The Frozen Road
American novelist Jack London once said, “Any man, who is a man, can travel alone.” Twenty-four year old Ben Page took this saying to heart and decided to cycle around the world. So in 2014 he left his home in England to embark on an adventure that would lead him to the Yukon Territory; a place he had never seen before.
It took him fifteen months to arrive at the Canadian Arctic as he completed his ride up the American continent. The route he chose took him almost 20,000 Km north; a long way from anything he knew.
For the first time in his life he was crossing frozen lakes and rivers, riding through thick snowy forests, and passing by towering mountains. For a brief moment he felt at home in the midst of it all as if the only thing missing was a little log cabin.
The great white silence was only broken at night by the sound of the ice shifting under him and in the day by the sound of his rasping breath as he cycled along.
Accompanied only by his camera, he explored the grandeur of the space all around him as he drifted between the realities of solitude and loneliness.
Except for an occasional caribou, he was the only one around as he traveled further north.
Nothing could stop him, not even when he was warned about a pack of wolves lurking dangerously near, or of a coming storm. He still pedaled on until fear, hunger, and loneliness took over his thoughts. At this point he began to question his decision to embark on this journey and concluded that he was no happier because of it.
Just when he was about to give up, a search and rescue team appeared. They had prepared for the worst. This gesture filled him with hope and his strength was renewed.
When he told them, is friends back home saw his plans as pointless. But Ben needed to feel small and to experience the freedom of having no questions and no worries. Somehow the peace and contentment he experienced made it all worthwhile. He describes his journey as having the time of his life.
The Frozen Road is an honest reflection of the wonder, terror, and frustration one young man experienced all alone in the merciless emptiness of one of the world’s last great wildernesses.