Alaska 2023

Day 13

July 20

  While I am out getting BlueBelle ready to go I finally get a float plane taking off as the wind has changed directions to favor them coming this way.  

As I make my way out of Homer I notice this huge chair that I didn't see coming in. As Ron a riding buddy of mine says

"Riding a road in the opposite direction is riding a different road"

and he is right. You see things one way that you don't see coming from the other way and this is a prime example.

  It's just gonna be one of those old damp rainy days but I'm geared up for it and have plenty of time so I can take it easy.  
  And with the rain there's some fog mixed in so you just have to be careful as these are the conditions that some wildlife like move about in.  
  I see a sign that I wished was posted and observed all over the United States. To me it is very frustrating when some vehicle is going way below the posted speed limit and there is a long line of vehicles stacked up behind them.  
  Since it's a shorter day going to Anchorage and I already know where I want to do breakfast, I take a bit of a side road with an interesting name - Kalifornisky Beach Road.  
  It's a pretty ride with the water on your left for most of it's length.  
  Soon I am back at the Duck Inn where my timing for them opening should be just about right.  
  Unfortunately "Houston, we have a problem" as I see this sign posted on their door.  
  That's a wait of an hour or so but then I've got plenty of time today. So I go next door and gas up while I have the time. There are worse things that having to wait for really good food.  
  And the wait is well worth it as the hot chocolate on this damp day is very comforting.  
  And the omelet and bacon and toast make the wait well worth it.  

While I'm enjoying my food, one of the owners stops by to see if everything is all right. It turns out that she and her sister bought this place from their parents to keep it running. Knowing how difficult dealing with the general public is, I tell her

"You are definitely a brave woman to want to do this."

But she and her sister grew up working here so they had a pretty good idea as to what they were getting into.

  After consuming that wonderful breakfast, I am back out on the road. I see what appears to be strange wildlife gates on the side of the highway but I can't quite figure out how they function..  
  I know I will be in 'traffic city' when I get to Anchorage proper, so I enjoy the empty roads for as long as I can.  
  The scenery is so enjoyable as I head north toward Anchorage.  
  The road just stretches on and on til it just disappears into the rugged mountains.  
  The green hue from the glacial runoff is in vivid contrast to the blue of the skies.  
  Soon I cross the lovely Kenai Lake which is 22 miles in length and over 500 feet deep in some sections.  
  Before long I pass by this perfect reflection of the beauty of the area.  
  The views go from slender waters falls making their ways down the plush green mountainsides ...  
  to reflective lakes along the roadside ...  
  to snow dusted mountains that seem to stretch out as far as the eye can see.  
  The grandeur and the scale of this area ...  
  just cannot be captured by a camera ...  
  for the vastness cannot be properly shown in such a limited representation.  
  As I get closer to Anchorage, the railroad accompanies the highway as it makes it's way around the ocean inlet.  
  But it's not an ocean area I would want to swimming in as you would probably become a human iceberg in short order.  
  Once I get into Anchorage proper, I leave the beautiful and isolated wilderness for the 'busyness' of Anchorage city streets.  

When I went looking for motels in Anchorage I found this one and picked it because it was the most reasonably priced. When I check in, the lady warns me that there are no bathrooms in the rooms themselves. It is a European arrangement where there are common bathrooms on each floor with locking doors. She says

"Some people won' accept that so I always let people know up front before they check in."

Since I'm familiar with the arrangement from my travels in Europe I tell her that I'm fine with it and get checked in. In Europe, a room is assumed not to have a private bathroom unless it is called 'Ensuite'. It turns out that she grew up in Memphis so we have a nice discussion about Tennessee.

  I ask her if there any any restaurants nearby that she would recommend and she directs me to the 'Lucky Wishbone'. It's a pretty good hike from the motel but I need the exercise anyway knowing it won't hurt me none.  
  Pan fried chicken is their specialty and they sure do it up right. They give you enough chicken to flounder a chow hound.  
  When I settle up and go back outside, there is a really nice 36 Pontiac getting ready to pull out. I talk to the driver and he said he spent a lot on getting it put back right. But he's got it running as it should and it's in top condition now.  
  It's a little walk from the Lucky Wishbone to motel but I get after it and make it back just fine, even with the extra baggage from all that tasty fried chicken and fixin's..  
  The room is nice enough and I settle in to sort our my plans for tomorrow. I decide to visit the downtown Anchorage museum since I do not intend to ride tomorrow. It's quite a hike from here but again I know the walking will do me good after all the sitting I've done over the last thirteen days. With things figured out for tomorrow, I walk right into the place of blissful slumber with no effort at all.