Results 1 to 26 of 26
  1. #1
    FatBike Fiend
    Reputation: Wildfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    961

    A Report on the 2006 Knik Glacier Expedition

    under the command of Major Farkel M Wildfire, LABRATS*
    It was a motley but resolute lot that mustered at the trailhead on that cold January day. Seasoned veterans all, the crew was hand picked for their riding skills, general aptitude, and ability to get away for a few days. My critical eye examined each recruit and found no obvious deficiencies. The ordeal ahead would doubtless tax us to our limits so it was imperitive that we were physically and mentally prepared, for we were embarking into uncharted terrain,in the dead of winter, on conveyances considered folly by the average citizen. Our intent was to prove them wrong.
    Mounting our faithful steeds, we set off into the melancholy gloom. Private Charles P. Bushwetter, Trail Scout, leading the way and thoughtfully dabbling the route with yellow markings to guide us on our return route and setting a brisk pace.

    * Legendary Alaskan Bicycle Riders and Trudgers
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    FatBike Fiend
    Reputation: Wildfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    961

    The saga continues...

    I brought up the rear where I could surveille the troops for any signs of fatigue or lack of discipline and forestall any attempts by rival expeditions to claim the prize and diminish our glory. But oddly, it seemed that my brakes or wheel bearings had been tampered with, causing excessive rolling resistance, and the group was slowly pulling ahead of me. I roundly cursed whoever was responsible and vowed revenge. Luckily the troops sensed the lack of leadership and not knowing what else to do, waited for my arrival and halted their progress.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    FatBike Fiend
    Reputation: Wildfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    961

    Chapter 3

    It was well that they waited for me there, for just ahead loomed the menacing jaws of Friday Creek which, loosely translated in native Denaina, means: "Big Water that Swallows Foolish Cyclists". I knew this was the crux of our perilous journey and my steely gaze scanned the route ahead for dangers. I espied a slight shadow in the snow, an almost imperceptible dip in the trail, and my keen ears detected the almost imperceptible sound of gurgling water. "Well that's it!" I declared. "We turn around here! To proceed further would be suicide!" This caused a murmer of dissent from the troops who were obviously nowhere near as skilled as myself in reading subtle danger signs."Dude, this ice is like, five feet thick", said one. "What are you, on crack?" asked another. Sensing the seeds of possible mutiny, my only chance was to reason with the unruly rabble. I embarked on a brilliant dissertation on the physics of frozen water in relation to relative stresses imposed but was rudely interupted by the spectacle of two enormous moose who thundered onto the ice, halted midway, and tap-danced a brilliant rendition of the "Ubangi Stomp", then trotted away with smug expressions. "Well," said I, "perhaps we can risk it just this once." To my intense relief providence watched over us and and we made it safely ahead with no loss of life.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    FatBike Fiend
    Reputation: Wildfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    961

    Chapter 4

    Once across the river, the wan sun emerged from the thinning clouds and we were treated to the sublime manifestations of mother nature's glory. The looming mountains provided a magnificent backdrop to the tableaux of glistening snow and dour evergreens. Our spirits were lifted, so we lifted our spirits in a toast to the trail!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    FatBike Fiend
    Reputation: Wildfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    961

    And on we go

    We continued up the large tributary making spectacular time. The rapturous sounds of singing tires harmonizing with the crisp snow and heaving lungs provided a mesmerizing soundtrack and we were flying, the miles a brief acquaintance as we met them and they passed away. How far we went, no one recalls, but presently the sinking sun and our grumbling stomachs reminded us that travelling was done for the day. We halted at a pleasant glade where I gave orders to encamp.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    FatBike Fiend
    Reputation: Wildfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    961

    But wait there's more...

    The clear skies brought promises of a spectacular moon but forebodings of a cold night ahead. In the distance, howls of wolves were discerned and our trail scout grew nervous. I casually inquired if the officers wall tent had yet been erected but was met with blank stares. Surely the ungrateful ruffians did not expect their commander to sleep in the snow like a common serviceman? Did they not recognize the meticulous planning that had gone into this expedition? Sadly I was forced to forego my accustomed and rightful comforts and spread my bedroll amongst the troops. But the real blow came when I enquired when the rations would be served, only to be told that it everyone was to bring their own food. I consigned myself to the questionable comforts of my sleeping bag and looked to the relief of a fitful sleep. But it was not to be, for evidently the troops had secured a stock of strong spirits and would be carousing until late in the night.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    FatBike Fiend
    Reputation: Wildfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    961

    Conclusion...

    The following morning dawned cold and cloudy with an inch of light snow. After our breakfast rations, we mounted up and proceeded further up the the valley. Soon after leaving camp we encountered a most unpleasant trail condition: very slick, very rutted ice. It was then that I noticed the implements attached to the tires of the troops: carbide studs! How was it that the commander of this expedition was not apprised of this technology? Everybody had them but I! I was to pay dearly for this transgression in the miles ahead to the amusement of the troops. Finally, bruised, sore, and somewhat the worse for wear, we emerged onto the object of our quest, the Knik Glacier!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    136
    How did you fit a sleeping bag inside a frame pack?????????????

    Or did you sleep in Kathis pogies.

    Nice Pics as usual Mark.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    133
    Great regards and salutations to the obviously underappreciated leader of this expedition. This was a most entertaining account. I can only hope our southern comrades felt the wonder I did when examining the photographs of winter exploring in such seemingly tropical conditions, hatless and gloveless indeed. t

  10. #10
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    10,074

    More, please

    You're just gittin' goin...

    Or, didja have to take a break to replenish the BS in your system...?!

    Onward, troops!

    MC

  11. #11
    Beware of Doggerel
    Reputation: Adam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    665

    Huzzah!!

    Dear Sir:

    I stand in awe of your tales (or tails in the case of Pvt. Bushwetter) of daring do. It is indeed lamentable that you were treated so discourteously by your crew. But I commend you on your perseverance. It is hard to find good men these days. As for myself I spent the weekend alone unable to rouse a suitable crew. My sturdy second, Col. Bearbait, is off on expedition through the wilds of South America. Although traveling by myself I was not strictly alone. I took note of many of Pvt. Bushwetter’s folk traveling in formation down the rivers. It was as if they were tethered together and being chased by a maniac on non-motorized sled. Did you perchance observe the Aurora dancing across the sky, early Monday Morning? For me it was as if the heavens themselves rewarded my endeavors with a shimmering curtain of green.

    All the best, stiff upper lip etcetera,

    Adam
    I wanna say I'm sorry for stuff I haven't done yet, things will shortly get completely out of hand --T.M.G.

  12. #12
    Bill M
    Guest

    Secret Sleeping system

    Quote Originally Posted by carlhutch
    How did you fit a sleeping bag inside a frame pack?????????????

    Or did you sleep in Kathis pogies.

    Nice Pics as usual Mark.
    Charlie the dog had Kathi's poggies at night!! Remember earlier posts about Wildfire's secret sleeping system! Kathi and I are still way behind the curve if you notice our excessive gear. Bill M

  13. #13
    FatBike Fiend
    Reputation: Wildfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    961

    Return from the Knik, A Sequel

    We had attained the prize, the Knik Glacier Face, and we heartily congratulated ourselves. In retrospect, perhaps we congratulated ourselves too soon and with too much exuberance. It was decided to push on further to the very maw of the Great Gorge of the Knik, a narrow defile rent on one side by jagged rock walls and on the other by a vertical wall of azure ice. We stopped together on the lake ice surrounded by surreal bergs and a vista of unsurpassed grandeur. Suddenly the ice cracked dramatically beneath our feet with a loud noise and settled noticeably sending our party of ragged argonauts scattering in all directions with rapid heart beats. A look of fierce determination countenanced my facade and I decided that a prudent course would be one of retreat, dignified or otherwise.I received no argument from the otherwise stalwart troops.
    On the way back across the iceberg lake, we were struck by the spectacle of an awesome sculpture chiselled by unseen forces or possibly aliens. Perhaps we had been out on the trail a bit too long, but some in the party were strangely smitten by an unexplained attraction to this object, nay, even a lust!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
    FatBike Fiend
    Reputation: Wildfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    961

    Retreat from the Knik

    Pulling the men reluctantly away from this sirencicle, we continued our retreat and made it safely back to terra firma. We paused one more time to admire the stark beauty and departed with some haste as night fall was fast approaching. The trip back to our base camp was uneventful for those with the studded tires but painful in the extreme for the one party who was without. I was greeted upon my arrival at camp with a cheery fire and a cup of steaming grog, followed by our standard rations.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
    FatBike Fiend
    Reputation: Wildfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    961

    The Odyssey Ends

    The third morning dawned cold and clear and we wasted no time packing up our camp and hitting the trail for an uneventful return to civilization and the glorious accolades which doubtless are to follow.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16
    Compulsive Bike Builder
    Reputation: DirtDad's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    1,518

    An epic saga indeed

    Fine report Cap'n, I can see that you are as in control of your crew as well as ever.

    We look forward to further reports of this nature in the future with great anticipation, and even more so the opportunity to avail ourselves of similar technology here in the more southern climes, whereupon we expect to post similar reports back to you.

    Carry on.
    Disclaimer: ComCycle USA

  17. #17
    FatBike Fiend
    Reputation: Wildfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    961

    Yes it is hard...

    to find stalwart crew. But as they say: From Sisyphus to the throne, he travels fastest who travels alone! (or something like that) Sounds like you got some good riding in out on the Yentna and some quality pushing time as well. Didn't see the northern lights but we were right up against mountains so the view may have been blocked. Pvt Bushwetter sends greetings to his less fortunate brethren in harness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam
    Dear Sir:

    I stand in awe of your tales (or tails in the case of Pvt. Bushwetter) of daring do. It is indeed lamentable that you were treated so discourteously by your crew. But I commend you on your perseverance. It is hard to find good men these days. As for myself I spent the weekend alone unable to rouse a suitable crew. My sturdy second, Col. Bearbait, is off on expedition through the wilds of South America. Although traveling by myself I was not strictly alone. I took note of many of Pvt. Bushwetter’s folk traveling in formation down the rivers. It was as if they were tethered together and being chased by a maniac on non-motorized sled. Did you perchance observe the Aurora dancing across the sky, early Monday Morning? For me it was as if the heavens themselves rewarded my endeavors with a shimmering curtain of green.

    All the best, stiff upper lip etcetera,

    Adam

  18. #18
    Bill M
    Guest

    Few more pics

    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfire
    The following morning dawned cold and cloudy with an inch of light snow. After our breakfast rations, we mounted up and proceeded further up the the valley. Soon after leaving camp we encountered a most unpleasant trail condition: very slick, very rutted ice. It was then that I noticed the implements attached to the tires of the troops: carbide studs! How was it that the commander of this expedition was not apprised of this technology? Everybody had them but I! I was to pay dearly for this transgression in the miles ahead to the amusement of the troops. Finally, bruised, sore, and somewhat the worse for wear, we emerged onto the object of our quest, the Knik Glacier!
    Here is a couple more pics I promised. We just got back from The Trail and it was a bit soft but good riding. I think we were having more fun than the back of the pack mushers trying to finish the Klondike 300 that we met.
    Bill M
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19
    FatBike Fiend
    Reputation: Wildfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    961

    A few more pics

    Nadsacul, our wagon driver, took these ones.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dRjOn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,290
    that ice is amazing. is that shaped by wind? or water (prior to freezing)?

  21. #21
    FatBike Fiend
    Reputation: Wildfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    961

    A little of each, I think.

    Either that or mutant ice worms. There are so many bizzarre ice formations up there it is mind boggling. Very cool place, in more ways then one.
    Quote Originally Posted by dRjOn
    that ice is amazing. is that shaped by wind? or water (prior to freezing)?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #22
    OlTime XR500 JumpingChamp
    Reputation: CrystalBay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    98
    That dog of yours is awesome may I inquire what breed is he,she ,what a beautiful animal...

  23. #23
    FatBike Fiend
    Reputation: Wildfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    961

    Irish Setter

    Thank you, I will tell him he has fan mail! Loves to run, hates to stop. His name's Charlie, just turned five.
    Quote Originally Posted by CrystalBay
    That dog of yours is awesome may I inquire what breed is he,she ,what a beautiful animal...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    47
    Great pics and a great thread. something to dream about.

  25. #25
    FatBike Fiend
    Reputation: Wildfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    961

    Thank you

    It's like our Alaska motto says: Dream Big, Feel Small. Wait, it doesn't say that at all does it? Well, it should. Glad you liked it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ridge
    Great pics and a great thread. something to dream about.

  26. #26
    FatBike Fiend
    Reputation: Wildfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    961

    Found another picture

    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfire
    It's like our Alaska motto says: Dream Big, Feel Small. Wait, it doesn't say that at all does it? Well, it should. Glad you liked it.
    Here's another picture from the ordeal. Moab ain't got nothin' on us! Stand by for details on another trip sometime in March.

    Wildfire
    Attached Images Attached Images

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •