V.15 : The Alcan

October 28th to 30th

The Alcan Highway, Yukon Terr. and B.C., Canada

audio tracks:
I Know You Rider : Traditional
Live at KTNA Radio station; Talkeetna, Alaska

I head down the Alcan, in a race to dive back into the teeth of winter and back out again on its southern front, excape the trap of Alaska. It's a serious drive to cross these mountains in the window between storms.

I drove over 400 miles the first day, 600 the second, and almost 700 the last day. I really didn't stop to take video much, on the snow covered roads it was literally not very safe to stop in the road or attempt to pull off. I was focused, and tired, pushing my extremes. Its also something that I have had to learn. Like with photography, I have to take the time even when I'm busy and tired, to take a few pictures along the way, just to give continuity to the story later when I sit down to tell it. I remember putting together photo-albums and realizing too late that sometimes there just weren't pictures to go with some part of the story, when it came time to tell it.

Yet at the same time, it actually fit into the experience I have tried to express. The drive, the road, isn't really about the places I drive through. They are just towns I stop in for gas and move on, or scenery I glance at as I fly by, or don't see at all as I drive through the night. All too often, I see only the road ahead. But as the hours pass, I don't really see the road. I see the images that parade through my mind, and the hours and days are dominated not by the scenes outside the car, but by the ones in my head, and the thoughts that work themselves out as I drive.

The Road is an important and regular part of the circuit, an energy as elemental as the mountain or the sea. I can feel it stretching out to span a continent, a network of possibility touching so many places I've been and could go. It's a regular event that connects every place I go, and seperates every trip from the next. It's a unchanging place that I return to after every adventure, on my way to the next. It's a place somehow suspended in time, where I am nowhere and everywhere, a meditation, another world. On the Road, I review both consciously and unconciously all the events I've just been through as they pass through my mind, connecting into patterns, connecting to things that have passed before. And those older memories crowd into the cab of the truck in turn. I also dream about the future, and put my notebooks on the seat beside me and make plans, thinking of where I am going next, and beyond. On the Road is one of places I have time to think, to reflect and plan; before getting caught up in the pressures of the moment once I reach somewhere and begin another trip.

So I tried to make the video more like it really is. Rather than many changing scenes of places I passed through without really seeing, the video is of the constant yet changing image of the road, over and over, overlaid with the changing scenes from memories that fill that frame, like the thoughts that fill my head, through the hours and days as I drive.