Friday, July 19, 2013

Seven States To Go

On my Life List is riding in all 50 states; I have 7 to go: Alaska, North and South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Delaware, and South Carolina. I would have only 5 to go but when I broke my foot in July, 2011 I missed out on the opportunity to ride in Delaware and South Carolina when we were on our 99 Day Trek moving from Chicago to Tucson by way of Maine, Georgia, and most every state in between. 

Michelle has a similar Life List Goal. PAC Tour has taken cyclists to Alaska on two previous occasions; our fingers were crossed that they'd return to Alaska again in 2013. When the 2013 PAC Tour schedule came out in late Fall 2012, Alaska was not to be.

No worries, we'd plan our own trip. But how does one begin to plan a bike tour of a state that is twice the size of Texas and 1/5 the size of the contiguous 48? 

We had only one anchor: we would schedule our trip to overlap Fireweed, a 200 mile ride between Sheep Mountain Lodge (107 miles east of Anchorage) and Valdez. Lots of ways to ride Fireweed: one-day 200 miles; 2-day 200 miles; 400 miles (out and back) can even be done as a RAAM qualifier. We chose to ride it as a 2-day ride. 

So many logistics, how to begin???

It was a small miracle that at the November, 2012 General Meeting of GABA, my bike club here in Tucson, the man in front of me had on a Fireweed T-shirt. Turns out Barry and Joyce Weiss live in Tucson in the Winter and Anchorage in the Summer.

Barry and Joyce joined us for dinner at our house in mid-December; we Skyped Michelle in from Jackson, Mississippi and the planning began. 

Looks like my State list will be reduced to 6!!

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