The bus

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When a motor vehicle dies in Alaska, it does’t go anywhere– there are old trucks and buses scattered all over this land.  This Ford school bus is situated just a mile from the Nabesna Road on the Tok Cutoff (Glenn Hwy) behind the Midway Grocery in Slana, AK.  Jay and Debbie Capps welcome cyclists by the dozen every season, allowing them to camp on their property or spend a night in “the bus”.  Power and propane are luxuries to a touring cyclist; a cassette player, a dinner table and a drip-coffee maker are divine.  With a selection of groceries nearby and a propane stove, creative home-cooked meals are possible and I finally sampled a can of corned beef hash that I’ve been seeing in rural groceries for four years.  Augmented with lentils and curry, it was a treat.  I stayed in the bus the night before my Nabesna adventures and again on the night following.  I drank a lot of coffee; read John Steinbeck’s account “About Ed Rickett’s” who was the real life “Doc” from Cannery Row; and got lost in Neil Young’s Harvest on a worn cassette tape.  I think Neil was a road guy like us.

“Think I’ll pack it in and buy a pick-up
Take it down to LA
Find a place to call my own and try to fix up
Start a brand new day

The woman I’m thinking of, she loved me all up
But I’m so down today
She’s so fine, she’s in my mind
I hear her calling'”

“Out on the Weekend”, Neil Young, Harvest, 1972

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The aura of goodwill and kindness extends to the handwritten notes on the walls:

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And assorted memorabilia from past bike trips:

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Be sure to stop in Slana at the Midway Grocery.  Our welcoming hosts, Jay and Debbie:

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