Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - MaryK

Pages: 1 [2]
Routes / alcan highway
« on: July 02, 2007, 01:49:50 pm »
My husband and I did a trip in Alaska a few years ago and rode sections of the Alcan.  Coming out of Anchorage, there was a bike path you could follow, but after that you're on the road.  The shoulders were wide, but filled with debris.  We fixed a lot of flats.

In addition, it seems like there's a great number of people with RVs who really don't know how to drive them.  You've got to be very careful every time a vehicle is passing you from behind.

The weather can also be variable.  Even though we rode in July, we were in long sleeves and tights most of the time and got a lot of rain.  We had hoped for temps in the 60s, but the 50s was more of what we saw.

One cool thing is that a lot of people in Alaska use small planes to get around.  There are not a lot of landing strips, and they often will land them right in the road, then taxi into their driveways.  One of my favorite sites was watching a fellow cyclist constantly look over his shoulder because he couldn't figure out where the engine sound he heard was coming from.  He thought it was a car and had a great look of astonishment on his face when a small plane landed right in front of him.

Alaska is one of those places you should see, but it's not my favorite place for cycling.  

I hope this helps.


Routes / Northern Tier - East to West vs. West to East
« on: June 02, 2007, 11:01:30 am »
Hi Dennis,

I wanted to let you know that I seriously considered your comments, and it has helped to salvage my trip for this year.  The cast is off my wrist and I've gotten the ok from the doctor to do the ride.  We leave on June 6 and have changed the route so that we're riding east to west. I've talked to others who've done the route in this direction and all seem to agree that, yes, the wind blows.  We also won't be hitting the Cascades on day three.  Finally, if I find that I'm in total distress and can't ride, it'll be easier to get home if I'm in VT or NY rather than Washington or Idaho.

Did I mention that we leave on June 6?  Yes, that's in 4 days.  I can't wait.


Routes / Northern Tier - East to West vs. West to East
« on: May 11, 2007, 12:53:08 pm »
My husband and I have long been planning a Northern Tier trip starting in May 2007.  We're now in our second delay, the first because of the late opening in the Cascades and the second after I crashed last week and fractured my wrist.  The cast comes off in 3 weeks and we're still hoping to get a trip in.  If we delay much longer, it won't happen this year because of late summer obligations.

Here's the question: We've always planned a west to east trip.  Should we reverse direction?

I have read and heard a lot about the merits of west to east, most having to do with prevailing winds and the mental boost of riding towards home (we live just outside of Boston).

My big concern about west to east is hitting the Cascades on day 3 with a death grip on my brakes and an arm that won't get much exercise for a month.  

If we do east to west, we'll be able to ease into the ride and give my wrist a chance to remember what it's like to sit on the handle bars for 8 hours.  Plus (as my brother in law pointed out), you can always phone home if you get to Vermont and realize that you're just not going to make it.

Logistically, we have a friend in Seattle who will help us get started, so we would just need a plane ticket and we'll take the bikes on the plane with us.  If we start from Boston, we pack our panniers and go.

Help!  I'm open to any and all opinions.


Routes / Shipping bike to Seattle area?
« on: May 03, 2007, 09:47:00 am »
My husband and I are starting our Northern Tier trip on May 21.  Keep an eye out for us on the road!

Routes / Northern Tier May 1 Departure
« on: April 07, 2007, 12:13:41 pm »
Thanks so much to everyone for your help.  The best link we found for road conditions is  It turns out that the route through the Cascades will not be open until mid-May 2007, the latest opening they've had in many years. This site gives you a day to day blow of the efforts to open the pass, including pictures.

We've decided to delay our departure and are now looking at a May 21 start, continuing with the plan to go west to east.  Dennis, thanks for your recommendations but we live in the Boston area and somehow the idea of riding from Seattle back to Boston seems like the right choice.

I'll keep everyone posted as our plans progress.


Routes / Northern Tier May 1 Departure
« on: April 04, 2007, 08:52:46 am »

Can you give me more information about your alternate route?  (I can't get the Washington page on your diary to open).  You can reach me at



Routes / Northern Tier May 1 Departure
« on: April 02, 2007, 04:57:21 pm »
My husband and I are planning a Northern Tier trip (west to east), beginning on May 1st.  I'm a little concerned that this is too early and would appreciate any insight regarding weather conditions.  We've certainly ridden in cool, rainy weather in the past, but I'd hate to spend the first few weeks being only cold.  We'll be self-supported and plan to do a combination of camping and hotels.  Thanks!

General Discussion / N. Tier budget
« on: June 19, 2007, 08:16:09 pm »
Hi Chip,

My husband and I are into our third week of a Northern Tier tour.  We're doing mostly motels and B&B's right now, because it's comfortable.  The motels can run anywhere from $65 - $90 per night.  The nights we've camped have been state parks, which are about $20 a night.  I don't know the pricing for private camp grounds.

As much as possible, we're stopping at grocery and convenience stores for food.  For breakfast, we often get an egg sandwich type thing and maybe some juice or coffee.  That can be under $10.  If you can find a grocery store to make sandwiches for you for lunch, that'll be another $5 - 10.  We'll often get one large sandwich and split it between the two of us.  Or, you can buy bulky rolls and a 1/3 pound of sandwich meat and make something yourself for a little less.  We carry little packages of mustard that we pick up along the way to make sandwiches more interesting.  We usually add fruit and some gatorade, another few dollars.

When we camp, dinner is usually mac & cheese with a can of peas or green beans.  Going out for dinner has been as inexpensive as $4 for a big bowl of pasta to $50 in a more expensive place, including a few cold beers.

You'll also need to budget for incidentals like replenishing your supply of suntan lotion, toothpaste, etc., replacing equipment and admission fees if you want to stop along the way.

I hope this helps.  I've got intermittent e-mail access so drop me a note at if you have specific questions.

As I said, we're just starting our third week and it has been awesome.  By all means, you should do this with your son.


Pages: 1 [2]