Dawn in the Valdez Small Boat Harbor
As the forecast proved correct, Brad and I ate a leisurely breakfast at the Downtown B&B Inn and then geared up and left at 0730 AM, destination: The Glenn Highway, with Anchorage being somewhat the objective.
Here's Brad, fellow ADV Rider from Washington, Horizon Airline Pilot,
also on a long Alaskan Ride/Vacation.
Brad's KLR 650 led the way out of town, but we shortly ended up hop scotching positions as both of us looked for spots for pictures with our respective motorcycles.
Last views of the mountains, part of the Chugach Range, outside of Valdez
Brad and his KLR 650, looking back towards Valdez
Softly lit mountain peaks visible from the Richardson Highway
as we headed towards Glennallen
We soon arrived at the top of Thompson Pass, all snow-clad due to recent snows, but the road across it was clear and dry, mostly.
Brad parked his motorcycle a bit too far into the snow, but it
was easy to get back out, once we took pictures of course.
Looking north on Thompson Pass
Looking south on Thompson Pass
After coming down from Thompson Pass, Brad explored the road into Worthington Glacier but found it covered in ice and impassable. Upon his return to the highway, his engine was running roughly. It seems that his carburetor floats are perhaps sticking, causing fuel delivery issues. After waiting a bit, and draining the bowl twice, the bike starting running well again. We added some Heet (water remover fuel additive) and some Marvel Mystery Oil (another fuel additive that cleans/lubricates carburetor parts as part of its functions).
We motored on but sometime soon afterwards, it was my turn at some bad luck. I felt the pusher tire start to wiggle on me and as I started to slow down, it went flat on me! I got her slowed down and pulled over to the side of the road.
Sighing just a little bit, I got to work on replacing the flat tire with the spare tire on Valencia's trunk. Conditions were optimal in terms of location, equipment, weather and lighting....so the operation took perhaps 30 minutes.
Rejoined by Brad, we continued motoring onwards, both of us basically now escorting the other due to our respective issues of the day. Glennallen came and went, after tanking up and warming up with some coffee, we set out towards Eureka.
Soon after Eureka, we got to the really scenic portion of the Glenn Highway. The mountains were snow-covered and looked gorgeous against the bright blue skies we were riding under. Our travel rate/speed was affected as we stopped for pictures often. Such a beautiful highway when the weather is nice, it should be on every rider's list to do some day. I've been privileged to ride it twice under good conditions, a bit brisk but good.
Pictures along the Glenn Highway
Near Glacier View, vicinity of Matanuska Glacier
I think we both, by the time we reached the vicinity of Palmer, both quite mountained-out in terms of such scenery. Still, it was such a great day for riding this highway and for taking pictures, I hope you like the pictures.
Brad and I parted company at the junction of the road to Hatcher Pass and Alaska Highway 1. He was headed on towards Anchorage and points south and I was headed to Wasilla.
I pulled into Wasilla around 5:00 PM or so, no real issues on Valencia but I did have to do a minor adjustment on the clutch cable to tighten it a bit, no big deal. Valencia did great today, but then again, it wasn't raining. The forecast for the next few day is for sun and warm temperatures, so further testing will have to wait.
In Palmer, AK
Maintenance day tomorrow, got to fix the inner tube on what started as the pusher tire this morning and figure out what's causing these blowouts as I didn't find any puncture evidence on the tire itself.
Next ride? I am thinking a ride down to Whittier for the day, see what there is to see.