I woke up in a trailer…

(A post-trip blog: the Denali Highway, Alaska)

It was cold the night before. The campground was filled with tons of hunters roaming (and shooting) on the landscape, and the overall wet conditions prompted us to look for shelter.

Image of the back of a motorcycle covered in mud and dirt where someone wrote in the dust "Dirty Bike Dirty Mind"

Diane’s bike – we were covered in mud from head to toe (Photo – Diane Mead)

The RV shelter in the campground had a little trailer available for rent, the kind you would pull behind your pickup truck. It was cozy enough for three to dry out and the campground had hot showers. SOLD!

Image of the inside of a very messy trailer

The morning after, waking up in a trailer!

We woke up in a very relaxed state, repacked, and ate breakfast out of the rain. The rain did not let up the entire trip, until the last hour back into Anchorage. Today we were going to split from Diane, as she was heading all the way to Anchorage, and Michael and I were heading to Talkeetna for another night. Jaz was riding up from Anchorage to meet us for beer and dinner.

We packed up and headed out. It always amazes me how light Michael travels, and how organized. It always looks like a tornado went through my living space. It doesn’t matter if the space is small or large, or if I am coming or going. I just don’t have the discipline he does for order. This translates to I never know exactly where anything is, and I always end up opening at least two or three bags looking for something.

Image of a very small and tidy pile of gear on the left and a large and unorganized pile of gear on the right

Michael’s pile of motorcycle gear is on the left, my stuff is everywhere else.

We hit the road; visibility was minimal, the rain was relentless, and idiot drivers were trying to kill us. With the down pour and visibility, our speed dropped from 65 to probably 55 mph – too slow for folks in a hurry. We stopped at Mary’s McKinley View for lunch and bid farewell to Diane.

We pressed on to Talkeetna in the rain. Michael’s heated gear was no longer heated. It turns out that he had so much mud caked over the radiator that the air-flow was clogged, causing the fan to run most of the time. Between the fan running most of the time, the heated gear, and him charging his iPhone, it depleted the overall voltage and maxed out the alternator. The gear just wasn’t heating up properly with those conditions. By the time we reached the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge we were ready for a beer!

Image of the Lobby of the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge

Lobby of the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge

We checked in. A little odd to move from a campground to a luxury hotel, but we were not complaining. You know it’s a first class place when the hangers actually come off the bar in the closet! The lamp shades came in at a solid 3 (on a scale of 1-5, 5 being best).

Image of a handmade lamp shade

Lampshade grade 3; nothing special

We waited for Jaz in the bar; talking about the interesting things we saw and heard on this trip. I enjoyed the stream crossings the most. I have never had good luck crossing water. I can think of two times in the past when I have dumped a motorcycle in or near a stream. They always make me nervous. Fortunately on this trip, all members of our group had success with water. This was not so for all. The night before while sitting in the Sluice Box drinking coffee, the bartender told us about a group of guys that came through a few days earlier and tried crossing Valdez Creek but were unsuccessful. He said one rider headed straight across and hit a sudden drop off (invisible due to the murky water color). The front tire dropped suddenly and the rider and entire bike disappeared momentarily. The bike resurfaced with the rider on the side. The bartender said the saddle bags actually acted like flotation devices on the bike. Both rider and bike were salvaged. This story is my greatest nightmare with water crossings. Now I have more information to rattle around in my head the next time I am approaching a water crossing.

Jaz arrived just in time for beer.

Image of a red beer (left), a dark beer (middle) and a light beer (right)

Diversity in beer – Michael, Me, and Jaz

Your zipper is down and I can’t help but smile
The trail of tipped bikes
About Maya

My name is Maya, and I wander.

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