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flying in alaska

I had my second small plane flight in Alaska today.

I arrived in Talkeetna last night after riding a massive (for me) 114 miles in one day – that’s approximately 183 kilometres – and so I was pretty tired when I got here. I had lined up a contact in town through Warm Showers, the bicycle hospitality network, but despite Talkeetna being a very small place I couldn’t locate them.

Wandering aimlessly on the main street, I attracted some attention with my loaded bike. First, a couple of French guys making a documentary about mountains asked if they could shoot some footage of me and made me parade back and forth along the main street until, thankfully, their batteries went flat. After some conversation with the cameraman and sound guy and their local ‘fixer’, it was agreed I could go to their hotel room for a much needed shower.

Lingering on the main street a moment longer after the film people had left, a woman approached me to ask me about my trip. It turned out that Christine had travelled on her bike in Australia and various other places and so we talked for a while. Christine told me she worked at Talkeetna Aero Services.

I mentioned that I had ridden all the way down the Parks Highway without seeing Mount McKinley or the rest of the Alaska Ranges because of the persistent smoke haze. Would I like to fly around Mount McKinley on a sightseeing flight?, she asked. Yes, yes, yes! Of course I would! She left me her number and I went off for my shower, eventually ending up in the very comfy spare bed in Johanna, the fixer’s, room.

Waking late this morning, I rushed off to the airport and jumped on the plane for a mesmerising flight over the Alaska ranges. I think I could grow to like Talkeetna a lot.

Mount McKinley hovering in the smoke haze.

Mount McKinley hovering in the smoke haze.

Flying over the Alaska Ranges.

Flying over the Alaska Ranges.

Mount McKinley.

Mount McKinley.

Rachel Glacier.

Rachel Glacier.

Christine and Spike.

Christine and Spike.

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