Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tour of Yukon Territory and Alaska

The main purpose of coming to Alaska was a 12 day, 700 mile bike tour of the Yukon Territory and Alaska.  Weather wise, June is suppose to be the best month to do a bike tour.

Stew Patrignani of Davis, planned and organized this tour, and invited nine other cyclists to join him and his wife Paula. Stew's acumen at tour planning was off the charts.  He laid out a 12 day route on the remote Alcan Highway, now called the Alaska Highway, where lodging and food are far between.

There were some very long days since lodging were unavailable at reasonable intervals.  Due to the size of our group, he made advance reservations for each night to insure we had a pillow to lay our heads.  Being early in the season, it was sketchy whether some of these places would be open.

He planned lunch meals out of the ice chest, and arranged group dinners at some of the lodges where they had no dining room.  Everyone rotated driving the sag truck and stopped at timely intervals to provide support for the riders.

With all the variables that could go wrong on such a tour, the tour came off without a hitch.  My hats off to Stew for his leadership and organizational skills.

As far as the tour goes, I did not know what to expect since I've never been to Alaska before.  Without overstating the case . . . it was FRIGGIN' AWESOME!!

There are four things that impressed me the most:  The mountains, the lakes, the rivers, and unexpectedly, the friendliness and helpfulness of the local people.  These are genuine people without pretension.

It reminded me of our country of the 1950's when life was pretty simple and people were sincerely nice to each other.  It was an out of body experience.

Four people we met, all women, who singularly ran their lodges without male support, were the most memorable - Amanda, Buck Shot Betty, Mary, and Mabel.  They did all the work themselves - cleaned the rooms, prepared the meals, served the meals, ran the office, chopped the wood, maintained the buildings, and did all the heavy lifting.

They are truly what you would call independent, hard-working pioneer women.  You wouldn't want to mess with them either.  They carry fire arms.

As you will see, the scenery is beyond great.

To view the tour album, click on "Tour of Yukon Territory and Alaska" below the photo:

From Tour of Yukon Territory/Alaska

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