Day 23: Fish Creek Bridge

Overcast & RainIt poured down rain all last night and is continuing to rain again today; thank goodness I pitched my tent on a high spot. Who would have thunk, based on the weather yesterday, that another weather storm would come in during the the night.

Tom came out of his tent for a few minutes.  After a brief discussion, we decided to burn another day here and let the rain subside. This was a fine idea with me as I still feel very tired and somewhat unsettled. The Exped UL air mattress is very comfortable and my Eureka sleeping bag sure does its job, but recently I have not been feeling rested in the mornings.

It is 60 miles to the Yukon Crossing Campground, and about 50 miles to the Outpost Cafe. Finger Rock Mountain and Beaver Slide, staring us right up the road must be crossed first. Last year we did our riding early in the morning  and tried to find a place to stay by early afternoon in order to minimize riding in the late afternoon heat. We are going back to that routine. Now, watch, tomorrow will be cool and calm. Oh, well, you can’t win them all.

Menno LeavingMenno, our friend from the Netherlands, decided to move on. I feel bad for him because the mosquitoes and chiggers (I am guessing) have really gotten to him. His back, butt, and legs look absolutely terrible. I am not sure that I have ever seen a reaction that bad on anyone. He has been using Deet spray and wipes, but for some reason it hasn’t worked well for him. He is hoping to make it the 60 miles to Yukon Crossing today and see if they have some other solution. As he put it, ‘The bites are really taking the joy out of my trip. I couldn’t even eat supper last night I felt so bad.’ I wish him luck on his trip and  hope something will help him out.

On a trip like this people come into your life, and they leave your life. Hopefully the interaction leaves both a little better off. Every person I meet leaves me with thoughts, ideas, and grateful appreciation for their dropping into my life. One constant in our life out here is the road; it seems to go on forever, always with us and always behind us. In front the road beckons to new adventures yet fulfilled. In back, the road leads to memories of things already seen and people already met.

Deet seems to work better than a product made by Shaklee that was given to me by a friend. Both products don’t seem to last very well once you start to sweat while bicycling. You can always tell when the effectiveness is gone by the number of mosquitoes starting to land on you, particularly the knees. Wonder what people did before there were chemical repellents?

One corner of my sewing job on the netting came loose so I spent an hour redoing it. Those little flying bloodmobiles seem to infiltrate any little opening. I will need to purchase additional thread when in Fairbanks.

It is really quite pretty looking out my tent at the various types of trees, and moss, and lichen. The rain and overcast skies give everything a much softer look. I just unzipped the tent opening 4” to take a picture of the forest and 6 little suckers made it in. The first, I mean very first, thing I do when crawling in and zipping up my tent is go on mosquito patrol. I have found that trapping them between my hand and the netting then wiping my hand down usually does the trick, even though it often leaves a small bloody trail in its wake.

Back to my book. At the moment I am reading ‘Quarry’ by Max Allan Collins. It is about a contract hit man, and the style is similar to the old fashioned pot boilers from the 30s and 40s.

Until later . . . . .

Well, I finished my book and got in a nice afternoon nap: about 4.5 hours worth. I would still be sleeping if it hadn’t been for a young couple with a dog that came wandering through the camping area. They parked their car back by the bridge and were doing a little exploring, I guess.

I have now started ‘Quarry’s List’, the followup to the previous book. It was either that or ‘The Origins of Totalitarianism’ by Hannah Arendt. The lighter read about the further adventures of a contract hit man seemed the more appealing.

Swollen Fish RiverDinner time: the high point of the day. I decided on Chicken & Noodles, with tea and raspberry crumbles for dessert. In these types of situations the pouch meal system is really quite handy. But first, I had to exit my cocoon to refill the water bottles; Fish Creek is probably a foot or two higher than it was yesterday. I am able to move things aside and fix/eat the meal inside my tent. Unfortunately I will have to exit said tent and enter the real world of mosquitoes in order to put my bear barrel away for the night. So far we have not seen any evidence (scat or tracks) of bears around here but I don’t want to tempt them by having food where I am sleeping.

I think if you are doing a ride like this you must enjoy solitude, or as my dear sainted mother use to say, ‘I like people, but I also enjoy myself.’ Even though you travel with someone else I believe you need to enjoy being with yourself. You cannot talk forever, at some point you must let the silence of the ride creep in and go with the flow. I feel lucky that the sounds of silence are so enticing to me.

Talk at ya’ tomorrow . . . . . sleep tight and don’t let them bed bugs bite . . . . .

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