Monday, July 2, 2007 – day 26 (Tok – Grizzly Lake Campground (near Slana))
Distance: 71.1 miles (114.4 km); overall distance so far: 1,488 miles (2,394.8 km)
Average: 13.9 mph (22.5 kph)
Weather: 15°C – 24°C, some rain showers, very humid; later on sunny with clouds, no significant wind
With good intentions and the definite plan not to rush it anymore from Tok onwards on the last 330 miles or 550 kilometres, I left around lunch time only and spent a fairly “normal” day on the road.
Leaving Tok on perfectly paved road for the first 10 miles already made my mind calculate again how far I’d have to go per day to maybe being able to make the remaining distance in 4 days… or who knows, maybe even three days – which would have meant I could have arrived in Anchorage on the American Independence Day, something I was talking about before I started my trip: it would be kind of nice to arrive in Anchorage on July 4, being welcomed with fireworks.
But thank God the road became more challenging and it was really unpleasant to cycle for a while due to some rain and real high humidity – which slowed me down a bit and brought me back into reality.
But in general the day was fairly easy going. Some up- and downhill, some head-, some tail-wind, some sun, some rain, and towards the end on the far, misty horizon I could see the mountain range of Wrangell-Saint Elias National Preserve. I never got extremely close to it, but it was always impressive, also because of the forests and lakes that seemed to stretch out endlessly before the mountain range.
That night, I would stay at a campsite at Grizzly Lake (still haven’t seen any Grizzly bears, and also wouldn’t see any that night, just some horses on the other side of a gorgeous lake) in a nice little cabin. Having gotten the Da Vinci Code’s predecessor “Angels and Demons”, written by Dan Brown, I started reading a book I hardly could put away anymore – and as it never really gets dark in this area, I read till after 1am that night despite having had the plan of going to be really early – it wouldn’t change during the following nights. I finished the book in three evenings, by reading until 3am and 1:30am the next nights. Good book, I can recommend it! And I’m definitely back into reading again, hope I can continue doing so a bit more regularly than I did in the past when I’m back in my “normal life”.
Motto of the day: “Down South!”