Thursday, August 5, 2010

Aroarus Boryellus!

Can't spell it or say it correctly and don't feel like looking it up. Sending a postcard from Canada or the Yukon to the states cost a buck! Sent one to Brazil and it cost $1.70. I'll be sending some for .28 from the good ol' US of A soon. Decided to stay at the lovely Beez Kneez for another day. Woke up and had invited some folks I met to the Hostel for pancakes. Only of those people showed up but plenty of people ate. Who is going to say no to pancakes during breakfast? Then tonight made a spaghetti dinner and fed some more folks. Just giving back what has been given to me on the road thus far, A LOT OF LOVE!

Thanks for all the correspondence from the previous post, I was feeling lonely and not missed. Seems to not be the case. Everyone keeps asking when am I going back to NY? When does the trip end? When I know, I'll tell you. So far just going to keep on trekking. Skagway tomorrow and then take the ferry from there on Monday back to Bellingham. That's a 31/2 day ride down. After that going to meet Casey and bike up to Vancouver. After we are going to bike down the coast together. He only has two weeks so we may just do WA and Or together. I'm still going to try and make it to Burning Man!

Met a woman tonight tonight here at the Hostel that is going. She is from New Zealand and it will be her first as well. She was telling me about some different tribes she may meet up with it. They have some interesting names. The Hook Up crew and The Debauchery Crew. She also said she may join a smaller camp. I don't know enough about it. Just going to try and get there and figure it all out. Was telling another guy from Britain about it. He had never heard about it and went to the website and immediately noticed, "clothing optional." Maybe I'll be completely naked for a whole week. We'll see how cold it gets and how comfortable I feel upon arrival.

It's almost midnight and just got dark. Want to wait for the Northern Lights but I'm beat. Just kind of took it easy the past couple of days here in the Yukon. Mostly just had fun meeting people from all over and laughing and having a good time. Last night I spent a night in some lovely accommodations. For $30 bux I got to stay in the rear of the Hostel in an old Volkswagen Camper Van Circa 1970. That thing is great! The bed was pretty comfy. The roof shoots straight up at an angle where I can stand full monty, A! Then the front passenger seat swivels around to just kick it in like a recliner. Only slept in the thing but it seems like it would be a fun way to travel. Thought I was gonna leave today but wasn't feeling it after the pancake breakfast. So I hung around the Hostel to see if any vacancies opened up. If not I was going to shoot down to Robert Service Campground a few miles down the road and stay there. $12 more bux and you stay indoors without setting up your tent plus warm showers and the interweb.

Spent most of the morning just hanging around reading and watching the girl who works here trip out. She had just broke up with her boyfriend and she was afraid he was going to come here and storm in, in a fit of rage. She told me he gets very crazy! So I was waiting to see what happened and how this was going to go down while reading a great book online. In my mind thinking about how I'm going to get shot and die in Yukon over some domestic violence. How crazy could he be? How big could he be? The drama subsided later in the day as the Hostel started filling up and he never showed. Found out he came over in the evening and they had a solemn break up.

Definitely the highlight of the day was getting to read a few more chapters of Exile Nation by Charles Shaw. So wonderfully written and crafted in a fun language that is easy to breeze through. His first chapter was released earlier this year on He is releasing chapters only on there through 2010. It is a gripping true portrayal about our prison industrial system. If you haven't heard about this yet, you will! He talks about his own experiences in the joint. Plus tells the tales of many more while describing how our corrupt nation just keeps flooding the prison with non violent offenders to keep small town economies afloat. Can't help but think about my brother who is serving a 10 year prison sentence right now. Hate to even talk about it, but they say that can take away the strength it has. It's embarrassing to say my older brother is in prison. He just completed his first of ten years. Could you imagine losing your freedom like that? I'm still sending him postcards on the road but I don't hear from him. Actually he had another inmate have his brother e-mail me to tell me he needed money. I've been sending him money since he got locked up. You can send inmates money online, it only makes sense in today's day and age.

Now we'll see if he tells his inmate friend to have his brother e-mail me to say thanks. Prolly won't happen. There it is, my brother is serving 9 more years in a Florida prison for what boils down to being a drug addict. But he did commit the crimes that landed him where he is. Then not to long ago I heard a guy speaking about how he hit and killed somebody in a blackout while driving and got only 4 years! It doesn't make sense. From what I read in Exile Nation, the sates need white inmates to fill a quota for the amount of brothers that are locked up. The states also receive 20 to 90K for each prisoner. That money plus the money generated in those communities from visitors and the folks that work at the prison really adds up. I remember when I went to the Waffle House the morning I went to visit Peter this past December. The waitress knew exactly what we were doing in Rairford. It is basically their economy.

Bet you weren't expecting to hear about my brother Peter in prison. It's amazing the effect that can have not only his life but everyone around him. 10 years gone. No checking your e-mail, no movies, no bike trips, no sex, no communication with all your "friends and family." I'm the only one that writes him supposedly. That's a fucking,sad ass existence.

Peter Stepka
D87081 E1123S
Lawtey Correctional Institution
7819 N.W. 228th street
Rairford, FL 32026-2000

Sorry, I go from send me comments I'm write my brother in prison. Well if you want a pen pal or to kick your carpel tunnel into gear give it a shot. I used to type letters and then print them out and send them to him. Got to say there is something nice to handwriting something though. Before sending a ton of postcards on this trip that is really the only time I write by hand is when I send him letters. He is a great compassionate man when he has his head on right. Also a good artist, so ask him to draw you something, maybe a Ligor!

Who would have known that the tragic twist of my blog would focus on incarceration. Let me be the first to tell you how grateful I am for my freedom. Very, very grateful for that. It is the most valuable thing I have. Being able to come and go at will as I desire is something I cherish. Sometimes I get caught in my own prison between my ears and those times are not fun. So my goal on a daily basis is to really enjoy life to the fullest and if I am not having fun it's time to switch gears.

Thanks for following along on the long haul. It really was nice to hear from all of you. Almost went and edited the last paragraph of the previous post out, but that was how I was feeling. Glad that I can share myself honestly on here. This is just who I am! Have a great weekend!


  1. I think I may have detected an "A" in the middle of that blog, as in "Canadian, A?" Or is it "Canadian, eh?"

  2. wow i was just thinking that my life was amazing and reading that just reminded me how lucky and precious life is , thanks for sharing that lol

  3. I'm sorry to hear about your brother Ryan. That really does suck! Keep your head up!

  4. Don't know if you care, but it is spelled
    Aurora Borealis ; bore-eh-alice ; We see it in the northern part of Sweden as well. Pretty spectacular .

  5. You are a good brother Ryan. I remember the old days hangin with Peter and MaryBeth and you too. I'm sorry he got caught up again. I spoke to him on FB a while back when I was living in Florida also and was really happy he was doing good. Ah well. Good luck on your journey and keep your head up. Sorry we couldn't meet up but I'm glad you had some fun. Take care of yourself.

  6. You never seize to amaze me Ryan!
    I loved this blog!