Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Sonic the hire car!

We picked up our hire car or perhaps better described as a hire roller skate and first dropped the bikes off at the dealer for a valve check while we wait for the part coming from Germany, that way I figure we have covered all bases and hopefully this will be the last enforced stay of the trip. We also met up with \kevin and Neville again and will hopefully see them in Calgary in a couple of weeks. Off we set up towards Fairbanks stopping overnight in the quaint (and busy) village of Talkeetna. The following morning I could hear a noise from the rear of the car, further investigation revealed a machine screw through the tyre, double back to the local workshop where the guy extracted the offending item and patched the tyre, I was beginning to think we should just walk!
We camped the night just outside Denali Park at Rainbow RV & campsite, like many sites the tenters get a bit of a rough deal I feel, I think we are becoming a nuisance sometimes, huge RV's are better business. I was a bit crabbit when we pitched the tent and as a punishment to myself managed to burn my fingers on the MSR stove! The air was blue for a while but I recovered and spent a pleasant but airy evening enjoying the setting sun and the mozzies.
The following day we passed Fairbanks, made famous by the Ice Road Truckers series, we stopped for provisions and left to head further North East to Chena Hot Springs resort, resort is a bit of a grand word for it really, the tent sites again were "in the shade sir" which means "In amongst the insects" despite this and the terrible "long drop" toilets we had a great time. We spent some time in the hot springs pool as its meant to rejuvenate the body, not sure if it worked as the few bottles of Alaskan Amber still gave me a hangover the next day. We had an interesting talk with a Forest firefighter enjoying his 1 day off a month by relaxing here.
Sunday we headed south, another stop at Fairbanks to stock up and then a stop at the North Pole which is actually a town about 10 miles South East of Fairbanks. A funny place where Santa Claus lives and its Christmas every day!
We saw evidence of the huge forest fire at Delta Junction but the rain was hopefully helping put it out. This area is also home to many US army bases, built during WW2, they are still functional, Alaska is such a vast wilderness still that its possible for the Army to play their War games here and not interfere with normal life. The plan was as always to camp but the rain got wore and the temperature dropped, now I know we were in a car but to be honest for me that makes it more difficult. With your bike gear on its easier to camp, the gear provides the protection you need whereas in the car you are of course dressed as a civilian.
We passed a sign for the Denali Highway Cabins and after a chat with the owners (also interesting travellers) Audie and Jenny we spent a comfortable night there. The river running past the cabins was teeming with fish, I've never seen anything like it,  Sockeye Salmon trying to get up river to spawn, the Bears of course take advantage of this to stock up on their fish suppers for their winter hibernation so many of them will become Bear feed.
Today (Monday) we headed back to Anchorage taking in the Mantanuska Glacier and the excellent Musk Ox farm just outside Palmer. The Musk Ox things are amazing and have been around since prehistoric times, almost hunted to extinction they have been re introduced and there are almost 6000 of them roaming wild in Alaska.
So time without the bikes hasn't been totally wasted but we are desperate to get back on the road proper, hopefully we'll find out more tomorrow.  
Our Hire skate, Sonic the hedgehog!

The last frontier? as opposed to the Final frontier

Talkeetna, cool place


Do you really want to know??

Local Mechanic starts to do good

BIG Screw

Mount McKinlay the highest in the USA shrouded in Cloud (as usual)

Fairbanks, Petrol, free wifi at Macdonalds and Wal Mart, what else do you need?

Dinner in the field

Notices on all the doors just to keep you aware!

This caught us by surprise

BBQ dragon from Shrek??

The Hot Springs

Yes really!!
Santas house

Yes we were at North Pole

Santas Reindeer resting before their one busy day a year

Big Sky's and scenery

Army Base

Making dinner outside our wee hoose

Sockfish Salmon

Not sure what this was ?? Answers??

Bear Fish shop
Another Glacier

Nice scenery but getting cold

Not the biggest we've seen

We met up with Kat again!

Musk Ox, impressive!

This one was in the breeding pen, it had 3 girlfriend and seemed confused how to go about it, mind you with a heid that size I wasn't going to criticise

Small world, outside the supermarket, damned Scots, everywhere!


  1. Enjoying your trials as always. I take it a BMW won't be on your shopping list when you get back?
    My daughter did a project on Musk Ox just before summer, so if you could bring one back for her show & tell she'd really like that - plus it would give some great steaks for the BBQ later.
    Keep Safe, Colin & Jackie

    1. Hi guys good to hear from you, you are right, no BMW's for Christmas this year! Sorry no room in the panniers for a Musk Ox, seemingly they can't be sold on the market for food, if you get a licence to shoot one you can't sell it.
      Apart from the issues we are still smiling! Hope the good weather made the shop busy
      Gino & Fiona

  2. Always busy, but that just means less time on the bikes. That's not bad going if your still smiling after all the miles you've put in - just consider your travels good practice for coming down Queensferry high st & it's worsening cobbles! You'd enjoy Aviemore this weekend - Thunder in the Glen - plenty of your fav. bikes around.

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