This morning packed everything into minivan and drove to the airport. I had given myself plenty of time to find a bike box and to get through security and fortunately both went smoothly.
I had not weighed my gear but moment of truth came when I brought my bike box (48 pounds including a frame bag with tools) and my duffel bag (48 pounds as well, fortunately below the 50 pound threshold for oversize). That didn’t include my carryon pannier containing 8 days of food or my camelback. However I was pleasantly surprised it came at under 100 pounds. My informal wish had been 40 pounds of bike+racks and 60 pounds of gear so once I reach Fairbanks and have eaten contents of the food pannier, it won’t be too far off. In comparison, I remember my bike and gear coming in at 140 pounds when I left for Africa and at 100 pounds when I departed for Australia.
I also got answer to question I had about buying a lighter in the airport. Newstand had them so I now have something to light my stove.
Uneventful flight to Seattle, several hour layover and then another uneventful flight to Anchorage. A short overnight here and then a flight tomorrow morning to Deadhorse. Photo below from Seattle shows my bike was loaded on the plane.
Some notes about the road ahead to Fairbanks. I am fairly certain I’ll find cell service and wifi in Prudhoe Bay and post a “starting the trip” photo from there. However, just in case there are access issues, after that point there won’t be anything posted until Fairbanks, which I plan to reach at very end of June. I’ve ridden the Dalton Highway once before. It is 500 miles including 300 miles of gravel. I expect it to be one of the more challenging routes in US/Canada partially because it comes first and partially because of the road and weather. Should be a good test of gear and overall “boot camp” for my minimal training. On the flipside there is a fair amount of traffic so one isn’t truly isolated if you get into trouble. Looking forward to the ride.