Sunday, July 01, 2007
Good rides last weekend and this weekend.
We have a friend, Eric, who is visiting on 2 week off hitch on the North Slope. He works 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off and lives in Flagstaff, Arizona. Eric bought my 1st mountain bike from me last year, a Cannondale F300 hardtail. He keeps his Cannondale here in Alaska and when he is here, off we all go.
Last weekend we took the motorhome to S. Rolly Lake campground and spent the night there. As there were wildfires in the surrounding area, we weren't sure if there would be a lot of smoke but the air was clear. Next morning we headed out to Red Shirt Lake. It's a nice trail with lots of ups or downs, not too far but a nice workout. The day warmed up and became humid, by Alaskan standards.
Eric ended up snapping his chain power shifting up a big hill about a mile away from the trailhead, it was mostly downhill from there so he was able to coast most of the way back.
We loaded up and continued on to Talkeetna, the town that the TV show Northern Exposure was rumored to be modeled after. We had a good time like always. There was a church group with a guy dressed up as a cow, he didn't seem to know what to do with his udders.
We were planning a overnight mountain bike/camping ride to Snowbird Mine and then hike to Reed Lakes but it started raining down here in the Valley and looked rather stormy up there in the mountains so we loaded up and headed into Anchorage to ride the trails at Kincaid Park, an old Cold War Nike missile base, converted into trails for cross-country skiing and riding in the summer. I had never been there before, even though I was raised 2 miles from it, it was still a missile site back then. We let Eric take the lead, the map was just a mess of trails, unreadable. We ended up on the Coastal Trail and just kept going. I don't think my mountain bike has ever ridden so much pavement before. We ended up stopping about 9 miles down the trail, were the Anchorage International Airport runways are, giant jets taking off overhead, really pretty cool to watch them as they are pretty low still. It can get pretty loud though. Everyone was hungry by this time and the wind was picking up, rain moving in, so we headed back to Kincaid. We will need to research the trail system at Kincaid better, the trails we were on were mostly grass with occasional tiny narrow strips of hardpack.
Eric wanted to ride again today, but we just have to get some everyday living stuff done before the work week starts, thinks like paying bills, grocery shopping, laundry, etc. It's raining again anyway. We also have to start shopping and packing for our 4th of July hiking trip to the yurt in Eagle River. Then on the 7th I turn 40!!! I'm not yet sure what I want to do to make it a memorable day. 40 on 07/07/07...can't beat that. I know a lot of people are getting married on that day but it's a heck of a lot harder to turn 40 on that day than get married.
I'm watching a show on the history channel right now on Alaska and the 1964 earthquake. My mom, dad and oldest brother were in Anchorage when it hit. Quite devastating. I grew up with the stories of the quake and the ruins. It's interesting the comparing the stories my family tells of living through it and seeing it on TV.
Bike boy got his 1st job! He will be on the grounds crew at the local golf course a mile down the road. 40 hours a week of yard work. He's going to be tired for the 1st week or so until he adjusts. My daughter has finally found a job down in Montana with the Parks Service, making reservations for the National Park Lodges. Full-time, year-round with benefits. She's happy about it. Now if I could only figure out how to retire....
Hope everyone has an enjoyable and safe 4th of July!