Last days in Skagway

Biking up Montana Mountain in Carcross, YT

Biking up Montana Mountain in Carcross, YT

Dallas and I decided to extend our stay in Skagway by two weeks, so we could run in the Klondike Road Relay, take advantage of an extra pay period, and of course spend a little more time with the wonderful friends we made while living there.  Working as a bike guide could be terrifying at times – trusting cruise ship vacationers to navigate themselves down the White Pass on mountain bikes may be less physically demanding, but is much more stressful than pulling people around in a pedicab.  If I work as a bike guide again, I hope the clientele are limited to experienced cyclists who are physically and mentally prepared to do multi-day bicycle touring.  Still, this job was a worthwhile and enjoyable experience.

I have never lived with such close access to trails where I could lose myself in nature so easily.  Just a 5 minute walk from home could take me to the Dewey Lake trail system, where there are miles of hiking trails.  We were also just a 65 mile drive (or bike ride) from Carcross, in the Yukon, where it is always sunny and there are numerous mountain biking trails on Montana Mountain.

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Homemade cottonwood oil and salve, bottled just a day after Skagway’s last farmer’s market of the season

From what we were able to forage locally, we made things like dandelion salad, fireweed syrup, blueberry crisp, cranberry-poppy seed muffins, rose water (which I used to make baklava), and cottonwood oil/salve.  I only wish I could have finished bottling the cottonwood oil and salve before the last farmer’s market.  Cottonwood oil has medicinal properties and can be used as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-microbial.  As a massage oil, it can be used to ease sore muscles or joints, and it can also be used to heal chapped or scraped skin.  If anyone would like to buy one, I will send you a 1oz bottle of oil for $12 or 2oz jar of salve for $15 – just e-mail me or leave a comment on this post.

Looking back at our time in Skagway, both of us are very glad that we decided to spend our summer there.  We were able to make great new friends, occupy our free time with a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, running and mountain biking, and we learned so much about the environment and history of the area.  Hopefully our friendships will continue far beyond this summer, and we will be able to carry what we learned to whatever awaits us in our next adventure.

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The Rockeye Sockeye Robots team at the end of the 24 hours of light mountain bike relay race in Whitehorse

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Me, Scott, Ryan, Dillon, Kristin and Zabeth climbed up to Goat Lake on the no-ship day in July

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About Sarah

Sarah grew up in Cranston - just south of Providence, Rhode Island - and developed a love for travel, music, and outdoor sports at an early age. She had started bicycling long distances at age 12, as a participant of the MS150 bike tours to raise money for the MS Society. She didn't use her bike regularly until she built her own while studying in Montreal and found it an excellent way to get around the city. After graduating from McGill and moving back to Providence, Sarah started working at Brown University's office of Environmental Health & Safety as the Biological Safety Specialist. She was living 4 miles away at the time, and for the first few weeks was driving to work. She made the switch from driving to bicycling when she realized that she could get to work faster, avoid parking tickets, and integrate a few miles of training into her day. Bicycling was better for the environment and better for her own health and mood. She found that she had more energy and felt much happier once she started biking to work. When her car broke down several months later, she never bothered replacing it. After 4 years of working in Biosafety (and on her master's in Environmental Studies), Sarah left her job to pursue her passion. She has been working various jobs in the bicycle industry since June of 2011, including pedicab driver, bicycle tour guide, bike mechanic and traveling bicycle advocate. In between seasonal jobs, she has done a few long-distance bike tours, which is the main reason for this blog. Her dream is to eventually ride around the world and sail across the oceans.

Posted on 12 September 2013, in Alaska, Races, The space between and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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