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Uraling to Alaska - The Glenn/Richardson Highways to Valdez

A view of the mountains near Wasilla
A view of the mountains near Wasilla

Back on the road again!

I said my goodbyes (again) to Sharon and Bob, such great hosts in both my times of need and headed out of Wasilla shortly after 9:00 AM.

I got on Alaska Highway 1 aka the Glenn Highway, heading east towards Glennallen. The scenery continued to be marvelous to look at and I made slow progress on the way east due to the many picture opportunities.

Glennallen came and went, not much to the "town" per se. The clouds were fully obscuring any view of Mount Blackburn, the second highest volcano in the USA, so that was a bit disappointing. Hopefully, the weather will be clearer when I make my way back to Glennallen tomorrow on my way to the Denali Highway.

Valencia and I then motored down Alaska Highway 4 and into stiff headwinds that really killed my MPG ratings....The skies got steadily more and more overcast as we headed south towards Valdez.

Lots of snow along the road on Thompson Pass even with such a low altitude. Note the right-angled metal posts, I believe they're used to indicate the shoulders of the road for snow plow operations.

Shortly after crossing Thompson Pass, you are almost at Valdez. I got to the town at 4:30 PM, about 7 hours of road time counting time done taking pictures. The skies had really clouded over as you could see in the shots involving Thompson Pass.

The town of Valdez is still experiencing the remnants of the large amounts of snow they usually get every year. Apparently, their average snowfall is 300 inches of the white stuff. I wandered about town a bit, stopped by the Visitor Center and got some lodging info. Some calls later, I just picked the closest one as they all were running about the same prices for a night's stay. All the campgrounds, you see, remain big surprise given the large amounts of snow piled up in the city.

I went to a place called Old Town Burger for dinner, and while munching on my burger, a gentleman in riding leathers and Harley-Davidson logo'ed gear stops at my table. He asked if Valencia was my bike, upon getting my answer he invites me to a nearby Bike Blessing that was happening in a half hour.

I thanked him and he walked back to the group he was eating with before. I finished dinner, paid and geared up to attend the Bike Blessing Ceremony, it was going to be my first one!

There were about 15 or so motorcycles there total, most of them were Harley-Davidsons and all their riders turned and looked at me as I motored in and backed into a spot next to them. Yep, had to back her in to demo that capability of the URAL! :)

The other riders and I mixed and mingled, doing some light chatting until the Blessing Ceremony got underway. It was short and sweet and to the point. I figure, Valencia and I could use the blessing you know? :)

I didn't hang around for long after the ceremony, most of the bikers belonged to the local ABATE club and they were having an ad-hoc meeting. I went back to the Downtown B&B where I was staying and settled in the for the night. The proprietors had asked me if I knew the weather guessers were predicting eight inches of snow for Friday. I will have to make my escape northwards tomorrow in order to not be trapped in Valdez.

I hope the morning's weather tomorrow is nice and clear, there were some magnificent mountains on AK Hwy 4 aka the Richardson Highway but clouds precluded good shots of them.

Valencia did great today, no issues except for the low MPG caused by headwinds, and that's not really her fault is it?

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