30 June 2009

Fairbanks, Day One

We arrived in Fairbanks at noon and went to the U of A and checked into the dorm room I reserved last month. It's a typical dorm room set up for two students, small and efficient, with two identical sets of furniture. The room is spotless in sharp contrast to the last few nights' motel rooms.

We are on a womens floor which means that I must use bath facilities on a different floor. Signs warn against the use of alchohol in dorm rooms, so I smuggled in a bottle of wine. Since I'm staying in a room on the womens floor, I went for the full college reinactment and bought wine that has a screw-off top. I looked for a bottle of MD 20/20 but couldn't find one. We're in the dorm room drinking wine out of plastic cups and nibbling on cheese and crackers. At 60. Heh.

It turns out that we aren't the only motorcyclists staying here. There are two guys from South Carolina who are on a mission to see how quickly they can make it from home to the Arctic Ocean and back; a guy from St Louis who is spending all summer riding gravel roads in Alaska and the Yukon, planning to head home when winter approaches.

There is also a lovely Brit couple stating here. They are on a serious adventure. They shipped their bike from the UK to Anchorage and plan to ride from the northernmost point in Alaska to the southernmostpoint in South America. They are stuck here for a couple of weeks because they crashed on the gravel road coming back from Prudhoe Bay. Neither was injured, bit their bike was damaged. Two weeks have been spent dealing with insurance, ordering parts, etc. They are frustrated, the dealer is frustrated and tempers are flaring.

I am writing this at 9:30 PM local time. It is as warm and sunny as it was at noon. There are college kids tanning themselves on the lawn.

The sun doesn't set during summer. It's messing me up a bit. I woke up at 12:45 AM this morning convinced that it was 6:00 AM and time to get going. The television guide showed that it was 12:45 and I was certain that the television was wrong. It took some convincing from Mary to end my confusion and I didn't fall back asleep.

You'd think Alaskans would be happy with long hours of sunlight. Maybe not. The local newspaper has been running articles about a depressive disorder caused by too many daylight hours in summer. Sounds crazy, no?

Tomorrow is a non riding day. We're going to visit a couple of museums, a botanical garden, and the university's Center For Energy Efficient Housing. And the bike needs a good washing, and we need to do laundry.

How are things with you?


  1. I have been reading of your adventures with keen interest because my husband is helping our son drive their cars from Ohio to Anchorage (Elmendorf AFB) starting July 27th. Daughter-in-law and 2 year old grandbaby will fly up. I drool over the cooler temps. 105 here in Dallas today.

  2. As i read your posts, i'm having serious flashbacks from the 1970's when I lived i Alaska for a year. It's quite a place. I lived in Murphy Dome, about 20 miles (if I remember correctly) north of Fairbanks. I was a civilian employee with the U.S. Air Force. I didn't have transportation, so I was stuck on "the hill" for long periods of time. But, Alaska is so beautiful In 1971 I visited an uncle who lived there for many years. I'm enjoying reading about your adventures. Good luck!


Add to the topic and be entertaining. No trolling, insults or spamming.