19 May 2017

(written by Dave)

We made it to the start – we are in Fairbanks, safe and sound.  It was a fun day, mostly.  That is, as fun as any day flying with two bikes and three 50-pound bags.  We had a bit of an issue with the lovely TSA crew at the Portland airport.  They wanted to not just open our bike boxes but also to remove the bikes and every bag I’d stuck in the boxes.  I’ve flown a lot and never had anything like this happen to me.  I was fuming that my perfect packing job was being destroyed by a single TSA woman as she ripped the bikes open and tore into the contents.  I tried to help but was told that I was not allowed to touch anything.  Words were exchanged and if not for my ever diplomatic wife stepping in, we would likely still be in Portland.  Travelling by air is so glamorous these days.  Thankfully, the next plane we have to board will be many, many months south of here.

We flew to Anchorage and then onto Fairbanks.  One of our travelling companions (Mark) flew into Fairbanks around the same time so we shared cabs to our AirBnB.  Mark and I got stuck into the bikes and I’m happy to report that everything went together just fine.  Somewhere along the line, Alaska Air managed to get one of Nancy’s crank arms to poke out of her box but this didn’t seem to cause any major drama.  I’m just glad that the re-packing of the bikes by my friend in Portland didn’t lead to anything worse.

So we’re here.  We are both tired and ready for bed.  It’s 10PM and completely light outside.  Our taxi driver said that it gets “a little darker” around 3AM but that’s about it.  It is going to take some time to get used to 22 hours of daylight.  We’ll be spending the next couple days in Fairbanks getting bits sorted.  Chris arrives on Sunday.  Monday we ride.  We are all ready to hit the road and quite excited (at least I am!).

The weather for the next week looks good – temps in the mid-60s, only minor sprinkles so we should have a good first week.

Thanks to Jan and Gretchen for getting us to the airport this morning and for all the hospitality while we were in Portland.

Enjoy some images of the day below.

Pre trip with Nancy's Mom

Us and Driver One (Jan)

Gypsies head head for the airport.

Portland I205 bridge

Good-bye Portland – the I205 Bridge

Sum of all the food Alaska served

4.5 hours flying Alaska Air and this is our sum total food

Our first bear

Our first bear

Our third bear

Our second bear

Our second bear

Our third bear

Bear 4 - a gift from Mark

Our fourth bear – from Mark

Our second moose

Our first moose

Our first wolf

Our first wolf

Bike box damage courtesy of PDX TSA and Alaska Air!

Three bikes done

Three bikes built!

Our Fairbanks AIRBNB

Mark and Nancy at our AirBnB

24 thoughts on “Fairbanks

  1. Whoop whoop….game on! The box is meant to get the beating! (Instead of the bike) I see some modifications so you don’t need to use those dreadful lose elements in the hooks of you panniers… Better than my tape. All the best sweeties!

  2. Good Morning! I hope you were able to get some sleep! Have fun getting ready. You are in good company with my favorite Australian author who had a similar unwelcoming experience at an American airport early this year. She has made over 100 trips to the US, but is not sure she will return. At least that part of the trip is behind you. Enjoy Fairbanks!

  3. Great to be seeing travel updates once again. I will be looking forward to them. Any flight with fewer than 5 videos of you being drug from a plane appearing on youtube is a good flight these days.

    • Thanks Dale – I was afraid for awhile there that Dave was going to appear in one of those videos with the TSA descending upon him…. Thankfully we made it through it though!

  4. Glad to see you managed to escape those pesky bears and dodged the moose and wolf- without the bear spray 😉 Enjoy the adventure. I’m looking forward to reading all about it! Too bad about the endless daylight 🌞 Keep safe 😄🦌🐕🚴🏼🚴‍♀️

  5. How exciting! Glad everyone + bikes survived the trip up there! I bought an REI touring bike today so I will start training for the southern Oregon/ California/ Nevada section! Can’t wait to read more…Happy travels!!!

  6. The TSA fiasco is going to be the worst part of your journey. 😊 I was so excited to see your post today and I can’t wait for the next one.

  7. Well done Dave and Nancy! Just thinking of some of the fun you went through with the Panda (bears) to get there! Excited for you guys to watch your trip unfold! Stay upright and knees into it. Cheers, Jason

  8. Hi Nancy and Dave. Great to hear from you. Hope your journey is fantastic! Keep the updates coming and the photos. They are so good…

  9. Hey Hey guys. We will be looking forward to reading about your adventures.

    We are still on the road, but in our class B RV. It is much easier on rain days than the bike was but we really miss the riding. We will be back home in July and then we have to figure out what we will do for adventure.

    Good luck.

  10. Morning Nancy & Dave, judging from Dave’s notes, your ‘discussion’ with the TSA Crew would have made those so called heated debates at the Investment Committee looked like child’s play. Rumour is that those polar bears are somewhat less reasonable that the TSA Crew 🙂
    Enjoy your adventure and please keep us at CEFC posted.

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