Alaska 2023

Day 15

July 22

  Again this will be a leisurely day of just over 300 miles to get back to Tok. I get BlueBelle all packed up and ready to roll and we're off.  
  Downtown Anchorage is deserted at this time of the morning which is just fine with me.  
  It's a little out of my way, but I know where I'll be having breakfast - the City Diner. I notice that it's changed hands since the last time I was here but hopefully it has not changed quality.  
  I am thankful that is has not from the great cup of hot chocolate ...  
  to the wonderful omelet with lots of taters on the side.  
  And once again I step up to the plate and do what needs to be done.  
  When I go back outside, I meet a feller that is on a local ride for wounded veterans. We chat a bit about the challenges of being in the service and then I wish him a very good breakfast and a safe continuing ride.  
  It's a straight shot up A1 from Anchorage back to Tok and I will passing over parts of it that I have ridden in the other direction.  
  It's just a nice run by various lakes ...  
  lush green prairies ...  
  and sections that I have all to myself.  
  I have to wonder if this view has changed any in the last 200 years as it appears to be completely unspoiled by the hand of man.  
  Many sections of Highway A1 run right alongside various rivers which I really enjoy.  
  And then there are the rugged mountains that are a constant visual companion in this part of the world.  
  I figure this river must be a glacier fed one as they tend to be have large dry areas until the glaciers melt and feed them. Then they can suddenly turn in a raging torrent with unbelievable power like the one that destroyed the bridge going in Stewart and Hyder.  
  I pass by the Manatuska Glacier which is 27 miles long and 4 miles wide. It happens to be the only glacier in the United States that is accessible by automobile.  
  The closer I get to it the more I realize just how big it really is.  
  When I get to a higher elevation on the roadway, I stop to get a good parting shot of it.  
  Once again the sky does not look promising for me keeping dry.  
  But then it clears up and for that I am thankful for not having to put on my rain suit. I can see the snow covered mountains in the distance as it clears up..  
  Sometimes though it's hard to tell if it's snow on the mountain tops or just low lying clouds.  
  I cross another glacier fed river and I wonder if this is the one the Manatuska Glacier supplies.  
  It's a long lonesome road but I don't mind my own company so it suits me quite well today. At least there is no construction to speak of and that makes for a much more pleasant journey.  
  I can't imagine what it would be like to wake up every morning and have this view out your front window.  
  Soon enough I'm back to Tok and Young's Motel and ...  
  and Fast Eddy's for another scrumptious meal.  
  I still decide on fish but some just a little bit less 'filling' than the last time. Nothing like a good and fresh halibut sandwich to finish the day with.  
  And finish I do as there is nothing much left but a used napkin, ketchup stains and the artillery that I used to bring about the desolation.  
  When I get back to my room, I am wrestling with which way I go to Haines Junction. Remembering how bad the road construction is headed due south from here, I really don't want to ride through that again. But if I go straight down the ALCAN, it's about 290 miles but through some really nasty construction that I had to deal with coming up. My only other option is to take the Top of the World Highway which is through Dawson City and then White Horse which makes it a 600 mile day. I know that way will have plenty of gravel but I can deal with gravel. The idea of fighting my way back through the slick mud does not appeal to me. I get online and check the Yukon DOT site and they say there are only 2 short sections of construction on the road from Dawson City south to White Horse. After much noodling around in my head, I decide I will go the long way in hopes of avoiding a mess. Little do I know the profound impact that decision will make on me in many ways. With that decided, I head for the shortest path to the land of slumber where there is no road construction.