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.
Gypsies head head for the airport.
Bike box damage courtesy of PDX TSA and Alaska Air!