After getting all my stuff together and saying my thanks and goodbye to Jen, I headed out of town at about 2pm. Jen was nice enough to agree to hold some stuff for me until I get back to Fairbanks so I didn't have to send anything home just yet.
I got about 5 miles out and chose what I thought to be a good spot to hitch a ride. After about an hour, no luck. So I got on the bike and jammed down to the turn off to Fox. I waited there and refused the first guy because he was only going 11 miles. The long wait until the next person to stop gave me enough time to regret turning down the first! But then I was picked up by Phil. He was nice and talkative and the ride was over quickly. One thing I remembered from that conversation was his bear warnings. He told me to sprinkle pepper around my campsite to ward off a nosey bear. Hmm. I rode a bit further and stopped at a small bridge over a creek. A few cars later, Luke stopped to pick me up. He took me 30-40 miles before dropping me off near a river he planned to fish on. After that, traffic was pretty scarce so I started pedaling. I did about 20-25 miles of ups and down. The scenery was beautiful but the mosquitoes were horrendous. I got a flat tire and had to fix it in a swarm. My tube had ripped near the valve so I had to replace the tube with a new one.
I arrived at the North Country Mercantile around 10:30pm (Keep in mind, it doesn't get dark in Alaska at this time), got some snacks and asked if I could pitch my tent in the area. The owner gave me the Ok and I set up quickly to avoid any more blood loss to those nasty skeeters. (35 miles)