Wednesday, 6 August 2008

On the line and waiting for insurance

I`m sitting in the Alaska rider tours office. The boys are conscientiously grinding away at a their bike carrying trailer, taking away old bent metal and soldering new shiny metal. The sun is belting, at least 70F. Its been Alaska`s worse summer for years, but since i got here 2 days ago it has only rained once, last night, when it finally got dark. The bike is ready, after Kagan, Alaska rider tours mechanic came in on his day off to fit my panniers, sort the valves out and loads more to get the bike ready for me to slip off north today. BUT i cant !! I am waiting , pacing the office, feeling like a useless broken spanner, getting in the way ,just waiting for my USA and Canada insurance to be emailed to me after endless attemps at faxing through the complicated forms that are needed. Poor old Gail in the motorcycle express insurance office in new york must dread me now ! Saying that its about time i sent her another email, with anxious quivers in the words. Mind you i am technicaly covered, i just have nothing to prove it. I have to be in Deadhorse friday night, as i have a room booked in the caribou inn, the only accomodation up there. You aren`t supposed to camp coz the polar bears are partial to human munch. Friday was lucky for me, they have one room only that night. You cant ride completly into prudhoe bay. deadhorse is the nearest town about 10 miles outside of prudhoe. The only way to get my head wet in the northern seas is to take a guided tour from deadhorse into the prudhoe bay oil gaff, its all booked i just have to get there ! come on gail you beauty !... Its generally a 3 day ride to prudhoe, and thats quite pushing it, so i am gonna have to be swift and safe to do it 2 days. Tarmac upto fairbanks 380-ish miles then 420 miles upto deadhorse, baring in mid %90 of that is gravel (the dalton highway) of all kinds of depth, fun and "arghhhhhhhhhhh"..... The weather report for the next 5 days is on my side. A slight chance of rain, which is easing my worries of riding the dalton highway. It can turn into a quagmire for miles on end after the northern monsoons, averaging 10mph for 400 miles wont help me get on the tour bus on saturday.....

The flight was a long long one. 2 unhappy toddlers screamed that high pitched schrillllllll ! for at least 8 of the 11 hours in the sky. It all got very surreal. Their poor mother was at her wits end by vancouver. I stayed the night in that beautiful city, staring in disbelief most of the time, at the dark jagged mountains and the glistening seas at sunset, eating lobster skewers with my host Kelly and his friends. The gay pride evening prossesions made things all the more entertaining. Big, big geezers, built like arnie, wearing rainbow hot pants, rocking away to old jazz on the road side... Got upto Alaska on the 4th, breezing through immigration and getting interest from the officials regarding what fragile x syndrome is. 40th birthday session was as good as could have been, spent at a wedding reception in an old gold mine surrounded by a forrest of tall spruce trees. The band was fantastic, soft rock, to 70s funk without missing a beat. Camped outside the AKRIDER office last night, along with 2 blokes from switzerland, who have spent the last 2 years riding around latin america. Their stories are incredible. Their relaxed beings not like how i imagine they used to be before the road. I`m calming down. The hearts stopped racing along with insurance anxiety. Im heading out now ! its decided ! go up street, buy a pump and tyre irons. Buy small padlocks for the panniers. Pack the tent up. Say thanks to Phil (the bus was a top nights sleep), nicole for brilliantly sorting out panniers swiftly and with no grief, jeff, john, ben, brendan, all at Akrider, Kagan if he was here and the Harley peeps for having a free camp site just in the right place. So i do have 3 days to reach the far reaches of this unbelievable land.

1 comment:

Reggie said...

Well done fella you got there!

Never underestimate a moose..

Enjoy and keep us posted