Friday, August 20, 2010

Tuesday, 17 August 2010 – stayed in Coldfoot – 10.8 miles

It rained off and on throughout the night. It was still raining when I got up. I dawdled a bit hoping for it to clear. I finally decided to ride. Things didn’t quite go as I’d hoped.

Last night, I left my muddy boots outside the tent under the rainfly in the vestibule. Apparently, the wind blew the unstaked rainfly so that my boots were now unprotected. Uh, oh . . . I poured a couple of inches of water out of each boot, pulled the insoles and wrung them out. Now I know to store my boots soles up. I guess I’ll stay put for another day. That will let the boots dry out, give me time do catch up on a week’s worth of blog entries and gather up my courage to ride the Dalton Highway one last day.

The rain had finally stopped in the afternoon so I went for a walk around the campground and along the nearby creek. There were a variety of birds including gray jays and white-winged crossbills but no other wildlife that I could see. It’s just as well. I really don’t want to see a bear, Dall sheep or moose up close and personal. (I'd already seen caribou crossing the road. They are HUGE! I don't want to be anywhere close to them.)
My favorite part of my nature walk was all the various mosses and ground covers.

I think this is reindeer moss growing amongst the mushrooms

I also liked that the campground host has a sense of humor.

One of them even has a tattoo

The previous occupant left me a bundle of wood. It was too wet to have a fire. I left it for the next campers.

I was walking back to camp when I remembered that I hadn’t closed out my credit card when I got fuel in Coldfoot. I guess I was so happy to get the throttle lock that it completely slipped my mind. I decided to put on my still semi-squishy boots and ride the 5 miles to the café. Fortunately, they had my card and the $9 gas bill for me to sign. The fellow said it happens a lot. Sure enough, he pointed to about half a dozen credit cards lining the bottom of his message board.

I walked back out to my scooter when I saw my English friends, Tim, Tom and Phil. I thought they’d be very far away by now. A chronic fuel filter problem kept them overnight in Happy Valley and threatened to keep them in Coldfoot, too. Luckily they found a trucker willing to haul them to Fairbanks that night. (They still wanted to get across the US to New York and time was starting to become an issue.) I gave them all good-bye hugs and wished them good luck with the repairs. I rode back to my campsite and tucked myself in for the night.

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