Who knew the final packing would be this difficult?!

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.

All packed up and at the airport in Baltimore.

All packed up and at the airport in Baltimore.

Daisy begins her dissertation.  Notice the Alaska guide book at her side for inspiration.

Daisy begins her dissertation. Notice the Alaska guide book at her side for inspiration.

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.


Glaciers and Mountains here we come!

Glaciers and Mountains here we come!

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.

Leaving the airport in Alaska

Leaving the airport in Alaska

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!

Sunset over the mud flats of Anchorage.

Sunset over the mud flats of Anchorage.

13 thoughts on “Who knew the final packing would be this difficult?!

  1. Kathy Smith

    Wow, what a start! Your on your way now though and hopefully the worst is behind you~. Beautiful shot btw~

    1. Daisy Post author

      Thanks Kathy – I think the worst is behind us, at least until crunch time for the dissertation arrives. This trip is fantastic so far!!

  2. Lucas Evanochko

    Congrats on the first leg of the trip!

    I’ve always been paranoid of airline baggage handlers, so boxing and shipping bicycles must have been nerve-wracking! Any tips for secure packing of bikes?

    1. Daisy Post author

      We followed the directions provided by Adventure Cycling Association, and made sure to track down a big box for Jason. Have LOTS of spare cardboard to wrap the bike and use as shock absorbers. Also, we planned the least number of plane changes to minimize handling.

    1. Daisy Post author

      Toby, it is just starting to feel real now. About 1.5 weeks post-departure! I am ready to chop off all my extra hair too.

  3. Mike

    we found a washer & broken bolt by bike disassembly porch area, threw broken bolt away and put washer in SF box. nice mudflats picture! Ldad

  4. Naomi Altman

    I can hardly believe that you are up in Alaska. I hope the weather holds and that you have a wonderful time.

    1. Daisy Post author

      Thanks Naomi. I am sad to miss everyone’s defenses during this time, but the weather is in fact stunning!

  5. Mike

    Did you forget to count the 150 feet of duck tape? I bet that weighted 4+ lbs! Ha! Ldad

  6. Cousin Kendra Smith

    beautiful pics … have a safe and wonderful trip … thank you for keeping us updated to know how you are doing … take care, be safe … and enjoy God’s beautiful world … :)

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