Today was a day full of transition, from a full fledged wilderness camping trip, deposited by plane to a bustling big city, and then discovering the blending pot of wilderness and urbia that defines Anchorage. I said goodbye to my fishing buddy Cam but not before we inhaled a pizza at the Moose’s Tooth, the busiest pizza place in the US, making ~2000 pies daily.
I knew that the riding would be choppy for the first while on this trip. Fortunately the folks at the Bicycle Shop reassembled my machine up and had it ready for me. Mirror and seat adjustments and making nice with an angry construction worker defined the first 0.2 miles of my R4R. We made nice since he learned I was from NC (he is a Tarheel fan).
Over the next 10 miles I saw a crazy diversity of this city. Coho salmon being caught right next to the Hilton, city parks surrounding a base of float planes to fly deep into the wilderness, throngs of tourists readying for a ride on the train to Denali right next to a quiet stream meandering through the city and into Cook Inlet.
My stops were so frequent. I had hunger, thirst, cold, hot, and a body in bad need of acclimating to a bike. Finally I settled into a glacially slow pace up towards Eagle, amidst the steady rain and views of steep mountains, and made my way to Eklutna Lake Campground at 10 PM. There Neil Patel greeted me. He’s from London and his folks run Kibo Safaris in Kenya, right at the base of Kilimanjaro. What’s the chances of that!?