Leaving LA was drama, of course. Despite a guaranteed delivery day the BOB trailer I was borrowing did not arrive before I left. I (actually a ‘we’) were up until 3am packing my bike into 2 boxes in order to skirt the $80 bike charge. It ended up working, but sometimes, when you have had that little sleep, $80 seems like a small price to pay for a couple hours extra sleep.
Anyway, I finally arrive to Anchorage and am lucky to have my friend from Loma Linda picked me up at the airport. We had to kill time to wait for my luggage to arrive on the next flight and drove out past the water planes and saw a giant male moose! After an expensive meal I settled in for my first night of this long journey in the comfort of Marc’s living room.
Without a BOB trailer my options are limited: I can buy one and continue as planned or I can take the expensive buses and just backpack around. But 5 days later I am still in Anchorage! Amazingly Marc and his friends have kept me super busy’ I have been mountain biking and/or hiking every single day since I have been here.
The scenery has been superb. Within 45 minutes of the city is everything from beautiful mountains and glaciers to forests and lakes. All very accessible through parks and trails. One day we rode single track up through a ski resort and then hiked to a 4150 ft summit before blasting back down on our bikes. Saturday we did some of Johnson Pass Trail, a slightly technical trail with only moderate elevation gain that passes through spectacular scenery. Some parts were wooded with huge trees keeping out direct light and others parts were full of ferns and other plants that reminded me of central America. The trail was complete with wooded bridges and waterfalls. Yesterday we went to the hippy-ish town of Girdwood and rode some trails in search of a ‘mountain bike park’. We never found it but had some fun times exploring.
Later in the day we met some kids on crazy downhill bikes (they look motorcycles with 7 inches of suspension on the front and back) who gave us the heads up on some trails. Turns out one kid is from Pennsylvania and used to ride BMX. We knew a bunch of the same kids. Finally we spent some time at the public sk8 park and I had a blast flying through it on my mountain bike, though being clipped in was kind of scary.
So what’s on my agenda now? Today is the first time I have been able to think about it. I heard that the only road into Denali is closed due to snow. That is surprising because the weather in Anchorage is at a comfortable 45-60 degrees everyday. If I want to get a BOB trailer I will have to buy one; which would not be a bad investment and there is no sales tax in Alaska. My options are limited because with only two weeks or so left I don’t have much time to cover a lot of miles (especially if I am riding through snow!). I might go backpacking for a week and then spend another week in Anchorage exploring on day trips or get a trailer and head south through the Kenia peninsula where the weather is warmer. Today I am going to get some better info on Denali.
Some quick bits: Food is expensive when eating out, but very reasonable at grocery stores. I got tofutti ice cream sandwiches 2 boxes for $5! Also organic broccoli and chocolate bars (the important things) are cheap.
Anchorage is a great city with all of the resources anyone needs for a trip at good prices. The REI here has the same prices as the online store.
Anchorage also has a system of parks with bike trails running through the city.
I have been making use of my zero degree sleeping bag by sleeping with the window open in the living room. bbbrrrrrr.
My cell phone works here and is not roaming!
I will try to update with what my plans are before I leave.
Thank you everyone for all the kind emails!