After spending the night about 80 miles from Sarah’s house, I awoke a bit more balanced in perspective. To wit, we had 4 ride options today: 36, 48, 62 and 88 mile rides. Unconservatively, I decided to do the 88 miler today.
Here’s my reasoning. Yes some of my anatomy is hurting, namely my butt, my legs and my shoulders, in that order. But in front of me was an opportunity to experience a great ride across Alaska that would benefit my mind, my spirits and my friendships with the other riders. Plus it would add the benefit of making me a stronger rider in the future as I extended the boundaries of my limits. So I decided to tax my body a little bit more so other parts of my life would be better. Obviously, this is much more liberal thinking than I used the day before, which focused on a ‘no taxing, no gain’ philosophy. Today there was some pain but a lot of gain–in fact it was epic! (I’m sure some of you can find a political message in there somewhere.)
The ride today was amazingly sightful (I’m running out of adjectives for this place and ride.) We saw the Drunken Forest, a huge plateau where the trees are almost black and some leaning over. This is because it is established in a former glacier bed, and the earth is soft and mushy and still ‘setting up’ after the ice melted– like 300 years ago.
Then there was another 2 glaciers in the far distance. Nelchina and Tazlina. Did you know there are a 100,000 active glaciers in Alaska, some unnamed? This one had a name but I forgot it. Sorry.
We had lunch at a cute little, and remote, Mendeltna Roadhouse, where Mabel served incredible Salmon Dip and Stuffed Dates along with fresh Halibut simply prepared and served with a fresh green Salad from her garden out back. This is one of the original roadhouses in Alaska, back when autos could only travel about 30 or 40 miles before they needed to fuel up. I have a selection of pictures for you to see, and one video. Hope the video works.
After lunch, we began the last leg of our 88 miler. From noon until about 4pm we covered nearly 50 miles in just about 4 hours. The group of riders solved many world problems as we distracted ourselves from the long ride. We talked about politics, religion, healthcare reform, taxes and other things I was too tired to think about.
The ride was epic though. First 20 miles were pretty much an uphill slog. Then the rest of it was long straightaways and rolling hills. There were occassional inclines that were long and steep, just to remind us we were riding our bikes across rugged countryside. The last 600 feet were straight uphill, just to make sure we remebered the ride.
Anyway, got to get to dinner. I’ll blog again tomorrow.
Oh! I forgot. We made our way from Sheeps Mountain to the Copper River Valley today. Yes the same Copper River that some of the best Salmon comes from. The picture with the big white mountain is the view from our cocktail hour chairs.
And the Mosquitos are NASTY!!
The ride was epic.
Categories: Travel and Life's Adventures