1. The Rider
Welcome to OTR – On The Road from Oslo To Rome by pedal power!
I’m one of the two Scott McGees that live in Alaska, and I’m the one that, about once a year, gets a rash of telephone calls from bill collectors looking for the other Scott McGee. It’s gotten to the point now where all I have to say is, “Uh, you’re looking for the other Scott McGee.” Then I give them my middle initial and all’s cool. They hang up and call again the following year. But that’s another story…
This story is about one guy’s (mine) upcoming pedal-powered trip across Europe during the summer of 2010. This trip had its genesis in 1989 while I was working with a German surveyor on the Juneau Icefield. It was the first time I’d ever met a real German, and I guess I was a bit too curious – I kept asking questions about things in Germany, just common everyday things such as, “So, is European toilet paper the same size as ours?” That sort of thing. After a few too many of these ridiculous questions, Martin (the German) said something to the effect of “Hey, we didn’t just come down out of the trees yesterday!” So this got me curious about visiting that part of the world and comparing a square of our TP against a square of theirs.
That was in 1989, it’s now 21 years later and I’m finally laying plans to cross the pond. So what took so long? Two words: Juneau Icefield
(continued below photo)
Since 1988, I’ve spent my summers doing glacier research on the Juneau Icefield (near Juneau, Alaska) as part of the Juneau Icefield Research Program. This program began in 1946 and has been conducted every year since. My role is to conduct GPS glacier velocity and height-change surveys. Although I’ve wanted to bike tour Europe for a while now, my first commitment has been to the Juneau Icefield. But time passes, and as they say, the things you regret most are the things you don’t do, so I decided it was finally time to do this thing.