Pre apologies edited on my phone..
The next morning I awoke in Anchorage to the news that my bike was being held in customs in Newark. This was a little disappointing but it gave me a chance to get my camping gear together. I headed down town to find the local camping shop. I stopped on the way to check out a gun shop, this being completely alien to me. The walls were adorned with all manner of weapons, hand guns, rifles, shot guns, pump action shots guns. Wow they like their weapons out here I thought, it was a little disconcerting to be amongst all these weapons of demise(though I now have a better appreciation of the place of the gun in Alaskan of life, which I will come to later), just then a respectable looking lady walked in with her son and made for the grenades on display, holy shit I thought, this is just too weird, she was picking out a grenade with her son. As they stood there discussing the finer details of each grenade, holding one, then the other, I was totally taken aback! Was this for real??!, could this be really happening? Old greenhorn here was very embarrassed when I asked the lady what use might she have for a grenade out here in Alaska, her son replied.. “They’re only fake..” Duh I thought, how could I have been so silly!!… but I was in Alaska U.S.A. and as far as I was concerned anything was possible…. Some times I feel like Uncle Traveling Matt from the Fraggle Rock..
I eventually made it to the camping store and spent an obscene amount money buying lightweight kit so as not to overload the Honda.
As I Walked out I witnessed child discipline US Military style , a naughty little 5 year old was instructed by his dad to get on his knees and give him 20, as his wife stood by going shades or red and purple, the kid dutifully got down and gave him 2 or 3 push ups, a little ticking off followed and that was that. No naughty step here.
The next day was spent with 2 girls I met in the Hostel Nadia and Kate, we went hiking on Flattop mountain, went in search of a chocolate waterfall and checked out the Alaska Natvie Heritage centre. It was a great day, the girls had come to Alaska for a week to run a marathon, as one does..
The day finally arrived, I could get my trip under way!! My bike had landed in Anchorage! After much toing and froing with US Customes and Fed Ex I was eventually reunited with my bike, well at least a crate. Thanks to Lisa, Rob and FedEx Girl.
I was given a claw hammer and a crowbar, they picked up my crate and dumped me and the crate in a carpark as far from the building as was possible. It took me a while but I eventually freed my bike from it’s wooden oppressor, and done some minor assembly work.
I went back to the hostel, and set about get my gear ready to start heading north..
A cabin by the lake
A flight and landing over Denali and mount Mc Kinley