Day 11: July 1st, 2012
This morning I awoke in a strange bed and in a foul mood.
I re-orient myself, Oh yeah, we're in Tok, and walk over to the window.
Shit! It's still raining.
I pick up my phone to check the weather forecast. Nothing hopeful.
I check my iPod. I left it on the charger overnight hoping it would come back to life after it crapped out in the super-soaker thunderstorm.
iPod is DEAD! Apparently they don't like water.
My expensive "waterproof" "Rain" boots have dried, but I know within 30 minutes of riding my feet will be wet and cold.
I'm not really looking forward to another full day of boring highways with clouds obscuring the scenery.
My ass hurts! Really HURTS! Everyone complains about the stock seat, but it had never bothered me much before.
Now with a passenger I was unable to scoot around or stand as much. I realize the thing is really an extreme torture device.
I find myself snapping at Helen over everything. I'm irritable (more so than normal).
I apoligize and explain my foul mood, then a few minutes later, I snap again.
Are we stupid to just keep riding north in these conditions? If it's cold and wet here, how bad is the mud and snow gonna be if we continue?
Maybe we should just turn tail and head towards warmer climates. Salvage our vacation together. Misery isn't fun. Is it?
We struggle into the layers of rain gear anyway and load up the bike. Now I'm sweating like a pig.
I get pissed again because it's taking way to long to get moving. I'm hot! Let's GO!
We hit the highway and head out of Tok in the damned rain. Nothing but the ROAR
of the wind to listen to.
The locals have all been telling us it's the wettest summer they can remember. I'm not sure if I should believe them. Maybe they just tell everyone that so they'll come back for another attempt next summer?
I fully expected it could rain on us the entire trip. I just woke up on the wrong side of a strange bed this morning. I had hoped to get a few pictures of Alaska though.
If I had only known what was in store for us today...
After about 2 hours the rain stopped and the clouds began breaking up. We stopped to remove the rain suits.
The rivers here are incredible. Are they always this high?
By time we reached the Air Force Base it was a beautiful sunny day.
We make it to Fairbanks. Can you believe it? The weather is a sunny and warm 85 degrees! A supply run at Wal-Mart was the first priority. We dumped a can of "waterproofing" spray onto our boots. Will it help?
My plans were to get new tires then run north up the Dalton Highway some before finding a campsite. Then I wanted to ride up to Prudhoe Bay to do the Arctic Ocean Tour in the afternoon. Sounds like a reasonable pace, right? They advertise a tour at 9 AM and another at 3 PM. The 3 PM tour seemed perfect.
We were eating a late lunch at Boston Pizza (A chain restaurant we don't have in Arizona). I gave Helen the phone number to call for the Arctic Ocean Tour reservation. The reservations must be made one day in advance for security reasons. It's 4 PM when Helen calls to find out they do not have the afternoon tour on Monday. Decision time, either we can try to make it there at 9 AM or fall a full day behind schedule. We can do it. It doesn't get dark here. Make the reservation for 9 AM!
Helen said, "What!?! Are you crazy? Can we make it?" "Yeah, no problem." "I'm gonna kill you if it rains!"
Now that our schedule is set, let's go get the bike serviced.