I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.

Between the bike race weekend– setting up the finish line on Friday, packing up the bikes and gear and driving up to Haines Junction Yukon, racing all day Saturday, the clean up and gang at the house Sunday and then Father’s Day dinner– well, I have only walked by my desk and waved. Also it’s been too hot to be inside– we have had record heat– the hottest bike race ever on the hottest June 15 ever– officially 86 degrees – but a friend in Klukwan (at 21 mile on the road) said it was close to 100, and I believe it. The pavement was sticky. There was also a strong north wind which meant record speeds– and short sleeves and sunburn and heat /cramping issues– but we did well– 6:58 (I rode 3:33 for about 80 miles). The love birds beat us– my daughter Eliza and Justin were the second mixed pair coming in about twenty minutes ahead of us, and the wedding is still on. There are two things I wanted to share– at last night’s dinner with all the babies (and most of the fathers, our son-in-law was out fishing in the first commercial salmon gillnet opening of the season and a friend’s husband who came with her toddler is the captain of the boat our son works on) anyway, it got so  buggy the picnic had to run inside (and shut the door tight!) and we all wedged around the table (14 plus we needed more high chairs) and the kids were everywhere, so when a son-in-law said, “look there’s baby on the ceiling,”  everyone did.  The second thing I wanted to share was this terrific inspirational message, written for Chip and I by a former hifh school cross-country runner whom I coached, Tia Heywood. (I’m sure she won’t mind). I always wrote my runners first person inspirational messages before each race, to help them calm down and understand that competing is always about more than the finish line or the ribbons. Tia took over when I retired. She was the valedictorian of the class of 2013 and will be heading to Brown in the fall. I think you’ll see why. (And yes, Tia, it worked, it was like that, only a lot hotter and faster–) Having a runner of mine understand this, and be able to write it down so well, makes me feel that the 17 years I spent coaching was worth it, you know? I tried to read it out loud to my family but it made me cry. I’m so grateful just to ride my bicycle again, to feel my legs in motion– and even more grateful for all those grandbabies under the table, on top of the table and swinging from the chandelier. 


From Tia, for Chip and Heather:


After your first day of cycling, one dream is inevitable. A memory of motion lingers in the muscles of your legs, and round and round they seem to go. You ride through Dreamland on wonderful dream bicycles that change and grow.

~ H.G. Wells, The Wheels of Chance

I will ride through Dreamland on my bicycle, legs spinning round and round in perpetual motion. I will soar over the land like an eagle on the wing. Like gears in a machine, my legs will pump on, propelling me forward through the beautiful wild. What a wonderful invention, the bicycle! And what a wonderful world. As I ride, I will relish the sun at my side, the wind at my back, and the scenery that surrounds me. I will think of swift things, like hummingbirds and rivers. I’ll think of the salmon I’ll be eating tonight, and the pancakes I’ll be eating tomorrow, and the generosity of those involved. I will think of the people I love and who love me. I’ll think of world changers; movers and shakers. I’ll think of all the things I’m thankful for. While my mind wanders, my legs will dial in to their natural rhythm; spin, spin, whir, whir, coassssst.

I thought of that while riding my bicycle.

~ Einstein, in reference to the Theory of Relativity