7th July 2000 Tok - Alaska Travelled 580 miles
Arrived at Anchorage at 8pm on 27th June, very tired. Joan's large chain-ring was badly bent by the airline. Cycled about 2 miles to the hostel, Joan on little ring only. Big surprise in our room, a flower arrangement (with free pack of coffee) sent by Francis and Catherine. We both flaked out and woke at 7am next morning. Next two days spent in Anchorage buying camping equipment and buying new chain-ring.
The cost of getting to Prudhoe Bay was about 300 UKP each, so we decided that it was not worth it for the sake of a few hundred miles of gravel. We would instead do an extra 500 miles in Alaska to take us to Tok where we would have ended up if we had come from Prudhoe Bay.
Equipment bought in Anchorage:
2 Sleeping bags $209 each
2 Thermarest Ultralite mats $50 each
2 Thermarest seat adapters $37 each
MSR dragonfly stove $100
Katydin water filter $70
(One UKP = $1.5 approx.)
30th June 2000: Saw a bald eagle in centre of Anchorage. Headed north and wild camped in bear country with moose prints around our tent. We decided to take a minor road called Hatchett pas. At 3,000 feet the road was closed and barred - no going back. We slipped under the barrier and pushed our bikes up a steep gravel track until the road disappeared under snow. Fortunately we had seen two unloaded mountain bikers in the distance and we followed their tracks through the snow. At one point we had to carry our bags and come back for our bikes because the snow was so deep. Joan sank up to her thighs in the snow and had to dig herself out. Coming down it rapidly improved and we stayed at our first campsite in warm sunshine. (8 dollars, no toilets or showers). We rode the Denali highway; 139 miles and all of it gravel. Many people passing stopped and gave us nuts, crisps and drinks. Miles of fantastic snowcapped scenery and wilderness. A fisherman gave us a Grayling to eat. We had one day of solid rain at the end of the unmade road and cycled 30miles cold and wet. This was the only day that wasn't warm and sunny. Met Eric at Sourdough campsite, he had cycled from Prudhoe Bay and was on his way to Valdez. He got there by charter plane at much less than it would have cost us.
Supplies are few and far between and expensive. We have had to carry a minimum of two days provisions.
We are currently having our first day's rest at Tok to prepare ourselves for the next stage to Dawson city in the Yukon.