Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2020 >Daily Dispatch #169

June 18, 2020: Trekking in my Backyard

We live at the foothills of the Talkeetna Range. I look up and see mountains right now with some snow cover. On the far side of this mountain range is Hatcher Pass, a mountainous area with more snow covered mountains and beautiful alpine meadows.

Pete and I don’t go there often because we have much the same on this side. It’s also very crowded because people who don’t have the same on this side like to go there to ski, snowmobile, and snowboard. A ski lift is now being put in which means that the area is soon going to be even more crowded. You might be able to slow down development but you can’t stop it. It lurches forward like a piece of heavy machinery, tearing down everything recognizable in its path.

The A Frames lodge and the Matanuska Valley below

I am planning to first ride my bicycle from Fairbanks to the Hatcher Pass turnoff road and then ride the bicycle to the base of the pass. I will then ride Raudi the 16 or so miles over the pass. Then I am going to have Pete take her back home. I will get back on my bicycle and ride the long downhill stretch home. My trip rule is to do the entire trip under my own power. No catching rides during the long stretches or transitions. The one exception is going to be road construction sites. I will take a ride through the rubble, if it appears to particularly lengthy.

I decided after considerable deliberation to take my mountain bike rather than my road bicycle. The latter is heavier and I will go slower but I won’t be going as far. Plus my mountain bike feels like it provides me with more stability.

Pete’s spent close to two days getting my bicycle road ready. In addition to everything else, he’s a superb mechanic. Of course I wish he was going along but because the inn is full to capacity, he has to tend to the customers. Farming them out was an option. But there is also the garden – the hoop house plants have to be watered every day, and the storage tanks only hold 350 gallons of water, enough to last for a few sunny days.

This is the plan. So today Pete and I drove the Hatcher Pass Road, in order to see what the terrain is like. They just opened up the road to vehicles – they usually do this later in the year. Grr, grr, grr – I would like to have ridden the road without having to deal with the motorized units. Well, there are no steep drop-offs and there is considerable visibility so Raudi and I will be okay. And if she tires I will walk her.

It appears as though Claudia and Frank Sihler, who also own and ride Icelandic horses, will join me. This will of course be safer. I am hoping that some others materialize and also come with.

I often wonder prior to doing a trip if I will get everything done that needs to be done. I decided today that what gets things done is simply sheer will. You want to do something, you do it, or you get others (as I have done) to do it for you.

Next: 170. 6/19/20: The Longest Days of the Year

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles