In the early chilly morning we left Anchorage to reach Denali National Park and finally made it at the end of the day. It was mostly cloudy and later on it even started to rain. Finally, after a 400km ride in the rain we reached Healy and moved in the warm and dry trailer of Paul who is a fellow rider which we know from ADVrider.com. We had an awesome time in and around Denali. Actually it is hard to find the right words to express the beauty and the variety of the wild life and the scenery – it is breathtaking and we were incredible lucky with the weather. Even Mount Denali was showing his full presence to us and we now belong to the 30% club (only 30% of all visitors to the park can say that they even have seen Denali without being covered completely in clouds…). We saw bears (even quite some beers….;), moose, Dall sheep, arctic ground squirrels, caribous, marmots, a raven nest and many more… we had a wonderful time in the wilderness and spent some very relaxed moments with Paul, his son Brice and the friends of Paul (THANK YOU PAUL it was such a great time and whenever you come to Germany there is always a place for you!). Very strange thing here is the “time”… you are sitting at the fire and having a beer or two and you think it must be around 19:00 or 20:00 o´clock… and Paul says “ohh I think I should go to bed soon…”, my response was “hmmm, Ok what’s the time?” “00.45”… the Sun here at this time of the year nearly never goes away… And what it doesn’t make it better is that all our “watches” e.g. camera, phone, laptop they all show a different time… but we are working on it to set them right…. ;)
Early morning on Saturday 19th we closed the last time the door of our flat. With a mumble in our stomachs we entered the airplane in Hamburg to fly to Frankfurt – still everything felt unreal… Our journey is finally starting now!
When we arrived in Anchorage we saw the mountains which were still covered in snow and we had an incredible nice welcome with our Airbnb host Robert and we spent the whole evening served with delicious food and local beer. Sunday we had some things to shop and Robert was so kind to take us around the whole day. First we had a stop at the Harley Davidson Store and then we went to the famous BassPro… to buy some beer-, äääähhhh bear-spray and some fishing gear for Sascha so he can hopefully upgrade our dinner one of these days ;) After some shopping in the grocery we had a stop in a Anchorage Brewery Company where a vintage motorbike show took place and had some nice chats. This evening we cooked a gorgeous meal together with some friends and neighbors and spent the night at the fireplace. We went to bed having a last excited thought of the next day: hopefully will get the motorbikes out of customs and that they will be still in good shape.
Eager to see our bikes we woke up early. At a quarter past 9 Allyn wanted to pick us up with his truck. We agreed upfront that he will assist us with some tools and bring us to the airport and he then will keep the crates. We stopped first at the freight forwarder to start the paper process… And then we continued to the customs office at the airport, the responsible lady smiled at us and asked where we are from. When we said Germany she showed a rapt smile and told us that she will go to Germany with her son next week. While we had an interesting conversation she finished the paperwork. Meanwhile another guy entered the room; Johnathon from UK, another biker who wanted to clear his motorbike. He plans to make nearly the same trip as we but in the half of the time. So maybe we will see him somewhere on the road again but most likely he will be always a few miles in front of us… Allyn took us back to the freight forwarder and 10 minutes later we saw our crates in the warehouse – they looked exactly the same like we shipped them – wow – that´s cool! At that moment we started to unpack the crates the sun came out and together with Allyn, THANK YOU!, it took us just about 40 minutes to unload and assemble the bikes. All looked good and another hour later we were ready to take off – juhuu! What a feeling. But first of all we had to get fuel of course. For the plane ride we had an allowance of two to three liters, so we had to find an gas station very soon. When we got to it Sascha was fighting with the service personnel to get his Credit Card (pre-)approved (strange system here!…) and Kerstin was approached be two Mexican gentleman, they have been very interested of what we are doing and where we are going next… so we give them all details and they promised us to give us a warm welcome in Mexico… let´s see how this will develope… After we got the gas station thing solved we continued to ride our fist miles on that trip, let the fun begin! ;)
What we can till till now is
The people we meet are great; the beer we drink is tasty and the air we breathe is mostly (still) cooooold….. so let´s see what tomorrow brings, we will make a test ride down the Seward Highway and then back to Anchorage an further on to the Denali national Park on Wednesday.