Denali Highway Biking Trip

Just fresh back from hiking the Denali Highway and thought I better write down some of the highlights while they are still fresh in my mind.  Sort of fresh like the pain in by back side from 136 miles riding a bike and summiting the second highest highway summit in Alaska.  The pain was well worth it and I am still digesting the vastness and majestic expanses of wild country that we slowly worked our way through over 4 days of biking.
• My friend Larry’s mother came along and drove the 5th wheel as support vehicle and let’s just say having a RV to warm up and eat wonderful meals made the trip more of a luxury than an endurance adventure.  Thanks so much to Larry’s Mom!!
• It was very special for me to ride along with my oldest son Caleb – now 13.  He kept saying how beautiful the scenery was and handled the challenge very well.
• First day we ran into some rougher weather and made camp in a rain and wind after 21 miles – the night blew like crazy and we where wondering how the trip would turn out.  Spent the first night crashed in the trailer with Larry and his Mom but the next 3 days turned beautiful and we tented from then on.
• I was struck by the silence, while riding and at night in the tent, we could hear a loon playing in the water at one of our camps and we both lay awake reading and enjoying the solitude.
• We probably walked our bike up hills for 5 or so miles of the trip but towards the end our legs did better and we where pumping up most hills in low gear.
• Had a wonderful cold bear at the Maclaren lodge – Thanks Larry!
• Caleb hooked a really nice grayling that we had for dinner at our best campsite – the Brushkana campground – Milepost 104.3
• Our 3rd day we decided to see if we could get our personal best and ended up biking 55 miles.  Larry and I celebrated in style with margaritas and a cold dip in the river – much needed after sweating our way up and over so many hills.
• We bellied up to the bar at “The Sluice Box” about 50 miles from Cantwell and met quite a cantankerous barman who let’s say lacked some social skills.  Still was good to have an ice cream bar, hot coffee and get some much needed fuel for the truck.
So many little memories and moments and just riding along side each other for hours over looking such majestic scenery dreaming of other trips and sharing stories from our pasts and goals and dreams for our future.  I am thankful and blessed.  Great job Caleb – at 13 I don’t think I could have handled it as well.
Until the next Sundog Adventure.