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1000 Americans: Charles & Elizabeth

August 19, 2008 by  
Filed under 1000 Americans, Friendly people

_MG_0349-Charles-Elizabeth-gracious-house

We were eating when an retired couple came in. They were so joyous, and clearly so crazy about eachother, it was great to see and very catchy. Charles and Elizabeth live in Las Vegas and come up to Alaska every year I think. They drive one of those huge motorhomes, but just enjoy camping out on a high spot and then watching the wildlife pass them by. They shared a large icecream and were enjoying every bite of if. As we had re-calculated our food supply after hearing that there would not be any store before Tok, about 400km away, we asked the waitress if we could buy a loaf of bread. We could, for $6.

Elizabeth went outside and came back a while later/ I left you some food on your bikes’, she said. ‘We always bring too much in our big motorhome, and you need it much more than we do!’

We thanked her and finished our meal. But when we noticed the huge bag filled with cookies, beef jerky, peanut bars and a huge jar of peanut butter, we had to get back inside and than them again, it was like cyclist’s x-mas!

‘She has been like this ever since I met her’, Charles said. ‘So generous, that it why I love her. I am not too religious, but I do believe in that you reap what you sow’. ‘Karma?’, I said. ‘Yep, that’s another way of putting it.’

Though I prefer to be totally independent, it is great to meet such generous people who know the relative value of things to different people. Even more, it is great to meet people like Charles and Elizabeth, who have been crazy about eachother for decades and still enjoy and have fun together.

Day 27-30, 7-10 Aug 2008: The Denali Highway! About rough roads, cold and more..

August 11, 2008 by  
Filed under Alaska, Friendly people, North America, Trip reports

We both had a very strong love-hate relationship with the Denali Highway. It is a bit over 200km/130mi long, but 80% of this is unpaved. Sometimes tougher than the Dalton, wilder than the Denali park road, and wetter than the Netherlands :). ladies & gentlemen, we offer you: The Denali Highway in pictures, with some words as well…

It started out ok, with some nice roads from Cantwell, but soon the gravel came back with full force. Ivana had a bad day, so I just stayed away from her; I bit on front or a bit in the back. That is usually the best thing to do, when one of us has an ‘angry day’, when all roads are terrible, the legs won’t work or rain seems to hit you every minute. I was actually enjoying this road a lot.

It was nice to be away from the main traffic again. almost no people live here, rental cars are not allowed to drive these roads and trucks have nowhere to go to here, so all cars you see are travellers or hunters. All of them wave back when we wave at them and many stop for a chat. The landscape is simply stunning: from high mountains (even though most were hidden in thick, rainy clouds) to taiga forests and age -old glaciers. We cycled through valleys, crossed big rivers, saw al kinds of wildlife and met friendly people. We got rained upon, almost froze our hands and feet, downhilled in the dark and found cyclists’ heaven, all in a few days. Almost too much to process. Pictures do not do justice, but I will share a few, together with some short stories from the road: Read more