Interview with author and cyclist Gary W. Wietgrefe

cover of destination north poleHelping me wrap up the week is author Gary W. Wietgrefe. He’s chatting with me about his new travel adventure, Destination North Pole—5,000 km by bicycle.

Gary Wietgrefe (pronounced wit’grif) is an inventor with six patents, internationally published researcher, military intelligence veteran, economist, agriculturalist, systems developer, societal explorer, cyclist, hiker, outdoorsman, and author of seven books.

Welcome, Gary. Please tell us about your current release.
Destination North Pole is endearing, humorous, dangerous and sometimes quirky travelogue.

An old guy on an old bicycle supported by a sag-wagon (his loving wife) ventures north. She traveled ahead to find nightly food and lodging as he peddled an average of 121 kilometers (75 miles) per-day for forty days searching for iconic North Pole.

Wildlife? Dangers? Risks? Constantly!

Hundreds of black bears and grizzlies blocked deer, elk, moose, wood bison, wolves, bicyclists, and other critters from lush road-sides. Elements (rain, wind, flurries and chilly mornings) heighten the desire for sun, wildflowers, rippling streams, glaciated mountains, hot baths and soft beds. A couple’s love and a path through nature opened opportunities for others on this 5,000 kilometers (3,000 mile) adventure—Destination North Pole.

What inspired you to write this book?
Any trip is more worthwhile when shared. As the first bicyclist to take this peaceful 5,000 km (3,000 mile) route through the Dakota Plaines, Canadian Prairie Provinces, northern British Columbia, and vast Yukon to North Pole, Alaska, it was worth sharing in book form the route, threats, and companionship.


Excerpt from Destination North Pole:
“Later, at one lodge an older couple (older than me) pulled in with a white four-door pickup pulling a camper. Both doors on the driver’s side were red. They had reservations two weeks earlier but were delayed by a bear—not just any bear.

While staying in a cabin the wife got up at night to go to the bathroom and saw a huge grizzly bear in the living room picture window. At her scream, the bear scurried away.

You have likely heard the saying, “She was so scared she peed her pants.” Apparently, she was not wearing any.”


What exciting story are you working on next?
Chronicling ancient Viking artifacts in interior America is considered pseudo-archaeology. In 1946, it was not to the Dakota farmer who was shocking cane and stumbled over a mysterious Viking ax head.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It was when I tried to explain the first of six patents.

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
No. I am retired full time, but hike, bike, and write part-time.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Explaining history in current context increases interest in my writings.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A farmer.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
To enhance life, learn. Proof is using what you read.

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Thanks for being here today, Gary.

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