Day 22

Thursday, June 28, 2007 – day 22 (Million Dollar Falls – Haines Junction)

Distance: 56.8 miles (91.4 km); overall distance so far: 1,123.7 miles (1,808.4 km)
Average: 11.6 mph (18.7 kph)

Weather: 13°C – 32°C, mostly sunny, some clouds, some rain, strong thunderstorm in the evening, bad headwind first half of the day


As there was no drinking water at the campsite where I stayed, it was finally time for using my water filter for the first time – and the filtered river water did not only taste very good, it also was very important to have because that new day wouldn’t be any better to me than the day
before. I was still cycling through absolutely gorgeous scenery, mountains, lakes (the wonderful Dezadeash Lake, for example), quiet roads (way less traffic than what I was used to from the trip so far), forest, it was wonderful. But at the same time, it was headwindy again – and in addition I simply didn’t feel that well that day. An upcoming sore throat wasn’t really helpful in moving forward. The first 30 kilometres felt like if they would never end anymore.

But it got a bit better later on – again, when it started to rain a little, funnily enough. Rain seems to really support me as usually the wind seems to get less then, and also, it’s nicer to stop for a break in rain than in an area like where I was when it does not rain – because in that case I’m just eaten up by mosquitoes. I really had to limit my time during breaks to quickly getting some food out of the panniers, eating some of the things while continuously walking around, and eating the rest while cycling again.

I made it to Haines Junction after a fairly short leg, and therefore arrived in the village where Haines Highway would finish and go into the Alaska Highway. The great, endlessly long Alaska Highway I would cycle on for the next days. Somewhat of an impressive feeling. That Highway runs all the way from Dawson Creek in British Columbia to Delta Junction, close to Fairbanks, in Alaska. No wonder I was looking forward to the next day, despite a heavy thunderstorm that night with lots of rainfall, and my exhausted body and slightly sore throat.

 

Motto of the day: “This is what heaven and hell at the same time must feel like (and… could somebody stop this wind, please?!?)”

Photos:
Calgary-Anchorage – 070628 day 22 – Million Dollar Falls – Haines Junction

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Day 23

Friday, June 29, 2007 – day 23 (Haines Junction – Burwash Landing)

Distance: 76.5 miles (123.2 km) + 1 km on a pilot truck through some roadworks; overall distance so far: 1,200.2 miles (1,931.6 km)
Average: 12.9 mph (20.9 kph)

Weather: 17°C – 22°C, sun/clouds mix, towards end mainly sun, almost no head wind

 

I wasn’t hoping for too much – that first day on the Alaska Highway was a very good one… and it would become the day with by far the most cyclists along the route that I have seen on my whole trip.

Stocking up on food in Haines Junction did make sense as not too many places would be along the route for the next kilometers. And a slightly cloudy, but often sunny sky made me set off from Haines Junction (without a sore throat, by the way) happily and pretty motivated. And the first ascent began immediately. I was actually cycling up to the highest point of the section of the Alaska Highway I was on, i.e. the highest point between Haines Junction and Tok. And it was one of these points which reminded me again that it has actually been quite a while since I’ve seen the last bear. The last one was in the middle of Juneau, crossing a road and climbing across a wooden fence into a private garden. So, you might have guessed it, that summit with an elevation of 1,004m was called Bear Creek Summit – and was immediately followed by another summit, the second highest point along the highway, with an elevation of 1,003m – not without a nice downhill section in between, ob viously.

While clouds were really getting darker, I met two cyclists from San Diego who cycled from Alaska back to Whitehorse, i.e. into the opposite direction. Pretty good dramaturges. They told me their stories about what kind of trouble they had on their way from Tok to where I met them: “everything is closed, there is not food along the way for the next 250 kilometres; and between a 180km section there is no water… and the only dirty river they found immediately clocked their filters.” And so on. So my only thought was: great, that’s going to be interesting then! But then again, I have cycled a certain mileage already and slowy started to know how much food and water I needed. Therefore I was more concerned about those clouds getting really – impressively, but also unpleasantly – dark.

It wasn’t long after I met those two guys that I hit the first roadwork. Often announced by all sorts of people whom I met along the way, and there it was, the first 8km of gravel road. The Alaska Highway is famous for its road works. The only time for repairs is summer due to the rough climate from September till April – and not only are there quite some sections of the Highway that need to be improved in order to keep up with road standards, the hard winters usually destroy quite a bit of the road as well and things need to be repaired. So, basically when I got the first glimpse of Kluane Lake, one of the largest if not the largest lake in the Yukon, I got to that gravel section and other than what I was about to come across later on during my trip, there were actually also some people working – and the person with the stop sign decided that I should not cycle through the first kilometre of the roadwork. Therefore my bike and I were loaded onto the pilot car that was normally guiding cars through that section of the road work, and I unintentionally cut my trip short of one kilometre. With the best wishes by the road workers (women, of course, I was still in Canada after all), I continued on the gravel. Not the nicest part, but well, it had to be done.

Getting a bit confused by the physical kilometreposts along the highway that up to a certain point were renewed and amended to the actual new distance of the Alaska Highway, I then got to a section were the old kilometreposts were still up, un-amended to the road having gotten a bit shorter over the years due to constructions and cutting out some bits and pieces, and as a result I was further already that I thought from my initial plans for the day. So I continued cycling after re-considering how far I would want to go and what would make sense distance- and accommodation-wise.

Despite it being pretty warm towards the end of the day, I fairly easily got to Burwash Landing (not only after having seen new sorts of wildlife for the first time: wild horses crossing the road) – where I stopped for the day. And it really must have been the day of cycling. Apart from those guys from San Diego earlier on that day, at Burwash Landing Resort, I met a Swiss couple cycling from Anchorage to Haines Junction – on a tandem; I met an American and a German cycling together for the day and in general somehow from Alaska towards southwestern Canada. The American was also a good partner for a conversation about the Adirondacks State Park in New York State – where not only he was more or less from, but also I was hiking in there three times while I was in the U.S. Well, and definitely the most impressive person I met that day – and probably along the entire trip: a 65-year old German man from Northern Germany – who was on his way to Whitehorse. But not only was he on the way to the capital of the Yukon Territory, he also did the famous Dalton Highway up to Deadhorse/Prudoe Bay, the most northern point in Alaska that can be reached by – gravel – road. There really is not much along the way anymore. And if that hadn’t been enough by itself, he let me participate in his cycling history – only word for it: impressive. Since 1989 he didn’t spend a single vacation not cycling anymore. And his big cycling career began in 1989 or 90 from Northern Germany to Moscow, when it was basically impossible to get a Russian visa for such an undertaking. Since then half of the world seems to have been explored by him and his bike: Germany to the North Cape; across the Baltics, down to Istanbul, into Spain, North America, etc. etc. Not that I’m going to plan on exactly following his example, but there clearly is more to do! 😉

 

Motto of the day: “It must have been ‘World Day of Cycling/Cyclists’, as many as I met today”

 

Photos:
Calgary-Anchorage – 070629 day 23 – Haines Junction – Burwash Landing

Day 24

Saturday, June 30, 2007 – day 24 (Burwash Landing – Beaver Creek)

Distance: 106.5 miles (171.4 km); overall distance so far: 1,306.7 miles (2,103.0 km)
Average: 15.9 mph (25.6 kph)

Weather: 8°C – 11°C, rain all day long, sometimes strong; tail wind most of the day

That day is a bit hard, and fairly short to describe: it generally was a horrible day weather-wise, but it was great! It rained all day long, from the very beginning to the very end, sometimes not that strong, sometime it poured down as if it was the last day of the earth. But I had tailwind, pretty strong actually, and that most of the day also. So I just cycled, and cycled, and cycled. First stop for a break after almost 70 kilometres (other than a quick clothes changing stop quite at the beginning – I found it really difficult sometimes what to wear when it was raining; with 8°C I would be wearing my long sleeved bike shirt as an outer layer above my short sleeved shirt, plus long cycling pants; but wearing these things plus waterproof pants and my rain jacket meant that I was sweating like crazy – but I had to wear them because otherwise I would have been completely soaked even earlier; with taking off the long sleeved stuff underneath the rain gear was too cold again… it was a pain in the a…).

Anyway, the tail wind pushed me westwards – and towards the gravel section. On that day I started to understand what people meant when they told me that there were very long gravel sections on that highway just before the border. Overall, I think, I was cycling on at least 30km of gravel that day… and it even if it was a change from the “normal” road, it was no fun. Some section were really loose and I’m still surprised that I didn’t fall off the bike at all. Some parts had deep holes. And as I couldn’t ride on the hard shoulder due to it simply not existing, I had to use the same lane as cars, RV’s and trucks did. Most of the drivers were really cautious and I could really feel that they felt a bit sorry for that completely wet cyclist fighting his way up and down the gravel road. But some are just idiots and racing through that section so that the flying rocks from the road would be all over the place, including hitting me, luckily enough not in the face. And some people really don’t seem to know the dimensions of their cars when passing.

It all kept me going, and I managed to get to Beaver Creek without any incidents (well, the chain of my bike thought for a little while that it needs to be funny and was swinging up and down loosely when I wasn’t pedaling; I never found out why that was the case; I first thought my rear wheel might be loose – but that was not the case; but riding on all that bumpy gravel seemed to “repair” the chain and the issue never came up again). And due to being wet, wetter, Martin, I got myself a cheap motel room in Beaver Creek that night in order to kind of get my stuff dry again. Very nice to be inside and not having to care anymore about the weather or anything.

But as I said at the beginning: it was a great day as the wind pushed me very nicely and I moved quite a bit forward.

Motto of the day: “When things are going well, they’re going well” (rough translation from: ‘Wenn’s laeuft, dann laeuft’s!’)

Photos:
Calgary-Anchorage – 070630 day 24 – Burwash Landing – Beaver Creek

Day 25

Sunday, July 1, 2007 – day 25 (Beaver Creek – Tok)

Distance: 110.2 miles (177.4 km); overall distance so far: 1,416.9 miles (2,280.4 km)
Average: 13.7 mph (22.1 kph)

Weather: 14°C – 24°C, no wind, cloudy, some rain, getting stronger towards the end

Something that worked the day before would work again, I told myself… and off I went from Beaver Creek, with the plan to reach Tok that day – 110 miles, 180 km further on.


The weather was ok, i.e. no rain, but cloudy, and sadly enough no headwind anymore. But it might have been a bit too easy, so I simply did what I had and wanted to do: I continued pedaling and pedaling and pedaling.


No clue where exactly I was for the first 30km. Beaver Creek is the place with the Canadian border, so, people travelling eastwards into Canada would cross the border into Canada in Beaver Creek. Me, however, cycling westwards towards Alaska, I did not have a border yet for the next 30km. The U.S. border post only was in Port Alcan. I made it there, got my picture taken in front of the “Welcome to Alaska” sign (which was on the Canadian side) by probably the world’s worst photographer who more centered her and her husband’s RV than me and the sign, crossed the border without any trouble (I didn’t expect any trouble as I successfully entered the US on a still valid tourist visa waiver from Prince Rupert after some trouble back there), and I finally and for the rest of my time in North American was in Alaska! It felt nice to have reached that last and final section of my trip – but at the same time I had to realize what an amazing time I spent in Canada. An amazing country with great people and a lot of wonderful experiences – I will definitely not forget my time there, and it was kind of, well, sentimental might sound a bit too exaggerated, but something along that line, that I actually left Canada on Canada Day. Only thing left to be said, direct quote from the anthem: “O Canada… I’m going to miss you”.

 

First thing I found out that was better in Alaska, however, were the sections of the road that were unpaved but with gravel due to construction – the U.S. gravel sections seemed to be way more solid and easier to cycle on. Strangely enough, however, apart from that 1km of gravel when I was taken on the pilot truck 2 days ago, I did not see any actual road work going on. No clue if they hope that these sections will get paved automatically by some sort of miracle, or if they actually care about weekends in that area of the world (I would totally support that, not only because I’ll have to get used to non-24/7-supermarkets when I’m back in Germany).


Just a few miles (so, I’m back in miles-mode now) after the border, I saw one cyclist riding along the road into the same direction as I was. Actually, the very first cyclist whom I saw actually riding into my direction since I saw a road cyclist passing me on the third day on Icefields Parkway. I soon caught up to him – and cycled along a 76-year old American with whom I was chatting for quite a while. He was part of a group of 5 cyclists who started in Whitehorse and went to… hmm, I forgot, either Fairbanks or also Anchorage. But anyway, he was the oldest, the youngest around 60 years, and all of them were supported, i.e. they didn’t carry any luggage but had two people with two cars with them, with gear and food. So, not travelling self-contained in the way I am doing this, however, me being 25 years old and them being up to 76 years does put the whole thing into a slightly different angle. I enjoyed talking to them, and finally also got a chance to meet their two supporters, two young guys from Anchorage, one recommending me a good place for good pizza and beer (why only did I kind of ignore the beer advise but very well kept the pizza recommendation in mind?!), and he would also want to meet up when he is back in Anchorage. Will see if that’s going to happen.


Having Tok in mind, I needed to get going, soon passed the other cyclists of that group and continued on a road that was less flat than I expected it to be. The day before was only a little bit hilly and from what I heard the rest of the highway to Tok would be very similar. But it was quite a challenge due to continuous up and down – and rain starting towards the end of the day wasn’t really longed for either, but that’s how it is… and the weather God managed to get me completely wet again before I arrived in Tok – the most northern point of my entire trip.


That’s probably also why Tok was somewhat of a special point from the very beginning of my trip onwards. Whenever I read and informed myself about the route, I considered Tok as the “point of no return” in the sense of ‘Martin, if you’ll manage it to get there, then you’ll also manage the rest’. And there I was, after 5 days back on the bike since I restarted in Haines, and my body doing surprisingly well. New muscles came into play during those past days as I got out of the saddle way more often due to being able to do so because my knees would allow me to finally do so. That’s why some muscles in my legs which I haven’t felt until Prince Rupert on the first 1000 miles at all, suddenly were in pain. But sore muscles are good pain… and I had no intention to pause or rest another day. It all went way too well. Therefore I only used Tok after a 110 miles day of cycling to get a nice dinner, do my laundry, and being able to go online briefly.

Motto of the day: “O Canada… I’m going to miss you”

Photos:
Calgary-Anchorage – 070701 day 25 – Beaver Creek – Tok

Getting closer…

As you can see by the raw data/facts from day 21 – day 25, I’m getting closer to Anchorage. I’ll provide you with all pictures, stories and more when I have arrived in Anchorage… at this point there are approx. 330 miles (approx. 530 km) to go… I’m optimistic that I’ll make it 😉

Martin

Day 20

Tuesday, June 26, 2007 – day 20 (ferry ride from Juneau to Haines)

Distance: 0 miles; overall distance so far: 969.4 miles (1,560.3 km)

Weather: warm & sunny, great day!

Believe it or not, we managed to get up on time and all board the ferry to Haines at 6:30 on that Tuesday.

It’s been an amazing day, very warm and sunny, just great! I spent most of the time sitting on deck in a lawn chair, a bit of reading, enjoying the nature, again including whales, being teased by the ladies, and sleeping (rumours said I was snoring… which I can hardly believe).

We arrived in Haines just before noon… and I got onto my bike and Lucy into their fully packed car which they had left behind at Haines terminal while they were in Juneau. Amusing story about the fully packed car: Lucy is moving to Anchorage, that’s why she is bringing basically everything she owns. Shane is staying with her for the summer, so I assume she has also got some stuff. And in addition, they offered to pick up and bring along some of my stuff which I had in New Jersey and will either need in Anchorage or the latest back in Germany – but couldn’t ship or bring along on my bike trip. This stuff was packed in a nice, big, huge bag… and I was informed in Juneau that it will cost me some extra beers for the ladies for all the trouble they had to undergo with my luggage. The bag with its fairly sturdy structure simply wouldn’t fit into the car anymore… so they had to unpack all my stuff into the backpack that was inside the bag also, and Lucy’s mom will have to mail my bag from Chicago to Anchorage…

Well, and when I saw the car at the port in Haines, I also understood why they didn’t have too much flexibility anymore… the car was really fully packed. And with that car they were driving into Haines which was just 4 or 5 miles away… and I cycled there. We met up for lunch, I got another book for my remaining 1200 and something kilometers or now that I am back in the U.S. remaining 700 and something miles, and then Lucy and Shane left by car with the direction Anchorage – and will probably do the trip in 2 days… me, however, it will take another, well, hard to say, as always, weather, body fitness, other stuff that might happen, road conditions, motivation, etc. etc., but it’ll take me another 2 weeks plus minus a little bit, until I am going to be there then.

In the meantime, i.e. today in the afternoon, I checked into a hostel a bit outside Haines, am now sitting in the library for hours already writing all of that, am going to stock up on groceries and other little things I will need for getting back onto my bike tomorrow (camping gas, cash, etc.), and then, well, then it’ll be me back on my bike, kind of refreshed (I’m sure my muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons and more were not unhappy about having these 5 days of break), and the tour is going to continue – probably starting with quite a stretch on the first day already: I will have to pass a pass that’s higher than 1,000m above sea level within the first 60-70 miles, and currently I am at sea level… also, there is a campground after 20miles, and the next one after 100 miles, i.e. 160km, i.e. it’s going to be very hard… and as I’m going to cycle through an amazing area beautiful at the same time…

I will keep you posted… maybe from Anchorage only the next time, maybe earlier, hard to say. But you can assume that I am having a great, great time until you are going to hear from me again!

(P.S.: And I was able to write all of that on an Apple!! I’m impressed myself a bit 😉
P.P.S.: As staff at the library changed in the meantime the new guy does not really know that I’ve spent my 2 hours maximum of internet per day at Haines library already… and here I am, also being able to upload all my novels… if you ever get to Haines, I can recommend the library!)

Motto of the day: next motto is going to follow when I’m back on the bike

Photos:
Calgary-Anchorage – 070626 day 20 – ferry ride from Juneau to Haines

All photos (and reports) online now!

Finally, the public library in Haines made it possible: all my photos are uploaded, i.e. photos from day 6 until yesterday (day 19) are finally online and can be viewed (today’s photos will follow sometime later on). Links can be found at the end of each day’s posts.

Reports are also online, have fun reading!

Martin

PS: Thanks to all those who looked into the possibility of “bulk-uploading” photos without ActiveX. There seems to be the chance of bridging a gap in the market!

Day 18 & 19

Sunday/Monday, June 24/25, 2007 – day 18/19 (Juneau)

Distance: 0 miles; overall distance so far: 969.4 miles (1,560.3 km)

Weather: both Sunday & Monday: grey, cloudy, some rain, fairly cold

So, Juneau. Well, Juneau. I hardly saw it during the time I was there as Lucy’s friend lived somewhere in the suburbs (suburbs sounds large… however, the whole area surrounding the state capital Juneau has only a population of 33,000 people!) and we didn’t really go into the city – however, apart from relaxing, sleeping in a bed with bear and moose sheets which they provided to me, and eating way too much, we mainly focused on seeing the beautiful nature around Juneau. Mendenhall Glacier, St. Mary’s chapel on a lovely island, just to name two things.

Also, we had very tasty New York Cheesecake flavoured Frozen Yogurt and played two board games during our stay there: “Alaska Monopoly” – which I won… well, not too much of a surprise as I practiced a lot during my time in New Jersey (not with the Alaska version though). But more interestingly, I also won scrabble… me, the German and only non-native speaker… But besides these few glorious moments, Shane and Lucy had the time of their lives teasing me… and we all, including our hosts, had a wonderful time.

And, we were all not capable enough to read the ferry schedule properly. We thought about taking a fast ferry from Juneau to Haines on Monday evening – well… when we arrived at the port and had securely locked the keys into the car we could borrow from Lucy’s friend, as arranged, we wanted to get our tickets… and were told that there was not ferry… only one leaving the next morning… Great, so us being at the ferry terminal, locked out of the car, and both of our hosts still at work… but AAA quickly helped us opening the car again and we spent another night in Juneau.

Motto of the day: next motto is going to follow when I’m back on the bike

Photos:
Calgary-Anchorage – 070624 day 18 – Juneau

Calgary-Anchorage – 070625 day 19 – Juneau

Day 16 & 17

Friday/Saturday, June 22/23, 2007 – day 16/17 (ferry ride from Prince Rupert to Juneau)

Distance: 0 km; overall distance so far: 1,560.3 km = 969.4 miles

Weather: Friday: coolish, sunny & some clouds during ferry ride; Saturday: cloudy, some rain, grey during ferry ride

One of the highlights off the bike during my time in Canada and Alaska, certainly the ferry ride from Prince Rupert into the Alaskan capital city of Juneau. That ferry ride went through the so-called “Inside Passage” and passed by beautiful nature, both in the sense of scenery and wildlife.

But before being able to board the ferry around lunch time Friday, June 22, I first had to successfully pass U.S. Immigration on Canadian ground in order to be allowed back into the U.S., i.e. Alaska. And that was, as expected, not completely without any trouble. I was in the U.S. on a training visa during my internship with Siemens – and left the U.S. when I flew into Calgary, Canada. However, for officially being eligible for another entry into the U.S. as whatever, I would normally have needed either a Visitor visa (which I possibly could have gotten in Calgary, but it would have been both expensive and time-consuming), or I would have had to leave North America completely, i.e. fly into North America from a non-North American airport. Anyway, I was lucky that the border officer did only check my Siemens internship visa which expired in January already and therefore he probably assumed that I was back in Germany between January and June – the document indicating that my visa was extended (as my internship in the States was extended) I did not actually show him, and well, as he did not ask about it… So, he just told me that I do not actually qualify for the 90 day tourist visa waiver through which I can enter the U.S. as German citizen, however, he will make a one-time exception. Good that I played the lost German, how has never heard anything about U.S. visas in his life before, and just wants to cycle from Calgary to Anchorage… Funny story there as well: he asked me where I am going to go from Prince Rupert… so I explained him that I will take the ferry to Juneau and cycle from there to Anchorage… stupidly enough I did not mention that I will also have to take a ferry from Juneau to Haines (short ferry in order to actually get back onto roads – as Juneau can only be reached by air or by water) – and that made him, well, me, even more suspicious. But as I could at least prove my intentions to leave the U.S. again by showing him my flight ticket out of Anchorage, I was left back into that country that seems to be so afraid of having illegal immigrants… always amazing.


So, well, anyway, I got onto the ferry, “parked” my bike together with many other cars, and found myself a comfortable chair on deck – where I would be for the next 35 hours. I thought the ferry ride would be less than 24 hours, but that’s where I was wrong – but it didn’t matter. I just relaxed and enjoyed. I read almost an entire book, I ate way too much food, I watched strange movies which they showed from time to time, I listened to interesting presentations about some things connected to Alaska. Wildlife, geography, the tempered rainforest. And, above all: I enjoyed the beauty of the inside passage. Not only was the weather on Friday pretty good (Saturday not so much), it was also wonderful to see all these mountain ranges, forests, the water, eagles, and… whales! I don’t think I ever saw whales outside zoos/aquariums.

We stopped at several Alaskan harbours along the way – in Ketchikan we saw a missile destroyer ship which didn’t really fit into the scenery in my opinion, but well, and besides that, we slowly got more and more to the north… and arrived sometime with a 2-3 hours delay (due to other ships still being in the port) in Juneau – or well, in the port 14 miles north of Juneau. I had no clue where to stay yet, just heard some people talking on the ship that the hostel is full already and that it’s not easy to get an accommodation in Juneau, especially at 10 o’clock at night.

The bigger and the more positive was the surprise (even if it was completely unexpected) that my friend Lucy was waiting for me at the ferry terminal, picking me up. That’s the friend who is going to be in Anchorage in the end. Well, and she and her friend Shane are currently also on their way from the U.S. American east to Alaska – by car, and arrived at a stop in Juneau just the day before. Nice coincidence – and a bed for the following nights was secured as Lucy has got a friend in Juneau with who we all could stay.

I was warmly welcomed by everybody, and guess what… Lucy’s friend’s husband is… ta ta… State Trooper, i.e. a cop, in Juneau. Great, me staying at a state troopers home… my U.S. speeding ticket from last September ($250 for nothing!) was a topic more than once. Well, but on a serious note: they were wonderful people hosting us with a wonderful dog named Sydney… and I was really glad to be welcomed there so warmly… and it made it very easy to decide to take a break from all the cycling for a few days.

Motto of the day: next motto is going to follow when I’m back on the bike

Photos:
Calgary-Anchorage – 070622 day 16 – Inside Passage ferry ride

Calgary-Anchorage – 070623 day 17 – Inside Passage & arrival Juneau

Day 15

Thursday, June 21, 2007 – day 15 (Exchamsiks River – Prince Rupert)

Distance: 92.5 km; overall distance so far: 1,560.3 km
Average: 23.1 kph

Weather: 11°C – 14°C; no wind, cloudy, some rain during second half of ride

And there it was, that day I am going to arrive in Prince Rupert. I started early (Martin early, i.e. I sat on my bike at 9:15… I guess some other people would call that late… but when it’s daylight till way past 22:00, there is just no point in getting up early, out of the warm sleeping back into the cold morning). And for the first 50km I just set some record speed – average of almost 26kph – which is quite ok with all that luggage. But then again, it only went along Skeena River and was basically flat and there was not wind.

The remaining 50km were a bit harder. It went from almost sea level up to Rainbow Hill (160m above sea level) in pouring rain (yeah, wet again!), and then up and down till almost Prince Rupert. While singing “oh happy day” just 10km before reaching the ocean, I saw another bear, my 5th bear, just starring at me, probably thinking what a crazy person he just saw passing by…


And there I was, early afternoon, Prince Rupert. I checked into a very nice hostel, great atmosphere, great staff, very comfy – and a wonderful hot shower! Although, I’m not sure what was better, the shower, or the washing machine which I could use for finally doing my laundry again after 6 continuous days of cycling in mainly wet conditions. There have been days were I smelled better than the day when I arrived on the Canadian west coast, I guess. I didn’t do a lot more there other than some online work, wandering around in the town of Prince George, and having a dinner together with some guy from Calgary – who came all the way from Calgary by car… lazy bastard!

So, to put it into a nutshell: really bad knees and a not so ideal state of my Achilles tendon, plus a little puncture on day number 1, but apart from that: it’s been amazing during those past 1,560km (or 970 miles). And I very much hope that it’ll go on in a similar way when I continue cycling in Alaska.

Motto of the day: “The Pacific Ocean!”

Photos:
Calgary-Anchorage – 070620 day 15 – Exchamsiks River – Prince Rupert