Well Blogees, I am typing this in the middle of a campground/RV park somewhere south of Fairbanks, in the north of Alaska. The sun is shining brightly and it is a bit hard to see the screen, but I will do my best! Internet access is sometimes iffy, so I am making the most of this opportunity.
I left the Kenai Peninsula, in the south of Alaska, and headed north through Anchorage again and am up here near the Denali National Park. It was nice and sunny when I left Kenai (pronounced “Keen-eye” by the Americans), but alas the heavens soon opened and she poured buckets. And buckets. And then a couple of washtubs. I had to open the helmet visor to even see, which meant a wet, cold face, but it was better than running off the road.
The rain was an excellent opportunity to discover how the gear held up. Head – Helmet was wet, because of open visor, so can’t count that. Upper body – jacket was FANTASTIC! Completely waterproof and not a drop got through. Boots and gloves – perfect, no wet, cold feet or hands. Jeans…soaking wet. Freezing cold legs. Oh well.
This went on for an hour or two and mercifully stopped just before Anchorage. I might mention at this point that since leaving Kenai I have been camping, and will continue to camp. The time for being an Old Sheila’s Blouse is over, so no more motels. Anyway, got to Anchorage and took a wrong turn, very difficult to do in Anchorage, but I managed it with aplomb. I stopped to check the map, and was not far out of my way, however it was still quite cold. I was also emotionally tired from the extreme concentration required during the couple of hours of rain. Looking over the road, I spied a nice, cosy-looking, hotel and immediately thought of a hot shower, a real bed, clean sheets, and being warm.
It was very tempting, but I said to myself, “Janette, now look, think logically and carefully and STOP BEING SUCH A BLOODY CHICKEN-SHIT WHOOSE”. Immediately hung my head at myself, got back on the bike and continued on. Ended up at a campground somewhere north of Anchorage, about an hour and a half or so. Here’s what it looked like:
Well, in the middle of that upload, which seemed to take forever, we had a sun shower. So not only could I hardly see the screen, but the laptop was getting wet! I quickly moved to the verandah of one of the overpriced cabins here. Fortunately (hopefully) there is no-one resident inside. Here’s another view of the campsite:
There is something serene and peaceful about motorcycle camping. It is different to camping with a car. Trying hard to describe what I mean, but I suppose just looking at the campsite, tent, and motorcycle epitomises freedom.
Anyway, so after setting up the tent etc. it was time for a cup of tea. I assembled the little stove, which I’ve only used a handful of times, to boil the water. I was going to use it later to cook spaghetti mixed with something out of a tin from the store next door. Well, the stove simply refused to light! Tried several times before giving up, and went to the cafe two doors down (there are only three doors in this town – the campground, store and cafe) and was served this massive plate of chicken and veges. It was yum, but couldn’t eat it all.
I reckoned the stove’s jet was blocked, so when I got here this afternoon I pulled that apart and cleaned it all out. Got BLACK hands as a result, but it seemed to wash off easily. Works fine now.
On the road again this morning and before long started to see mountains again. I didn’t have breakfast because of the bung stove, so did 60 kms or so and stopped somewhere. MASSIVE bowl of oatmeal, which I couldn’t finish, and some sourdough toast with coffee. I really like that sourdough bread. More and more mountains started to appear as I neared the Denali National Park, home of Mt McKinley. I am about 2-3 hours south of Fairbanks right now, in a town called Cantwell. Apologies, and I would put all these places in the blog if I could see the screen well enough to wrestle with Google maps! (I might add that I cannot do this in the tent, which would be better, because it is out of internet range).
Both this campground, and the one yesterday, not only have toilets and showers but they are clean. Oh, the luxury.
Getting close to Cantwell and I needed a comfort stop. Alas, there were no restrooms conveniently placed for my benefit. After squirming around on the seat for quite some time, I spied a pull-out where, thankfully, there was an embankment where I go without traumatising any passers-by. Whilst there, I got some photos of the view:
No, the puddle of water is NOT where I went to the toilet, it’s from a shower of rain they had earlier. I went behind the embankment, remember?
It really is a beautiful part of Alaska.
Well I will finish this blog and go and cook some dinner. On tonight’s a la carte menu is spaghetti, which I will mix with a with a dodgy looking tin of sausages swimming in chicken soup. Can’t wait! I’m off to Fairbanks tomorrow to get knobby tyres for the bike.