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Alaska Wrap-Up

I spent 23 days exploring our 49th state (plus a bit of Canada). Alaska is also our biggest state by far, so even with three weeks of touring I barely scratched the surface. Here's a wrap-up of weeks two and three.

Leaving Haines I crossed into Canada, and climbed above the summer snow-line through the Chilkat pass. I was cold but famished and so set up a pannier wind-barrier to cook lunch right in a parking lot. Only one or two cars passed.

The careful observer will note the bear tracks in the snow drift above.

I continued through the virtually deserted valley, stopping at a clear stream to fill my water bottles. A glint in the sand caught my eye, and I spent the next hour "panning" for flakes of mica that I dreamed were gold.

Other photos from the day:

Then I was on to Haines Junction, where I hitched a ride through the rest of Canada to get back into Alaska. On the way we saw a Grizzly:

From Tok, Alaska I headed towards Fairbanks on the Alaska and then the Richardson Highways. Along the way I camped near the Johnson River and met a nice fellow named Gary who invited me to stay with himself and his wife at their home in Delta Junction. Then they brought me to a potluck! After that I saw the Alaska Pipeline for the first time.

My pal and I celebrated Independence Day at a hostel in Fairbanks. It was a great time, talking with folks from all over the world about the things swirling around in my head during days of solo pedaling. It never got dark, and the beer never ran out, so July 5th was a tough day.

From Fairbanks to Anchorage it was all camping, mostly alone. I swung through Denali National Park where a nice bus driver helped me load my bike for a ride to the top of a long climb- then I got to cruise back down and enjoy the view. I finally saw a moose, too. I never could get used to the constant daylight. You'll see two photos below of the Alaskan summer "nights,"one of which was taken from inside my tent at 11:45pm.

Here's a compilation of "Cute Animal Videos" from my tour:

I finally finished up in Anchorage after a 75-mile day along busy highways. Part of me was glad to be out of the wilderness, while another part of me missed it. I had spent more time camping solo in Alaska than during any previous tour. It left me with a sense of peace I hadn't known in the lower 48. Maybe I'll go back some day to find it again.

So long, #49.

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