Saturday, June 14, 2014

Rain, Rain, GO AWAY!! Days 11 & 12 Tok to Anchorage

Amanda here….I’ll give you 1 try to guess where I am sitting as I write this blog entry?? That’s right my little blog followers…a campfire! This time we are perched on a picnic bench in Denali National Park! It’s a beautiful evening, the sun just set, and oh yeah, it’s 23:30. I could get used to this! I’ve kept you guys waiting for a few days, so I have a little bit of catching up to do.  Here it goes…

Day 11 Tok, Alaska, to Anchorage, Alaska

This morning we woke up in a sweet little bunk at Thompson’s Eagle Claw.  After making a fancy breakfast of peanut butter on leftover hotdog buns, we packed the bikes up, dressed in our layers of gear, and hit the road.  We had close to 400 miles to cover today and Dan had his eye on the prize…a brand new rear tire.   After we ran through a tank of gas…which is about 150 miles…we stopped for more gas and some lunch.  We grabbed some pretty great Thai food out of a stationary food-truck parked outside of a gas station in Glenallen.  With full bellies of Pad Thai, we jumped back on the bikes and met some rain clouds head-on.   We stayed nice and warm, but it got pretty chilly after that.  We saw some pretty incredible scenery the closer we got to the coast.  More beautiful mountains and lush greenery were met with more waterfalls melting into quickly running creeks and rivers.  As we pulled into a soggy Anchorage we were a little relieved, but also quite disappointed to be back into such a population and “metropolitan” city.  While the creature comforts of familiar restaurants, shops, and of course, Target, were nice to see, we have become quite fond of slumming it in nature! However, with that said, after Dan relinquished his beloved Ducati to The Motorcycle Shop in Anchorage for a tire change, we rented a car and decided to relax for the day!

With a roof over our heads, we met Rick at The House of Harley Davidson to drop off a tarp.  Rick decided to save some cash and camped at the Harley shop.  This Harley shop is amazing in the since that they let motorcyclists camp in their grassy yard for free, along with free showers! How awesome is that?? After wishing Rick farewell, we went for some food and tried to find a hotel in Anchorage to no avail.  Not a single hotel available?? What we stumbled upon was a room at The Hotel Alyeska in Girdwood, AK, about 30 minutes south of Anchorage.  Alyeska is a ski resort with beautiful views and the hotel is absolutely gorgeous.  We probably got a great deal because it is off-season, and for this I was grateful.  After days and days of being tough and setting up tents, not showering regularly, changing clothes only over other day, and eating beanie-weenies, I was MORE than ready for some luxury.  We  checked into our top floor room with a view of the snow-capped mountains and took hot showers, dressed in robes, and ordered champagne room service.  We sipped champagne as we reflected on our adventure thus far before falling asleep in the most comfortable king bed I’ve ever felt!

 Stopping at Beluga Bay to take in the hazy 2200! 

A beautiful rainbow emerging from the base of the mountain 

Day 12 - OFF-DAY!! Anchorage, Alaska

The guys decided on a rearranged route after concluding that we could all benefit from a day off from traveling.  Rick met up with some new friends and Dan and I investigated the best way to go fishing.  After discussing our options over a nice breakfast that did not consist of our usual gas station fare, we concluded that it would take too much time and too much money to make it down to Homer or Seward to go out on a chartered fishing boat.  We did agree that we WILL return to Alaska to spend some time in these coastal fishing towns next summer!  After some advice from a local we decided to try our luck at salmon fishing in Ship Creek right in downtown Anchorage.  We found out about The Bait Shack located right on Ship Creek and made our way down to meet with these professional fisherman.  They gave us the low-down and got us all set up with hip-waders, rods, tackle, and salmon row bait.  We made our way down to the muddy banks of Ship Creek around 4 pm as the tide started rushing in.  It was incredible to see the creek rise and the hundreds of fisherman appear within a matter of an hour.  Dan and I may have jinxed ourselves by being a bit presumptuous earlier in the day; we made calls to several freezing and shipping companies and even bought a styrofoam cooler to keep our many pounds of fish cool overnight before we could ship them home the next day. Well, the fish must have known, because they stayed clear of our hooks! We baited our hooks with salmon row and fished Ship Creek for hours as we watched fisherman bring in salmon estimated at 30lbs, but the only thing Dan and I brought home with us was mud and hands wreaking of salmon row.  We did have a good time meeting some locals and listening to their tales of growing up fishing salmon on Ship Creek. After nearly 5 hours standing in the mud, we decided to call it quits. 

 Don't I look sexy in hip waders? 

After accepting our defeat against the great king salmon, we turned in our fishing gear to the awesome guys at The Bait Shack and sulked back to our snazzy little rental car.  We decided that we were still stuffed from our late pizza lunch at The Moose Tooth, grabbed a bottle of wine, and made out way back for another night of luxury at the Alyeska and called it a night. Feeling refreshed and reenergized from our day off of the motorcycle, we were ready to get back on the road the next morning and make our way to Denali National Park to try our luck with Mount McKinley. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh! This may be my favorite post! Hahaha! You do look amazing in those hip waders! haha I love that ya'll had already planned to ship "all" your fresh catch home!