Quick update before I set off up north to the Arctic Ocean. It’s been so hard to keep up with the schedule of this trip; I’m bound by certain weather windows so I must do all I can to hurry up.
Anyhow made it back from my first training exercise on the Kenai Peninsula; quite possibly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. Combine that with some of the best mountain biking and trails I’ve ever seen, the eight days I spent there were phenomenal.
Huge thank you to the guys at Speedway Cycles (Anchorage) for helping me plan my route in the Kenai. If you’re looking for people who are passionate about what they do and willing to take the time to help then I would definitely recommend dropping by. Thanks Anthony, Robert and Jeffere – you guys are awesome.
I started out from Anchorage highly excited heading down the highway with my bike packed awkwardly full of gear not really knowing what to expect. It was a very special moment. One of complete freedom blown away by where I was and how I got to be there. A feeling of if I could do this then anything would be possible.
Fully loaded with 8 days of food and looking a bit new
First day -image from Seward Hwy
Anyway, the first couple of days of my route took me down the Seward Hwy to a trail called Johnson Pass which I cycled from north to south. From there I headed to Devils Pass and then down Resurrection Trail to a beautiful little town called Hope. I then took a lift back to Anchorage with Pam (thank you!) and am currently camping out the back of Tony’s backyard. Tony Allen happens to be a bicycling enthusiast and has been exceptionally hospitable to me. Very much appreciated.
Sparing you all the details (far too much happened) the highlights involved:
Crossing a snowy mountain pass (Devils); one false move and my 40 kg beast and I would have ended up in the lake. Probably my most treacherous moment. It was actually a lot steeper but the camera has distorted the image.
Bear fur in the campsite (I think?)
Bear locker in the campsite to store food
Getting absolutely savaged by mosquitos – far worse than anything I’ve ever experienced.
Rocky paths. Tough cycling with a heavy load uphill.
This tree making the best out of its precarious situation
My path actually looking more like a river (Johnson Pass)
Insanely overgrown mountain biking on Johnson Pass. Quite technical on a loaded bike; just trying to stay on the path was difficult.
Building a camp fire in the rain (“very good for morale” etc)
Getting rewarded with this view after a very tough climb, pushing my ridiculously heavy bike up a very rocky path
Feeling the cold at the top of Devils Pass
Yet more river crossings
The sun finally coming out after 7 days of rain
Fantastic mountain biking
Stunning sunset at Hope
Heading up to Prudhoe Bay tomorrow to start the actual trip south. No real opportunities to get supplies until Fairbanks once I start cycling south – 500 miles of wilderness on a gravel pot-holed road. Should be interesting. Looking forward to more feelings of remoteness; not so much looking forward to the severe mosquito agitation. Hopefully my knees will hold up; I’m expecting 10 days of punishing cycling, back to back. I can’t really take this section slowly or I’ll run out of food.