Monday, June 23, 2014

Mud and Hills, June 9th 2014

We wake up late and rather dehydrated, and we don't end up leaving our campsite until 12:00.  Keith has already left for the day.  It's beautiful weather and much warmer.  About 10 miles down the road we meet another biking couple, Missy and Scott, who are biking to Key West.  They're very friendly and they have their dog with them.  They tell us how they bought a cheap van for $800 then drove up to Deadhorse and gave it away.  Moving on, we keep biking over hills and into valleys.  The road is in extremely bad condition; it's super muddy.  Around us it starts to rain, but it's sunny in front and behind us.

Norm's "office"
Due to the mud, my bike is in the lowest gear on the flat sections, and we're moving slow. The first twenty or so miles takes us four hours.  We reach a construction zone and meet Joe.  He tells us how he's paid a lot of money just to stand there, and that we're required to get a ride in the pilot car for the next fourteen miles.  I'm glad we do, because the road is thick with mud and there are plenty more giant hills.  More importantly, we meet Norman, who drives the pilot car and loves his "office." Born and raised in Alaska, he loves everything about it.  He tells us, "People ask what it's like to live in a small isolated corner of Alaska.  We have to look out for each other and take care of each other."  He was a great guy with a good perspective on life.  After our ride, we bike on and enter the mountains.  Spectacular views all around. We get our tent set up just as it starts to pour.

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