Day 14

August 9, 2008 – Day  14:  Layover Day

Iditarod, 2003
Iditarod, 2003

The day was ugly, stormy grey skies and steady light rain. As I stood there, looking out of my hotel window, I couldn’t help but notice the light pounding in my head.  I must have some Advil around here somewhere. Oh ya; it’s in the first aid kit with the bike.  I could grab some on the way to breakfast.  As I sat there eating, staring at the stool I had been sitting at the night before, I noticed Lisa, the nice young woman tending bar the night before.  I must have slept a little longer than I thought.  Lisa came over to check on my condition and to confirm I didn’t do anything stupid the night before.   She took my order and asked me what I had planned for the day.  I told her I was planning on getting some images of the pipeline but the rain is causing me to rethink the issue.  She informed me it was about 1 ½ hour’s ride from here and forecast calls for rain all day, heavy at times.  She smiled and went to place my order.  Two things I had learned on this trip, two being a relative term, I had learned more things on this trip than most of my other trips put together, The weather service, thus far, has a excellent record, and the phrase, “rain, heavy at times,”  is a relative term eluding to heavier than normal.

Chena River, From the Patio
Chena River, From the Patio

Lisa returned with my meal and as I sat there eating I gazed at the rain through the windows.   I decided to stay local and take care of a couple of items on my list. I finished my breakfast and walked out to the parking lot to check the bike, might as well power down a couple of more Advil as long as I’m here.  As I looked up towards the dark grey sky I decided to ride out to find some cigars before the rain got any worse.  After finding a nice box of Arturo Fuentes’s at the local tobacco shop I headed back towards the hotel.

Enjoying Life on the Patio of Pike's Waterfront Lodge
Enjoying Life on the Patio of Pike’s Waterfront Lodge

I had seen the sign on the way out and as I pulled off the off ramp, and the road ended, I saw it again, “Harley -Davidson Farthest North Outpost.”  I rode through the ruts, and pot holes, and parked next to a sweet little ridged Bar Hopper.  Gotta be some kind of joke, what person in his or her right mind would ride something like that up here?   I went inside and picked out a shirt.  As I was paying for it I noticed a kid, studded from head to boot, getting close with a young woman trying to do her job.  I figured the kid for the little Bar-Hopper immediately.  As I rode back to the hotel, I thought of the kid with the Bar-Hopper, and it made me think back to my early years and that sweet little ridged I had, I wondered whatever might have happened to the machine and where it might be now.

Cabins at Pike's Waterfront Lodge
Cabins at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge

Back at the hotel, I took a nice nap and then set out to grab what few shots I could before the rain chased me back inside.  I had an early dinner, cleaned and inventoried my gear and called it a night.  Tomorrow I would head to Denali.

Chena River at Midnight
Chena River at Midnight

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