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Alaska 2006

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Journal for 30-Aug : Iskut (or there abouts)

Ferry got in at 12:15am. It was as close to darkness as it gets at this time of year here. A faint glow could be seen to the north, and there was enough twilight in the sky to ensure no stars were visible, just Venus.

Visby extraordinarily pretty at night, thanks to orangy street lighting.

Found the bike track north out of town, eventually. It's start was obliterated by new construction work.

Picked up a bit of speed with the tailwind behind me, then very nearly crashed as the bitumen suddenly turned into loose sandy gravel. Back on the road i cycled past the campground (I'm running out of Swedish currency, and Swedish campgrounds are a ripoff at the best of times) and found a slightly sheltered, slightly obscured from the road and bike track, spot to "camp". I lay my bike down flat, my groundsheet over the rocky, pebbly beach and the tarp over all of us and grabbed a few hours sleep.

After cooking a nice hot breakfast on the beach, I packed up and rolled into town. Tried to call home, but the phone ate my coins. Found another phone, and for $2 got to speak to Linda for 20 seconds :-(.

Did some shopping and did a tour around Visby's wall. Visby has an "old city" centre guarded by a 3m high stone wall. Quite pretty I suppose, but really an overblown tourist trap for mine.

I bought my ferry ticket to Stockholm. Discovered all the $$$s on my phone already gone.

Spent some time at the internet café, discovered that on Friday, the day I was planning to travel to Finland, all the prices are doubled. Also got the news on how anal the Swedes are about bikes on trains. I really hope I don't have to ride the 60ks from the ferry port into Stockholm city. I shouldn't have to, but then I've only got the English language version of their web site to go on.

Checked into the campground. AUD30. I kind of expected a bit of ripoff pricing, but even though it looked ok from the outside, it turned out to be a weedy unmaintained dump.

It was another AUD10 to use the washing machine, which I passed on because I wouldn't have enough money for train fare if I spent that much. Spent the afternoon hand washing my dirty socks and cycling clothes.

Had a snooze, and while I was out of it, the sun came out and brightened things up. As I was waking I was wondering where I was and why I was there. I've since worked out where I am.

Got set to go early, but start delayed by more f'ing rain. Tried to wait for it to stop, but it didn't. Only light drizzley stuff.

More fantastic cycling up the beautiful Dease River valley.

Saw what I think (light was poor and my glasses were a bit fogged up) was a female Lynx with three kittens. It certainly walked like a cat, and was bigger than a house car but smaller than a mountain lion.

30ks of dirt road very hilly and very difficult where it was freshly graded, or needed to be. About half was pretty good when I could pick my own line, but the incessant RV traffic buggered that up. A lot of it was wet and slippery, or water damaged from the recent rain. Let out a big "woo hoo" when the bitumen resumed.

So uninspired by Dease Lake town that I'm glad I had my rest day at Moose meadows. Did the shopping, bought a big cooked lunch, then got back on the road.

10ks of straight climbing just out of DL. "Gnat bight summit" at 1241m the top, though it seemed higher. Fresh snow on surrounding peaks. Passed by locals in cars reaking of cannabis.

Great fun riding down a sub-alpine valley. Fun ended as abruptly as the bitumen.

Massive down and up on dirt over the Stikine river.

Totally buggered (over 1200m of climbing today, most on gravel.

Wussed out and hired a cabin for the night.

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