by Vicki Sanfelipo, RN/EMT
ASM Training is again available to Alaska Riders. With the extended response times the local area is acutely aware of how important this training is and because of that ABATE of Alaska hosted instructor training in Anchorage March 1-4, 2013. Barbara Smart, ABATE member and owner of Alaska Leather took care of all of the arrangements. I am proud to introduce Cynthia Harkness, Brian Taylor and Patricia Hurn-Kautz. They already have a class scheduled for a touring group and would love to serve your group or organization. Despite the cold and snow a student arrived on his 3 wheeler that he rides year around. Most Alaskans are those who came to visit and simply never left leading to a true melting pot of people with pioneer spirits. Our class was also attended by some of the local military riders. No matter where I go it seems I not only teach but I learn as well.
Though it took a full day to get to Anchorage and another full day to get back home with 4 days of teaching, I managed to get out and do some exploring of the area.
The weather was milder than what they were experiencing back in Wisconsin with 35-40 each day and mostly sunny. The sun would not rise until about 8:30 am and it stayed light until 7:00 pm. I was also fortunate to have a cousin living right in Anchorage who I had not seen in 25 years so she and I did some adventuring together. After class on Friday I jumped right in my rented car and headed out of town on Hwy 1 (Seward Hwy) to Alyeska ski resort. Hwy 1 runs along the Turnagain Arm inlet with miles of muddy ice and mountainous terrain. A local at a local pub had told me about the drive to the ski area and a tram that went to a restaurant called “Seven Glaciers” perched on a mountain top overlooking the inlet and of course, seven glaciers! Once at the top I treated myself to “oxtail & grilled scallops” before heading back to town and preparing for another full day of teaching.
When I got done teaching on Monday my cousin Barb and I left for Tekeetna, a small town that some say the TV show Northern Exposure was based on. We had reservations at a quaint old hotel called the Roadhouse. On the way we stopped to take pictures of the moose right along side the highway. The hotel was more like a bed and breakfast with a shared bathroom and creaky floors and the most comfortable bed I think I’ve ever slept in. The next morning we went down to the great room where locals were coming in for breakfast. Home made food and baked goods kept a steady stream of happy customers rolling through. Barb and I explored all 3 blocks of the downtown and then I went on an adventure I will never forget. Tekeetna Air Taxi gives tours of Mount McKinley, known to the locals as “The Denali”. I called and found that they were doing a 3 hour Grand Denali Tour going all the way around the Denali as well as a glacier landing. It was a clear sunny day giving us a spectacular view. Once we stopped on the Ruth Glacier we were able to climb into an igloo that had been abandoned several days earlier. Once back to town we had to focus on getting back to Anchorage so I could catch my flight home.
So what did I learn? I learned that Alaskans are passionate, adventurous people. I learned that Alaska is beautiful even in the winter. I learned that there is a whole different way of life that is lived when roads and land are less developed. I learned how far away Alaska is and I learned how lucky we are in the lower 48 states to have access to services and training without having to drive 100s of miles.
Join Road Guardians today to assist with our mission to reduce injuries and fatalities to motorcyclists. Have you taken an ASM class? Are you currently certified? Do you have an instructor trained in your area or are you willing to teach? Our goal is to have instructors in every state some day. Call 262-706-3278 or contact online.