there are two taxi services in town. one, ms lucy taxi & courier service, is run by no one possessing the name “lucy” and is operated out of large green vans with purple decals. the second is a new alternative: z taxi electronic transportation consists of a vehicle belonging to the rickshaw family. constructed of various parts bicycle and open air cab, it is powered by electricity and human exertion. mountain, who peddles, has long strawberry blonde curls and plays loud music to drum up business. and it would not be untrue to say that his partner is zelda and their precocious daughter is pearl.

harley-davidson motorcycles are showy and impractical. bmw is the traveler’s choice. preferably travel at speeds averaging 140 mph on the ALCAN highway.

subaru. is. everywhere. i think it’s the official state car manufacturer. i have never seen so many. the top model seems to be hatchbacks from the 1980s. if you’re not in a subaru, you’re probably in a truck.

you must have at least 3 cracks or dings in your windshield to qualify for an alaska license plate. if you get the windshield replaced you will be mocked by your neighbors for your poor investment and your plate will be confiscated until the new glass is sufficiently weathered.

whenever stopping to fill up on gas, use the windshield cleaner provided in classy bucket. though the vehicle will soon be covered once again in bug guts and dust, this is necessary because windshield wiper fluid is taboo.

the other day i heard a loud GPS voice instructing the driver of an approaching motorcycle when to make his upcoming turn. that was a first.

tomorrow, today for you east coasters, is the kluane chilkat international bike relay. from haines junction, yukon through british columbia to haines, alaska individuals and teams will cycle all day through one of the most beautiful routes i’ve ever seen – the haines highway. very exciting.

the bike race, as well as the fact that my job came with a old rockhopper bicycle, has inspired me to start biking (take that term loosely). while i suspect the frame is a bit large for me and the gears are rather rusty, i must admit that the bike is not the only thing out of shape. however, i would be hard-pressed to find better motivation for cycling than what has been getting me out there. i have my choice of numerous roads that run along the rivers, fjord and lakes, out of which snow-peaked mountains rise directly, and in which eagles fish and fly over. the rock beaches are lined with currently overpoweringly fragrant wild roses, endless variations of greenery, enormous driftwood, and clean cool air. so though my thighs burn, my face is red, my helmet looks like a styrofoam cooler with a black plastic yamaka, and biking into the wind is an absolute beast, i not only have the time to ‘get into shape’ but i have the privilege of doing so in an infinitely beautiful place.