Clunking my CX Cross Country

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jlevers, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. jlevers

    jlevers Been here awhile

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    Yeah, the kid's a beast of a filmer/editor. It's insane...

    I'm still gonna post the rest of my report in writing, just thought I'd add the video since it was done.
    B10Dave likes this.
  2. jlevers

    jlevers Been here awhile

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    At this point, Jonah and I had figured the trip in the float plane wasn’t happening. So when Jimmy told us that Sheryl (of Sheryl and Grant, owners of one bright red Super Cub) had texted him to see if we were available for a plane ride today, we were super psyched! They prepped the plane, and their fearsome watchdog Bear kept an eye on things…

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    The fearsome Bear


    Jonah went first. The plane is so small that the two seats are actually behind each other, not next to each other, so once the pilot is in, the passenger isn’t going anywhere fast. The plane had been modified so that it could take off and land at lower speeds, but also had a lower top speed. It took off at about 35mph! I’ve gone faster than that down a hill on my mountain bike!

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    Then it was my turn. Clark gave me a 20 minute tour of the area, buzzed his own house about 15 feet above the trees, and then brought us in for a silky smooth landing on the lake. Keep in mind, this guy is 83.
    That plane ride made me want to get my pilot’s license even more than I did before. I took a bunch of pictures during the flight, but only a few came out...

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    The next day, we lazed around until 3 or so, and then went to check out Capt. Cook State Park. On the way there, we stopped to ogle the view across the Cook Inlet. It was a very clear day, and you could see the entire Alaska Range, including Mt. Redoubt, which we hadn’t had a good view of since the day we arrived. This picture totally doesn’t capture the scope, but here it is anyways.

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    Then, we drove down a few random dirt roads, found what was left of a moose carcass, and eventually drove past a huge construction crane in the back of a big, mostly empty lot. Hmmmmmmmm. Well, gotta send it...we grabbed some bear spray, jumped a barbed wire fence, and went to check out the crane. Lemme tell ya, that sonuvabitch was TALL -- probably 80-100 feet. I started up it, but the way I was climbing it was sketchy and slow, so I came down. Then Jonah, having much larger cajones than I do, climbed it in about 5 minutes. But, he’s also the one who knows how to use the drone, so he got down, and I climbed up using the smarter way he found. It was scary as shit, but I’m glad I did it. I seriously do like climbing things, but the way that thing slanted forward made it way more frightening, since there was just empty air underneath me the whole way. But I made it!

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    On the way home (we never actually made it to Capt. Cook State Park), we stopped to watch the sunset. Now, for some geographic reason that I don’t really understand, the sunset in Alaska lasts for like an hour...and damn, if that wasn’t the most incredible sunset I’d ever seen. It set on the mountains across the Cook Inlet, and was just completely mindblowing. My pictures won’t do it justice.

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    One installment left!
    flei likes this.
  3. oldtouring B

    oldtouring B Been here awhile

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    Hey it’s fun to look danger in the eyes BUT climbing that crane was overboard! Everyone has enjoyed your thread. What none of us want to read is” Jesse died doing what he loved”

    Be safe you two crazies!
    jlevers likes this.
  4. jlevers

    jlevers Been here awhile

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    We had planned a real hike for our last full day in Alaska. We got up early(ish), drove to Homer…

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    ...and got on a tiny, flat-bottomed boat for what would prove to be the most ridiculous boat ride I’d ever experienced. Note: I am VERY much a land mammal. On the way there, we were going against the direction of the swell, which was easily 8 feet. We were catching air off of every wave, and since we were sitting in the open front of the boat, it felt absolutely insane. No pictures, because my camera would have flown into the water.
    During that rollercoaster ride, we saw a group of what must have been at least 20 sea otters! It was so cool, they were all just bunched up, with tiny baby otters sitting on their stomachs. God, I love otters.
    Eventually, we got to our trailhead. The trail was gorgeous, and looked as if about 2 people a year hike it...just the way I like it. We ended up not having time to finish the hike, but here’re some pics from as far up as we got.

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    I always hike in sneakers, and I just got some new ones, which I didn’t realize have literally almost no tread. The trail was extremely wet and muddy, and on the way down, I must have slipped and fell on my butt (picture what happens to cartoon characters) about 30 times...well, Jonah barely fell at all, but the one time he did, his managed to score a bullseye on the nearest pile of animal poop. Hell yeah.

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    We got back to the trailhead as it was getting a little dusky…

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    That picture is in a little bay, and when we’d gotten there, it was completely calm. Now it was a little choppy, and I was NOT a happy camper. Our water taxi came and picked us up, and when I asked him how the ocean was, he said (and keep in mind this guy does this for a living), “very shitty.” Oh boy.
    Well, he wasn’t wrong...the waves were 10-13 feet. On the bright side, we were traveling with the swell, so we basically surfed on huge waves the whole way back. We got completely and utterly soaked, but by the end, I was having a crazy good time. Another fear (partially) conquered…


    Finally, it was time to leave. We were pretty bummed, but we packed up, and headed for Anchorage. Remember the Tern Lake Outlook from the first Alaska post? Well, there was no snow there when we drove through then, and now there was quite a bit.

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    Well, that was about the last event of the trip. It was seriously one of the coolest trips I’ve ever been on, even if my cross country ride was more “adventurous.” Thank you all for reading!

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  5. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Thanks Jesse for the update. I can see you had a great trip to Alaska to see your cousin and uncle. And your sunset pic was every bit as nice as Jonah's pic of you and the sunset..
    jlevers likes this.
  6. Steve_h

    Steve_h Adventurer

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    Spartanburg, SC
    Great trip and then Alaska to top it off. I know you had a great time. I really enjoyed reading your RR.
    Keep getting out and enjoying yourself whether on the bike or not. Those experiences and memories will be with you always.
    jlevers likes this.
  7. jlevers

    jlevers Been here awhile

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    310
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    Thanks man! It was the best experience of my life...the next adventure is starting on Wednesday, when my cousin Jonah and I leave for Indonesia. We bought one way tickets...should be nuts! I've never been anywhere more exotic than Canada :lol3