
Well, it's time to go. There is a long way ahead of me. By the lunchtime I packed my stuff and hit the road in the direction of the town named Tok. On my way I gratefully recalled the Zodiac store which traveling suit kept me warm and protected me from rain. In the mountains a couple of times I ran into a pouring reign and stayed dry. Good suit, robust and comfy. Warms up the body and the soul!
From the whole blast to Tok I remembered several things. A rainbow, a cow moose
with a baby, mountains and a gas station in the middle of nowhere.
I'll tell about the rainbow now, about the moose later.
Rainbow was beautiful, I liked it…
Basta, I'm getting blackouts … tired…
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