It took us SEVEN hours to do the final preparations to get on the plane. No kidding. Just doing the bikes took four hours, mainly because Freeze Thaw put Loctite on every single bolt and taking them off for shipping was next to impossible. We broke two bolts and bent some others, so had to send Jason’s dad to the hardware store for emergency replacements. Thanks Mike! Normally, we love the guys at Freeze Thaw, but during the bike packing process I was ready to call them up and demand they drive to Maryland to help us!
Eventually, however, we prevailed.
We got to the airport very early for our flight, nearly 3 hours, because I (Daisy) was afraid it would be hard to get the bikes on. Somehow, it was no problem. The only hiccup (and it was an expensive one) was an overpacked bag that weighed 54 pounds and cost an extra $. YIKES!! We couldn’t take anything out because we had secured two boxes together with about 150 feet of duck tape. Hee hee.
Luckily, all that extra time at the airport meant that Daisy got to start her PhD dissertation! Watch out Statistics Department, the next Dr. Philtron is on her way.
The flight itself went off without a hitch. As we were nearing Anchorage we got impressive views of the coastal mountains. It was amazing to see the glaciers and sharp mountain peaks.
After pulling into the gate, we were looking out the airplane window at the baggage folks, and were VERY excited to see the bike boxes come off the plane, and in one piece! Success! It took us a couple hours to put the bikes together and get everything packed back up, but then we were on our way.
Our Warmshowers host, Sage, met us at the airport on her bicycle and we rode the bike paths to her house. It was beautiful how the path weaved along the mud flats and a stream. We slept and had nice warm showers in the morning.
Sage convinced us to head east on the Glenn Highway instead of going north to Fairbanks. Now, we’ll be bicycling along the beautiful glaciers we saw from the plane. It will be a few days shorter, so we’ll have time to sight-see and go off route later on in Canada. (We’ll just have to come back and do Denali biking and/or backpacking another time).
The weather is great in Anchorage – 60s, sunny, and not a cloud to be seen. We are having a wonderful start!