Day 10, July 13
Valdez to Bird Creek AK
We were lucky yesterday coming in, today it is still beautiful but clouds cover the top third of the mountains, blocking some of the most impressive views.
Today we need to meet up with Zach from the Anchorage BMW shop, he has my lower fender and some other necessary bits. It’s Sunday, and Zach is nice enough to bring the parts to his house where we pick them up, he also loans Mike tools for installation. Definitely over and above the typical service we expect from a dealership! The new lower front fender protects my visor from road spray much better than the high fender.
Zach and his Dad also help with our immediate plans, which include a ride down to Homer Spit. Zach tells us about a great restaurant along the way which is open late (a good thing), and also that getting all the way to Homer tonight would be nearly impossible.
At a gas station earlier in the day, a local mentioned to us that it takes a day to get from anywhere to anywhere else in Alaska. He’s right. We make plans as we look at the map, then constantly revise those plans when the reality of mileage finally catches up to us.
We get lost on our way out of Anchorage. We got lost on the way in, too (we’ll get lost here again in a few days, at least were consistent!). They’re working on the freeway and it’s all a messed-up confusion of detours. Finally after some cussing and fussing, were headed out Hwy 1 towards Homer.
It’s late in the afternoon and were all tired. After wandering a bit in the ski town of Girdwood, Mike finds the restaurant Zach mentioned. Its excellent food, definitely worth it.
Mike’s still looking for a place to spend the night, and he’s not having his usual luck. We finally backtrack a bit to an old motel we’d seen a few miles before, its now way past 10pm, and the motel office is the front room of the owner’s home. While we fill out registration cards, the owner bounces a baby girl on his knee and two other daughters clad in nightgowns and bare feet peek shyly from behind an open doorway. We pick up wicker baskets full of continental breakfast fare (homemade muffins and coffee cake, yogurt, orange juice) and head to our rooms.
This old motel room has been lovingly re-done and fitted with a large comfortable bed, microwave, refrigerator and coffee maker. All the comforts of home, except cable or satellite TV! They have VCRs and movies, but we’re so tired, we just fall into bed and to sleep.