Days 23/24/25

Day 23 – Tuesday 7/13

Woke up in Homer pretty drenched from a night of non-stop rain.  The tent’s waterproofing is starting to wear off and there were small puddles that had begun to creep up through the floor.  Everyone packed up early and Geoff and Kathy followed Don and Annette out of Homer to do some dip netting.  Megan and I stayed back and got some coffee and packed up our stuff (in the rain, of course).

We ended up riding about 70 miles north to Slodotna and we were soaked so we figured we started looking for a hotel to dry out in.  There were tons of crappy places that wanted 110 – 170 a night.  We kept driving.  On the way out of town we spotted a sign for a B&B and followed it down a muddy dirt road to a great little spot called the Denise Lake Inn.  Big ups to Dale, the manager for being so pleasant…talkative, but pleasant.  A crazy thing you can see in the pictures is the rabbit colony that lives out there.  Rabbits (and their turds) are everywhere and they come up and eat out of your hand. We had our own little cabin (kind of) overlooking the lake – it was a great place to stay.

Day 24 – Wednesday 7/14

Woke up – Elaine made me some delicious french toast and then we packed up and left.  It was a nice 150 mile ride back to Anchorage and I think I saw the sun for a little while.  Fairly uneventful drive except for the black bear that crossed the highway a little in front of us.  Megan and I had lunch in Anchorage and then we drove around downtown a bit and then headed back to Annette and Don’s so we could pack her stuff and get her to the airport.  I managed to send home our share of the Halibut expedition with her – about 27 pounds per couple.  Dropped Megs off at the airport for her redeye back to Chicago.  We had just an outstanding time together and massive props to Megan for just flying to Anchorage and getting on the back of the bike – no questions asked, not a word of complaint, and in fact was a better sport about some things than I was (drenched campsite in Valdez).

Day 25 – Thursday 7/15

Geoff dropped Kathy off in the early morning hours for her flight back to San Diego so I figured we would get a late start for Fairbanks, but we had a *really* late start.

We got up early enough and Don and I went out shopping – I wanted to get a couple things from the camping store and some food for all the new found room I suddenly have since I’m not carrying gear for two people anymore.  We just kept packing and cleaning and packing again and we didn’t end up leaving Anchorage until 2pm.  Oh, also, we were under the impression that it was ~200 miles to Fairbanks and it’s really ~360.  Anyway, we eventually got out of there and it was just amazing the hospitality that we got from Don and Annette.  They are amazing friends.  Thank you again guys.

The next part of our trip is going to Prudhoe Bay at the tip top of Alaska.  The jumping off point is Fairbanks where we are getting our road tires swapped out for knobby dirt tires (for the 400 mile dirt road – each way).  Anyway, first had to get to Fairbanks.  This drive is supposed to be amazing since you skirt the Eastern edge of Denali National Park with (hopefully) views of Mt McKinley (highest peak in North America).  The ride was nice enough at the beginning but totally socked in along Denali – cold and *tons* of rain.  I didn’t take a single damn picture the whole way until we made it just outside Fairbanks and the weather had cleared.

Arrived into the University of Alaska – Fairbanks where we we’re staying in the dorm.  Only $20/person so a sweet deal.  I was pretty excited about getting into town so I could play golf – since you can supposedly get a midnight tee time in Fairbanks.  They’re actually losing daylight up here, so no more midnight tee times this season, but I did find a place (North Light Golf Course) that would let me get out about 11.  I actually ended up playing with the people that worked there – Cameron was from Wisconsin and Stephanie was from Portland, OR.  They were awesome and a ton of fun and we played until close to to 1 am.  I birdied the last hole.

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