Monday, June 21, 2010

Alaska Ride, Day 8

Tok, Alaska is not worth visiting, it's just a dump, yet the city thrives on tourism. But the tourists never visit Tok, they just pass on through. The same is true with us.

We hit Tok, Alaska sometime around 4:30pm, amidst pouring rain. I mean, it rained all day. We were cold, wet, and miserable.

Wet weather for the first half of today

So last night I got a room at this motel. I can't remember the name of the place. But there were several motorcycles parked there. It seemed like this was the place where most of the motorcycles riders stayed.

I talked to one rider who got a room next to mine. He rode a BMW GS. He came from Juneau, AK. Juneau is not connected by roads with the rest of Alaska. Either you have to fly into Juneau, or you have to endure the mountain trails. So this guy rode his BMW GS along the mountain trails, until he found pavement into Tok, AK. And he did it in the pouring rain. This guy was a man.

On this day, we left Tok, AK, taking the Alaska Highway into Anchorage, AK. It's all paved, but there were several places with gravel. Fortunately, the gravel sections were easy to ride over, no mud, just smoothed out gravel. By the time we got into Anchorage, it stopped raining.

Some tiny blue sky off in the distance

In fact, the Alaska Highway into Anchorage is pretty nice riding. There's a 70 mile stretch from Mendeltna, AK to Chickaloon, AK full of decent twisties, ranging from 30mph to 50mph, and with awesome scenery too. We were able to unleash and twist the throttle for some fun.

I'm glad I bought the Gerbings heated gloves and jacket liner. Thus far, the mornings have been cold in Canada and Alaska, and it's really nice to have toasty hands and upper-body. Perhaps I'm just a wuss for having gotten heated-gear, but then again, if you can afford it, why not?

Thus far, Gerbings heated gear has been wunnerful

When we got into Anchorage, each of us kinda went our own separate ways. Paul decided to find a campground somewhere. Mike decided to buy a new tent and air mattress and then find a campground. And then I decided to hit up some local bars and pubs and saturate my blood stream with toxins.

I decided to find a motel room here in Anchorage. I only ended up discovering that Anchorage in the summer is extremely expensive for out-of-towners. The Motel 6 charges $140 a night plus 12% tax. I decided "no way" am I staying at Motel 6 at that price.. Instead, I went to the "Peanut Farm Bar & Grill" for a few beers and chicken wings.

I talked it up with some of the locals there and had a really good time. Even the bartenders took the time to talk to me.

My new drinking buddies at the Peanut Farm, Anchorage, AK

Afterwards, I headed over to the Moose's Tooth Brewpub. I had a several beers there and a pizza. I chatted with a couple from Virginia for about an hour. Then I chatted with a guy from England who works for BP (British Petroleum). He's seems like a really good guy working for a company experiencing a lot of turmoil. He bought me a beer. After he left, I chatted with a young local couple for an hour, and they bought me a beer as well. After that, the bartender (Brandi), refused to serve me any more beers, so I decided to leave.

I was going to hit the highway and find a campground somewhere south of town, except I had trouble navigating my motorcycle. So, I ended up at Motel 6, and let them ream me up the ass for a night's stay. Fortunately for me, there was this cute asian gal behind the desk with a tube of lube. I mean, Anchorage is a friendly place.

Alaska Highway by Motorcycle

Otherwise, I had a good time today. Although the first part of the ride today was pouring down rain, the other half was sunny with some good twisties and awesome scenery. Once I got to Anchorage, I hit up some local bars, and drank beers with the local folks, shot the shit with them, and felt like one of the regulars. Thus far, the locals in Anchorage, AK are friendly and warm. If that's how they all are, I could definitely live here, except I don't know about the snow.

Tomorrow, I'll see what else I can do.

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About Steve

San Diego, CA-based motorcycle rider who likes long road trips, old rustic bars, craft beer, and tough women. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, writing about the mysteries of life. (Read more...)