After our late night, we slept in, wonder of wonders! Creaking out of bed, we got our stuff together and headed for the Totem Inn Restaurant, complete with a huge moose head hanging on the far wall. Alaska. We got our first taste of reindeer sausage, which resembled kielbasa, quite tasty.
Today we separated, Mel staying at the cabin for a few hours, Jim and I riding to Chitina, then he headed to Lake Louise while I rode on to McCarthy. For the first time, the three of us rode alone.
I headed up the dirt rode toward McCarthy, the road smooth and fast in most parts, passing an occasional car or truck, and seeing random vehicles returning. 60 miles each way, in 120 I saw probably fifteen other vehicles. The Wrangell Mountains stood tall in the distance, and the Copper River vacillated between appearing and hiding behind the trees.
McCarthy, 60 miles of dirt and thirty more from the highway, teems with fishermen, mountain bikers, hikers and outdoor lovers. Diesel generators sounded throughout the third-world-feeling village. Relying on a ranger's advice, I ordered dinner at the Potato, a roach coach hidden behind siding, a screened porch and roof. The Chicken Fajita Pita (I ordered it because it was the only item that rhymed), tasted most excellent. While enjoying the simple meal, I realized that the gas station where I previously fueled, and would need to fuel on the return trip, a throwback to the fifties, lacked a card reader. If the store closed, no fuel. I fired up and headed back, hoping they stayed open. Fortunately, they were, otherwise I probably would have run out of gas.
Mel greeted me at the Lake Louise Lodge and escorted me to my room, an austere place with a killer view of boat docks, trees and lake. Tree topped islands dotted the view too. Great choice Mel!