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My Big Red Couch

Thursday, May 12, 2005

13hours32minutes783.8miles - Revisited (or finally visited)

Friday night, a few Fridays ago, I got a phone call from a guy in Fairbanks. "I'll pay what you're asking for that sidecar you have if you can deliver it to North Pole." I check my Pocket PC, Outlook, Dayrunner et al and ask, "will you be home on Sunday?"

My alarm goes off at 5:50am Sunday morning. I hit snooze. I've slept fairly well, I went to bed before 10pm but my habit more often than not is taking that extra 9 minutes to wake up. I turn off the alarm at 5:58. I dress and peck Jamie on the cheek before I leave.

I take my note pad and take notes (duh). Notes in italics with exposition in parenthesis after

6:06 - 43 degrees (I fired up the truck; that's what the clock and onboard thermometer read. I was on the road)

6:10 - 20oz breve with sugar free vanilla $5.00; super skinny denim (diet coffee is what I treat myself to. super skinny denim refers to the coffee girl. She's way too shiny and wearing a denim skirt that's frayed at the edges. She's blonde and her legs are whiter than white. It's overcast with a hint of rain but that's no excuse for her paleness)

6:17 - Highway cruise @ 70

6:20 - wet road F650PD
(my first motorcycle of the day, a BWM F650PD)

6:23 - old Wing or Ultra (my second motorcycle of the day)

6:30 - Bump to 75 @ Birchwood

6:36 - rain @ Eklutna end of the flats

6:42 - CCW Option
(CCW option is "counter clockwise." I hadn't considered anything other than driving up the Parks Highway and coming back down the Richardson Highway and across the Glenn Highway. Long about Eagle River I started thinking about the CCW option. The worst stretch of road, and by worst I mean the most complicated to drive when fatigued, is from Palmer to Eureka Summit so I decided to knock that out early in the day)


I went right instead of straight Posted by Hello

6:45 - Be Yourself / Audioslave (yeah, this may be simple but I dig Audioslave and hearing them on the radio near the beginning of the trip is quite possibly prophetic so I note it. Maybe this is my summer song or this trip's song)

6:49 - P/W Highway Stoplight (at the intersection of the Palmer-Wasilla Highway and Glenn Highway is my second time physically stopping the vehicle today)

6:50 - Palmer Tesoro (gas stop)

6:54 - Ford guy - back to the highway - 40.7mi (Ford guy was this kinda creepy guy that made small talk with my while I paid for my trip snacks. Honey roasted peanuts and peanut M&M's are my road food of choice. I had a full Nalgene bottle of AWWU's finest so I had plenty of fluids and I was back on the highway with a full tank of gas and my eyes on Paxon Lodge for my next stop)

7:00 - Trooper/PPD
(I'm not sure what it was, maybe even a State Corretions officer but it was coming from the opposite direction and miraculously enough I wasn't speeding)

7:02 - Moose Creek (I like the Moose Creek area. There's a State campground on the outside of the road at the bottom of a blind downhill corner. It's a wonder there aren't more accidents there)

7:04 - 50.0mi (I didn't figure it out for another few miles but I decided to record my mileage at every one hour interval from my departure time. Doing the math in my head in a couple of minutes I figured out I averaged 52 mph in my first hour. Not too bad with three physical stops of an average 4 minutes each).

7:12 - Kings River

7:16 - sunglasses
(There are two straitaways between King River and Chickaloon and on one of those straigtaways the sun came between the mountains and below the clouds and burned into my retinas. It was then that I realized I didn't have my sunglasses)


Here comes the sun (before Chickaloon) Posted by Hello

7:26 - Sable/Hockey (At the top of the hill just past Chickaloon you lose Anchorage/Valley radio and all that is left is whatever there is towards Glennallen and you also lose any passing lanes for a few miles. It was on the upslope of that hill where I got stuck behind a Mercury Sable that was doing less than my speed limit and I found Hockey Music on the radio. It was on KOOL 97.3 in Anchorage but it was cutting in and out. Some show about classic instrumentals of the 60's and it was the "hockey music" period. You know hockey music, right? pretty much anything that's played on an old Hammond organ or Rhodes piano)

7:30 - CD launch (I have a blue plastic rack that holds about 20 CDs in two rows. This rack, on hard turns, has a habit of wandering over towards the passenger side of the truck and as it descends the drive shaft hump it deposits my discs all over the floor. This wasn't one of those dumps; not that sharp of a curve, but it was tipped about half way over. The curve was one in the set of sharpest curves right before Weiner Lake. Those curves are a biker's dream. Mr. Truck loaded down with the flamecar was none too pleased. As it turned out when I tipped the CD bucket back up not a single disc stayed in it and they spread out all over the floor. The hockey music died out and I was left with either static or Sunday Morning Glenallen preaching. I chose silence for a few more miles)

7:36 - 83.4mi - glacierview (ok, for the record I thought I had spotted the Matanuska Glacier for the first time. It was either another glacier or a river. It was early morning and, while I wasn't quite delerious yet, I wasn't right either).

7:41 - Hicks Creek (there's a cafe/roadhouse with horse rentals here and I've sworn forever that "someday I will stop here." Not today)

7:43 - Pixies (just after Hicks Creek the road opens up to an uphill passing lane and I slowed a bit and nabbed Surfer Rosa. Yum)

7:44 - MP 100 / 91.8 (the mileage from Anchorage to Glennallen on the Glenn Highway is was measured sometime in the 1940's or 50's after the highway was finished. The new highway across the Palmer Hay Flats, bypassing the Bodenburg Butte, took about 9 miles out of the route but the mileposts have never been changed. That would be tantamout to changing the address of a few hundred people. In Alaska your milepost on the highway is your address so all the mileages are off)

7:46 - Glacier pix


Real glacier view at Long Rifle Posted by Hello

7:47 - motorhome
(It's not quite tourist season so I noted the first motorhome I saw)

7:55 - ear pop (It had been 8 minutes. I was getting bored)

New bridge at Caribou Creek. I love it for that few brief weeks in the Spring when the construction hasn't started back up yet. Posted by Hello


8:03 - Gunsite
(just coming alongide Gunsite Mountain)


The view near Gunsite Mountain Posted by Hello


8:06 - MP 127 / 118.6mi

Enough for tonight. More soon.

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