Monday, July 19, 2010

Sea sick!

I'm getting sick of the Alaskan Marine Highway. Ready to get off this boat and get on a few more. Tomorrow, well in a few hours actually I'll be taking a boat to Tracy's Arm Glacier. A suggestion from the captain of this ferry/ship.(the Columbia)

Met him on the back of the boat today after arriving in Ketchikan He was dressed in civilian clothes and had the new coveted holy grail, Iphone G4. The first I've had the privilege to touch and hold. That was our first stop here in AK. Got off the boat for almost two hours with my bike. The ferry docks about two miles out of town. Felt good to ride into town and grab some breakfast. Saw some hills off to the left that I just had to go and climb. Crazy, I actually felt the need to get some hills in.

Below, these used to be brothels where all the fisherman would spend their coin.

Sat with a nice local business owner at breakfast whose laugh I wanted to film. It was so Cheech and Chong. I could laugh at any time just hearing it. He told me his life story and how much of a miracle he is. He's died several times and was allowed back to this side of the light because it wasn't his time. He died in a car wreck wrapped around a pole. They revived him and he died on the life flight and was revived yet again. Then another time he had a house blown on top of him like the wicked witch of the east. He broke his neck and back that time. He made a deal with God. If he let him live he would work on peoples homes for the lowest cost possible. That's what he does. No advertising, all word of mouth and always busy. He gave me his biz card, going to include him in my postcard sending.

Today was the day I was going to figure out my Alaskan leg. My ticket is only to Juneau which is land locked. So either I need to take a plane or a boat out of there. The plane could suck because I have to dismantle my bike. My racks are a bitch to install and take off. The ferry I can leave as is. Richard, the captain and I sat down and mapped out a great route. He gave me the tip about Tracy's Arm. Said it was much better than Glacier Bay.

Secondly I was worried about getting out of Juneau by ferry. Found out there is a boat that leaves there every day. Thought I had to catch one the following day and was worried I would only be able to spend one day there. Contacted everyone on warm showers with no luck. The last guy told me about the $10 youth hostel.

So that's where I'll be tomorrow night and maybe the next. We'll see how I'm vibing with Juneau. From there going to take a ferry to Haines. Then bike up to Fairbanks. After that back down to Whittier where I will catch a ferry back to Bellingham. Thats about a 1000 miles in total. Then up to Vancouver for a stint. Then back down the Pacific Coast as planned. Gonna try and fit burning man into the equation. So I'm going to have some big days ahead of me for the next 6 weeks or so.

It's been fun camping out on the boat. Everyone up here is on some sort of adventure and has been on some wild excursions. There's a couple with black long haul truckers and yellow ortlieb bags just like me. They are going to the top of Alaska and biking all the way to Argentina. They are doing it as a fund raiser for clean water in Zambia.

Other than the handful of young people it's all middle aged educators and old white people. On the trip of their lifetimes. Your allowed to take your car or rv on the ferry. A lot of people have their dogs. They have to keep them in their cars and can only walk them a few times a day unless we are at port.

It's a bit pricey in AK period. Prices so far seem to be at least 30% higher. This ferry cost me $326 one way and then $53 for my bike. That's just for this leg. So it may end up costing me a G just to get up, around and back to Bellingham. It's only money and I may never get another chance to get back up here.

Seen a bunch of whales today. Both Orca's and Humpbacks. Several bald eagles and some other birds. Looking forward to some more wild life and glaciers. The boat gets to Juneau at 4:45am. It's 4 hours behind east coast time here in AK. So a few hours of sleep and another action packed day. Starts with a 12 mile ride into downtown Juneau from where the ferry ports. Have a great week, thanks for trudging along with me.

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