You click into first and pull away. You have 20 tunes lined up on your MP3 player. Fifty miles into the dirt road leaves you with 40 more to go to the small town and gas station. The sun is blazing down, very few other people are on the road. The road starts to climb from the valley full of Spruce trees towards Eagle Summit Pass, the highest point on the road. The scenery and sky is getting bigger and bigger as you leave the tree line behind. When you arrive at the summit the vista is too good just to ride through so you stop to take it in, thinking of the cold beer you will have when you reach the town. Have you started packing your bags yet to come and join me? Only 400 quid for a one way ticket!
I arrived in the town I was headed for, Central after a blast to go see the Yukon River again. Hit the 1 bar in town, as this was the place to get the lowdown on things from the locals. Ended up being offered a room in a closed down hotel with a real bed in it. Offer too good to refuse and an excellent chance to meet the locals and find out what Central was all about. Even thought the bar was closed it was still a meeting point for lots of folks. In Central the only legit way to earn a crust is goldmining, and this bears no resemblance to a man by a stream sifting the contents of a bucket. We are talking BIG machinery to dig and shift dirt. Ron who adopted me for my stay in the town took me to see how it was done. 12 hours a day in a digger aint my idea of fun but it makes money. On our way back from the mine we went and played with some toys. I had selected 3 out of the 25+ guns in Rons cabin and I was off fulfilling my Clint Eastwood aspirations again. Good fun but wouldn't want to get to the point of sleeping with my gun like these guys do. I can think of a lot better things to share my bed with!
Posted by Peter Slarke at July 26, 2003 02:59 AM GMT
I hung out in town for 5 days, and then decided to hit the raod to go south. Central is the most isolated non-native community up here and it has a lawless feel to it. No Cops for 125 miles and 1 road in. These guys are tough cos you have to be to make it there. They were however super hospitable. Would recomend anyone goes there, if you do go find Ron X and then enjoy your stay.
Back in Fairbanks I got adopted yet again by Arron and Treena. They had just been to Sth America in a 4WD. Great to be fed a real meal and get the lowdown on the road south. Folk over here have really surprissed me with their hospitality and interest in strangers. Wouldnt/doesnt happen like that back in good old blighty I am sorry to say.
Back in Anchorage I hooked up with a Pom who had just climbed Denali and in my new mode of transport, a Subaru sports car (courtesy of my saviour Chuck) we cruised down to the Kenai River for 3 days of Sport Fishing. I have read that it is an activity that is wholesome and ideologically correct for vegetarians to partake in. Anyway stuff your morals, the chance of catching and eating a monster Alaskan Salmon was too good to miss. The first evening resulted in no salmon but we did see a big Grisly Bear feed straight across the river from us. Very cool to say the least. The rest of the trip resulted in us landing about 35 fish between us, three of which we kept to eat. These fish are not small by any count, most are over a foot long and average weight is about 8-10 pounds. They put up one hell of a fight on the line which of course morally I didn't enjoy one bit! I then cruised back to Girdwood for a very exciting event, yup I went and picked Jess up at the airport. For six weeks I have the company of the other half, and she gets the pleasure of sharing the arse numbing seat of my bike.
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