Shelby, Daughter of Stoke and Bringer of Laughter!

Recently, I’ve found myself reading a lot of Norse mythology. That’s a normal thing most young 25-year-old women spend their nights reading right? I’ve been watering my daily thoughts with harrowing war tales and down right metal creation stories. I’m also very bad at keeping things to myself, so of course those thoughts oozed out of me at any moment. Often leaving the room speechless when I would wonder over to a casual conversation that was taking place while people huddled by the kerosene heater with “Ha! That’s just like when Tyr let Loki’s wolf son bite his hand off!”.

    As the season came to a close there was a small lot of us left in Skagway. Constant planning of a huge caravan back down to the lower 48 was always happening. Some flew up to Alaska and wanted to experience the ALCAN, while others like myself drove up and had no choice but to pack everything up and hit the road again. It seemed that it was the safest (and most fun) option to do the drive in a caravan. So, we took to the road like our ancestors did all those years ago, in a massive group!

Everyday posed new challenges; the first one was sliding off the road while Skadi (goddess of winter) blew her icy breath on us with the first real snow of the season. Followed by more ice, and you guessed it more snow. Okay, so I guess our only real challenge was snow and ice on the road.

 “I wish we had taken some radios from base before we left!” – an anonymous person who will not be named so there is no incrimination (…it was me)

    With 5 cars, 11 people, and 1 dog driving (Gracie the dog did not partake in any actual driving) the ALCAN Highway, which slithers it’s way through the desolate country side of Yukon and British Colombia you can imagine how communication with the outside world can be difficult, let alone between all of us. Our stops between legs were our only times to talk with one another and of course to get all of our sillies out after being cooped up in the car for hours at a time.

     Those stops became some of the best moments on our voyage back down and often left me feeling like we were Vikings. I had my very own hoard! We would trek and trek, reading the mountains, and reading the weather in search for the next spot where we could pillage and fuel up.

No we weren’t stealing treasure from monasteries, we weren’t killing people, or drinking ourselves into a stupor (we did that all summer long).  But our presence in these little towns along the way did not go unnoticed; we’re a bit of a rowdy bunch.  Sometimes playing soccer in a parking lot, running laps around the gas station, doing handstands, yoga, and the girls often opted for a couple sets of push-ups.

My favorite raid (stop) was when we were at this very small gas station/inn/restaurant/RV Park, that’s a common combination on this highway.                

With 14 inches of new snowfall since the sun rose, we were all white knuckling our steering wheel for the last 4 hours. We needed a break. Brody and I wandered into the building only to hear a small elderly lady behind the counter on the phone saying, “Yep, no power, no water, mhmmm oh yeah you betcha!” Brody and I exchange looks and turn on our heels to go pee outside behind a tractor.  

Much like the Battle of Concord in 1775, one snowball is all it took. It was an all our war in this parking lot. Now you might think it was already funny enough to see a bunch of dirty, rowdy, people throwing snowballs at each other in this parking lot in the middle of nowhere, but it didn’t stop there. Oh no, we were infecting this little town with our stoke. Next thing you know, we somehow pulled the residences and fellow visitors into it. We were now having a full on snowball fight with the Canadians. Next thing you know someone picked up a snow shovel and now we were playing baseball!  

We laughed until our bodies were warm, brushed all the snow off of our heads and jackets, put the snacks away, and created a proper truce with the Canadians.

Success; now, onto the next raid!

We have all since then hung our battle-axes and shields to put on some city clothes here in Seattle. My hoard has split up and headed out on their own independent journeys as the seasons change. It’s been extremely sad to wave goodbye and give hugs to these amazing humans that I have been working, living, and pillaging with all summer and fall. Dispersing like the tuffs of a dandelion we will all scatter across the country in hopes to meet up again one day and play.

As for me, I can say I’ve enjoyed being a little more civilized since getting back to the 48. Showering, sleeping in beds, eating real food (not meat sticks and ketchup chips), and enjoying the finer things in life like indoor heating and running water. Will it last? Nah! Do you really know me!? I’ll be hitting the road again soon and I’m stoked for the adventures that winter brings. Who knows maybe I’ll find another hoard.

-Shelby Lynn

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