Today was one of those days where you sit inside with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and watch the drizzle. But nooooo. We put on our gear, including rain gear, and headed out, splashing through puddles, soaking our feet and soon our gloves were saturated too. The cold wicked in through every opening, crawling up our legs and arms. With spattering rain on our face shields and condensation inside, vision became a struggle. Around twenty five mile in, Mel turned in to a restaurant. We slogged in, dropped our gear and heated up with hot java and chocolate. Hopefully the rain would abate. But nooooo, it drove on, and we donned our wet gear and walked away from the wood stove that called our names. Back into the driving rain we headed west, the oncoming trucks misting us with spray. Mel (today's leader, not a bully nor a wimp) turned into another place and we ate an early lunch with a view of mountains and a glacier, just under the cloud cover.
Reluctantly, we threw legs over our steeds again. "We'll ride to Wasilla, skip all the stops, get into that Bed and Breakfast, dry out and warm up," I promised myself.
Yet the rain abated and the clouds-well, they continued to look like they would drop their crap any moment. Yet the wind dried our gear- somewhat- and we all regained the will to live.
In Palmer we stopped and toured a museum/house that was part of FDR's New Deal. A person, supposedly a farmer, could be chosen and move to Alaska, get a decent house on forty acres, and get a new start in life. $3,000 and financed. It was hailed as one of the great success stories of the New Deal, Alaska showing the best results at 40% success. Really? Sounded terrible to me.
Yet the house, restored to 1930-40 era, proved to be quite interesting with its hemlock floors, linoleum, plywood walls and old stove. Mel recognized a lot of tools and hardware from his youth. He's an antique.
On advice from my good friend Chris Jacot, we headed up Hatcher Pass, complete with a raging river, green mountains, and a wonderful winding roadway. We got close to the top and found it to be socked in with fog. Enough of that, we turned down again and enjoyed the same views froma different perspective.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Mel delivered the B&B, a large place with a huge living room boasting mountians views, a sauna, pool table, (he beat me easily), giant Jacuzzi tub, and comfy beds. This could be the trip winner.
We zagged and zagged through Wasilla and visted Chris Jacot, my old racing buddy and great friend. When the recession body slammed him, he found work in Alaska and moved the family up here. Quite a change from Vegas. He said the people here are the salt of the earth, great friendly and helpful folk that live by a slower clock. We enjoyed a tasty meal courtesy of him and Terry, his wife. Just like every other stop, this one was too short and before we knew it we had to head to the comfy inn.
A really bad day turned out really good after all.
Tomorrow I disclose what the big secret was, the vent that happened on Thursday. The next of kin has been notified, so I can post it. Sounds like someone died! Actually, spoiler alert, it involves a few broken bones.
See you tomorrow.