Alaska AIDS Vaccine Ride, 20-26 August 2000
What an adventure!!!

AAVR Main     Day 1    Day 2   Day 3    Day 4   Day 5   Day 6    Day 7

Aug 23rd, Wednesday - Day Three - Top of the World to Gulkana Airport, 78.8 miles

Woke up to snow on the tents, on the bikes, on the ground, on everything - it was so incredibly beautiful, except for the thought of having to ride in it.

After breakfast I got dressed, ready to ride, then went and checked into medical.  By this time the snow had turned into a steady downpour of rain, yippee.  The doctor checked my blood pressure and pulse rate and while they were a bit better she decided to not let me ride just to be on the safe side. I really wanted to ride but had to settle for becoming SAG busways in-transit attendant.  The SAG buses (which stand for "Support And Gear") transport riders who are unable to ride.  It took a really long time to get from base camp to the lunch spot and the whole way we had to deal with the finicky AC/heating system of the bus, one moment it was so hot we had to take off our jackets, and about three layers, the next moment it felt like ice was about to form in the bus.  Once we arrived at lunch we SAG bus attendants offered our captive passengers a wonderful assortment of culinary delights, ranging from designer peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to a scrumptious chicken pita sandwich, all served, of course, with nothing but the finest vintage Gatorade in multitudes of flavors.

We were able to see some incredible mountains along the route, the Wrangle Mountains were amazing.  Mt. Drum (12,010 ft. and Mt. Sanford (16,237 ft.), they are so tall that they actually create their own weather patterns.

Since I arrived in camp early I decided to set up the tents for a bunch of friends, it was fun being able to set up a tent without it flying away, not to mention seeing their faces when they arrived in camp to see their tent already up.

That night there was a huge bonfire in the campsite, many people were standing around the bonfire with their gloves and cycling clothes on sticks, holding them over the fire trying to dry them.  Some people roast marshmallows over campfires, we prefer to roast cycling clothes.

People were so cold that the Ride organizers kept 7 buses running at all times, these ‘warm-up' busses were lifesavers.  We all took turns getting on the bus to dry out, warm up, and try to dry out our clothes.  We all got very creative on how to dry clothing.  Since there were portable generators all over camp lots of folks hung out by the generators and held their clothes over the exhaust to dry them (okay, I know this doesn't sound very smart but when the temperatures are in the 30s with wind you're in survival mode and absolutely ANYTHING that produces warm air will work).

AAVR Main     Day 1    Day 2   Day 3    Day 4   Day 5   Day 6    Day 7


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