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July 27, 2010

Fairbanks Alaska


Silly me, calling ahead to order the parts I needed from Tok.  Did I call because I was actually in a hurry for them?  No, just because I was bored apparently.  Do you get the feeling that not all went as I’d hoped?  At least I still have to turning wheels on the ground.  Here’s where I’m at.



No problems on the ride from Tok to Fairbanks except that I had no plans on being in Fairbanks anytime soon and knew nothing about the place.  Off the visitor center where they set me up.  Hikes, camps in/near town, nice hostel, museums, all the goodies.  This was Friday and I was hoping to see my parts by Wednesday to take them to Wasilla and do the repairs.

With that general schedule I wanted to stay in town Friday to make phone calls in the morning and check on an estimated arrival for the parts.  Good thing I did.  Yes, they had my order in the computer, but it wasn’t going to be processed until Monday.  Should have the parts around Friday, should.  Cancel that order, and reorder to Wasilla, where hopefully my tires will be arriving one day.  At least I find out right away and this schedule actually works better for me.

I decided to head out of town to the Chena Hot Springs recreation area for free camping and booting.  Leaving town Saturday night Fairbanks got a monsoon.  18-24 inches of water on the low areas of city streets and parking lots.  I kept ducking into stores to get out of it and the rain would stop too, until I got back on the bike again.  This is the one time my rain gear couldn’t keep my dry.

Eventually I waited it out and made it the recreation area.  I planned on a one way 9 mile hike and finding a ride back, but my legs just didn’t have it in them.  As soon as I started uphill it was a struggle.  I know I cut the last hike short, but that was 5 miles in.  I was racking my brain trying to figure out why.  All I could come up with is that I’d run out of multivitamins a few weeks ago.  Eventually I realized I only drank about 12 ounces of water the previous day and am thinking that’s the leading culprit.

Top of Angel Rocks TrailTop of Angel Rocks Trail


Top of Angel Rocks Trail


Cutting the hike short I spent the afternoon drying all my gear, a worthwhile cause.  In the morning I packed up to head north to Livengood.  Sadly, its pronounce like alive.  That is the town right before the Dalton Highway starts and its 425 miles of unpaved road to Prudoe Bay.  I wasn’t going to make the trip with a bad wheel bearing, rear shock, and needing new tires, so I touched the gravel and turned around.

Start of the Dalton HighwayStart of the Dalton Highway


Start of the Dalton Highway


I ended up back at the GoNorth Hostel in Fairbanks.  At $6 for a camp site and $6 per person its a good deal for me to get power, wifi, and showers.  Even their cabins start at $25 per night and they have covered motorcycle parking.  Check them out if you’re in town.

Now I’ve got time to go to Denali for a couple days, which I just read up on and am excited to see then make my way to Wasilla for my parts and meet a friend in Anchorage.  Things are starting to look up.  From there I should be able to get to Dawson City and begin the long journey south.

I’ve signed up for the Horizons Unlimited meeting August 12th-15th and will be doing a presentation on my travels so far.  If you’re in the area or looking for a place to ride to come on by!

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