Day 24 - 7/25/07: Anchorage, AK to Tok, AK

Day 23 - Anchorage to Tok
Bike in Wayne's Shop Loft and Bed in Wayne's Shop Highway Scenery
     
Highway Scenery Stitch
     
Highway Scenery Matanuska Glacier Matanuska Glacier
     
Mountain Stitch

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 Eagle 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 vistas.

 I gassed up again in Glennallen, 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 to Alaska. 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 Fairbanks 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.

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