DAY 123

July 15, 1999

I awoke at 7am to the sound of trucks on the road nearby. There had been the sound of rustling in the brush through the night, I thought of bears but didn’t really care. I was too tired to be concerned and just slept.
  • 10:20am – 8.43 miles, 10.5 avg.
  • I stopped at the ESSO station in the very small village of Carmacks. Bus loads of old tourists were there wearing typical tourist clothes with bright, white, sneakers. They all look the same after a while. I was dirty and smelly but that didn’t stop them from crowding around to question me. Many just don’t understand a journey like this. They are caught up with the consumerist world in which they exist. But I could see a bit of envy in the eyes of a select few. Maybe they wish they would have done something like this when they were younger, before the pressures of society forced them into their view of normality: Steady job, family, house, cars, and a pet for the kids.
  • 1:15pm – 23.77 miles, 8.0 avg.
  • Stopped at 5-Finger Rapids along the Yukon River. Been struggling with headwinds again today. The locals have said that 90 percent of the time the wind blows from south to north. So, I should have tailwinds all the way to Dawson City but that ain’t happenin’!! While sitting on a picnic table drinking a Coke, one of the tourists stops to talk. Linda seemed different than the typical RV drivin’ tourist. She was pleasant to talk to and wanted a photo of me with my bike. The lady at the concession stand told me the Germans camped there last night and left at noon. She said the same thing everybody else has said about them, they didn’t want to talk and appeared arrogant. But she said it may just be part of the German culture. Well, they were 2 days ahead of me and now I know I’m right on their butts.
  • 6:20pm – 51.03 miles, 8.0 mph avg.
  • It’s 88 degrees and very dry. My body is trained not to need very much water, so I’ve been able to go all day on 1 water bottle. I still have a headwind and the dry heat seems to be sapping my energy. The sky is very clear with a bright sun. Walking down to a small creek, I laid in the very cold water to get refreshed. Within minutes the dry air sucked the water off my body and I was completely dry again.
  • 7:00pm – riding another 4.5 miles, I found the Minto campground. I drank 2 Cokes and rested about an hour.
  • 9:20pm – 68.92 miles, 8.0mph avg.
  • The road is soooo quiet!! There is no wind and the evening energy burst is kicking in. I’m beginning to love late night riding, no cars, no wind, and very quiet. All alone on a road in the middle of the Yukon wilderness.
  • 10:15 - 78.34 miles, 8.5mph avg.
  • I stopped at a small village and bought a Coke and a candy bar. An older man that looks like Brian Dennehey walks up to me and asks about my ride. It just so happens that he used to work for the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (ADNR). He told me that the ADNR controls the road through Prudhoe Bay. I was given a contact name to apply for a special permit so I could bike the last 5 miles to the Arctic Ocean. He said that ARCO could still appeal it, but it’s worth a try. Wow, this is cool how these people cross my path!
  • 10:50pm – I saw a grizzly cub in the trees near the road while looking for a place to camp. Stopping my bike, I stare at him as he stares at me. After a moment he takes off running, probably looking for mama.  I think I'll just keep going and find another place to sleep.
  • 12:00 midnight - The evening is eerily quiet and the road is desolate agian this evening.  No one out here but me.  Still plenty of light so I'll just keep going.
  • 2:00am – It is now 48 degrees F. and I’m getting cold and tired. I put my bike and trailer in the ditch, then slept on the ground in my sleeping bag.

Today - 97.04 miles
Total -  5819 miles
Avg. Speed - 8.5mph

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