DAY 143

August 4, 1999

It's my mom's birthday and I'm in the middle of absolutely nowhere!!!  They have no phones around here so I will try to get to Chicken early enough to call with the 3 hour difference in time. 

It was a very hot day, 32 degrees Celsius or 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but I just took it easy and really enjoyed the landscape and scenery.  At times from a very high point on the road I could barely make out the road way out in the horizon, it looked maybe 30 miles away.  It seemed strange to see a spot that will be in my future but I'm not there yet.  Whenever I stopped, a lot of mosquitoes swarmed me and sometimes while riding, they would go up my nose!!!  That sucked!!!

There was an old gold dredge in a small river bed that I took a break at.  The sun was hot and the cool water and shade felt great. I rode up most hills at 3 mph to take care of my knees, I refuse to ever push my bike up a hill because I wimped out.  Only when I had to, like the time my derailluer hanger broke, I had no choice then.  There were some great downhills where I picked up some great speeds.  On one downhill, I was cruising at 38 mph and a car was trying to pass me.  The car was having difficulty because the bumps would cause it to slide sideways some when it went too fast.   So this idiot rode right beside me for quite some time when he was going faster than he should have for this road.  That was when I ran right into 2 large dips in the road and got a bit airborne.  Since the car was beside me I couldn't swerve, but fortunately I didn't wipe out and thought it was kinda cool to catch a little air with my BOB trailer!!  When I arrived at the south fork river, I found the Pit toilet to be luxury comp
Before long, I was in Chicken Alaska.  Downtown Chicken consists of 3 stores owned by the one couple.  There is a gift shop, a saloon, and a cafe'.  Inside the cafe' I met Susan, the owner.  She was very nice to me and offered her shower to me.   KEWL!!!  Looks like I'll camp here tonight.   Unfortunately there are no phones here.  Susan said there will be no phones until Tok.  Her husband is on their boat in the Caribbean and the only way he could get a message to her was to call the radio station to broadcast it on the air.  She didn't hear it, but someone that did went in and gave her the message.  I couldn't imagine living way out here.   But they do close down in September and live on their sailboat in the Caribbean with there 2 children that they homeschool.

Whenever a tour bus would arrive, the old people would scramble out, some with canes.   They were on a schedule and had to shop, eat, and do everything they had to in a short time.  They usually looked stressed, always impatient and hurrying.  What a horrible way to travel!!

In the saloon a young couple comes in that I recognized from Dawson City, but did not know.  There is a traditional thing they do here by hanging anything on the wall people want to sign and hang up.  Mostly hats and some shirts, socks, etc.  But when someone wants to hang their underwear, they shoot it out of a cannon first.  The girl from Dawson took her bra off and it was then packed into the small cannon by the bartender, he's British by the way.  Many people have asked him "which part of Australia are you from?"  So he has a note on his hat that says "I'm British, not Australian".  Anyway, he carries the small cannon outside after packing it with powder, bra and tissue.  He lights the fuse and then BAM!!!!!   The bra goes shooting through the air and lands in a small tree.  The braless girl retrieves it and signs it for the wall.

While hanging out outside I met a couple from Canada and decided to ask if they wanted to exchange my Canadian money for any American money they had.  I wasn't thinking when I left Canada about all the coins, banks never exchange coins only paper money.  I had $18 in coins.  The girl recognized me from Dawson City since she worked at Mme. Zooms and I frequented the place often.  Her boyfriend, Riley had only $8 US and I just gave him my $18 CA for it.  An excellent deal for him and I didn't have to worry about it.  There was no way I can get rid of it and I don't plan on going back to Canada anytime soon.

We hung out and talked for awhile until I started getting tired and decided to get some sleep early.  My tent was set up in the trees about 100 yards from the cafe'.

today - 40.70 miles
avg. - 7.5 mph
total - 6073

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