Kelly's 2011 Alaska Journey

Day 10 - Monday, 5/30

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It turned out that I was able to test yesterday's hypothesis after all (the one about the sun shining at night). The people in an adjacent room were making enough noise last night to wake me at 3:00am. (thanks, people) There was plenty of light streaming in from around the curtains to indicate that it was indeed light outside.

Today I head to Valdez, AK.

Highway 4
to Valdez
I'm having difficulties with email. Getting 3G for my phone is problematic, so I can't see nor answer messages with it. When I have wireless, I can access my home server with my laptop, but since changing over from Comcast to AT&T my remote mail utility isn't configured properly for sending messages out. So I'll READ your messages, but can't respond. If you need a reply, please send a text message to my phone.

At this point it should come as no surprise to me that the ride will be interesting no matter what my expectations are. What I figured would be a fairly routine ride turned out much better.

Visual
Palindrome
Crossing
Mountains
Crossing
Mountains
Approaching
Mountains
The smoke had cleared up from the forest fire (or at least, the wind had shifted it elsewhere), and the ride from Tok to Valdez was quite beautiful. I'd actually passed this location, then decided I should spin back around to take photos with the canon. It was a good move- The sun was right, the lake was as still as glass. The reflections were amazing. I took many photos of this as you'd expect, though the best aren't being put on the Internet! (I'm sure you understand)

I'm in a
postcard!
Scenic
canyon
Pipeline
Some time later, I saw a visitor access to the Alaska Pipeline. It's hard to believe it's only 48" (1.2m) in diameter, not counting the outside insulation. I haven't yet seen the terminus of it, but I have seen pumping stations along the way to the town of Valdez.

The rest of the ride was quite nice too- Although no snow was visible yesterday, today more than made up for it.

Worthington
Glacier
Can you beat
this view?
Again, the mountains would have looked right at home in Switzerland. The waterfalls of snowmelt along the road were amazing.

Worthington Glacier was a sight too- I know not all ice that's colored blue is glacial, but this was. (I've seen a lot of blue ice along the way- that on top of lakes is often a deep blue as well.) This was a large glacier, and was visible from quite some distance away. It's rather surprising that it stays as large as it is with all the sun that hits it.

Horsetail falls,
Keystone Canyon
Waterfalls
everywhere
Keystone
Canyon
Past the glacier, through the last 12 miles just before Valdez was Keystone Canyon. Now, you've heard for days just how spectaularly beautiful the places were through which I rode. But this was something extra. The green walls of the canyon, the snow on the mountains, and the waterfalls from melting snow were nothing short of phenomenal. It was so amazing in fact, that I rode back and forth through the canyon a few times.

I managed to book a ferry ride from Valdez to Anchorage. It'll save time, and provide views I wouldn't see otherwise. The rest of the day was pretty relaxing.

Total riding distance today: 320 mi / 515 km   Running total: 3800 / 6116 km

Stay tuned...

-K

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