Only in Alaska can you go to a local middle and high school and pick pounds and pounds of berries, ride a mix of double and single track in a mixed forest, and run across not one or two, but four different sled dog kennels.
This weekend we went to the Houston high and middle schools to check out some berry patches that my daughter identified while she was there on Thursday running a cross country race. Only my daughter would be scoping out berries when she's supposed to be racing.
The wife had me bring the bike. Mostly as her way of getting me out of the house and coming along with them. As the semester at school gets underway, I've found myself in the usual state of near hysteria wondering how I'm going to stay on top of everything I need to stay on top of, which usually means from the time I get up until I go to bed that I am parked in front of the computer grading. Yeah, fun times. But the wife got me out by telling me I need to ride the bike. Always a good ploy.
Just a half mile from the school on what I assume they use for cross country skiing in the winter, I felt as if I had left civilization all together. It was beautiful. It wasn't a lot of trail, a couple miles, all told, but by re-riding sections, grinding some gravel, and some off piste rolling through woods, I stitched together a nice ten mile ride. Not bad.
The wife and kids picked berries while I rode. And I know that the wife'll be upset if I give away the specific area or the specific type of berry, but I don't think it is big secret as there were plenty of other folks out there picking as well. We ended up with over five pounds on Saturday and the wife and kids went back yesterday and picked up at least another ten pounds. I love this time of year in Alaska. Now I just need to figure out this whole hunting thing so that I can fill the freezer with moose and caribou.
I'm back to the standard and normal commute as of today. The bike is running well for now. I will need to pull off my wheel tonight and check my hub to see if the grease has been fouled out or not after my ride on Saturday through some muddy water. A forum friend has suggested that my seals might be bad - which is a strong possibility - so I want to check them out and see if there is grit in the grease. If so, I'll repack them tonight and find a shop where I can pick up some seals tonight or tomorrow.