For Walter Muma, traveling to Alaska from Toronto, nothing beats
being able to go slowly and see the country by moped.
"This is the fourth summer for this kind of travel",
noted the 21-year-old resident of downtown Toronto in pointing out it provides
the best way of seeing the country. He says he owns a car that stays in Toronto.
"I want to see more of the north land, because it's
changing so rapidly....I want to get there before the changes," indicated
Walter, who was through the Peace River area hitch hiking in 1974 and has
traveled through the Maritimes on a moped.
The two horse-power-driven moped currently being used by Walter
is a French-made model, which he describes "as an extremely reliable
bike". The last one he owned went 22,500 miles, with a new moped taking
over this year.
On the third week of his travels this summer, when going through
Peace River Walter says he does run into the occasional problem with the
power-driven bicycle. Extra weight on the tires slowed him up briefly in Fox
Creek during this excursion, forcing him to wait two and a half days for a new
tire to be sent up from Edmonton. A similar concern stopped him in Peace River,
but a search failed to locate an extra, just-in-case, wheel.
Highway regulations also hampered the current trip, with
Manitoba not allowing the vehicles on the main roads.
Walter said he was forced to travel the back road route through
Manitoba, which fortunately was the only province where he experienced what he
would call good weather.
Rainy or unbearably hot conditions have caused some
uncomfortable feelings in the experienced traveler, who is well prepared for his
trips, carrying 50 pounds of gear on the 120 pound bike.
This year's road to Alaska has been well planned by Walter, who
notes he's been organizing it for two years.
The 3,000 mile trip doesn't pass very quickly either, as Walter
points out the moped can only reach a top speed of about 30 miles per hour,
while he usually moves at between 25 and 30 mph.
Fortunately, pedaling the moped has not been necessary said
Walter, noting it has been able to take him up hills pretty steadily, without
having to resort to the extra work.
The moped method of travel is also handy to Walter with respect
to his new hobby.
"I'm into photography now," points out Walter, who
again returns to his main reason for traveling by moped.
"I like the wilderness and being able to see it as I