Highlights – Florida to Alaska
Cool Things I Did/Saw – Rode a bicycle 6,900 miles from Florida to Alaska :), saw the Gateway Arch, rode across the Chain of Rocks Bridge, rode on the Katy Trail, went to Wounded Knee, rode through Badlands National Park, rode up to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, saw the Crazy Horse Memorial, visited the city of Custer, stayed in Sundance, camped at Devil’s Tower National Monument, rode through Yellowstone National Park, camped at the Columbia Icefields, rode across the Denali Highway and I visited the place I always wanted to go, Denali National Park.
Best Memory – Okreek, SD. An unexpected dinner brought over by the nicest Indian woman.
Worst Memory – Had some tough days in Alberta with the wind and the hills. A kink in my neck also added to the misery.
Favorite Place – Yellowstone. The weather wasn’t entirely cooperative but it’s still my favorite place in North America.
Least Favorite Place – Southern Georgia. Not sure what’s wrong with people here.
Best Scenery – The 3 days (without rain!) on the Denali Highway provided some stunning views of the mountain ranges and the Alaskan tundra.
Favorite Name for Town/City – Box Elder, SD; Destruction Bay, YT ; Sleepy Hollow, WY.
Cleanest Place – Canada. Virtually no garbage along the roads and the towns were all very clean.
Dirtiest Place – Southern Georgia. Litter everywhere along the roads.
Best Drivers – Truckers. Considering how many 18-wheelers passed me these guys win hands down. 99% of them moved far enough over to pose no risk. 50% went right into the other lane if they could.
Worst Drivers – Guys driving pickups and towing boats. Montana was the worst for this. They would run down their own Mother if she kept them from getting to the lake. #2 worst drivers are guys driving pickups and not towing anything. They like to speed past and not move over, yell or flip you off. Southern Georgia was the worst for this.
Scariest Moment – Brownville, NE. Thought a tornado was about to blow me into the Missouri River.
Biggest Annoyance – Train horns.
Most Frustrating Event – Getting my ATM card number stolen. No one should ever have to go through this.
Strangest Sight – Definitely the dozen rotting catfish heads and carcasses I saw hanging from a fence.
Funniest Memory – This was tough but the barking sheep cracked me up pretty good.
Best Campsite – Toad River Lodge, BC. This place had everything including moose in the lake right behind the campground.
Most Looked Forward To – Seeing my family along the way!
Biggest Disappointment – No remote areas left. Not once did I encounter an area where there wasn’t some kind of development or where cars weren’t passing me on a regular basis. A close second was finally getting to Denali and having it rain/snow the whole time I was in the park. Visibility was extremely poor so opportunities to see what I knew to be stunning scenery was missed out on.
Friendliest People – South Dakota and Alberta win this one. Many waves and everyone I talked to was extremely friendly.
Least Friendliest People – Canton, GA. Was flipped off and yelled at several times riding through the city. Most of Georgia wasn’t much better.
Hardest Hill – Mount Rushmore, SD. That was one heck of a grade near the top.
Biggest Tumble – Motel in Wasa, BC. The shower sand blasted me so hard I fell in the tub!
Worst Weather – Boonville, MO. This day was the worst of several days riding on the Katy Trail. Closest I came to getting hypothermia.
Windiest Place – Pretty much all of South Dakota. I think this was the only time I took a day off just because of the wind.
Favorite Food – Subway. A loaded BLT, chips and all-you-can drink Coke for $5 (in the US)!
Favorite Snack – Gummie bears.
Favorite Dessert – Huckleberry anything.
Favorite Drink – Beer. Favorite beer so far has been Kokanee (brewed in British Columbia, Canada).
Most Miles in One Day – 112.42 miles (Tok, AK to Delta Junction, AK)
Highest Elevation – 9078 feet (Big Horn Mountains, WY)
Greatest One Day Ascent – 4018 feet (Dayton, WY to Prune Creek Campground, WY)
Top Speed – 43 mph (White Cloud, KS to Brownville, NE)
Most Severe Injury – Achilles Tendon. Had to spend 4 days in a motel resting and the next couple weeks taking it easy on the miles.
Area Most Prone to Injury – My butt. It’s the first thing to remind me if I’ve been on the road too much that day/week.
Tires Replaced – 3 rear (2 Continental TravelContact failed, 1 Continental Touring Plus failed). Currently using Schwalbe Marathon Plus. 0 front (still using original Continental TravelContact I left Florida with).
Items Repaired/Replaced – Phil Wood Touring Hub rear [fail @1105 miles], rear brake pads [wear @3911 miles], Shimano chain [wear @5769 miles], rear Shimano XT cassette [wear @5769 miles], small/middle Shimano XT chain rings [wear @5769 miles] & Phil Wood Touring Hub rear [wear @6396].
Most Thankful I Brought – Good rain gear. Without it I would have had many bad days.
Wish I Had Brought (earlier) – A mosquito shelter so I could eat/cook without being eating alive.
Wish I Never Brought – My 9mm gun. Left Florida with it and ended up selling it in Cookeville, TN. Not once on my entire trip have I regretted selling it.
Best Buy – The Ortleib Hip Pack I use to carry my Canon DSLR camera. Its kept my camera/lens completely dry through many, many wet days.