Durango Colorado to Alaska

Saturday, Day 0, May 28, 1988
On May 28, 1988, two days after returning from Hawaii, I started my venture north to Alaska. My original plan was to bike to Canada, but I ended up riding all the way to Alaska. To start the trip I boxed up all my gear and my bike. Then I caught a bus to Durango, Colorado. I arrived in Durango at 11 PM and slept in a park in preparation for an early departure.

Sunday, Day 1, May 29, 1988
The next morning before leaving town, I stopped at a store to buy some food and a guy asked me where I was headed. I told him I was going to Canada and he said he would not even want to drive his car that far. Since I was on a bike, I image that he did not think I would make it. From Durango I cycled over Coal Banks Pass (10,640 ft.), Molas Pass (10,910 ft.), and Red Mountain Pass (11,018 ft.). This was the most that I biked uphill for a single day on this trip and made for a tiring start. That night, I slept in an abandoned cabin at an elevation of over 10,000-ft. I found a box with 8 Budweiser beers in the cabin and drank 2 of them. I left the rest for the next guy that ended up in the cabin. (Daily bike miles 63.8 miles; Total Miles 63.8)

Monday, Day 2, May 30, 1988
I woke to find that it had snowed 3 inches. The cabin I was sleeping in had no door or windows. Since it was windy the snow lightly covered most of the cabin's floor with the exception of where I was sleeping and where I placed my bike. My gloves were insufficient for the snow, so I put socks on my hands. On the way to Ouray I saw petrified Waves near the highway next to a waterfall. When I was hitching a ride to Telluride several years earlier a geologist gave me a ride and told me the wavy rocks were actually petrified waves. It was a cold, wet, snowy ride to Ouray, where I purchased new gloves and socks. I meet 3 people biking to Durango, Colorado and I also heard about a group of 10 bikers go over the passes. The rain continued and the traffic was light all the way to Delta. North of Delta the traffic became quite heavy with no shoulder on the road. About ten miles out of town, I found a rest area where some senior citizens had set up a free cookie and drink stand to give the Memorial Day drivers a break. I slept on a picnic table at that rest area that night. (Daily bike miles 80.7 miles; Total Miles 144.5)

Tuesday, Day 3, May 31, 1988
In the morning, the traffic was light and I made it safely to Grand Junction. I bought a tube at a bike shop in Grand Junction and a couple of people in the bike shop said they had seen me on my bike near Delta, Colorado. From Grand Junction I made a detour to the Colorado National Monument. At the Monument I found massive sandstone walls and deep canyons with winding roads. The tour of the moon in the movie "American Flier" was filmed at Colorado National Monument. A motorist at the park told me about the movie and he also mentioned that part of the Coors Classic bike ride takes place at Colorado National Monument. Continuing on, I ended the day at about 8:30 PM by camping in boulders near the base of Douglas Pass. I think I was illegally camped on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land. (Daily bike miles 91.3 miles; Total Miles 235.8)

Wednesday, Day 4, June 1, 1988
I biked the last four steep miles to the top of Douglas Pass (8,268 ft.) and then I biked downhill into a nice canyon. This was an interesting canyon where the petroglyphs date back to 800 AD. The road was barren and hot. I ran out of water before reaching Rangely. It was so lonely that I talked to cows and a chipmunk. That night, I camped north of Vernal, Utah at Steinaker Reservoir. (Daily bike miles 108.8 miles; Total Miles 344.6)

Thursday, Day 5, June 2, 1988
Biking through northeast Utah was beautiful with sandstone cliffs and bright red rocks. I biked through the towering cliffs along the Green River and near the Flaming Gorge Reservoir. As I was biking north 3 different people offered me rides, but no way (too much pride). The day ended with my arrival in Wyoming where I saw Brahma bulls, wild horses, antelope, a wild dog and deer roaming the plains. (Daily bike miles 88.8 miles; Total Miles 433.4)

Friday, Day 6, June 3, 1988
The next day was a short 30-mile ride to Rock Springs, Wyoming where I stayed in a Motel 6 to wait for my friend, Tony. This was the first night that I stayed in a motel. Tony Jaramillo (a friend from TVI and Honeywell) arrived on a flight from Albuquerque, New Mexico the next day. (Daily bike miles 36.7 miles; Total Miles 470.1)

Saturday, Day 7, June 4, 1988
I ended up meeting Tony Jaramillo at Motel 6 about noon (I think he took a taxi from the airport to the motel were I was staying). After Tony's arrival we began our trip to Yellowstone. On the way an antelope darted out into the road and almost hit Tony. I was behind Tony and I could tell the animal was moving fast, it actually skidded across the road on its hoofs in order to miss hitting Tony. That night we arrive at Pinedale, Wyoming at about 9:00 PM (it was still light, the sun went down at about 8:50 PM) and camped at a KOA campground. This was the first night that I paid for camping. (Daily bike miles 105.7 miles; Total Miles 575.8)

Sunday, Day 8, June 5, 1988
The road to Jackson Hole went from barren to lush forest. In town we met a cyclist from Los Angeles named Jim (He started biking in Los Angeles, California and was headed to the Midwest, I think Wisconsin) and the three of us (Tony, Jim and me) decided to get a room. To save money, I told the motel manager I wanted a room for one. Tony and Jim waited a little while to enter my room. That night we all left the room to get dinner and the motel manager was sitting on the porch (Jackson Hole is a small town and the motel was on main street, the manager was watching the cars cruise by). He did not say anything, so we figured it was OK. (Daily bike miles 85.5 miles; Total Miles 661.3)

Monday, Day 9, June 6, 1988
About 6:30 AM we heard a loud pounding on the door of the motel. It was the motel manager he called us foreigners. He said all you foreigners are the same, trying to save money. Then he made us dish out enough money, so that the room cost about 3 times as much as it should have cost. Then we left the motel and cycled through the beautiful snow-covered Teton National Forest. That night we retired in a luxury condo for three at West Thumb in Yellowstone. (Daily bike miles 88.5 miles; Total Miles 749.8)

Tuesday, Day 10, June 7, 1988
Continuing north we saw buffalo, elk, hot springs and geysers. That night we stayed free at Mammoth Hot Springs Campground. It was not meant to be free, we used the quick camp method (arrive late and depart early). (Daily bike miles 81.8 miles; Total Miles 831.6)

Wednesday, Day 11, June 8, 1988
We went to Mammoth Hot Springs in the morning and I carried my bike up the stairs while Tony and Jim cycled up the road. I beat them to the top of the Hot Springs and convinced them to go down my way (back to the base of the springs). On the way down the stairs a man told Jim to look at his leader (me). I was running down the stairs with my bike and gear on my head.
From Mammoth Hot Springs to Tower Falls we saw beautiful waterfalls, a big bull elk, and some buffalo. That night we arrived at Norris campground to find no food was available and the campground was full. We talked a man into letting us set up our tent behind his motor home. We also convinced campers to sell us food (stew, apples and turtle crackers). The lady that camped next to us let us cook over her fire. (Daily bike miles 57.1 miles; Total Miles 888.7)

Thursday, Day 12, June 9, 1988
We arrived at Old Faithful, just missing its eruption and had to wait an hour for the next eruption. Afterward Tony and Jim went south and I biked to Morning Glory Hot Springs. Next I started cycling towards West Yellowstone, Montana. I went to a campground 3 miles north of town and was not able to tent camp (only hard shelled campers where allowed to camp at the campground) due to recent bear mauling. I then returned to West Yellowstone arriving at 10:30 PM and had to pay $9.00 for camping. (Daily bike miles 75 miles; Total Miles 963.7)

Friday, Day 13, June 10, 1988
Continuing north in Montana, I went through a beautiful forest with rock cliffs. I saw two coyotes in a field. I made it to the 1000-mile (1000 miles since I left Durango) marker at 9:15 AM. I also broke a brake cable. I crossed the Missouri river headwaters. That night I slept in bushes near Bozeman, Montana's Belgrade airport. It was the most uncomfortable camping spot of the entire trip. I was hiding in the woods and sleeping on a bed of rocks. (Daily bike miles 107.1 miles; Total Miles 1070.8)

Saturday, Day 14, June 11, 1988
I ended up leaving the airport at 5:30 AM and biked along with a butterfly for about 2 miles (it was a tiger swallowtail). I stopped at an auction in a small town in Montana, I noticed everyone's hair was shorter than mine and most of the men wore cowboy hats. I felt out of place, the only person who spoke to me was the town policeman, but I didn't hear what he said. The next 15 miles I saw him four times. Each passing he slowed down and glared at me (I think he wanted me out of his town). I went through the capital of Montana, Helena and then biked up a 3000-foot mountain to McDonald Pass (elevation 6320 feet). Here I found a legal free campground and spent the night there. I broke my rim and set up my tent for the first time on this day. (Daily bike miles 116.6 miles; Total Miles 1187.4)

Sunday, Day 15, June 12, 1988
It rained all night and most of the next day. I did not start biking until noon and then biked to Clearwater, Montana. From there I hitched a ride with my bike to Missoula, Montana. I needed to go to Missoula to get a new bike rim, my old rim was broken. In Missoula, I made a withdrawal from the First Interstate Bank and stayed in a nice $18.00 motel. (Daily bike miles 78 miles; Total Miles 1265.4)

Monday, Day 16, June 13, 1988
The following day I went to Arronís bike shop and bought a used rim. Then I put the new rim on my bike (I did not get out of Missoula until about 2:00 PM) and rode back to Clearwater to continue my trip. I followed the Swan Valley north. Here I found many lakes and a lovely slow moving river. At Salmon Lake I found a turtle, I picked it up and it urinated on my leg. I also saw 12 deer and an elk that day. I camped at Holland Lake with a cowboy named Keith. He was a bear hunter's guide and told me about a few close encounters. I think he was trying to scare me with his bear tales. He also told me that the wilderness, the Bob Marshall, near Swan valley was the largest wilderness area in the lower 48 state. (Daily bike miles 80.1 miles; Total Miles 1345.5)

Tuesday, Day 17, June 14, 1988
I left camp at 10:00 AM, when I stopped a butterfly landed on my leg. Before leaving the Swan Valley I met some people that were water skiing. I talked with them and they invited me skiing. They owned a very powerful boat and I told them that I would try slalom skiing. I was a big time downhill skier and most of the time when I went water skiing (probably about 10 times previous to this) I would try slalom skiing. I was able to get up on one ski immediately. I was a better skier than the people that owned the boat were and they enjoyed having me show them my skills (I think I even did a flip for them. I used to end my ski ride by flipping off the boatís wake and then I would land in the water.) That day I stopped at a bar and won a dollar playing a video poker machine. I stayed at a $6.00 (I paid $5.00) campground East of Columbia Falls. (Daily bike miles 80.9 miles; Total Miles 1426.4)

Wednesday, Day 18, June 15, 1988
The next day, I meet a young kid on a bike and he recommended that I stopped at Hungry Horse Dam. He told me it was a short ride, but he did not tell me the hill was a tough steep hill climb. I ended up biking up the step hill to the dam and took an elevator down to a hydrogenating plant. It was a very interesting self-guided tour with movies, recordings, and brochures. That evening I cycled "The Road to the Sun" at Glacier National Park. It was a steep ride with waterfalls, cliffs, deer and Rocky Mountain sheep. One deer came up to my bike and I saw another deer swimming across a river. I camped near Saint Mary's lake. (Daily bike miles 76.7 miles; Total Miles 1503.1)

Thursday, Day 19, June 16, 1988
I ended up leaving camp at 6:30 AM and cycled about 8 miles with the "Trans American" bicyclists (Lung Association Riders going from Washington State to Virginia). This is an interesting group and I was very familiar with the group. I had read about the annual event and believe that in order to do the ride you needed $5,000 worth of sponsors. I always thought I would like to go on a ride like that, but I did not have enough friends to earn $5,000 in sponsors. We cycled by Saint Mary Lake where the water was as smooth as glass with a mirror image of the mountains on the water. The other cyclists (Trans American bicyclists) went east and I went north to Many Glaciers. Upon arriving at Many Glaciers, I began hiking to Swiftcurrent Pass. The hike centered on cliffs overlooking a lake with a multicolored valley (red cliffs and green trees). At the top I found snowfields and grassy meadows. I meet a man that was a ski patrol at Jackson Hole Wyoming and he told me that he skied SS Couloir (A run that I had seen with my brother that requires a 15-foot jump to start skiing next to a rocky bowl). The round-trip hike to Swiftcurrent pass was 13.2 miles. I ended up camping at the campground at the base of Swiftcurrent pass with the wind, rain and Misquotes. (Daily bike miles 37.4 miles; Total Miles 1540.5)

Friday, Day 20, June 17, 1988
On the twentieth day of my travels, I arrived in Canada, 1572 miles from Durango, Colorado at 11:04 AM. At the boarder, I was asked to show that I was financially capably of spending time in Canada. I was familiar with this from a past experience in Canada. The thing is if you are not traveling by automobile you must have enough money to survive (I was refused entry into Canada for not having enough money in 1982, when I was hitch hiking to Alaska. At that time you needed to have $30.00 per day in order to enter Canada). The purpose of this restriction is so that people will not go to Canada to look for work. I did not tell the border patrol I was going to Alaska, instead I told him I was just going on a week ride in the Canadian Rockies. I then showed him that I was financially capable with cash, travelerís checks and a charge card (he asked how much I could charge, but did not verify it). On the way past Waterton Park I saw buffalo and stopped to take some pictures. While I was stopped some Canadian travelers gave me 2 ham sandwiches to eat (I was not looking for food, they just wanted to be friendly). When I was headed north I encountered very strong side winds and when I turned west towards Bellevue the wind turned to headwinds. The ride to Bellevue, Alberta was so windy that I actually walked my bike down a couple of hills. Here I found free camping through the courtesy of the local merchants. (Daily bike miles 103.5 miles; Total Miles 1644)

Saturday, Day 21, June 18, 1988
The following day the headwinds continued. It was one of those days were the wind was so strong that it was quicker and easier to walk the bike down hills. I came to the site of a gigantic landslide where, on April 29, 1903, almost the entire mountain fell on the mining town of Frank. The Visitor's Center had an interesting slide show and exhibits. Arriving in British Columbia, the headwinds finally stopped and I found a nice free campground (it was only free off-season and would have cost $8.00/ night in July) near Fernie. (Daily bike miles 57.6 miles; Total Miles 1701.6)

Sunday, Day 22, June 19, 1988
I met many other cyclists on my trip. The most interesting group was an English couple who was completing a two-year, 25,000-mile bike ride around the world. This couple was in their 50s and had rugged and simple bikes (not a lot of gears with balloon tires). The man asked me if I stayed in campgrounds and we both seemed to have the same camping concepts (camp for free in the woods). The couple also suggested that I visit Fort Steel and told me that the fort was having an open house, so the entry was free (I just happened to be going through on the right day/ normal fee was $5.00). I stopped at Fort Steel; a renovated fort with stores, antiques and people dressed in British Cavalry uniforms. The prices in Canada were about 50% higher than in the US. After leaving the fort, I felt really good and started biking at a fast pace. Suddenly I had a blow out and ruined my tire and tube. It was too dark to fix the flat, so I went to sleep on the side of the road. (Daily bike miles 82.9 miles; Total Miles 1784.5)

Monday, Day 23, June 20, 1988
I stopped for breakfast in Canal Flats and meet several bicyclists from Spokane, Washington. I also meet some men on motorcycle, one of them was named Ron. I ended up seeing Ron three more times on my trip. I also meet a bicyclist that had started in New York and was headed for Alaska. Entering the Canadian Rockies, I took a shower and swam at Radium Hot Springs for $2.00. That day I saw four black bears. One of the bears stopped on the side of the road and was staring at me, I decided I did not want to continue along the highway with that bear next to the road so I yelled and it ran into the woods. That night I cautiously retired at McLeod Meadows campground in the Kootenay National Forest. (Daily bike miles 84.2 miles; Total Miles 1868.7)

Tuesday, Day 24, June 21, 1988
In the morning, I hiked the 3-mile round trip to Dog Lake. On the road I saw 3 large mountain goats with 2 young goats. My next stop was Marble Canyon. The water was a lovely turquoise color engulfed in a narrow canyon that has walls up to 199 feet deep and only up to 20 feet apart. That night I stayed in Spray River Hostel in Banff National Park. This remote area was accessible only by bike or on foot (2.3-mile dirt road). It was so primitive that there was an outside shower and no electricity. To operate the shower you needed to heat water on a wood burning stove in the cabin then put the water in a bucket. Next you pulled a rope and the water would dump onto your head. One of the guys that operated the cabin was bragging about taking outdoor shower in the winter when it was 20 degrees below 0. (Daily bike miles 82.2 miles; Total Miles 1950.9)

Wednesday, Day 25, June 22, 1988
I parked my bike next to a rushing river and followed it into Johnson Canyon for a 3-mile hike. There was a well-maintained trail in the narrow canyon that often disappeared into sheer cliffs where catwalks hovered over the white water. Several waterfalls blasted through the canyon. I stopped at Moraine Lake; a picture of this lovely lake is found on the back of Canadian twenty-dollar bills. It was a very rainy day and my bike odometer read 2000 miles from Durango, Colorado at 6:26 PM. Then I continued biking to the beautiful Lake Louise. Both Moraine Lake and Lake Louise are a ravishing turquoise color. That night I saved $10.00 by using the quick camp method at Kicking Horse Campground. It was a very nice campground with tile floors restrooms, free firewood and nice hot showers. I slept under a canopy that covered a picnic table. It rained all night. (Daily bike miles 74.3 miles; Total Miles 2025.2)

Thursday, Day 26, June 23, 1988
On the second consecutive day of heavy rains I pushed on to Takakkaw Falls, the tallest waterfall in the Canadian Rockies. I arrived at the campground near the trail head at about 7:00 AM. I was cold and wet, so I went into a cabin that was full of Germans. Inside I sat near their fire for about an hour. It was like being in a foreign country, because I was the only one who spoke good English. The rain finally stopped and I hiked the 10-mile round trip to Twin Falls. It was an exhilarating hike with streams of gray and blue water. Also, I took several small detours to see waterfalls (Laughing, Angle Staircase and Porcupine Falls) and lakes (Duchensng and MarPole Lakes). That evening I saw a wild moose. I slept at Hi-Mosquito Creek Hostel with four other cyclists. One of them was named Mike and I saw him again at the end of the summer on the streets of Vancouver. At the hostel a man told me about how he climbed into a hole in the ice field and saw neat brilliant blue ice. (Daily bike miles 53.1 miles; Total Miles 2078.3)

Friday, Day 27, June 24, 1988
On the way to Sunwapta Pass, I saw several mountain goats and a few Rocky Mountain sheep. At the top I took a short hike to Bow Pass where I had a panoramic view of jagged mountains and turquoise Peyto Lake. Not far from here I stopped at Columbia Ice Field and walked on my first glacier. Crawling into an opening I saw blue ice and miniature waterfalls. That night I saved $6.00 by using the quick camp method at the campground near Columbia Ice Fields. I told people at the campground that I was climbing in ice caves on the Glacier. They told me it was very dangerous in the caves, because ice fields move and can crush and suffocate a person. (Daily bike miles 71.5 miles; Total Miles 2149.8)

Saturday, Day 28, June 25, 1988
In the morning, I went back and climbed inside a glacier to take some pictures. Even though the previous night I was told it was dangerous. I just wanted to get some pictures since I did not get pictures the first time. This time I went in and out of the cave very quickly and in the process I ended up with dirt in my hair and on my coat. I returned to the ice fields and took the bus tour (they called the bus a snowmobile) onto the glacier. This vehicle had enormous tractor tires and a maximum speed of 16 MPH. It climbed a 32% grade. I learned that one of the world's few triple continental divides is located on the top of Columbia Ice Fields. The streams flow to the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic Oceans. Also, I saw the only living organism of the ice fields, a black alga. I kept thinking that people were looking at me in a funny way, because of all the mud in my hair. Continuing on, I traveled through Jasper to Yellowhead Lake. That day I saw 12 elk, 47 mountain goats, 5 mountain sheep and a deer. To avoid paying a $7.00 camping fee (besides that the campground was full), I asked some people if I could set up camp behind their Volkswagen bus. I told the ranger and he did not mind. (Daily bike miles 96.2 miles; Total Miles 2246.0)

Sunday, Day 29, June 26, 1988
I saw Ron from Canal Flats again. This is 500 miles and 6 days after I first met him. I stopped and went for a hike to a waterfall; the sign said 45-minute round trip. Well, I ended up getting lost and found another sign to the same waterfall that said 95-minute round trip. I then visited Mount Robson, the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies (12,972-ft.). I remember seeing a sign to Berg Lake and would have liked to have done the hike. It was one of the few hikes that I really felt I missed. That night, I slept under a bridge with the mosquitoes at Goat River rest area. (Daily bike miles 110.5 miles; Total Miles 2356.5)

Monday, Day 30, June 27, 1988
Arriving in Prince George, I saw a man working in his yard and asked if I could sleep on his land. He let me sleep in his old trailer. I helped him move some furniture. Then we drank a couple of beers (I had 3 beers) with his buddies, who thought US citizens were all millionaires and asked why I didn't travel in an RV. It seemed like one of the guys did not like US citizens. He kept asking me what I thought about issues related to decisions made by the US Present. The issues were related to things that were not popular in Canada. One of the issues had to do with a Dam put up in the US that ended up flooding some of the land in Canada. I did not know of any on the issues that he mentioned. The guy that owned the house told his friend to quit harassing me. It was an interesting fun night. (Daily bike miles 103 miles; Total Miles 2459.5)

Tuesday, Day 31, June 28, 1988
As I went west the mountains turned to plains and the wildlife became scarce. I tried to camp on some Indian land, but could not sleep due to noises in the woods. I kept thinking a bear was in the woods. I then went to Beaumont campground and saved $8.00 using the quick-camped method. (Daily bike miles 101.8 miles; Total Miles 2561.3)

Wednesday, Day 32, June 29, 1988
All of the following day I cycled through plains. The roads were not as good as other parts of Canada, but better than Montana roads and there were headwinds most of the day. That night, I camped in the woods near Houston. (Daily bike miles 105.1 miles; Total Miles 2666.4)

Thursday, Day 33, June 30, 1988
As I approached South Hazelton a motorcyclist slowed down next to me. It was Ron from Canal Flats. This was the third time I had seen him in the past 10 days. I had actually biked over 800 miles since the first time I met Ron. We ended up getting a room together and having a couple of beers in a local bar. All night long the bouncer at the bar broke up fights and pulled drunks out of the bar. It seemed like the people always smiled as they were getting kicked out of the bar. I danced with this girl and she asked if I was a biker. I said yes and asked how she knew. It was my cloths; I was wearing biking shorts and a biking shirt. Meanwhile, Ron kept winning money and beers playing pool. (Daily bike miles 87.1 miles; Total Miles 2753.5)

Friday, Day 34, July 1, 1988
Before Ron left on his motorcycle we decided to meet again at Prince Rupert. The highway to Torrance was lined with snow-covered peaks and flowers. That night, I camped on a logging road and it rained constantly. (Daily bike miles 92.6 miles; Total Miles 2846.1)

Saturday, Day 35, July 2, 1988
Before getting to Prince Rupert, I meet a guy on a bike headed for the Northwest Territories of Canada. I touched the Pacific Ocean at about 6:30 PM after 35 days of biking and covering 2930 miles from Durango, Colorado. I met Ron and we saw a movie and rented rooms in the same motel. (Daily bike miles 84.1 miles; Total Miles 2930.2)

Sunday, Day 36, July 3, 1988
The following day Ron and I boarded the Alaskan ferry. We were about 20 miles from Alaska. The boat left Prince Rupert at 9:15 AM and made it to Alaska at about 10:45 AM. (Daily bike miles 0.9 miles; Total Miles 2931.1)

Monday, Day 37, July 4, 1988
 I saw whales from the ferry and on July 4th I arrived in Juneau, Alaska at about 10 AM. Although the city was 15 miles south of the ferry terminal, I peddled to the north. The road ended at the beautiful sandy Eagle Beach. Returning south to Mendenhall Glacier, I camped with a couple of Canadian cyclists whom I had met on the ferry. (Daily bike miles 59.3 miles; Total Miles 2990.4)

Tuesday, Day 38, July 5, 1988
On a dirt road near the glacier I saw three bald eagles, one had a wingspan of approximately 8 feet. At the visitor's center I took a short hike to the base of the glacier. A large break in the ice the previous day enriched the blue color of the glacier. At 10:00 AM my bike odometer read 3,000 miles since I left Durango, Colorado. I stopped at the boat dock to see if anyone knew where there might be job openings and one person suggested Douglas Cold storage. It was the first job I applied for and I was hired on the spot. I started the job the next day, so I had to buy some new rain boots. I went to the local K-mart and bought rain boots and tried to buy food. They said I could use my charge card for merchandise, but not food. (Daily bike miles 59.9 miles; Total Miles 3050.3)

Day 39-48, July 6-15, 1988
I worked at Douglas Cold Storage for 10 days. I did not have any money and had to eat peanut butter sandwiches until I was paid. I worked with a very interesting group of people. The foreman was living in a halfway house (I am not sure what he did wrong, but he was recently released from jail). One night, I went to drink with the foreman and he was only allowed to have guest until 9:00 PM, this was part of his parole. There were also 2 guys that worked at the cannery that was exiled from Iran. They said they came from wealthy families and went to school in the US. One day they got a letter from their parents saying that things were not stable in Iran and that they should not return. It seemed like these guys were very unhappy. At the cannery we unloaded boats, then separated the types of salmon, beheaded, gutted, froze, glazed and boxed them before shipping them all over the world. One of my favorite jobs at the cannery was grinding the fish heads (an outdoor task that attracted crabs). While working I lived free in a historical office building at Treadmill (an original settlement in the Juneau area). A short walk from my shack was a beach with a view of the mountains and the town of Juneau. I remember feeling good after a 12 hour day of work and sitting on my beach when I saw a large bald eagle fly past me. (Daily bike miles 50 miles; I did not record the exact miles, estimated total miles 3100.3)

Day 49-51, July 16-18, 1988
Juneau has several tourist attractions. Among the attractions I saw were totem poles, the Alaska State Museum, and a Russian Orthodox Church. I hiked up the 3-mile, 3000-foot trail to the top of Mount Juneau. At the summit I stood in subalpine meadows with patches of snow and multi-colored flowers. The view was beautiful. I could see Juneau, inland ocean passages, small islands, and mountain all the way to Canada. (Daily bike miles 109.7 miles; I did not record the exact miles, estimated total miles 3210)

Tuesday, Day 52, July 19, 1988
While I was in Alaska, July 19th was the only rainless day; it was totally clear. I hiked in ankle-deep mud to the top of Eaglecrest Ski Area. Coming down the mountain I "tennis shoe skied" the top third of the mountain. When the snow ended the slick moss and the many small cliffs made hiking conditions treacherous. Reaching the bottom, I cycled 15 miles and hiked up Mount Roberts. From the top of Mount Robert ’s I had views of mountains and the inside passage. I even saw wild marmots in the alpine fields. On both of these hikes the scenery was spectacular. (Daily bike miles 30 miles; I did not record the exact miles, estimated total miles 3240)

Wednesday, Day 53, July 20, 1988
The next day the rain returned. My friend, Paul (A friend from the cannery. He ended up letting me sleep in his spare room after I quit working at the cannery) and we hiked to Herbert Glacier, which was similar to Mendenhall Glacier, but more primitive. That evening I took a dinner cruise to Tracie's Arm. The trip to South Sawyer Glacier took us through rock cliffs and past many waterfalls. With binoculars I could see sea lions sitting on icebergs. Paul was from Minnesota and he told me how he wrote home to tell his family about the interesting people that he worked with at the cannery. He said he even mention the guy that rode his bike to Alaska (me). I had a nice coat that I think I got from Paul and small rain coat from goodwill, I was not very well dressed in Alaska. (Daily bike miles 12.4 miles; Total Miles 3252.4)

Thursday, Day 54, July 21, 1988
Dave another friend from Douglas Cold Storage took me to Gustavus in his 17-foot Boston Whaler. Dave grew up in Alaska and enjoyed boating. The boat ride was in very stormy weather and 3-foot swells which made the trip in his small boat very, very rough! I felt like I was going to shake apart, he was hitting the swells at high speed and I was in the boat's cabin with one hand pressed on the floor and the other hand on the ceiling to absorb the shock each time we hit another wave crest. Dave seemed like he loved the adventure, it seemed very intense to me. In Gustavus we slept in Dave's cabin. He owned some land near Glacier Bay (next to the town of Gustavus, Alaska) and had a storage shed sized cabin on his land. (Daily bike miles 0 miles; I did not record any mile for the day, estimated Total Miles 3252.4)

Friday, Day 55, July 22, 1988
In the morning we drove Daveís van to Glacier Bay Lodge. I inquired about a boat tour through Glacier Bay and found it cost $124.00. I talked Dave into taking me for $50.00 instead. We talked to some other boaters that Dave knew and told them that we came over in the storm the previous night. I remember Dave kept saying that it was not a bad storm, but the other people thought Dave was a little crazy taking his small boat through that storm. The other guys had bigger boats and said that they waited the storm out in a cove. Dave and I then boated into Glacier Bay National Park. When we entered the bay the temperature was noticeable colder, it was like entering a refrigerator. We found a nice bay and camped that night on a beach near bear shit. (Daily bike miles 0 miles; Total Miles 3252.4)

Saturday, Day 56, July 23, 1988
This day we boated deeper into the park, the water was as smooth as glass. Approaching Reid Glaciers was like entering a freezer. The ocean water was a deep green, due to low temperatures. The park has 13 glaciers receding from the cove. This large number is due to high mountains, such as Mount Fairweather (15,299 ft.). That evening at about 5 PM Dave dropped me off at Hoonah, a small Indian village with a ferry terminal. It has no paved roads or tourist attractions. I slept at the ferry terminal that night. (Daily bike miles 1 miles; I did not record the exact miles, estimated total Miles 3253.4)

Day 57-58, July 24-25, 1988
At 5 AM I boarded the ferry for Sitka. On the way I saw a whale repeatedly jumping out of the water. This is called "breaching" and is a rare and wonderful sight. When I got off the boat someone gave me a ride to town, then I biked 1 mile to the southern end of the road and setup camp. (Daily bike miles 1 miles; I did not record the exact miles, estimated total Miles 3254.4)

Tuesday, Day 59, July 26, 1988
I biked up the dirt road to Blue Lake and then hiked to Beaver Lake; both encircled by majestic mountains. Back in town, I visited Castle Hill (site of battles between Russians and Tlignit Indians in the 1800's), pioneer homes (where elderly Alaskan pioneers lived), Totem Park, (historic Tlignit Indian war grounds), Sheldon Jackson College, the Anthropology Museum, and a Russian Orthodox Church. I also watched the New Archangel dancers at a free show. Everywhere I saw strong Russian heritage. This is due to the fact that Sitka was the Russian-American capital in the early 1800's when Russia owned Alaska. I took pictures of these girls dressed in Russian cloths. They were driving the tour buses; they wanted me to hurry up and take the picture, because they did not like the bright sun. It was sunny for a short time (it's normally rainy) and these people were not used to the sun. I biked ten miles north to Harbor mountain road and biked to the top of the only subalpine road in southeast Alaska. It was gravel and so rough that I had to walk my bike most of the way. I wanted to camp at the top and tried to sleep in a picnic table shelter, but decided it was too windy, rainy and cold. Then I went to the bottom of the mountain and set up camp at the northern end of the highway. (Estimated bike miles 68.4 miles; Total Miles 3322.8)

Wednesday, Day 60, July 27, 1988
In the morning, I biked to town and then to the ferry terminal. I boarded the boat and arrived in Wrangell at 5 AM. by 10:00 AM I had cycled all the paved highways in the Wrangell area and eaten a free pancake breakfast at the Salvation Army. I visited the main attraction, Bear Tribal house on Chief Shakes Island; it is an intricately carved pow-wow house encircled by totem poles. I took a nap for a couple of hours and then biked two miles down the road to a beach were I found petroglyphs (swirls and faces carved in the rocks). I also took a lovely hike to Rainbow Falls before going back to the ferry terminal. It was only 5:00 PM and I had to wait till 10:00 PM for the ferry. (Daily bike miles 48.7 miles; Total Miles 3371.5)

Thursday, Day 61, July 28, 1988
The ferry arrived in Petersburg at 2:15 AM and I immediately departed for the south end of the paved highway where I stopped for breakfast at a lake near the local salmon hatchery. I cycled back to town and the northern end of the pavement. Here I found Sandy Beach, where I saw more petroglyphs similar to those in Wrangell. I then finished biking all the paved roads (18 miles all together) in this Petersburg area and went back to town. In Petersburg the Norwegian heritage was strong. One parking lot held a Viking ship; the Scandinavian architecture of the churches made me feel that I was really in Norway. Peter Buschmann founded Petersburg in the late 1800's. He and several other Norwegians joined together to form Alaskaís "Little Norway." I ended up catching the 10:30 AM ferry for Ketchikan (I only spent 7 hours in Petersburg).
Arriving in Ketchikan at 11 PM amid heavy rains, I biked to the northern end of the road. Here I used the quick camp method to save $5.00 at Ward Lake Recreation Area. This is the wettest area in Alaska with an average of 160 inches of rain annually. It rained very hard the whole time that I spent in Ketchikan. (Daily bike miles 50.3 miles; Total Miles 3421.8)

Friday, Day 62, July 29, 1988
I left camp at 5:00 AM and biked to Totem Bright; a park with a totem pole lined trail leading to a tribal house. After riding to the southern end of the pavement I returned to Saxman Village. Here I found the world's largest collection of totem poles, including one of Abraham Lincoln. Back in Ketchikan I received a free lunch at the Salvation Army and took the town's walking tour. I started by visiting the historic Creek Street Red Light district. Prostitution was legal in Alaska until the 50's. Continuing on, I stopped at the museum and at Totem Heritage Park. This park is unique because the totem poles are older and more historical. At this point I had cycled all the paved roads of Southeast Alaska and boarded a ferry for Canada. (Daily bike miles 57.3 miles; Total Miles 3479.1)

Saturday, Day 63, July 30, 1988
The following day, I spent on ferries: one to Prince Rupert and one to Port Hardy on the northern end of Vancouver Island. I arrived in Port hardy at 10:30 PM and camped at the rest area near the ferry terminal with two Swiss cyclists I met on the ferry. (Daily bike miles 1 miles; I did not record the exact miles, estimated total Miles 3480.1)

Sunday, Day 64, July 31, 1988
I cycled with the Swiss bikers for 60 miles. That day I met several foreigners on bicycles: 2 English, 1 Australian and 2 Germans. I spent the night at Big Tree Creek Rest Area. (Estimated daily bike miles 123.4 miles; Total Miles 3603.5)

Monday, Day 65, August 1, 1988
I took a ferry from Campbell River to Powell River and followed the Sunshine Coast to Saltery Bay. A second ferry took me to Earl Cove and I cycled the mountainous coastal road. When I was tired I camped by the side of the road. I started trying to sleep and a car stopped to see if I was OK. He said he could see my reflectors as he was driving down the highway and thought I was a car in the ditch. I then covered up my reflectors and went to sleep. (Daily bike miles 92.1 miles; Total Miles 3695.6)

Tuesday, Day 66, August 2, 1988
In Langdale, I took another ferry to northern Vancouver's Horse shoe Bay. I stopped at one of the nice beaches and took a chilling swim. It was like being in Southern California, I saw beautiful women and it was the first time that summer when I could comfortable wear shorts. After crossing Lions Gate Bridge I toured Stanley Park and found more beaches, totem poles, and small lakes. In downtown Vancouver I saw Mike, whom I had met 40 days earlier in the Canadian Rockies. What a small world to see him on the sidewalks of Vancouver! We rode around downtown on his motorcycle and at one point he took a slow corner in the hills and laid the bike down. That night Mike's friend, Heather, chauffeured us around in her Jaguar and we stop at a couple of mellow nightclubs. I spent the night with another of Mike's friends. (Daily bike miles 60.6 miles; Total Miles 3756.2)

Wednesday, Day 67, August 3, 1988
In the morning after Mikeís friendís wife cook us beacon and eggs for breakfast I returned to the road. Cycled downtown Vancouver where I saw Chinatown, Gas Town and Queen Elizabeth Park. At the end of town a man in a van shuttled me through George Massey Tunnel (no bikes allowed). He took 4 of us with bikes loaded with camping gear through the tunnel. At Tsawwassen Bay I took a ferry to Vancouver Island's Swartz Bay. Then I cycled to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. I had planned on sleeping in Bacon Hill Park, but was told I could sleep at the ferry terminal and take the 6 AM boat to Port Angeles, Washington. (Daily bike miles 65.2 miles; Total Miles 3821.4) 

Thursday, Day 68, August 4, 1988
In Port Angeles, I put my biking gear in a locker at the bus terminal and then cycled from sea level to Hurricane Ridge (5320 vertical feet in 18 miles) at the Olympic National Park. I saw a deer under a building at the top of Hurricane ridge. It was a clear day and 7000-foot snow-covered mountains surrounded me. That night, I camped on a closed road near Lake Crescent. (Daily bike miles 57.9 miles; Total Miles 3879.3)

Friday, Day 69, August 5, 1988
Luckily I didn't receive any of the 140 inches of annual rain while cycling through the Hoh Rain Forest. The road to the visitor's center is like a tunnel of trees with moss that hangs up to 5 feet from the branches. I stopped at a large Sitka spruce and a sign said it was 270 feet tall, 12.5 feet in diameter and 500-550 years old. The average height of these trees is 220 feet. I slept on the side of the road in a bed of spongy moss. (Daily bike miles 100.9 miles; Total Miles 3980.2)

Saturday, Day 70, August 6, 1988
I stopped at a large cedar tree and it took me 47 paces to walk around the tree. The road to Aberdeen followed a graceful 11-mile sandy beach. It was an airy morning with a light fog and rock pinnacles protruded like shadows from the ocean. At 10:41 AM my bike odometer registered 4000 miles since I left Durango, Colorado. That night, I slept about 10 miles east of Aberdeen in bushes near a cemetery (Montesano, Washington). (Daily bike miles 95.9 miles; Total Miles 4076.1)

Sunday, Day 71, August 7, 1988
I fought traffic all the way to Bremerton, Washington where I caught a ferry to Seattle. When I arrived in Seattle I called my Albuquerque roommate's (Connor was my roommateís name) cousin and asked them if I could stay at their place. The guy was asking me questions about Connor, Connorís brother and mother. Then he came and picked me up. Before I left Albuquerque Connor told me I could look up his cousin in Seattle and stay with them. I assumed that Connor told them that I might show up, but I found out that his cousin did not know and that is why he asked me all the questions about Connor. I ended up stayed with Connorís cousin while I was in Seattle. (Daily bike miles 77.8 miles; Total Miles 4153.9)

Monday, Day 72, August 8, 1988
In Seattle, I went to Pike's Market, the Space Needle, and cycled Washington Lake Boulevard to Seward Park. (Estimated Daily bike miles 46.1 miles; I did not record the exact miles, estimated total Miles 4200)

Tuesday, Day 73, August 9, 1988
I took a Grayline bus tour to Mount Rainier National Park. The bus stopped for two hours at the visitor's center. I saw a sign that said, "ice caves" 5-hour round trip. I was so anxious to see them that I ran the whole way in 1.5 hours. The Ice caves had translucent blue ice and were one of the neatest natural formations I saw on my entire trip (I returned to Mount Rainier National Forest about 11 years later to find the ice caves had melted). Back at the visitor's center I noticed a sign saying that a record snowfall of 1,122 inches was set in the winter of 1971-72. (Estimated Daily bike miles 35.3 miles; I did not record the exact miles, estimated total Miles 4235.3)

Wednesday, Day 74, August 10, 1988
On my last day I took a Grayline bus tour to the Boeing plant in Everett. The building where 747s are built is the largest structure by volume in the world. The cost of a 747 is between 80-125 million dollars. That night I boarded an airplane for Albuquerque and my trip ended! (Estimated Daily bike miles 0 miles; Total Miles 4235.3)