North to Alaska

Day 17


Did you ever want to write a novel?  Did you ever wonder where authors get their character ideas?


I confess I never wanted to write anything – or thought I could for that matter – but an e-mail from Oz two years ago changed all that.  But if I did want to write a novel – I think the mother lode of characters could be derived from the Alaska Highway.


Traveling was deceptively good for the most of today.  Beautiful scenery good roads – 65 mph – a little rain, but nothing to speak of.  Remember I said “deceptively”, because about 4:00 p.m. all of that changed in a hurry.


Stone Mountain was where it started – road repairs.  I think I already told you about the road construction up here – with an oil basecoat then top cover of gravel.  Well here they have patched the road – using the same method.  Thankfully they put up signs that say “Loose gravel on road” – that’s the first key that things are going to get dicey real soon.  You learn to look for telltale signs – the centerline disappears in the distance – indicating a recent patch – you see a dust cloud up ahead as a truck comes toward you – he hit the patch.  And when you come sailing around the first corner and oops there’s a patch with loose gravel right in front of your front wheel as you are leaned over in the corner – well, remember I said the first corner – because the second corner and every corner and every brow of a hill you come over – get off the gas – chances are excellent that loose gravel awaits you.


Muncho Lake is the stop for tonight – I hope the pictures (below) will convey some of the beauty of this place.  A deliciously green lake – surrounded by mountains – and a lodge that could pass for the Bates Motel – and a place to draw character sketches – if only in my imagination.

Scenes from Muncho Lake


Who is this lady traveling with three kids?  Three bikes on the back of the mini-van – they ride for a few minutes after dinner to work out the kinks from riding in the car all day.


The bleach blonde traveling alone – everything she owns loaded into or strapped on top of an old Grand Prix – just she and her Black Lab – and she never looks anyone in the eye.


A skinny Grizzly Bear on two legs – he’s a man, but long hair, long beard – hump between the shoulders – no teeth – pants 5 sizes too big with suspenders – and rubber shoes.  A hat that looks like my daddy’s fedora from 1950 – and it looks like he’s been wearing it that long – and driving a brand new BMW 720 – there has to be a story there.


And if I had all summer, I would just sit on the porch at the Muncho Lodge and watch all the characters drive through – character just like me – I have a story – and they have a story – but I guess we just never have time to just sit and tell and hear stories.


That’s my story. 

So to you and Iowa Sioux and Tasha, Malinois, Ohio – I say goodnight from Muncho

 Index, Day, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 thru 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32&33 34