.....The BiKeWriTeR

13 days and counting until Alaska tour

                               Historic Russian Orthodox Church in Ninilchik, AK
                                            Photo credit to alaska-travel.net

Getting into crunch time as the tour is just a couple weeks away. I’m rushing to complete last minute arrangements such as secure a correct pin number for my ATM-debit card, craft a bike box, track down a TSA-approved lock, complete a cheat sheet for team back home, etc.

Last weekend I graduated H6 and H7 handgun training at Personal Protection Academy. I feel very confident thanks to instructor Michael Bender and his meticulous training.

This week I’m pretending I leave on Friday (even though I don’t) so I get everything done that’s needed. Throw into the mix spending some time over the weekend with my dad for Father’s Day and then getting a call from Fox 6 in Milwaukee. Reporter Laura Langemo will be coming out Monday to do a story on the tour and help us rally support!

Behind the scenes there was this little tidbit as I searched for a place to stay my first night in Anchorage.
The first day basically involves me getting grounded. The timezone change and an extremely long day from takeoff to making my final destination are normally exhausting.

Anyway, I read reviews on the seven youth hostels in Anchorage and all said 1) drug haven and 2) bedbugs.  I’ve already experienced both and don’t need a refresher – so blindly I Googled ‘bike stores in Anchorage.’

I messaged a brief update about my tour, asked about purchasing bike tires and then queried a reference for churches or some couch surfing.

The letter I received June 10 was AMAZING!  See below.

Hi Judy –

You are welcome to stay with us. You’ll have your own room and separate bath, wifi access & good coffee (or tea if you prefer). Our garage is large enough that you can explode your equipment there. As a bonus, we’re going fishing the weekend before you come up so we should have some fresh salmon for you to experience – my husband, Jon, cooks salmon better than anyone I’ve met.

Would love to see what your itinerary looks like. Maybe we can hook you up with other cycling friends in other towns. We may even be able to give you a lift from the airport. One of us Paramount people can help determine whether your tires should be replaced and offer information for your trip.

I did visit your website. I grew up in Wisconsin – in Elroy – and lived in Milwaukee for about 7 or 8 years before moving here. By coincidence, my mom has Alzheimer’s and is also 89 years old… She lives in a memory-care home in central Wisconsin, but good memory care places are tough to find – that’s another story.

For a bit about me, you can see my much-neglected blog: http://akbikegirl.blogspot.com/ (some of the pieces cover a trip Jon & I made to Wisc. last fall.) You might like the stories about the little tour I did a couple years ago biking from O’Hare to Elroy on a solo trip or the mountain bike trip we did with some friends in Utah. They are listed under “Stories” on the right sidebar.

Be in touch and let me know if you have any questions about things to bring or what you may need to buy when you get here.


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