First days on the road!

First days on the road!

Finally, I am on the road with Laf. I was disappointed that I hadn’t been able to start from Prudhoe Bay, but I soon realized that it was probably a good thing. I had forgotten how hard it is to start a bike trip and I really don’t think I would have been able to ride the Dalton, and for sure not in these conditions. As I pedaled away from Fairbanks, I thought that at least I had been to Prudhoe Bay with my bike, so in a way I felt satisfied. I also felt sorry (and still do) for the cyclists that are still facing such hard conditions.

Laf in Fairbanks, ready to go!

 

Before the first pedal stroke

I am now 4 days and 333 km into my trip, mostly flat roads, but somehow I finish my days exhausted. Part of it is that I am still carrying winter gear that I only needed for the Dalton, and too much food! And I needed to get back into shape.

Rika’s roadhouse

One night I camped next to a beautfiul roadhouse built in 1909. I fell asleep thinking about all the travelers that found shelter here over the 100+ years.

Last night I camped near a big river. It was getting very windy so I pitched my tent near the bushes to be somewhat protected from the gusts. However, the wind just got worse and worse. By 2 am I woke up and realized the wind was just insane and that things would not be good if it started to rain. So I got up and moved tent and gear into the bush to be more sheltered. Not a restful night, but at 6 am I was already on my bike, trying to take advantage of a calmer morning.

Very civilized rest area

For the first 2 hours I saw more rabbits than vehicles, and as I stopped at a creek to get some water I was thinking about how basic my life is: finding water, food, shelter and staying warm. And pedaling, of course.

I finally made it to Tok, where I was hoping to stay with someone and enjoy Alaskan hospitality, but unfortunately, once in Tok, I found out that the house was 5 km before the village. By then, my knees and legs had decided that I wasn’t going back, especially against the wind. I felt a little better when I ran into another tour cyclist who said he also had knee pain.

Maybe a tour cyclist decided to leave her fancy shoes behind…

I stopped at a hostel to inquire about camping fees, but while we were talking about the different options, the caretaker pulled a secret weapon: she gave me ice cream. So that was it: I ended up staying in her nice hostel, where I had a delightful shower, washed some clothes, cooked a delicious meal and now plan to spend the rest of the evening on a sofa with a book.

Well, maybe this is why I do these things. Basic comfort feels so amazing!

3 thoughts on “First days on the road!

  1. Allo Catherine
    Content de pouvoir te rejoindre. Je ne sais pas si tu as pu lire mon précédent message sur ton précédent blog. De mémoire: Essaie de maintenir le cap de ton projet, mais écoute ton corps pour qu’il te le permette. Un commentaire sur la photo de l’hotel de Prudhoe Bay avec ton vélo devant: c’est pas le Ceasar’s Palace, à ce que je vois, et la limousine devant n’est surement pas un 7 passagers… À part cela, je te souhaite bonne route et bon temps. FV

  2. Misère de misère. Tu te protèges un peu. Je garde ta voiture en réserve près du garage.Je n’ai pas encore débranché la batterie. J’attends encore quelques jours avant de la mettre à l’abri et prête à l’hivernage.
    Mon premier message te disait la venue d’un arnaqueur sur ton blog. Louise a refusé le 600 $ demandé pour la sécurité. Continue à te prendre comme une précieuse personne sur qui être attentive.

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