I don’t know if it’s because I was in the mountains or because it’s been cloudy for days, but summer seems to have taken a vacation of its own. The temperature is hovering around 15°C during the day and I wake up with frozen snot during the night. Let’s hope this is only temporary, because I still have a long way to go before I’m back in the south.
Besides the weather, the trip from Palmer to Glenallen was surprisingly uneventful. Individually, some of the mountain passes were the toughest I’ve ever done, but the range as a whole wasn’t all that strenuous. I eat oatmeal – mountains don’t. Enough said.
On the second day after leaving Palmer, I came upon a huge area of road construction. Traffic was backed up for about a mile and people were hanging out of their windows, wandering the ditches smoking and staring at the Nebraska license plates in front of them. It wasn’t exactly one of the moments that get captured for the tourist brochures.
I don’t like waiting and I really don’t like lines, so I skipped into the opposite lane and blasted straight to the front of the queue. The flag lady didn’t mind, though she insisted I get a ride through the construction zone. So now, if anyone asks, I will say I rode my bike through Alaska except for five miles.
That night, I camped right beside the Matanuska Glacier. Apparently, some of the locals were charging $15 for tourists to walk on the glacier, which I thought was terribly funny. I’ve spent half my life trudging through snow and ice – I’m not paying a dime to do it in somebody else’s backyard.
The next day was a strange tapestry of hills, wind and Snickers bars. I devoured them all and ended the evening in the hamlet of Tazlina, camping beside a slough called Buffalo Lake. My frozen toes woke me up before seven and I took off for Glenallen shortly after.
I’m wearing my wool sweater at the Copper Valley Library now, and if the weather doesn’t smarten up and start shining, this is where I’ll spend the rest of my day. It’s warm and there are books. Good enough for me.