Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Not My Adventure #1

One of the reasons I went to Alaska was to meet up with my husband, Houston. He and two friends, Sue and Bruce, biked from Missoula, Montana to Talkeetna, Alaska. A grueling trek of nearly 2400 miles, they spent 6 weeks in the saddle, camping along the way. If you would like to follow their trip with maps included, see bikedust.org.

Houston and Bruce pulled Bob (Beast of Burden) trailers behind them, loaded with camp food, power bars, water, camping stuff and Houston's electronics.

Sue loaded her up her panniers with camping gear and food that weighed more than she did!

Bruce has had two back surgeries and can no longer ride an upright bike so he pedaled a long recumbent bike. Along with his Bob, it measured over 12'. He should have had an orange flag on the back.

Bruce took almost all these pictures so there are none of him riding and plenty of Houston and Sue. They left Missoula on June 9, traveling up to Canada through the Rockies to Banff, up the Yukon, to Prince Rupert.

From PR, they boarded a ferry (Alaskan Ferry System) to Haines, Alaska. They did not put their bikes on stationary bike gizmos, so had a much needed rest from the climbs up to Jasper, BC.

On the ferries, one can camp out under the solarium where the light is always a sunny yellow or spend a bit of money to get a cabin (room) that has a real bed. They chose the bed. After an overnight trip, they disembarked the ferry at Petersburg to spend a couple days on R&R, sight seeing and eating seafood. By mere serendipity, they met a wonderful couple who lived there and the Holmes invited them in to their homes for the evening and next day. Magic continued to fall as Don Holmes was a charter boat captain and asked if they would like to go out on his boat for the day, looking at calving glaciers, whales, puffins and eagles. Since it was Houston's birthday, they all agreed it would be good idea.

This is one of the ferries that travel up the Inside Passage. The ferries are a great way to get around this beautiful part of Alaska. You can get off and on where you like, the views are spectacular and if you steer towards recreating at the non-cruise ship ports, you are sure to have a good time. Just look at Houston's smile for confirmation!

The only way to arrive at Petersburg is by air or water. Docks invite both boats and planes to park.

A photo of the array of colors on a glacier.

The roads were sometimes straight, but more than likely the path was up and over many mountains.

Since it was wet most of the time, the camp consisted of 3 tents, a tarp and 25 yards of clothes line.

Wild life was seen near or right on the road. Bruce caught this shot of a mountain goat while off his bike for a bit. Bruce said that when he got above the goat, he would act all snarky and gruff but when he retreated, the goat would go back to eating. Jeesh, males!

I am so proud of these three and what they accomplished. It really is mind over matter (matter = pain, hunger, cold, sore butt, aching muscles, tired, crabby) and I know that it just isn't in me to do this sort of trek. Great job guys and I am so glad you arrived at your lofty destination safe, sound and with a big smile!

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