September 5 – Los Angeles to Anchorage (4049 km, 2516 miles)
That’s it – the trip is done! After thinking about and planning this trip for the past 10 years, I’ve finally done it. What a great time it was.
I’m back home in Anchorage now. The flights from Los Angeles to Seattle and from Seattle to Anchorage were uneventful, although the flight to Seattle passed right over the western end of Yosemite National Park, so I was able to get some nice photos of Half Dome and El Capitan. I’ve never been to Yosemite, so seeing it from the air was a treat – it would be nice to visit the place sometime.
I can’t believe it’s over. It seems like just a few days ago I was getting off the plane in Oslo to start the ride. It was definitely a trip of a lifetime, and it would be nice to do another long-distance bike tour sometime, somewhere. Of the total distance of 3700 kilometers (2300 miles), I originally figured I would ride about 2575 kilometers (1600 miles). As it is, I ended up riding 2500 kilometers (1550 miles), so I wasn’t too far off my original projection. For comparison, I biked slightly more distance than the plane flight from Seattle to Anchorage, which was 1505 miles. And the flight distance from Los Angeles to Seattle was 1011 miles. I could have ridden the entire distance in the allotted time, but that would have left me with no time to visit along the way, and since the main purpose of the trip was to visit my European friends, I don’t feel too bad about taking a few trains along the way.
Click the links below to view photos.
Some memorable highlights (in no particular order)
Netto stores – for fresh fruit and sandwiches
Total gas stations – for Magnum ice cream bars
Sunny rides through wheat and corn fields
Freshly-picked corn on the cob
Roadside rest breaks
Rain starting just as I neared the day’s destination
Visits with JIRP friends
German Radler beer
Grindelwald and the Eiger
The ride up to Grosse Scheidegg
The ride down from Grosse Scheidegg
The ride up to Grimselpass
The ride down from Grimselpass
Aares River Gorge (Aareschlucht)
Swiss cows with cowbells
First sight of the Alps south of Munich
First ride up into the Alps
Shady, tree-lined roads
Navigating by GPS
Riding the thin white line at the edge of the road
Descending an 18% grade road in Austria (illegally)
Inn River valley
Traffic up to Fern Pass
Hay bale sculptures
Mercedes taxi cabs
100 MPH+ trains
Bayern 3 (a Munich radio station)
Bavarian and Tyrolian architecture
Trucks so quiet I couldn’t hear them approaching from behind
My home away from home
Nacktschneckens (naked snails)
Fast rides down winding, hairpin roads
Long grunts up winding, hairpin roads
Standing in a working tunnel boring machine!
Incredibly well-stacked firewood
Crazy traffic in Rome
Interesting road signs
Kroners, Euros, and Swiss Francs
First Class on a 747
Seeing new things
Traveling through 9 countries – England, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy
And finally, MY BIKE!