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Biking to Alaska

Day 70: Adios Alaska

Posted by Alan on August 28th, 2007

33.08 mi

Well, this is my last day in Alaska, so I get up early to take full advantage of it. I get back on the bike path and stop at another spot with a good view overlooking the water. I cook up some oatmeal and enjoy the morning light shining on the surrounding mountains. Just as I finish cleaning my breakfast dishes and am sitting enjoying the view again, I spot something in the water a short distance away. It’s the white rounded back of what must be a Beluga Whale. I’ve heard they can be spotted in this area and I feel lucky to have spotted one before I leave Alaska. There are several swimming along ahead of the outgoing tide and I bike on ahead of them hoping to see them again down the road. I don’t see the Belugas again, but as I continue to bike towards Anchorage I notice how the sun is hanging fairly low in the sky, even though it’s approaching noon. This is the first time I’ve noticed this phenomenon of the sun being low in the sky past morning time. I guess it means the summer is coming to an end up here.

I make it into Anchorage and thanks to my previous travels around town (and thanks to a map I still have from my last time in town) I make a beeline for the local REI. As I had hoped, they have a spare bike box from when a bike was shipped to them. I’ll use this box to package up my bike for the flight home. US Air supposedly takes bikes that aren’t boxed, but I figure it can’t hurt to package my bike up. I fold up the box the best I can and strap it down across the back of my bike. It sticks out on both sides like a small wing and I have to be careful not to run into anything. I head for the Spenard Hostel where I had stayed on my first stop in Anchorage. I pay three dollars to take a shower and then I hang out for a while reading. I have several hours to kill until my red-eye flight, so I’m in no hurry.

IMG_1264.JPGI finally decide to ride to the airport, which isn’t far from the hostel. I ride on sidewalks, careful not to hit anyone or anything with my cardboard “wing”. As I turn onto the road leading towards the airport, I’m pleasantly surprised to find a bike path which leads me right up to the airport terminal. Hurray for Anchorage and their bike path to the airport. I’ve heard that some cities make it a nightmare to get to and from the airport on a bike. I’m glad Anchorage isn’t one of those cities. In front of the terminal, I unload my gear from my bike and sort through my stuff, preparing to pack it all up. I don’t have much trouble boxing up the bike, I only have to lower the seat, then remove the handlebars and the front wheel and fender. After that the bike fits snugly in the box and I am able to check in my baggage.

Well, that’s it. I board my flight later that night and arrive home the next morning. It’s been ten weeks to the day from my first day on the bike back in June.