June 25, 2003 GMT
The Start Of The Adventure

I have run into some incredible luck in the name if Chuck Manley, a local, who has loaned me a motorcycle and given me info on all the prime off/on road routes. For the last week I have been checking out south of Anchorage. The landscape is stunning, like the European Alps on a big dose of steroids. There are more glaciers and rugged mountains than you can wave a stick at.

First and foremost beware the shipping company Frontier Forwarding, my bike has been delayed, has incurred much cost (the original 920 pounds plus 460us so far)and hassle due to their incompetence. To offset this I have run into some incredible luck in the name of Chuck Manley (listed in the communities section), a local, who has loaned me a motorcycle and given me info on all the prime off/on road routes.

So for the last week I have been checking out south of Anchorage. The landscape is stunning, like the European Alps on a big dose of steroids. There are more glaciers and rugged mountains than you can wave a stick at. I dont think I could ever tire of this sort of landscape. The downside is if you dont employ the correct precautions you could lose a pint of blood every ten minutes to the mosquitoes which live here in the billions. Be warned.

The ferry from Whittier to Valdez is a must do if you like bays full of icebergs and a two mile wide head of a calving glacier. Plenty of Eagles, Sea Lions, Dolphins...but sadly no Whales. The road from Chatina to McCarty (65 miles of dirt) is well worth it. A good introduction to the dirt roads of the north. It has it all, washboard, potholes, fast driving locals and a top surface that at times is like riding on ball bearings. Add to that my fist spotting of a big Moose with a full head of horns but as yet no bears. An old mine called Kennicut is at the end which still has most of the buildings standing. The National Park McCarthy is in has heaps of stunning scenery and wildlife, if you can take your eyes off the road long enough to look at it. Concentration is definately needed if you are new to this sort of riding as I am. The road carries on but this early into my trip, on a borrowed bike I am not yet brave enough.

Back to Girdwood now and hopefully my own bike, then up north as far as the road goes, Prudhoe Bay. Have word that some bikes are headed up north also planning to get to Prudhoe so will try to seek out some company for the ride.

Posted by Peter Slarke at June 25, 2003 12:33 AM GMT

glad u got a start mate. head north young man, head north!

Posted by: glen casson on June 26, 2003 08:18 AM GMT

great to hear from you and see that your trip has got off to a great start. i'm so jealous!! have a fab time

Posted by: lisa on June 26, 2003 09:05 AM GMT

go ozman!!! keep an eye on those mooses, they can be a bit frisky. take care of yourself and may the lord bless and protect every little step of your way.;-)

Posted by: Matt on June 27, 2003 05:09 PM GMT

Fantastic to hear from you OZ mike and I will mail you soon and bore you with DIY stories!!! Your trip sounds fantastic.

Posted by: Jen on June 27, 2003 11:36 PM GMT

Hi Oz, Sorry you had frustrating delay but at least your'e getting some practise in! What no bears yet after all that chat. We are signed up now so keep the reports coming in. U take care - we are all siitting pillion u know. Jess is fine.

Posted by: David & Deborah on June 30, 2003 10:04 PM GMT

Eventually logged into your website. Having a few problems with logging in at home. Getting them sorted though. See your getting popular already. Hope the bikes arrived and your ready to head north. Cant wait tio see you only three weeks to go. xxxxxx me

Posted by: jess hartridge on July 1, 2003 12:42 PM GMT

wow! sounds great! I'm just dictating what u have written to Caleb (brother) who was apparently in the same spot as u a while ago now, unfortunatly not on a bike though! e-mailed u, take care on the borrowed bike and bet you'll b pleased 2 get ur own back! M

Posted by: miriam on July 1, 2003 05:58 PM GMT

Awesome mate, glad to here you are on your way despite the cockups. Scenery and wildlife sound fantastic, hope you are getting some good photos. Moose always make me laugh :)

Posted by: Mark on July 1, 2003 06:02 PM GMT

Yo Oz, glad to hear things are starting to happen, never trust a shipping agent, I should know. Anyway, starting to enjoy trad climbing so may end up in Yosemite in Sept for that big wall yet! Take it easy mate. D

Posted by: Dave O on July 3, 2003 08:12 AM GMT

right all logged in.... and where are you... haven't heard from you since approximately 12.33 am on June 25, 2003 GMT have you eloped with a moose? oh no, Jess doesn't arrive for another 2 weeks... better add a '!' in case she reads this xxx

Posted by: annie on July 4, 2003 05:13 PM GMT

finally got access to your site - lots of hassle with work getting access. Glad to see all went well initially hope your on your own bike now. scenery sounds awesome. I know you have a long and varied experiance with mooses going back years but you know dipp shit about bears so take it easy !! Keep on trucking - Adrian

Posted by: Adrian on July 7, 2003 11:31 AM GMT

hiya oz, you jammy bastard, alaske to patagonia sounds like a bitch of a ride.

Posted by: jonny on July 16, 2003 05:22 AM GMT

hi guys hope you're having a fab trip and glad you arrived safely jess, any blisters on your bottom yet?!
very IMPORTANT NEWS Lucy's getting married on the SATURDAY 30 AUGUST @ 2pm and she want's you home for it!!! it's a bit of a bummer for neil and suzze as jackie and adrian get married on the same day! anyway hope you can make it we'll all rally round to make sure you can including getting an outfit, I know you'll be very attached to those trousers you've been wearing for the last 6 weeks, might have to soak them off, Lucy's number's 01462 451370 - let me know anyway hun, Oz drive safely as alway! lots of love annie XXXXXX

Posted by: Annie on July 24, 2003 05:50 PM GMT


Let me know if you are going to be up for a beer, shoot the breeze Vancouver way around Sep, I'll be there late sep I reckon. Currently working my way accross from the East Coast of Canada, in Toronto today.

Cheers and ride safe,


Posted by: Brian Coles on August 27, 2003 12:15 AM GMT

Hope you got a bike o.k Jess. Will log on soon, Good luck.

Posted by: Joan on July 29, 2004 10:47 AM GMT
Sorry, due to heavy form spamming, Comments are OFF.

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