2010 Alaska Trike Trip

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

We made it, end of trip!!!

I promised to list some of our "bests" and "worsts" so here goes.
Most ice cream in one day: 3 dishes at Contact Creek, YK.
Worst cinnamon roll: the 2-day old, rock hard one we saved for our 3000 mile mark.
Easiest portable meal: peanut butter tortilla rollup. We ate hundreds of them.
Most memorable "character": the disabled vet in Petersburg, AK that we paid $7.00 to watch our gear.
Number of flat tires: 0 on the trikes and 3 on Cal's trailer.
Ugliest campground: Bednesti, which we will forever refer to as Bed Nasty.
Worst mosquitos: Big Creek Campground where we used 2 bottles of repellant in 1 day. Longest time without a shower: 4 days -- oh, nasty!
Worst and scariest drivers: a caravan of 5 Alabama RV's.
Closest bear encounter: Sitka, AK where a large grizzly ran through our campsite.
Number of injuries: 0
Number of sick days: 0
Hardest hill climb: Peterson Mtn on our way to Muncho Lake. Kindest people: Crow Buttes, SD, during a rain storm where a rancher offered to haul us and our trikes to his ranch for dinner and a bed. Then a lady offered to load the trikes in her truck and take us to the next town. And finally the convenience store manager offered to let us spend the night at the store after it closed.
Smelliest camp: Of course it has to be the outhouse we slept in at Log Cabin, YK.
Coldest feet and hands: White Pass, YK. Thanks to the border agents, we were able to warm up.
Most dangerous roadside critter: A bison that nearly charged Cal's trike twice on the Alaska Hwy in the YK.
Favorite meal: second breakfast -- that we usually stopped to eat after the first 20 miles of the day.
Best second breakfast: Definitely the Wolf-it-Down Cafe in Nugget City.
Best benefit of the trip: losing weight and getting in shape and, hopefully, adding a few years to our lives.
Greatest memories: all the wonderful people we met along the way.

Monday, October 5, 2009

We were planning to spent a couple days at the Great Basin Natl Park in Nevada, but soon after we got there the wind came up (60-70 MPH) and our trailer had trouble keeping wheels down. We bobbed and pitched, but stayed upright. Then it started snowing and we could see black clouds all around us, so after a tour of Lehman Caves, we decided to make a run for Colorado before we got snowed in in Nevada. After we got into Utah we discovered that the dark clouds were blowing dirt and not snow. We spent the night in Green River and will make the final leg to Gypsum, CO today.
Stay tuned for some of our highlights including "bests" and "worsts" from the trike trip.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

We are now in Ely, Nevada, inching closer to Colorado. We are taking.another tourist train ride today -- our 4th of the trip. Cal should be all trained out for awhile.
It took us over an hour to lose $2.00 in the penny video poker last night -- pretty cheap entertainment!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We got our flu shots this AM at our campground (Walmart).
We drove in a cold wind all day and only stopped a couple times to explore -- saw some wagon ruts from the Oregon Trail. We are now in Jerome, Idaho and have lots to see tomorrow if it warms up. It is now 40/40 -- 40 degrees and 40 MPH wind. Cal put the jacks down here so we don't blow and wobble so much.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

During the all-night rain I was reminded how much I hated that sound in the tent, knowing it meant finding a way to dry the tent or put it away wet and getting wet in the process. Sooooo much nicer sound in the camper!
We stopped at Pendleton Mills today for a tour and some Christmas shopping and discovered we couldn't afford anything in the store. I have never paid $350.00 for a blanket and don't intend to start now.
We are now in La Grande, OR and gradually getting closer to CO.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Yesterday we tried our trikes on all the bike trails we could find in the area and then today we did the waterfall circuit -- hiked to 7 of then in one day.
A wet, cold front is moving in, so we will head east tomorrow to the desert side of Oregon.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Since I last updated, we drove to the coast and actually drove the truck down the world's longest beach. Cal got a little close to the water (actually drove in it) and now the truck smells fishy.
We've spent the last 4 days at the very first Forest Service campground in the US. It is between Portland and Mt. Hood. We've been taking lots of day trips and hikes around the area, including a tourist train to the base of Mt. Hood. We are going to get the trikes out today and try some bike trails. The weather has been perfect (in the 70's), so we'll probably spend a couple more days here in the Columbia River Gorge.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

We really enjoyed our 2 days at Mt. St. Helens. We got a good view from the east side and by the time we drove to the main entrance on the west side, the mtn had disappeared under a cloud of blowing ash. We are heading further west today to the coast.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

NE view of Mt. Rainier at sunrise
We drove up to Sunrise Point this morning for a view of Mt. Rainier from the NE side. It is 31 and very very windy. I feel sorry for the climbers we saw going up yesterday. Crystal clear sky and fresh snow on the mountain make quite a sight.
We are leaving for Mt St Helens tomorrow.

Mt. Rainier. Wow!
Northern Exposure fans?

Northern Exposure fans?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

We rode 26 miles in the Cascades yesterday and are now on the road, relocating the camper closer to Mt Rainier for the next few days. We stopped for lunch in Roslyn (Cicily, Alaska for Northern Exposure fans). Wow, just came over a rise and spotted Mt Rainier in the distance. What a view!.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We are back in the USA after a traumatic border crossing -- full search of the truck and trailer, including inside the fridge, oven and toilet. Can't imagine what they thought we were transporting!
We parked the trailer in a campground for a few days while we take some side trips through the Cascades. We met some cyclists today on their way from Seattle to Crested Butte. That made us want to start planning out next trike trip.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

No sign of Ogopogo, so I guess we'll leave the Okanagan tomorrow and head south to the good ole USA. We rode another 35 miles on the trikes in and around Penticton and then rode the KVR steam train. We also watched the dragon boat races on the lake -- all ages from 10 to 80 paddling.
The last section of the KVR still in operation by a steam train

The last great KVR train robbery

View from the top of the pedestrian bridge over Lake Okanagan at Kelowna

Friday, September 11, 2009

We rode 28 miles on trails around Kelowna yesterday. What a beautiful city!! It is on the lake and surrounded by mountains so it has that Colorado feel, but the weather is perfect for the famous Okanagan orchards and vineyards. We are headed a little south to Penticton today to do some more triking and tasting at the fruit stands and wineries.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mrya Canyon tunnel 2 and trestle 9
We rode 25 beautiful miles of the KVR today. Myra Canyon is the only section of the KVR that I would recommend. It has 2 tunnels and 18 trestles in 6 miles. What an amazing ride! The weather is finally perfect for riding.
We are living on local fruit from roadside stands and may end up vegetarians like Travis soon.

Monday, September 7, 2009

We are now sitting in our camper on the west shore of Lake Okanagan eating grapes we bought from a vineyard down the road.
We pretty much rode all the KVR trails near our last camp. Tomorrow we plan to ride Myra Canyon, the most spectacular section of the whole trail. The weather has been rainy and cold and has soaked us on the trail more than once. It is now clearing and we can't wait to get the trikes out again.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Our first train tunnel on the KVR

Thursday, September 3, 2009

We've been out of cell range for a few days. We are camped at Otter Lake just north of Tulameen and using that as home base to ride several sections of the Kettle Valley Rails to Trails (KVR). We have found the trail pretty rough and slow going for us to ride on the trikes. Areas are torn up by ATVs and spots are pretty rocky and loose, sandy gravel. Today it is in the 40's and raining, so we are taking a road trip in the truck to Hope. We plan to stay at our campsite until after Labor Day because all campgrounds are full for the weekend and we don't want to lose our spot. By then we should have finished riding all the KVR trails in this area. Then we will move over to the Summerland area and set up a new base camp for more KVR rides.

Monday, August 31, 2009

We are in Kamloops for day 2. It was a really busy day. We got the trikes out this morning and did 15 miles on the river trails here. Then we took the trailer in for a new trailer brake system. It failed us on the hills coming into town yesterday. Then we went downtown and rode the Kamloops Heritage railway tonight. There are lots of fires burning around here and it is really smokey. We will head further south tomorrow and try to get out of the smoke.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

World's largest lumber mill near Houston, BC

Bought this salmon for $5 from a First Nation fisherman -- Mmmm good

Finally a motel just for us

Fish Creek near Hyder, AK

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Well, we are back in Prince George AGAIN. We spent a couple days near Terrace while looking for the Kermode bear that we missed by minutes when we left Terrace on the trikes last month. Then we headed to Stewart and Hyder to look for bears on Fish Creek. We only saw 1 Griz there, but saw another 7 on our own side trips. We bought a DVD from a wildlife photographer who has only seen 12 Kermode bears in 35 years of filming. We drove to the end of the road and were able to actually look down on Salmon Glacier. We both got Hyderized and have the certificates to prove it. That town could have been used to film Northern Exposure. We are anxious to head south from here to start our trike trek on the Kettle Valley Rails to Trails system.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Yesterday we toured the world's largest limber mill at Houston, BC then walked around Old Hazelton -- a beautiful area that reminds me of Colorado. We bought a salmon from a First Nation fisherman and BBQ'd it last night. We'll have leftovers for days. Today we drove to Kitimat in hopes of riding their 20 miles of bike trails, but, of course, it is cold and pouring rain. We've seen and done about all we can do here in the rain so will drive back to our camp at Klezna Creek and watch for the spirit bear of the way.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

We enjoyed the Icefield Parkway yesterday but only drove through Jasper and didn't even stop. There were thousands of tourists and not even a place to park anywhere. Dean and Carolyn, the Athabaska falls have been improved with so many extra viewing areas, you wouldn't recognize it.
We are finally back at our favorite campground in Prince George and have reunited with our trikes. We aired up the tires and are ready for any ride we can find up here. We loaded the trikes in the back of the truck and are planning to head back west tomorrow to take in some sights we missed the first time around because they were too far off the main road for a quick side trip. Our first goal is to find that white spirit bear we missed near Terrace. Then we will branch out to Stewart and Hyder and then Kitamat. Who knows where we will end up, but we will keep you posted.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

We loved Tyrrell Muesum and spent 6 great hrs there. It is a must see for anyone coming anywhere near Calgary. Then after a ferry crossing, we had another free night at Walmart at Sylvan Lake, a cute tourist town on a beautiful lake. After a 2 hour walk around town, we got drenched in a frog strangler on the way back to the camper.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cal at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, AB, CA

Thursday, August 20, 2009

We spent yesterday morning at Little Bighorn and really enjoyed it. Camped in the Lewis and Clark Natl Forest last night and toured all morning today at the Lewis and Clark Center in Great Falls. That is a must see. We are on our way now to Drumheller, Alberta to the dinosaur museum.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Last Stand Hill. Custer's body found and originally buried at black tombstone
We spent the night in Sheridan WY in the Walmart parking lot along with about 20 other campers. What a wonderful service Walmart provides! We are now on our way to the Little Bighorn Battlefield Natl Mon. It rained in the night so it was great to have a roof over us and not have to fold up a wet tent.
Yesterday we stopped in Rawlins for a tour of the Frontier Prison and got a photo of Cal in the gas chamber.

Monday, August 17, 2009

We are in Gypsum, CO and have our trailer packed and travel-ready. We just have to load the refrigerated items in the morning and then we will be ready to hit the road. It will be great to have luxuries like a real bed and running water on this part of our trip. We will head in the general direction of Casper, Wyoming, but who knows where we will end up tomorrow night. That is the great thing about being self-contained.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mother is doing great so we are getting ready to hit the road again. We will leave here early Thursday morning and drive to Gypsum, Colorado -- our other home. Our son and daughter-in-law will meet us there so we can all attend the Peach Festival in Grand Junction over the weekend. Of course they will be bringing our newest grandson (that we haven't seen yet).
After the weekend we will pick up our trailer and clean it out from last fall's hunting trip and head north to retrieve the trikes in Prince George.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My mother is getting better slowly. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.
I'll update the blog as soon as we make some decision about the remainder of our trip.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Well, we have a bit of a change of plans.
My mother is ill so we are leaving our trikes here at the campground in Irvin's shed and catching a bus tomorrow to Edmonton and a plane from there back to Wichita. We should be home by Tuesday evening if all goes well.
We haven't decided just yet how we will get the trikes home. We may fly back in a few weeks and finish the ride home or we may bring the camper up and do some more touring and riding, or Cal may just drive the truck up and haul the trikes home.
We've ended this portion of our journey with exactly 4050.0 miles on the odometer. That seems like a lucky number and maybe enough.

Our day at Barkerville Historic Site

Mr. Cal standing under Mr. PG -- the forestry symbol of Prince George, BC

Saturday, July 25, 2009

We put about 430 km on the rental car today and had a wonderful time at Barkerville. It is an old gold mining town that has been restored. The town is 1 mile long with 127 buildings and we tried to see them all. It is sort of like Pioneer Village on steroids with a touch of Disney. It is currently 86 and was much hotter earlier -- still not triking temp.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Today we rode a whopping 36 miles into Prince George. We went from our worst campground to one of the nicest. We have rented a car, which should be here in about an hour and we will explore this area for the next 3-4 days. It is really pretty here and we are not ready to start hill climbing towards the summit of Yellowhead Pass in this heat. It is supposed to be in the 90's for the next several days, so an air conditioned car will be a much better way to travel.
We are still battling the mosquitos and now Cal and I have bites on our heads where they get in through the vents in our helmets. We forgot to spray there, but won't forget again.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

4000 miles and still going strong
We left early today (5:30) to get ahead off the heat. We stopped for second breakfast in Vanderhoof and Cal even had a peanut butter shake for breakast desert.
We stopped beside the road for a quick 4000 mile celebration at GPS N53-55.440 W123-42.600, elev 2452. After 56 very warm miles we are camped in the shade at Bednesti Lodge, GPS N53-52.568 W123-24.445, elev 2702. The ad in the magazine sounded so good, but what a dump! At least the showers are nice and we can do our laundry before heading on to Prince George tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

After a very nice 56 mile ride we are at Beaumont Provincial Park, N54-03.671, W124-37.077, elev 2266. We really goofed off today and stopped several times to enjoy the beautiful weather. We spent about an hour in Frasier Lake and bought some wonderful fresh fruit from a local truck stand.
Our only hill climb was Priestly Hill, elev 2551. We are gradually working our way up to the Continental Divide again.
The pine beatles have really ravaged this area but the locals say the problem is just about over because there are no more pine trees alive. The forests now are entirely cedar, fir and spruce.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

View from our camp on Burns Lake
Summit of Hungry Hill
It's a good thing we set up our tent under the picnic shelter last night because it rained again, as usual. We started this morning in fog with all our orange and red lights flashing. It soon cleared and we had a fine ride with only one 7% grade hill to climb. We got to Burns Lake (50 miles) about noon and decided to make it home for the night. We found a nice shady campsite on the lake, but now it looks like rain again.

Monday, July 20, 2009

After leaving the Skeena River and the snow capped peaks behind us, we are now in farm and ranch country. That doesn't mean we are out of hills, however. Today we climbed over 1100 feet in 27 miles up Hungry Hill (summit, 2763) and then zoomed downhill into Houston.
Just about 1/2 mile from our campground Cal had a major blowout on the same tire as yesterday, so he limped into camp and replaced tube and tire. Hopefully that one will make it the rest of the way home.
We only rode 42 miles today, but that felt like just enough. We are in a beautiful, shady campground, and I have the Solio sitting out in the sun recharging

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Shirley, this one's for you
The sun just now came out at our campground, but at least no rain today. We've only seen a couple mosquitos here so far, so maybe we won't have to bathe in deet tonight. It was a beautiful ride (50 miles to Smithers. We saw a Dairy Queen sign on the way into town, so that was our first stop. Then we hit Safeway and stocked up in case commodities are sparce in the next few small towns.
Cal had his second flat today but got it repaired on the side of the road and we were off again. We spent lots of time talking to other cross country bikers along the road today and enjoyed the beautiful fields of wildflowers. Everything is so pretty after all the heavy rains lately. The forecast is for HOT weather in the interior of Canada next week so we will go from cold rain to hot and dry. That will give us something new to complain about.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

After 82 wet miles we are at Seely Lake. GPS: N55-11.810 W127-41.281, Elev 1033.
We started off all wrong this morn by stopping at Denny's in Terrace for breakfast. I can honestly say that this was the first time we ever walked out of a restaurant without eating. It's a long story, but we ended up at A & W about an hour later and grabbed a quick bite there before heading out to look for the elusive Kermodei (white) bear. We found the spot where the bear had been seen for the last several days, but just missed it. I'm blaming Denny's for not seeing it, but since I believe things always happen for a reason, maybe it was best that we didn't have a bear encounter today.
During the worst of the rain today we managed to sneak through a locked gate and inside someone's partially constructed garage. I don't know if they were home or not, but as soon as the rain let up we sneaked back out unseen.

Friday, July 17, 2009

We are still in Terrace. It rained until noon and then the sun came out for a few minutes and teased us, but we decided not to ride into the sucker hole. It showered off and on all afternoon, so we will try again tomorrow. At least here we have hot showers and laundry to dry anything that gets soaked. Who knows what awaits us down the road.
Weather update: raining again!!! We are sitting in the tent trying to decide if we should just get out our books or go gack to sleep.
For anyone keeping track of miles, I forgot to mention the 110 miles we rode around Ketchikan and Prince Rupert, so our total miles now are 3688 -- plus all the sea miles that we lost track of. As the crow flies it was 412 miles from Skagway to Prince Rupert.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

We have just arrived at our lovely campsite in Terrace (91 miles). We had planned to stop at a BC Provincial park at 58 miles, but it had been turned into a day use area only. The first 24 miles were hills and hard rain and I had my "want to go home" moment. But then the rain finally turned to drizzle after lunch and I was ready to ride on.
Just a few miles back a black bear crossed the road right in front of us. I've lost count of the bears now, but this is the first one on the way home.
Now it is warm and just cloudy and we are showered and ready to pitch the tent and go next door to a nice restaurant for dinner.
We are headed back toward Kansas. We made it to Prince Rupert around 2 Am, found a campground and got a few hours of sleep. Now the Alaska portion of the trip is over and back into Canada we go!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Typical "boardwalk" hike in southeast Alaska

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

It's 6:00 PM and we are finally on the ship having a "leaving Alaska" beer just like we had on arrival in Skagway on June 22. Wow, it's July 14 already. I guess it's about time to start heading home. We should be in Canada about 2:00 AM. It will be fun trying to find a campsite -- maybe we'll just stay at the terminal till morning.
It in now 4:30 PM and we are still not on the ferry. It looks like we'll be pitching a tent in the dark tonight -- or maybe it will be light by the time we get there.
Our cell service here in Ketchikan is sketchy at best. I seem to have a connection at the moment so I'll try to get this posted fast.
We took a couple hikes yesterday (7 miles) and pretty much goofed off the rest of the day. Cal has dozens of nasty skeeter bikes and we are on our 7th bottle of repellant, so we tried a Thermacell last night. It is butane heated and seemed to do the trick. We also had a campfire, which seems to help some with the bugs.
We got up at 4:00 so we could get packed up and be at the ferry terminal. But, upon arriving at the terminal were told that our ship is on "mechanical". Where have I heard that term before? Oh, that't right, I use it all the time at my job with United Airlines. We were told to check back at 9:00, which we did and now they said "update at 11:00". Boy, this is really starting to sould like my job!
So we ate breakfast, showered at the Harbormasters ofice and are now doing laundry. We may or may not get to Prince Rupert today. We'll let you know later if we have service again.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Picking blueberries on Minerva Trail hike

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Today we did the south end of the island including Ketchikan. We watched some fisherman snagging huge King Salmon running Herring Creek. We toured Creek Street (the old red light district) and all of Old Town and New Town and saw enough totems to last a lifetime.
I promised to let you know about the Salmon Berries -- so far no ill effects and we are still eating them by the hundreds.

We finally made it to Ketchikan

Cal is part of the center totem of the Tlingit Clan House

Dee at Totem Bight State Park

Saturday, July 11, 2009

We had a great, relaxing day today on the island. We haven't actually been into town yet. We are camped about 6 miles north of Ketchikan in the Tongas National Forest. We rode to the north end of the island and did a hike to a waterfall. The we took in Totem Bright and I am posting a photo from there. We have a nice campfire and cooked Polish sausage over the coals. We could get used to this slow pace.

Friday, July 10, 2009

We are on the ferry just a couple hours from Ketchikan. That will be our last stop before we finally start heading back to Kansas from Prince Rupert. I think we'll stay 4 days in Ketchikan because there seems to be lots for us to do and things to see.
We were headed to bed last night when our neighbors invited us over for smores. You know we couldn't resist the company or the smores. They baited some rocks on the beach and we watched the eagles come in for the sunset snacks.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

After sleeping in late we had a lazy day and rode our bikes to the end of the maintained road. Along the way we picked a whole bag of salmon berries and ate as many as we could while picking. I'll let you know tomorrow if we get sick. Then we hiked up Rainbow Falls trail. It was actually a boardwalk, like most of Alaska's hiking trails -- thanks to Ted Stevens's earmarks. We explored Petroglyph Beach where the art is between 3,000 and 10,000 years old. We rode around town until we found all the totem polls and finally went to the visitor's center to be sure we hadn't missed anything. Every business in town closes at 5:00 PM except the grocery store which stays open an extra hour. So, the streets are now rolled up and we will do as the locals do and go to bed soon.
We are off to Ketchikan tomorrow.

This big one didn't get away

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

We arrived in Wrangell about 6:30 this morning. I tried so hard to stay awake during the trip through the narrows at high tide, but kept dozing -- after no sleep last night.
As soon as we arrived we jumped on a jet boat to AnAn Bear Observatory and spent the rest of the day there. I felt safe because our guide carried a shotgun and the park rangers had rifles and bear spray. Only 60 people are allowed to go there each day. We were in a blind where we could watch the poor salmon become lunch. We saw 2 brown bears and countless blacks. Cal got some awesome video and stills. I am posting one of my close-ups.
We are sleeping in an abandoned baseball dougout -- and it will be early to bed tonight.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

We spent the morning doing laundry and other boring tasks and then hit the museum and found a new hiking trail. We are all packed up and ready to find some dinner. We will then go park at the ferry terminal so we can get on at 1:30 AM. We head down through Wrangell Narrows at 3:00. It should be getting light by then so we can catch the good views. We've put another 30 miles on the trikes here in Petersburg. We don't know how long we'll be in Wrangell -- just depends on how much we can find to do there.

Tom and Mariam on their boat in Petersburg

Monday, July 6, 2009

Just had a wonderful Mexican dinner in a Chinese restaurant -- go figure. We rode our trikes this morning and then took a tour of a local cannery where we met Tom and Mariam who cruised here in their boat from Vancouver Island -- went to their boat for homemade wine.
Our ferry has been delayed, so we will leave here Wednesday early am instead of today. Darn!!! We are getting used to this life style.

One of hundreds here in Petersburg

Salmon Berry picking

Sitka National Historic Park -- totem park

Sunday, July 5, 2009

We are on our 3rd day of sunshine and we are really thankful for the warm weather -- FINALLY. Cal and I are really enjoying Petersburg. No cruise ships stop here, so we are just about the only tourists in town. We got here about 9:00 pm last night and got our tent up in time to walk down town to watch the fireworks.
We rode 20 miles in Sitka and so far 60 miles here in Petersburg.
We saw 50-60 bald eagles today on our ride. There are mountains and glaciers all around here -- really beautiful.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Yeah!!! The sun finally came out and we had a very nice day hiking with Bruce and Sharon -- just one glitch, left the door key in the locked (borrowed) truck and had to break a window after the hike to get home. Bruce will have fun explaining that one. After the second hike we decided to try to track down the sow grizz and her two cubs that had been seen near our camp. We spent nearly an hour taking photos -- until Bruce's batteries died. Cal and Bruce both got some good shots, but I didn't have my camera, so another one got away from me. After Cal and I got back to camp we went Salmon Berry hunting (see photo). Now we are going to try to get everything packed up so we can catch the ferry to Petersburg first thing tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We did the city walking tour and museums today and then set up camp out by the ferry terminal so we can make a quick escape on Sarurday. We were just fixing dinner when a brown bear walked down the beach only yards from our picnic table. Cal ran for the camera and tried to track down the bear up the creek while I got the bear spray out. Cal is already sleeping while I keep an eye and ear out for the grizzly. I put all the food in the bear bin and spread mothballs around. I guess that's all I can do, so I better try to get some sleep also -- lots of hiking to do tomorrow.
I think Sitka must be a very beautiful place, but it's hard to tell in all the rain and clouds. We spent the night in Bruce and Sharon's camper and are now off to explore.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We are on the ferry to Sitka. We rode 84 miles in Juneau and had 64 sea miles Haines to Juneau. Just had a shower and that is where Cal is now. Then breakfast and laundry and arrive in Sitka about 2:30 this afternoon. We'll meet up with Bruce and Sharon there.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Missy, Chip and Adelli at the Alaska State Museum
We took the ferry from Haines yesterday AM. We've had a nice weekend here in Juneau. We spent some time yesterday evening and this afternoon with Chip, Missy and Adelli. It looks like they are about to become trike owners also. We are planning a trike trip to the end of the road here tomorrow. The rain is still following us around, but we are learning to ignore it like the locals.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The "big one" got away

Friday, June 26, 2009

We rode our trikes 5 miles today down to portage cove and then decided on a new plan. It was still windy and cold so we rented a car and drove up to Haines Junction -- back into the Yukon. We saw several Bald Eagles and lots of swans and then 2 grizzy bears. The first one was large and got away before I could get a photo. The second was small and posed for us. I am sending a photo. In case you are interested, we have now seen 15 black bears and 2 grizzly bears. I'm glad we were in a car for today's sightings.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

We are sitting at our picnic table at our campground in Haines with 2 coats on. The temp isn't bad, but the wind goes right through you. When we got off the ferry today, we weren't allowed to ride the 4.5 miles into town because of road construction, so we loaded up our trikes into the pilot car and portaged around the work zone. That was a first on the trip.
We rode 30 miles today and had 12.8 sea miles on the ferry. We headed up toward Chilkat State Park, but as soon as we entered the park we hit a 14% grade on gravel and had to turn back. We were going to ride the Haines Road up to the Bald Eagle Preserve, but the cold wind changed our mind, so we will try that tomorrow if the wind goes down. We did see 6 Bald Eagles and were shown where a nest was so we can watch tomorrow. Looks like we will head to Juneau on the Saturday am ferry.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

we had a relaxing day of museums and a walking tour of town. Tonight we had pizza with Mark (the bike cop) and his wife, Rebecca and new baby. When we got home last night we discovered a wonderful loaf of homemade bread in our tent. Thanks Rebecca.
Tomorrow we start the sea portion of our trip, so we will post sea miles and also land miles when we take our trikes exploring.
For the people in Juneau, you can contact us at calndeesimmons@aol.com. We should be in Juneau in 2-3 days.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We are enjoying a day off here is Skagway. We did lots of shopping today and mailed a huge box home. We ran into our favorite Skagway bicycle cop (previously met him in Carcross) and hope to spend some time with him and his wife tomorrow. We are going to Dave's house for steak dinner tonight (met him on the Tagish bridge).
We went down to the ferry terminal and bought all our tickets for Haines, Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg, Wrangle, Ketchikan, and Prince Rupert, so we are set to leave here Thursday, June 25. We should end up in Prince Rupert on July 11 or 12 to start the trike ride home. I'm really looking forward to this part of the adventure.
Both of our trikes are repaired and ready to ride. We gave them a trial run this afternoon and all went smoothly. The boys up here had never worked on trikes before, but they figured it out. Our biggest problem was that the chains had stretched.
Monday, June 22, Austin's birthday. We heated water and ate the last of our emergency food supply -- instant mashed potatoes and soup for breakfast. Then we headed for the summit of White Pass. The wind was really cold and in spite of the toe warmers, my feet were freezing. Thank goodness for the US Customs agent who gave us hot tea and let us warm up at the border before making the final decent of nearly 3300 feet into Skagway.
As soon as we got the tent up we headed to the Red Onion for a celebratory beer and meal (see photo). Then it was time to take Cal's bike in for a major overhaul, including all new gears.
Our final ride was only 27 miles for a grand total of 3207.3 from Wichita to Skagway.
Sunday, June 21, Father's Day! Cold morning with south wind, so we stayed in the sleeping bags and left late. It seems only fitting that we should end this portion of the journey with another nasty, cold headwind. Also, we have a 1000 ft elevation gain before the drop down the other side of White Pass.
By afternoon Cal's failing gears had gotten the best of him and he was exhausted -- only about half of his gears were usable on the hills. About that time we encountered 5 black bears. The first one ran away, but the sow with cubs didn't know what to think of us and didn't let us pass. When we moved over to the far side of the road she also moved her little family over there. We had a 45 minute stare down with her before a pickup finally came along and shielded us so we could ride past her.
We knew there was a log cabin ahead so we decided to bunk there for the night. But the "log cabin" turned out to be a long-gone boom town with just an outhouse to mark the spot. We knew we couldn't make it to Skagway in the wind and cold with Cal's gears not functioning, so, yes, we put our tarp down on the floor of the outhouse and rolled out the sleeping bags and locked ourselves in the smelly outhouse. We tried the trick of putting the bag of food in the back of the trash bin, but some little critter got in and nibbled on our peanut butter and honey -- at least the bears didn't get it. Total miles today 39 hard ones. GPS N59-45.552 W134-57.316, elev 2619.
Saturday, June 20. Left the dry "war tent" and rode slowly down the beautiful road to Carcross. This was our shortest and easiest ride so far, just 23 miles. Visited all the historical sites and did the walking tour. Then we had more ice cream before watching the narrow gauge train arrive from Bennett Lake. We are now ready for the final push to Skagway tomorrow (only 66 more miles).

Our rock art at entrance to Big Creek Campground June 15

Better dead than attacking us, June 18
Friday, June 19. We woke up early and I packed up all the sleeping gear while Cal was in the bathroom -- the usual program. However, we discovered that it was only 30• again and too cold to ride, so we sat 2 1/2 hrs in the laundry waiting for it to warm up. It would have been much better back in the sleeping bags. With no second breakfast, we stopped at Jake's Corner for a huge lunch, including another cinnamon roll. It seems like every diner tries to make the biggest and best home baked breads. We now left the Alaska Highway and took the cutoff towards Tagish. We were warned by lots of folks to watch out for the sow grizzly with cubs along the road. We put the bear bells on the trikes and kept our eyes peeled, but never saw her. We rode just 42 miles to Tagish -- which is beautiful and sits on the river connecting 2 huge lakes. Unfortunately, this beauty comes with more skeeters and we bought our 4th bottle of repellant and went for a hike down to the river. Here we met David with Green Jeep tours and promised to look him up in Skagway. We also met Frank and Vicki from Niwot, Colo and they invited us to their RV for wine and cheese and a great visit. Thanks to the nice German campground owners, we spent the night in a 1940's war tent out of the rain. GPS N60-13.502 W134-16.433, elev 2365.

Sharing a 2 day old cinnamon bun at our 3000 mile mark, June 17

Celebrating at the Red Onion in Skagway, June 22

View approaching White Pass June 22

Back in the USA!!!!! June 22

Continental Divide, here we come, June 16

June 19, Tagish River -- shortest river we crossed (only 6 miles long).

View between Carcross and the log cabin (outhouse) June 21

Teslin Bridge June 18

Our sign at the sign post forrest at Watson Lake on June 14

June 13, official Yukon border -- after crossing back and forth between BC and Yukon 6 times

Forest fire June 11 just 12 miles north of Liard Hot Springs

Cal at Liard Hot Springs June 10

Cal at Muncho Lake

June 9 moose on way to Muncho Lake

Folded Rock on the way to Muncho Lake, June 9