Day 16 distance: 318 miles
Total trip distance: 3,931 miles
Temperatures mostly in the 60s with cloud cover most of the day. Roads were dry.
This would be my last full day in Alaska for this trip. Leaving Anchorage about 9am, I headed north to Palmer and continued northeast from there.The path of Hwy 1 follows the Matanuska River through the small towns of Farm Loop, Sutton Alpine and Chickaloon.
There was one major construction delay in a slide area.
When not immediately adjacent to the river, the road hugs the walls of this glacial canyon providing glimpses of snow capped peaks.
It always sharpens the focus when you realize there are no guardrails and only a suggestion of a shoulder. This part of today’s ride was definitely exciting, with twists and elevation changes along with scenic views.
The road widens as I approach the source of the Matanuska River, the ice field and glacier of the same name.
Eventually, the narrow canyon widened into huge and lush valleys. The road itself was in good shape for the most part, but mostly straight and much less interesting.
I topped off with fuel in Glennallen, Alaska and stopped at the IGA supermarket to pick up some deli items for lunch. I met Joe, a local resident who asked where I was from. On hearing my answer, he announced, “This is Trump country here.” Joe has been a long time resident and, apparently a well-known source of fishing flies.
It started to rain and rained off and on for the rest of the day, though it was never too heavy, so I mostly just focused on riding.
Last time in Tok, I set up my tent. This time, I would be in a cabin, just to mix it up.
Instead of heading to Fast Eddie’s Restaurant again, I just decided to have a Mountain House meal at the cabin. I have been carrying them for weeks and rehydrated the Beef Stroganoff.
While it was “soaking”, I gave the bike a bit of a sponge bath using the rags available in the room. 🙂
I would be heading back down the Alaskan Highway from here.
Day’s distance: 386 miles
Total trip distance: 4,317 miles
The day was warm, sunny with some strong afternoon breezes. I headed out of Tok after stopping for a latte and breakfast sandwich, which seemed more to my liking than the breakfast selections offered at the cabin.
The border crossing was only 90 miles from Tok, and I encountered one construction delay on the way there. I was able to cut to the front of the line for this one, and got a jump on the line of RVs I had been stuck behind.
There were several patches of loose gravel and other patches of fresh oil on the road this morning.
At the border crossing, I was still in front of everyone. I pulled up and was on my way in just a few minutes.
Today’s ride included a long gravel section of road that kept things interesting, but mostly it was long stretches that looked like the photo below. I kept repeating to myself, “Yukon is a big place. Yukon is a big place.” 🙂
There were small lakes dotting the landscape …
and this time I stopped at this bakery near Quill Creek that I noticed on the way up.
I grabbed a roast beef sandwich on a small baguette and had some coffee. Both were delicious and inexpensive.
Continuing on, I passed by Kluane Lake again …
and refueled in Haines Junction. By refueled, I mean I put gas into the bike and one more latte from the Village Bakery into me. It looked like I was going to miss a music event that was being set up.
With the time change, I arrived in Whitehorse just a few minutes after 6pm. I got checked into the same hotel I stayed at last week and cleaned up. It was warm and sunny, and everyone was running around in shorts and t-shirts.
Last week, I made reservations for Antoinette’s for tonight and started a delicious dinner with a martini.
Dinner was Curry Chicken Stew with spiced prawns. It was spicy and delicious. I had a great time talking with the staff about travel, blogging, art and living in Whitehorse and Seattle.
A good meal finishing a good day. You can’t ask for more.
I spend one more day on the Alaskan Highway, landing in Watson Lake. After that, I turn south and ride the Cassiar Highway, a new road for me.
Although my lodging in Watson Lake advertises high-speed internet, I would be surprised if it is actually useable. The night after that is camping, so it may be a few days before I get to update the blog again. Stay tuned!