07.07.12 Day 7
Paved Parking Lot to Tatalina Creek
69.1 miles, 454.4 trip miles
8.7 avg mph, 40.8 max
7:19:56 ride time
Almost 55% gravel
Rain, lightning and thunder. Lots of sun and wind.
Day 3 of rain
I know my journal has been a list of ailments and me talking about suffering but this first week has been so hard physically and mentally. My sit bones are tender but my saddle sores are no longer an issue. It’s my IT band. It’s really painful with any kind of pressure on the pedals. I have to spin, really spin or stand. Not an easy tasks on the Haul Road.
It’s really hard for me to enjoy my days because of the pain. That said today was a long day. I did a lot of staring at my front wheel praying there wouldn’t be another rise after the one I was on. I know I’ll get “road tough” and HTFU but getting there is not going to be easy. I can say I almost cried today, it was that tough of a day for me.
We finished the Haul Road/James Dalton Highway today. It’s pavement from here on out for a while. We unfortunately didn’t make it off the Dalton before a sideways rain hit us and got our bikes all nasty once more.
There were no critters of note except a bunny late in the day but it look domestic and we were near houses. I saw a few birds but nothing new. I was more focused on getting through the day.
We tried to do better with our water but finding it proved tough once more. Most creeks are full of sediment and dark. We stopped at a closed store and got a great tip on a spring which turned out to be the best water in days. We both drank a liter then carried out as much as we could.
Joe is full of stories and a joy to listen too.
Around 9 pm we stopped at the Arctic Circle Trading Post run by Joe and Nancy Carlson. It’s a great little stopping place at mile post 49.5 of the Elliott HWY. It’s a gift shop and has some food. Free coffee for those who drink it. I got a Lipton Cup of Soup and a Coke. Joe is full of stories and a joy to listen too.
Earlier in the day we came upon a section of road closed to us. We had to put our bikes in a pickup and get shuttled three miles south. The “stop sign” girl, Jasmine, jumped in the pickup and looks at Mike and say “Hand your bike to me”. Mike just looked at her and said “It’s heavy.” Mike lifted it and she took it from him no problem. I mention it because she was a skinny thing and we didn’t think she could do it. FYI, there are pretty girls in Alaska.
Glove count: 13
Tie Down count: 13