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Yes, I believe in Magic by Susan Foss
The office area was plush and expensive. I was working as an executive secretary for the controller of a prestigious computer company. The location was in my hometown area of Boston, where my goal was to build a career within the massive corporate world. Suddenly, my life changed forever - for I bought a motorcycle.
Spring brought rainbows of beautiful flowers bathing in vast warm sunshine. The trees grew full with lush green leaves dancing with the wind. And, that's when the fever hit me. How in the world, I thought, could I ever live most of my life working indoors? I'd be missing out on these everyday miracles, the sky, the land, all bursting with the magic of life. I walked into my boss's office and told him I quit, got on my motorcycle and rode off…and never looked back.
That motorcycle ride is ongoing, mostly riding solo for years and years and covering many, many miles. The journey has taken me all over North America while learning to survive. When money gets low, I stop in a town to find some kind of temporary job, rent a space to sleep, then save a few dollars as a means to go on the next ride, that next adventure in time and space. My motorcycle has granted me the opportunity to spend a large portion of my life experiencing the Magic of the open road.
One day while riding into the sunset, I thought, "How beautiful these living moments are, happening before my eyes while etching beauty into my soul." That's when I decided that I needed to let others know what I've discovered, and decided to share these experiences by writing a book. As the miles grew on, the book got longer and longer and longer. To this day, ROAD MAGIC, has gone from one book to six!
Along the journey I found an abandoned pup, her name is Commanche. I love her very much, and she's rode with me for 14 years. Now, I would like to share a few experiences while living for the moment, riding around the next bend, and feeling the magic of life unfolding everyday.
"Route 395 ran north and parallel along the snow-capped Sierra Nevada Mountains. We were engulfed in absolutely breath-taking country, one of the many spectacular faces of the Earth, magnificence peaking. Our USA has a full capacity to amaze this female biker, making access the ability to crusade into wild and free landscapes, unknown to her until the moments present themselves. Living within the open arms of the giving land, relishing upon the multiple planes of physical and emotional highs, is obtainable to all who probe with their senses, seeking a natural education of life. "All this" is available to the one who seeks it out! Relinquishing my life for a quest for freedom, searching for an understanding of physical and emotional being, endeavoring to give love and to receive love under the guidance of the Great Spirit, this is my pursuit to happiness, this is the direction my heart yearns to travel, this I believe, is my calling…" (Road Magic, Part One)
"Night closes in on the last of daylight. Dark clouds blanket the moon and stars for a while before breaking, exposing a full moon in tantalizing celebration. Dissipating clouds glow with brilliant silver edges. And I am a part of this scenario, for some special purpose.
I don't feel so lonely now. In propelling along that fine plane where sky meets land, I'm in a state of limbo within this comfortable array of intrigues. The landscape silvers as moonbeams travel to illuminate the surface, and we voyage a long way through a desert valley. Dark silhouettes of mountain ranges flank the edges of the valley. I am in complete unison with the night.
Rarely do I see other vehicles. The ride is within a sphere of radiant loveliness and solitude. I do not worry about my place in the man-made world, the beauty I am cradled within is much too overpowering. Commanche and I travel through the night, etching an unusual passage through time by means of the land and the space that contains it. This desert and this night allow me a broad spectrum in which to be thankful. (Road Magic, Part Two)
Prior to the Alaska trip coming up in June, I feel it appropriate to venture forth into Florida, take a test ride and check out a few palm trees. Plus, I think Commanche would enjoy playing in the "Gulf of Mexico" before we wet our skin in the salty waters of the "Gulf of Alaska…"
(The Alaska Highway) Commanche and I are only a few miles northwest from the breakfast we had at the roadside stop at Destruction Bay. And, without our knowledge, at this very moment, the face of a gigantic Mountain nearby quivers ever so slightly before Exploding!!! A massive landslide leaves the Alaska Highway in a deadlock grip!!! The road we just traveled is gone!!! Totally wiped out! Bulldozed into the lake at Destruction Bay!!!
So in all the years and years of dreaming of going to Alaska, Commanche and I make a near miss of a few miles from getting buried alive, preserved like fossilized dinosaurs, wrapped in a mud-tomb to be mummified in what we wear…and as I read the story on the front page headlines of the Alaska Daily News…I'm glad I didn't have the winning ticket by a landslide.
My feet, Commanche's feet, and my two motorcycle tires are on the soil of ALASKA! I struggle with an effort to fathom this reality, these moments, as a transcending ecstasy is born and flourishes, creating a far-reaching liberty I never knew existed, something no academic school was capable of ever teaching me…
Commanche and I make the goal from the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of Alaska! A dream set free! The struggle, the challenge, the goal - are now set free to fly upon the breath of the wind! To embrace me with a personal pride storming ever so wildly upon the rapid beats of my heart! I will never forget these very moments of my Life!…
We stop many times to inhale the beauty abounding constantly, and I cast my gaze into the distance while my thoughts are preoccupied with attempting to absorb the Power of Creation…
And as we head further north to Tok to our camp for the evening, we carry a full load, not of tourist junk, but a feeling born of Magic, bathing us in an avalanche of great AWE, a feeling no money can every buy, a feeling no one can ever take away, a feeling of absolute oneness with Nature's immense purity…
(Ontario, Canada) A short ride takes my pup and me into Chapleau…hot coffee sounds real good. That cup of coffee brings me face-to-face with two very handsome Canadians…One of them starts conversation with a hello, and he continues, "I notice you're American, are you going to be in town long?"
I smile and say, "Oh for a little while."
"My name is Jacques," then he gestures toward his friend, "and this is Franz. We're stopping here for lunch, would you join us?"
During lunch Jacques tells me he is a pilot having served on the Royal Canadian Air Force and currently owns a bush plane. He says, "Since you're here, you really should try out the fishing...This afternoon, I've got to take equipment back to Timmins...if you'd like to come along, I'll take you flying then we'll do a little fishing." Ooooh, la, la, this is turning out to be a very nice morning!
(Nineteen days later) Frost begins to appear on blades of grass in the early morning hours though we are only mid-way through August. The further North one travels, the shorter the summers become. Commanche and I spend final hours with Jacques as we bask in warm sunshine on the dock by the river. I glance at Jacques' airplane gently resting upon its floating pontoons. We've had so much fun flying, fishing in wilderness lakes, making Love.
Jacques and I have spent in incredible nineteen days together. We have been inseparable. And now, the time is nearing when the call of the road begins to take over…
(Road Magic, Part Three, is a truly magical, solo motorcycle ride from Florida to Alaska then across Canada and back south, taking approximately 4 months and encompassing 20,000 miles upon the open terrain of North America. This book series is about becoming one with the United States, its Landscape, its People, its Magic…An incredible ongoing motorcycle ride that has become my way of Life.)
Road Magic is a series of self-published true adventure books.
by Carol McCann
Twelve chapters of this book are filled with Susan's dream and intent to cycle to Alaska. She is in search of the real story, not the modern day tourist places. She wants to see behind the billboards, as she puts it.
This book is more than the usual rider's log. Susan constantly studies the nature and surroundings and isn't afraid to share her feelings and thoughts. She is critical of man's careless use of our lands and animals. She speaks of creating her own magic of the highway. Though she loves partying, and has some grand friends, she is not at all hesitant about going alone on a long, long ride. Susan doesn't call it a solo ride because her constant companion is a small female dog whose name is Commanche. The dog travels in her softly lined milk crate and is always ready to roll. In fact, she grew up riding along.
Living in Minnesota, a former coast-to-coast semi driver, Susan has packed it in and moved to Oklahoma to be near friends and pursue her dream to ride and write. As a warm-up to leaving for Alaska she and Commanche took a cycle ride to Florida and back. It was too early in the season for the ride north anyway.
She writes of the people she meets, and details her camps. At one point she rode with two fellows, a father and son, from Whitehorse to Skagway. She describes the road surface as a challenging “gravel-hardtop-mud-potholes-flying rocks” kind of highway. Sometime after they went their separate ways she visited a place called Destruction Bay, located along the shore of Kluane Lake. She appreciates the native village of Burwash Landing, and talks about how man's disregard for nature has destroyed so much of its life. She and Commanche are only a few miles northwest from the roadside breakfast at Destruction Bay when a massive landslide totally wipes out the road they had traveled just shortly before!
She writes of meeting with five fellows from Texas. They crossed from the Yukon into Alaska together and spent days traveling and camping. Then they split up awhile and met up later. The end of the book is her return to Oklahoma and eventually riding to Texas to meet them again.
You will find this book full of the writer's insight, and thought provoking at the same time. She includes numerous pictures in black and white and hand drawn maps now and again. One gets a big picture of how and what she is feeling as she absorbs the beauties of the Northern Lights, the icy creeks and mountain tops, even the rain brought out rainbows.
Other than a few typographical errors, there is nothing to criticize about this book. It is full of adventure and her joys of accomplishment as each day passes on her ride.
Road Magic Part Three is a self-published book, 280 pages.