I set the alarm on my phone to wake me up at 7:00 as
Randy was going to be at the shop by 7:30. I got up, dressed, and got all my
gear squared away and ready to go. Randy was right on time. He asked if I
would like to have breakfast at IHOP, I said sure. It amazed me that there
are only 2 IHOPís in Alaska, both of which
are in Anchorage. We had a good
meal and talked about bikes, the trip, and radios. Randy is really into the
radio thing. His car is all wired up with radios, HAM radios, GPS, etcÖ.
Itís really cool.
When we got back to the shop Wayne was there. He would have liked to have
come to breakfast with us, but did not get there in time. I hung out at the
shop for a little while and chatted with Randy and Wayne. When it came time
for me to go, Randy noticed that my jacket still had Dalton Hwy mud all over it. He hooked up
the steam cleaner and we washed off my jacket. I didnít want it too clean
though, after all, Iíve spent a lot of time and energy collecting that dirt!
After cleaning my jacket, I rolled out of
town and headed for Wal-Mart. I did not have any camp food and I did not
want to pay $10 a meal for the next several days. I went to the one in
River, just north of Anchorage. The only meal they had that I was
willing to eat was chili-mac. So, 4 chili-macís to go please! I managed to
stuff them into what little space I had left in my U-Pac. I got gas on my
way out of town and hit the road.
The ride was nice. It kept threatening to
rain but never did. I did find that the northbound lane had ample
opportunities for pulling off the highway though. If you remember, on my way
south to Anchorage, there was nowhere to pull over. I
got some decent pics of the Matanuska glacier, and some of various other
I gassed up again in
AK. I met an older German couple
while filling up. The husband was amazed with the bike and the trip. Between
his English and my German we managed to have a small conversation. He really
likes BMW bikes and told me about his trip from Quebec
I told him all about my trip so far. He really liked the whole story, but
quickly mentioned that I should travel to Europe.
I arrived in Tok and stayed at the same
campground as before, Tok RV Village. As I was setting up camp I met the guy
next to me. Heís from Florida
and is taking a tour of North American State Parks. He had been to Yosemite,
Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Jasper National Park,
etcÖ And now he was in Alaska headed for Denali. He had scheduled a tour to the
Arctic Circle and had seen some pretty amazing sites. In Yellowstone he had a Bison walk right up the street and up
to the window of his car. He waited a few minutes and it moved on. As I
headed off to the showers he was cruising out for a bite to eat.
On the way to the showers I met a couple on
a Harley. They were touring Alaska
and were pulling a motorcycle camper with their bike. It was pretty cool.
They told me they had not used it very much as they tend to ride late into
the night, then rather than fool with camping, they just get a hotel room.
Back down south they donít ride so late, but up here they ride until they
get tired. And with the sun up as late as it is, they sometimes find
themselves riding at 1:00 in the morning thinking itís 8:00 or so. They had
made better plans than I did, and were catching the ferry in Haines to kick
off their ride back to California. Not me, in
the morning I start my trek back across Canada. I may turn south at Watson Lake
and travel south to Montana,
then come back across the states. I still have tonight and tomorrow to
figure that out though. The Harley couple finished setting up and were
headed out to eat and to the store. They kindly offered to pick me up any
supplies that I needed, but I assured them that I was ok.
When I had finished showering, it was time to do some
laundry. As long as I was washing and drying my clothes, I thought I would
get online to check email and publish my website updates. The campsite in
Tok only has DSL that must be connected to directly, and they only have one
internet connection at that, and no way to share it. I got all my cables
plugged in, and as I was starting my computer a French speaking couple came
in to get online. I hated to do it, but I was here first! I checked my email
and updated the website. The upload on the campsiteís connection was
painfully slow. It probably took 25 minutes to upload the
to Coldfoot page. After the upload I let the French speaking couple hook up.
Their computer did not connect though. I helped walk them through hooking it
up, but the husband had to do all the work. He had the French XP version, so
I was pretty much useless at the keyboard and had to talk him through it. It
was funny, I would say to click on control panel, he would translate that to
his wife, and she would click on it. I recognized icons, but that was it!
Anyway, long story short, they got online.
After doing laundry and email it was time for dinner.
Chili-mac! Itís a good think I like it, because I have four of them left.
While dinner was cooling off I broke out the laptop and worked on the
website a little more. The campsite had electrical posts, so I recharged my
laptop batteries and charged my cell phone for the first time in 17 days.
Itís amazing how long your cell phone battery lasts when it has no service
(even though you were promised there would be service by the very company
that sold you the service, rhymes with Erizon).
I finished up the night at about 2:00 am. Itís so easy
to stay up late here as it never gets dark.