August 9, 2008 – Day 14: Layover Day
- 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
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
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
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