Thursday, July 26, 2007

It's Worth It

My hands and legs are splotched with mean looking burn-ish marks from riding through fields of cow parsnip and Devil's Club on last Friday's Johnson Pass ride. The trail was overgrown so badly, there were times I totally entombed, couldn't see the trail or more than 2 feet in front of me, just followed the less dense area ahead of me and hoped it was the trail. The splotches are worth it, even when they blistered 3 days after the ride. Johnson Pass is on my top 5 list of places in Alaska to be. The black flies were exceedingly bad also, we had to keep moving to keep from being swarmed. Can you see Capt'n Balance riding through the vegetation?

We then spent the night at

Hope and partied all night on the deck of the Seaview Bar, dancing to the music of the Denali Cooks. The bike boys went fishing, both caught salmon, which they released.

We then moved on to Whitter, through the single lane tunnel which is shared with the trains. It was rainy, we toured the harbor, fished (kept 2 salmon this time) and rode around the micro-town that it is. Most residents of Whitter all live in 1 big building as land is not available. It's a neat little fishing town surrounded by glaciers.

I'm tired, so no more writing for tonight.
Take care, everyone!


A Midnight Rider said...

Any ride is a good ride. Splotches and all.

Jeff said...

I spotted the Capt'n! I had to zoom in to find him though.

Man, that is some wild looking country! It looks so unspoiled there. I imagine a lot of the U.S. looked like that at one time...

Those flies sound nasty.

Thanks for the pictures!

Chris said...

Awesome pictures

Karen Travels said...

Fun, Fun, Fun!!! I ALWAYS love your pics.

My 2nd job ended last I will have weekend free this fall....the adventures (on a bike?) await!!!

Karen Travels said...


I TAGGED YOU!!! and beer guy said...

Looks like a great time. Beautiful scenery ... I really liked the picture of all the boats with the snowy mountains behind.

Jerry said...

I was there the weekend after you- rode Resurrection Pass, the Green Tortoise bus was in town, had a great time at the Seaview! Love your blog, woulda been cool to meet you and family!

Michelle said...

I'm glad everyone is enjoying the pictures, I will post a few more.

Jerry, It would have been great to have met. I love Hope and always have a good time at the Seaview, I plan on being there next year the 3 weekend in July for the Wagon Trail Days.

A Midnight Rider said...

Thanks for your kind note. When we were thinking about adopting Riley 10 years ago from the pound, he bit my wife and became my hero.

When he moved in with us, it was like he and us hit the lottery. A perfect match.

For now though, we need for you to go out and take more pictures.

WendellJ said...

Google found us your blog posting. We're from Seattle and we're doing a bike trip from Anchorage to Seward - leaving on Anchorage Sep 7th arriving in Seward on Sep 9th. We were looking at the map (we live in Seattle) and were intrigued by the Johnson Pass Trail that runs from mile 64 to mile 32.6 of the Seward Highway.

We're riding mountain bikes with panniers and about 30 pounds of gear.

We were thinking about taking the Johnson Pass Trail - is it the sort of trail that we could ride with a loaded mountain bike, or is it gnarly singletrack with lots of roots/mud/steep spots, etc.?

Is it a clear trail or are we likely to get off trail and hopelessly lost?


wendellj at

Michelle said...

Hi Wendell, Johnson pass is definitely do-able with panniers, based on the type of riding I do. I think it all will depend on what type of riding you do and how strong you are.
The trail varies from very easy to roots to steep scree and everything else, I guess. This year it is totally overgrown in areas which made it difficult to ride without any extra gear as the vegetation covered the trail - which is total single track - couldn't see the trail at all, grabbing the bars, etc. Just be prepared for everything (nights are cold, don't get hypothermic)- this is backcountry wilderness - there is no cell phone service and you are on your own. If you are experienced with carrying 30 lbs of gear and riding in wilderness conditions, go for it! :) Then let me know how it was!