I finally got my package that I'd been waiting for. The last couple of days I have been getting my stuff together for some more riding. I plan to take off tomorrow. I'll be trying to hit up the bike store for a chain whip and some extra spokes before I leave as well.
Yesterday the sun came out and brightened up Fairbanks in a way that one possibly couldn't remain inside. Gideon and I went out in the parking lot and threw around the frisbee. I chatted with some young guys from Beaver Sports who were out in the parking lot with their bikes doing Free Riding stunts on just about anything they could hop on. I asked them about this unique style of mountainbiking, as it was pretty cool to watch. I don't think I could subject my bike to that much punishment however. They informed me that this hobby can get pretty expensive since you tend to bang up important parts of your bike when you don't quite get the bike up high enough, miss some railing and fall, or lose balance and crash.
Last night (7.7) I had some interesting conversations with some other hostel folk. Bob, a 61 year old from St. Louis has lots to share about his travels. He was here visiting his daughter who seemed to be planting her roots down here in Fairbanks, at least for the summer. Conan, not exactly a guest at the hostel, but a regular downstairs at the Marlin came by and we chatted about the idea of managing a hostel. He is a very interesting guy and has worked a variety of odd jobs around here to get by. He even pissed himself for some UK dudes to earn a little cash to start paying off his bar tab.
I started to get the idea that many young people come up here to Alaska to be in an environment where people are very giving and it is pretty easy to find a couch to crash on somewhere. These parts of Alaska seem to be overall hospitable (at least in the summer) and full of kind and welcoming people from all walks of life. The people around here are just as unique as this great and vast land, and this to me seems to be part of the charm of Alaska.
I got a few more things from the grocery store as I am starting to figure out my food needs on the road. Tuna is ok, as long as I can dress it up with mayo and other spices, mac and cheese, dehydrated soups work well, and I like granola bars and an occasional expensive clif bar to fill in as snacks in between.
I am really looking forward to hitting pavement on this next stretch to Tok. It will be nice having some smooth road to get the legs back in gear after so many days of rest. From what I hear, its relatively flat as well.
It shouldn't be too hard saying goodbye to Fairbanks. I've spent more time here than I wanted, but got much accomplished. Now I am ready for the road ahead! (8 miles)