Alaska 2008 – Day 9, July 12

Day 9, July 12

Beaver Creek YT to Valdez AK

364 miles

On our way through Tok (which is pronounced Toke, we had to ask!), we stop at Fast Eddy’s for lunch and find the most awesome salad bar. Fresh varieties of lettuce, crisp veggies, huge selection, all in the middle of nowhere! Mike enjoys his first full meal in days.

We’re getting geared up and ready to head out when one of the native Canadians comes up and says to Mike “Thanks for getting my bike all warmed up and ready to go!”, we all laugh and he asks where we’re headed, we tell him Valdez and he says we’ll have an awesome ride, it’s so beautiful.

We are surprised at how nice and friendly these people are. Every native we’ve encountered is like this, it’s so cool to have folks happy to see visitors, instead of ready to kick us back the way we came.

Valdez. Oh my goodness, the ride into Valdez is one breathtaking view followed by another. The road is wide and smooth, giving us time to enjoy it all. The sky is BLUE!!! Blue, awesome, warm, sunny, clear blue SUMMER sky. Joy! Mountains soar black and jagged, and without the clouds we finally see peaks. Valleys are full of glaciers, dozens of them. Green, oh this is the most verdant true green. Everything around that’s not rock, ice or water is blooming, leafing and growing. Huge waterfalls spill and splash right along side the road.

Let’s go climb a glacier! Mike the mountain goat is scrambling everywhere, across rushing streams to stand in the middle of a waterfall, or above us on the slick wet ice.

The gravel till we stand on glows blue inner light with the weight of our footprints, look closely and you can see deep down into the clear ice below.

Valdez is inundated with Bicyclists competing in an event. They’re everywhere, totally packing the campgrounds, but we find a room at a hotel that’s worker housing in the winter. Twin beds are bolted to the opposite walls in the room, so Mike and I drag the mattresses off to meet on in the middle, taking up all of the tiny floor space and leaving room only to wedge the bathroom door open. Still, it’s loads better than the mobile home last night! And we have a continental breakfast tomorrow morning. Score!

Dinner is a good Italian restaurant next to Valdez Harbor. After dinner we wander the docks and watch the fishing boats head out. It’s midnight and barely dusk. Across the harbor, lights from the pipeline terminus complex glow in the mist.


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