21 May 2017
(written by Dave)
The day has come, tomorrow we ride. We are currently at 64.8 degrees north and that’s as far as we’ll go – it’s all south from down here. Someone said it’s all downhill but I’ve checked the profile and it looks uphill to me, if only gently. Forecast for Monday is a “clearing shower”. We are hoping that it will clear by the time we start – we’ll see. If not, we’ve got 20ish hours of sun – all day if needed. We are planning 50 miles or so.
Chris arrived this morning. We got his bike together with only one bent skewer and a single stripped eyelet as damage – we worked out solutions for both issues. So for the next 2 weeks to Whitehorse, we’ll be a gang of four – Mark, Chris, Nancy and me.
And just to see if Nancy and I age any between here and the bottom of South America, here are starting photos of us as well.
We’ve had a good couple days in Fairbanks. It is an interesting town. Our AirBnB is new and nice. It’s not in the higher end of town but I think 6 months of snow makes every building look rough this time of year – everything around us needs a fresh coat of paint. We are so far north that it never gets dark. Mark and I are both sleeping with eye pads. I was awake at 2AM the first night and could read without a light on.
In our Fairbanks travels, we hit the Fairbanks Visitor Center – they’ve done a great job with interpretive displays and had lots maps. There was also a ranger with a table full of animal pelts (yes, he had a grizzly pelt). He was full of information about bears and how to be safe. Some highlights included that we should NOT ride past bears we encounter on the roadside. We now will either wait for them to meander off, or wait for a car (most likely a large double sized truck – every car seems big here). We have our bear spray mounted on the handle bars of our bikes and come what may, we’ll get through.
For the foodies reading the blog, we had our first proper Alaskan cafe brekkie today – at The Cookie Jar. Yes, the food is massive. We certainly won’t go hungry, so long as we find a similar cafe every third day or so. Nancy managed to eat about ½ of her food but perhaps that’s because we all shared a diner plate sized cinnamon role as a starter. No photo of the cinnamon role but brekkie shots are noted below.
In our wanders of Fairbanks we snapped a few more photos. We won’t see another city of this size for at least two weeks. Actually, it’s probably 6 weeks until we get to Prince George, which is the first real city of similar size. We have lots of food packed, hoping to survive on a combination packed food, roadhouse fry ups and the odd cafe. Updates to follow but for now, here we go!