T – Today we were going to head for Homer on the south coast. We have some parts coming for our bikes to Fairbanks and so want to allow a little time for them to turn up. Mabel’s clutch has been slowly self destructing since she seized up way back in Australia, a mechanic telling me some 5000kms ago that I needed to replace it back then. Also our rear sprockets are looking quite thin and our chains quite stretched. We have a guy back in Australia, Mike from Lambda Motorcycles, who is going to send us the parts we need as it seems even finding a rear sprocket here for the Australia Post version of these bikes is nigh on impossible!
We had a bit of a wander around Anchorage’s downtown area. There seem to be a lot of down on their luck people here. Many people sleeping in the park or on the sides of the road in one area we passed through. It was quite depressing to see and I really felt for these people. Particularly when just blocks away, cashed up tourists roamed up and down the streets, buying trinkets and coffee. It was quite a conflicting moment. Especially being as I am one of those tourists.
C – I was adamant on having a good cup of coffee this morning and after asking some locals, we arrived at Kaladi Coffee. We enjoyed an excellent coffee in the sunshine, soaking up the warmth. We have been debating our route north for some time and neither of us has really been able to make a definite decision. We originally planned to ride to Prudhoe Bay from Fairbanks, however, after talking with others who have been there and doing some more research, it just doesn’t look like it is worth the distance. We were both keen on visiting the Arctic Circle though, so decided to go to the Visitors Centre and see what our options where in terms of visiting some of the more remote traditional villages in the Arctic Circle. We spoke with a really helpful lady at the Visitors Centre and got some really useful information. Perhaps we will finally make a decision by the time we get to Fairbanks!?!?!
T – We decided to leave Anchorage. We just aren’t city people in the end. So we headed off to Walmart and stocked up on some groceries. We were hoping to avoid the crazy highway for a little bit and managed to get onto the Old Seward Highway for a while. Even still we had one guy tail gate Chantelle to the point where I got so mad my blood boiled. There was just no need to be that close. He pulled down a side road and glared at us from his window. So I let some steam off and flipped him the bird. Bloody Dickhead.
After that we had the road to ourselves for a while before eventually being thrown back out onto the one and only road south. It was jam packed full of motorhomes and caravans, this being the Friday of a long weekend here. Memorial weekend is where Americans honour their Veterans, those that have fallen and those that are still serving.
The shoulder of the highway became our friend. It was wide and smooth so we managed to stay away from the traffic quite happily and we watched the craziness unfold on the road in front of us. People speeding like crazy, overtaking in dumb places and the tailgating. Wow the tailgating is insane! Some cars almost seemingly joined nose to tail as they whizz by at 110 km/hr.
The road here though was stunning, running the length of the bay. Mountains all around and exposed mudflats on the shoreline. It was very pretty.
C – The section of highway running along Turnagain Arm was just beautiful. It was a shame to see it on a such busy day though as it was very difficult to slow down, admire the view and take some snaps.
T – After a while we noticed we were catching up to a long line of stopped traffic. It was two lanes here and everyone had piled into the passing lane leaving the slow lane free of traffic. So we passed 10’s of cars that had been flogging past us over the last half hour before we to had to stop. We sat and waited on the highway for what seemed an age before we all crept forward. There was a nasty car accident completely blocking one half of the highway. A car we recognised from earlier that had passed us lay in the ditch. The drivers side caved in. All the airbags hanging down in the windows. A Dodge Ram ute sideways across the highway with the front end stoved way, way in. There was a man laid out on the grass. He wasn’t moving. I stopped looking and stared ahead. Not wanting to see. The damage to the cars was quiet terrible.
Once past the accident we moved back over to the shoulder and again the cars resumed their stupidity.
We eventually had enough of this and decided to pull down a side track for a break. Which just so happened to lead to a lovely free camp area with heaps of room! There was a couple of motorhomes here and we checked with them to see if it was ok for us to camp nearby.
They then invited us to come sit with them after we had set up camp. We ended up staying for dinner and learnt all about Smores! OMG. How did we not know about these things already! They are amazing!
C – We really got lucky stumbling into this camping area and meeting Bob and Anne, Mandy and Rhonda. It was lovely to chat with these guys about life in Alaska. By 930 though we were all battling to stay awake so it was goodbyes and off to bed.
Tomorrow we shall go closer to Homer. Though not all the way.