50 States, Day 51, Monday. 298 miles
"Some men give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal; while
others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than before."~Polybius
How can I adequately describe the majesty and beauty of the ride today? From
Valdez to Glenallen, the road follows a raging torrent that carries silt and ice water to the ocean. The hills look like Jurassic Park, almost vertical yet covered with a solid beard of green foliage. A waterfall snakes down the cliff like a white feather boa, every drop of water white from the crashing fall to earth. Above these mountains tower more formidable mountains, the white snow a stark contrast to the black rock, together forming a black and white cameo effect.
One frustrating section as I rode was probably the loveliest and I followed a pilot car through a construction zone, no chance to stop for a photograph.
Let's not forget Valdez, either. The majestic mountains that surround the sea
drop right into the shoreline, the snow level only a few hundred feet above sea level. The latitude gives it a high elevation feel, as the trees disappear only a few hundred feet up.
The majority of Valdez shoreline is bay, with fishing and charter boats
wrestling for position, and seagulls enjoy a fine meal after a fish cleaning.
Perhaps because it is so fresh in my mind, but perhaps because it actually is, this could be the prettiest piece of land on the earth.
Inland is no letdown, as mountains dazzle the eye from North to South, a
continual changing parade of craggy peaks standing at attention. A glacier lies below them, appearing to ooze down to the river, which is green and silty from the glacier's gifts.
Next, the ride becomes fun as the road finally winds and twists through the
forests, with 35 mph (at least posted) speeds as it hugs the hillside.
After the beauty and excitement, Anchorage awaits, just another big city with
street lights that seem to always be red, with concrete and asphalt grown
I found a cheap motel, a dump to be honest, and settled down for the night.
I'll have to savor the memory and ignore the damaged heater, the ancient TV and the stained and chipped table.