By the numbers:
Depart Haines July 25
Depart Prince Rupert July 29
Arrive San Francisco: September 5
Distance Pedaled: 3,370 km (2,150 miles)
Total Climbing: 14,020 m (46,000 ft)
Biggest single day distance: 238 km (148 Miles)
Most climbing in one day: 3167 m (10397 ft)
Number of punctured tubes: 8 (+/-1)
Number of new tires purchased: 2
Dollars spent: $1650
Ferry Ticket: $214
Bicycle Repair/improvement: $250 (+/-50)
Pedal revolutions: 1 million
Shortest Day: -15 miles (I did go backwards one day!)
Injuries: scraped hip, stubbed toe, sun burn
Jars of peanut butter consumed: 15 (+/-2)
Calories of peanut butter consumed: 30,000 (+/-4,000)
Jet boil fuel consumed: 450 grams
Items lost: Jet Boil bottom cover, Jet Boil gas mesh, 1 sock, two rear view mirrors
Link to approximate route map: Bicycle directions Prince Rupert to San Francisco
A few reflections:
I remember a different life I had two long months ago...I was climbing mountains, painting houses, and generally playing. Then I spent three days on a ferry writing, reading and remembering. I clambered in an ice cave, tied my food in trees, and slept under the stars a half day's ride from anyone. It was hot and sunny and I was sunburned. I met crazy people: a guy named Chandler going to name a mountain, an Egyptian-Italian man who couldn't stop talking, and a stranger who gave me a popsicle. I pedaled 150 miles in one day over a mountain range when it was 90 degrees, and spent two nights hosted by a single mom with a one year old. I visited friends and relatives for four days then was sick for two. I became friends with other tourists at campgrounds in Oregon, then left them to spend time in the Redwoods and on the Lost Cost. I pedaled four days with three strangers, and know them better now than some people I've been acquainted with for years. And finally, I arrived in San Francisco and caught a ride to school.
Wow. I guess a lot of stuff happened.
Now I'm clean, have new clothes, and spend my days reading (but academic papers instead of the novel I read on the ferry) and getting ready for class and research work to start. Quite a contrast! It's a good thing I got so much exercise; I can stand to spend time at a desk now.
|And here begins the next chapter of life.|
I'm glad I did this trip. San Francisco doesn't seem as far from Alaska as it used to, now that I've seen how it's all connected. Arriving in new places by jet always seems so shocking; as though the place you left and the place you reached are only connected through the magic of a machine. I enjoyed seeing the big evergreen trees of Haines imperceptively give way to the smaller, deciduous trees of Washington, and those ultimately give in to the tall redwoods and smelly eucalyptus of California. And more importantly, it was fun! Fun to meet people, fun to spend my days pedaling, and fun to have an adventure.
That said, I don't think I'll do another solo bike trip. There were too many times that I wanted to say "look at that!" or to hear someone else say "Hey, let's do this!" I enjoyed the freedom and spontaneity of traveling alone, but I look forward to having friends on future adventures.
And with that I'm signing off... I hope you enjoyed the story.