Where is the pump?

On the road again! After a big hug we leave Ella, Till, Mike, Snoopy-dog and Daisy-Duck’s cozy home.
We felt very welcome and comfortable at their home. When we roll off, it feels we are leaving home
a second time. Ella&Till, thank you very much for your warm hospitality. For two weeks you were like parents for us! The sun shines bright in our faces as we pedal along the Parks Highway. In spite of all the comfort, it feels good to move on and to be outside again. The first day is only a short stage, because we have started quite late. But the first overnight surpasses all our expectations. We pitch our tent directly on a small jetty pier in a stunning location on a beautiful lake. A breathtaking panorama of mountains is reflected in the water just in front of us. A million dollar view and truly an amazing spot!Only one thing makes us a little nervous, the fact that we will be travelling for quite a while in bear country. The next day is full of surprises. We start early and we have great weather again. We just cycled about 40 kilometers, and right after we spotted a Moose, we are alert by an unpleasant noise! Oh no, the second day on the road and we got already a flat tyre. Normally that’s not a big deal, but when Moni wanna grab the pump, but there is none! She shakes her head and Robi won’t believe the fact. Right away they know where it is. The missing pump is still in Chugiak, at Ell&aTill’s home! It lies on the wood pile in front of the house, just where Robi pumped the tires, before we left. 🙁

What shell we do now? “Why not trying to stop a car?” says Robi. But how do you recognize a driver’s car with a bicycle pump? We focus on cars with a Bike rack, but that drastically limits the number immediately! So finally Robi stroll with the whole wheel along the road, hoping to find someone with a pump…
A short time later, Robi returns with a stranger. Dan is the pastor from the church, just around the corner. He doesn’t have a pump, but he kindly offers Robi a ride to the gas station, where hopefully he will be able to pump the patched tube. A little bit later the two are back again, gladly with the pumped tyre. Dan is very interested in our journey and he asks as to visit him at the church and have a little chat.

It’s already late afternoon and the weather doesn’t look to promising, so we ask Dan if we probably could camp behind the church. “No problem!” answers Dan. But you can also sleep insight the church, there is plenty of space, a hot shower and if you like you can use also the kitchen! That’s is really generously! In the meantime we have informed Ella& Till. They offer us, to bring the pump to Willow, first thing next morning. That are definitely very good News! We bring our staff into the cozy common room, have a nice hot shower and fell soon asleep. The next morning, we wake up early and prepare as usual a big breakfast. Soon after that, our friends arrive with the missing bicycle pump. The joy of reunion is great, because who would have thought that we will see each other again, after only two days. Dan joins the illustrious group and makes us an interesting proposal. He likes to take us in the afternoon for a Kayak trip down on the willow river. What a great oppurtunity!
Moni has concerns and informs Dan that she has not much Kayak experience on rivers. Dan answers: “the river should be easy to navigate and there are only very small, harmless rapids”. We believe him and short after that, we are driving in Dan’s car towards Willow river. It feels formidable to float along the peaceful river, especially in this sunny weather. The nature around us is magnificent and we pedal slowly forward. The Kayak glides quietly and leisurely through the calm waters. We can spot huge salmons and it’s a joy to watch them as they swim effortlessly upwards the stream. Some of them, even jump out of the water! Moni notes with discomfort, that the river is running faster. Huge logs float in the river or reach way out of the water and block the stream in some sections. With great difficulty we can pedal around them, but not for long. Especially Monika feels not comfortable anymore and soon she got stuck on a tree trunk. The next moment she slowly tilts to the side and the Kayak flips over! Lucky she can manage to get out of the Kayak. She tries now desperately to cling to the kayak so as to regain control over the whole situation. But she isn’t able to hold the Kayak and finally it slips away. Dan tries to help and grab after the Moni’s kayak too, but then he also flips over, what a mess! Moni and Dan reach exhausted the shore. A moment later Dan get into his kayak again and together we can get Moni’s Kayak and all the paddles. As Moni has overcome the biggest fear, she goes bravely back into the kayak. She never gives up so fast! And indeed after the first big dip, she feels more and more confident and can even more enjoy the ride along the beautiful river.

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