Alaska 2023

Day 08

July 15

  Today is a planned 'short' day of just over 250 miles. On long trips like this I will do a short day just to help with what I call 'accumulated fatigue'. Since I'm in no real hurry, I get BlueBelle ready to roll and wander over to Fast Eddie's for a good breakfast.  
  I can't help but notice the interesting chandelier that hangs in Fast Eddies just as you come through the front door.  
  Nothing better to start your day off than with a big old cup of hot chocolate topped with enough whipped cream to clog your arteries.  
  I order my usual 'traveling' breakfast - a meat and cheese omelet and it is very, very good.  
  With proper nourishment obtained, I waddle outside I see that it sure looks like rain to me. So I go ahead a suit up before I leave the premises rather than have to stop on the side of the road somewhere and do it.  
  The wisdom of my choice becomes apparent only a few miles down the road.  
  And it looks like it is just gonna be one of them wet days all day long. But I can't complain as I have encounter very little rain over the past seven days of being on the road.  
  It must have been raining for as while as I see this usually dry river filling up.  
  Once again I have the road pretty much to myself which gives me opportunity to noodle a bit about some things on my mind.  
  When I reach this sign my choice is Valdez as I plan to take the ferry out of Valdez to Whittier then from there ride to Seward and Homer.  
  I come to the 'Hub of Alaska' which sits at where A1 hangs a right and A4 proceeds into Valdez. It is just outside of Glenallen and it is a really busy stop as many folks come through this intersection. This should be enough gas to get me all the way into Valdez.  
  As I get back on A4 it looks like I'll be descending into valley before long.  
  I've been told that the ride into Valdez is really pretty but so far it's not as compelling to me as the road from Haines Junction to Haines.  
  There are some nice snow covered mountains which I always enjoy seeing.  
  And they have a brooding appeal as the clouds come down to caress their tops.  
  But I am snatched from my visual enjoyment by some more infernal road construction again - and this is some nasty stuff if you are on two wheels.  
  Up ahead I hear a familiar sound of a KTM and see the riders are two up. I'm pretty sure it's Rick and Connie as we talked about our mutual trips up here when we were both at OHSToc earlier in the year. We figured out that we would probably be up here around the same time but we didn't know if our paths would actually cross..  
  I pull up beside them and wave and Connie recognizes me immediately. An ugly mug like mine is not hard to recognize or to miss.  
  There is no good place to pull off but I figure there will be one sooner or later.  
  The most scenic part of the ride into Valdez is what they call the 'canyon' where there is a narrow passage between the mountains and a couple of nice waterfalls.  
  When we come to a nice pull off at one of the waterfalls we take advantage of it. I give them both a big Uncle Phil hug and we catch up on how are trips are going so far.  
  They are just headed to Valdez for the day so they decide to proceed. I want to reposition BlueBelle to get a shot of her with the waterfall. But before I can say 'What happened' my right foot slips on the fine, wet sand that I don't notice under foot. Poor BlueBelle is laying on the ground on her right side with a busted mirror, busted mirror cover and me beside her. Fortunately Rick and Connie sees what has happened and does an about face to come back. They and a kind gentleman there with his family help me get her back up. I'm hurt but I'll be okay though I am aggravated at busting my right mirror.  
  I decide that will be my last stop on the way into Valdez so I get back on the road.  
  I arrive in the town with no further excitement and for that I am thankful.  
  When I pull into my motel that's called a hotel, it looks like it's been constructed out of ocean going containers. But such is life on the road and I'm only spending the night not a lifetime.  
  I get my poor wounded BlueBelle unloaded and try to get checked it. To their credit I am quite a bit earlier and they do find a room for me. But it is on the backside of the dessert and a long haul from the front desk. I don't know what the deal is with check in folks when they see someone with a lot of stuff to take to their room, they seem to pick one that's farthest away from the front door. But with my things stored, I mount up and go looking for a grocery store or a hardware store. I find an IGA and I'm able to get some super glue, baking soda, and duct tape. They have some outside tables, so I take advantage of them to 'reassemble' my busted mirror cover. At least I will have a right front signal light even if I don't have a right mirror. Out of abundance of caution, I duct tape the cover on just to make sure it does not take flight when I am on the road.  
  There's a local restaurant in walkable distance so I avail myself of it.  
  They have some interesting signs hanging in their dining area.  
  The only thing that floats my boat on their limited menu is their pizza offerings so that's what I order. It is very good, very fresh and very hot so I have to let it cool before I begin consumption.  
  I figure it must be the ocean air or something as all of the pizza mysteriously evaporates from the pan. Maybe if I had some government funding I could do a study on that subject ...  
  I'm hurting a bit from my fall early so I load up on some generic Tylenol I have with me. The bed's not exactly the most comfortable thing I've ever laid in, but it will do for the job tonight. Before long all the lights are out including mine.