Alaska by Mountain Bike

Traveling by bike, especially a mountain bike is one of things I enjoy most.  After a few years of road bike touring, my bike partner and I decided to start long distance trips on our mountain bikes.  We would link up dirt roads, forest road, singletrack and a bit of pavement miles to piece together our routes.   We had been to Oregon two years before, and this year we decided on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula.   Alaska had a late spring that year, which forced us on more asphalt roads then we’d like, but we still had a great time.  I took my Nikon D750 with my 24-120mm lens.   The 24-120mm is my usual go to for traveling.  I lose zoom if I see wildlife, but that’s a compromise I don’t mind making since landscapes are usually my priority. It’s a good versatile range for me and having just one lens makes things easier when on adventure trips.  The D750 is a hefty camera, but I rigged it on top of my handlebar bag in a bag with a water resistant cover.  It allowed me easy access to the camera and I could also keep an eye on it when riding over rocky singletrack.  I chose two to three representative photographs per day to share of the trip.

Day One

We took the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Seward.

Our first night was spent along the shores of Resurrection Bay.

There were plenty of natural driftwood sculptures to photograph.

Day Two

Washing the grey silty mud off our bikes.

Our first long stretch of highway climbing out of Seward.

Day Three

Early morning fog drifting through the trees.

There was a lot of snow still hanging on, but luckily we didn’t need to worry about avalanches.

We made a big dirt road climb to our camp, having to stow our bikes 3/4 of the way up and make the rest of the way on foot.

Day Four

We encountered a lot of mud from the late spring arrival.

I was nice biking alongside so many clear rivers and streams.

Our next camp proved warm and dry.

Day Five

The trail took us to a beautiful water before we found ourselves back on the valley roads.

The glacial color of most rivers we saw.

Signs of spring.

Day Six

Another great waterway once we got back on singletrack.

The best stretch of mountain biking took us through grassy hillsides.

Day Seven

Some of the best views were just along the highway, luckily.

Dirt road leading to our camp for the night.  Always surrounded by beautiful mountains.

Day Eight 

We camped on big and small lakes.

A stretch of singletrack that proved to be more climbing than descent.  Here’s one rideable section.

Day Nine

Reflections on a lake near our camp.

On our way to Exit Glacier where we would spend two nights.

Exit Glacier retreating.

For these trips, there’s no waiting for the perfect lighting for sunrise or sunset, or even getting to a place with the best composition.  No room for a tripod either.  Biking was the first priority.  It was a physically demanding trip (the best kind of trip!) and the camera was as a way to document our journey.

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