.....The BiKeWriTer

Last minute frenzy – Plane departs Friday 6:10 p.m.

Tying up loose ends.

                         Helpful directions from experienced Alaskan traveler Shirley Schoenike

I am TOTALLY amazed how many people are already following the tour. My phone has been ringing off the hook with well wishes and prayers.

Mostly prayers and mostly prayers about bears. Which sounds very Dr. Seuss, I know.

I spent a majority of the afternoon with my neighbors Jack and Shirley Schoenike. I didn’t know they lived down the road – they heard about the tour and sought me out. They’ve been to Alaska about a half-dozen time and invited me over to map.

Shirley suggested I set aside five hours – we got it done in three.

I envy their tours, just a little bit. They’re not bikers but lean towards a luxury motor home.

Jack drives and Shirley has ninja-like mapping skills. Her Milepost was missing the back cover, had notes between the columns and scribbled on large bodies of water, and red-and-orange circles highlighted some memorable attractions. See below.

The couple set me up with eight pages of typed instructions outlining the areas I would likely visit. The notes were specific, color coded with red-pen asterisks and yellow highlighted sentences, and more handwritten notes in the margin.

Homer – Salty Dawg Saloon (interesting)  or Centennial Park – $25 showers and flush toilets  or  Whittier Tunnel – ***NO BIKES*** (Tunnel Manager M-F 907-472-2584)

Shirley was connected – – she could seriously sell these Cliff Notes on Amazon!

While it’s been a hot mad-dash scramble this past week things are pretty much on course. My friends have been checking in expressing concern about my packing skills, my timeline and my sanity.

In a T-minus-24-hours-til-liftoff conversation with my mother she appears confident to hold down the fort. She had no questions other than to tell me my lawn looks shaggy, I should really cut it before I go and do I ever plan to finish painting my front porch?

This from the woman who would wipe the drops out of the sink before she went on vacation.

My good friend Lisa took the day off work Friday just to take me to the airport. We’re leaving between noon and 1 p.m.

My flight leaves at 6:10 p.m.  I know, eye roll, who would have EVER pegged me for a nervous traveler.

The correct answer is nobody.

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