Our ride from Delta Junction to Tok began with a near catastrophe.
After crossing a long bridge with the help of Eric and “Old Wise Grey Horse,” Clara gave me some terrible news.
“Something exploded under the hood of the motorhome and now there’s a liquid leaking,” she announced when I made it to the other side of the bridge.
I couldn’t believe our bad luck. Only on the second week of the journey and we were already facing problems with our support vehicle. I tied up the horses to some nearby trees and went about inspecting the motorhome.
“Wow, the battery exploded,” Eric exclaimed as soon as we looked under the hood.
As luck would have it, an elderly couple who were driving their truck and trailer up to Alaska stopped to take photos of the horses and me. They had met Sara, Cole, Tara, and Max in British Columbia a month back when they were trailering the wild horses to Alaska. They told the couple my story and the two couldn’t believe they were now meeting us live in person.
“This is so cool, is there anything you need?” the kind lady announced while Eric and I tried to figure out what to do next.
“Well yes, can you please give me a ride to Delta Junction?” I asked.
They cleared some room in their back seat and we were off. They dropped me off at a NAPA store where I purchased a new battery and got a list of the local mechanics.
“Not sure anyone will go out there today, it’s Saturday of a long weekend,” the lady at the counter said.
I walked across the street to a gas station, bought a strong coffee, and sat on the ground outside with my list. The first name on the paper read John Parson. I dialed the number next to the name and spoke to the old mechanic who surprisingly agreed to pick me up and drive out to the motorhome.
“Don’t worry kid, if there’s something wrong with that alternator we may be in trouble but hopefully it’s just a leak in an old battery,” the elderly fellow who had a long white beard said.
John seemed like he was from a different era. He wore denim overalls and spoke like he was in a 1920’s black and white film. But he knew his stuff.
“Yup, the old battery was leaking fluid and a spark set if off,” the mechanic said with one quick look at the old battery.
We put in the new battery, and after paying John $100 USD we were off once again into a long stretch of nothing.
Along the way, we met a biker from Estonia who was riding down to Ushuaia, slept at an elementary school, and Clara and Eric took turns riding the bike next to me which made the days go by much, much quicker. We also heard wolves howling nearby one night. It was a majestic sound that was both enchanting and petrifying to listen to.
After 6 long days on the road we finally made it to Tok! Everyone made plans about what we would eat at the local restaurant that night. The list was long, but first, we needed to find a place to rest the ponies.