We met Madeleine the night before. She had just driven 14 hours down the Cassiar (she was in Carcross, in the Yukon, biking, two days earlier!). We hit it off right away and told her to come by for coffee and a shuttle up the mountain the next morning. She currently lives off her little car. She ice climbs, paraglides, heliskis and rides hard! She is a fiery, spunky girl that sucks the marrow out of life. She radiates joy and fun! I hope my girls become their own version of Madeleine one day!
When we came back from our ride, a man she had met in Carcross a few days ago was there with his awesome Sprinter van. It was an empty shell that he customized. It is GORGEOUS (think modern, lime green bamboo laminate, dark grey and chocolate brown accents with stainless steel... and lots of gear!), with great music playing at all times of day. He is 53 and has been living off his van for 2 years already. He spent the summer hiking, biking and paddling in Alaska (and fly fishing from his paddle board!). So inspiring! I hope more people would have that kind of guts!
Then, the next day, we met Mike, a young Austrian guy, who has been traveling for 6 months on his super heavy 7 inch suspension freeride bike (the antithesis of a cyclo-tourism bike...) pulling a trailer, covering usually over 100 km a day (and sometimes 160 km!). He had already climbed up the mountain (that we usually shuttle!) twice that day and ridden back down. The guy is a machine! He's having the time of his life!
What do these people have in common? They feel so alive and happy! They traded the traditional life and the security that comes with it for freedom and adventures. They are high on life!