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Biking to Alaska

Day 69: A Good Last Day

Posted by Alan on August 27th, 2007

62.31 mi

I’m probably no more than a quarter mile from the highway, but it’s a nice quiet morning as I pack up my gear and ride back to the road. Wouldn’t you know it, I ride two miles down the highway and come upon a lodge and a Forest Service campground. I could have camped here last night if I had known it existed. Oh well, I guess that’s what I get for not having a road map of the area. I decide to stop for breakfast and enjoy a large meal of pancakes and eggs while using the lodge’s free wireless internet to check email.

Back on the road, I have a bit of a headwind slowing my pace. It feels like I’ve finally learned to simply accept the wind as a fact of life which I can’t change. It used to be amusing to anthropomorphize the wind and pretend it had a (malicious) intelligence, but today I simply bike on, content to accept the wind as I accept the mountains around me. Besides, I know the road will take a sharp turn later today and I’m hoping that will put the wind at my back!

IMG_1244.JPGI finally come to that turn in the road, which also happens to be the location of the Alaska Wildlife and Conservation Center. It’s a facility with a number of wild animals in separate large pens. They have everything from moose to elk, bison and deer, even brown and black bears. I spend a little time there taking photos of the animals and eating lunch before hitting the highway again. And yes, the wind is at my back! Hurrah!

The rest of the route into Anchorage is familiar ground since I rode this way from Whittier to Anchorage three weeks ago. I enjoy getting off the highway for a while onto the bike path and eventually I stop at a point where the bike path overlooks Turnagain Arm with the sun sinking towards the horizon. I make dinner on a bench next to the path and simply sit for a while, taking in the view. I then bike a couple more miles down the path to a campground I know is there. I find a quiet campsite and set up my tent for the last time on this trip (how sad!). I fall asleep to the sound of cars on the highway and an occasional train on the nearby railroad tracks.