I woke up to a beautiful day in Palmer, Alaska. The sun was shining again and the mountains looked great against the bright blue sky. It was beautiful and I wasn’t ready to leave, but it was time. I packed up the bike and said my goodbyes to my family. I really enjoyed staying with them.
I headed out of town on the Glenn Highway north towards Tok. The first 50-100 miles were fantastic as the road weaved in and out of canyons with snow covered mountains in every direction. The roads kept encouraging me to twist my right hand just a little bit more. The great vistas and twisty road made for a fantastic morning of riding.
I stopped for a quick snack over looking one of the glaciers. It was one of the better ones I’ve seen on this trip, and I think I’ve seen over a half dozen now. Maybe more, there are a lot in this part of the world. Video below.
Lunch was on a cliff overlooking a twisty, scraggly brown river as is meandered through the canyon while watching the rain clouds dump on the mountains in the distance. It was quiet and serene.
The only noise was the river gurgling below and the birds chirping across the road. I loved the silence. I don’t get to enjoy that much in MN with the “thump thumps” patrolling around constantly. What are those you ask? I’m sure you have them near you too. The stupidly loud stereos in vehicles that you can hear long before you can see going “thump thump…” The noisy exhausts in the city get old after a while too. The silence was golden.
The clouds were starting to get too close, so I got my gear back on and hit the road. Further up, the road deteriorated and the infamous Alaskan road construction started. Lots of gravel for about twenty miles on and off. The exciting part was when the signs blew away since the gravel and the road are almost the same color. A front tire sliding around will get your attention! The only warning is a lack of paint in the center.
Alaska version of “pavement ends”
After the gravel, I caught up with the storms I had been watching all day. Another twenty miles riding in the rain/snow mix and it was back to blue skies. I’m glad I didn’t have the 170 mile version as Richard did the other day.
Sunshine on the other side of the storm. A little ray of hope:
I made it to Tok early, but not early enough to make a run for the border tonight. I’ll attempt that first thing in the morning. Well, after a 90 mile ride to get to it.
This is my last night in Alaska, and it makes me sad. I really enjoyed my time up here – the people, the mountains, the vastness of nature. If you’ve never been, start making some plans. It is a beautiful state.
I’m sad to leave, but excited I will get to see my wife soon. I miss her.
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Video: Glacier View