Thursday, July 5, 2007 – day 29 (Matanuska Glacier – Palmer)
Distance: 55.7 miles (89.6 km); overall distance so far: 1,698.6 miles (2,733.6 km)
Average: 13.4 mph (21.6 kph)
Weather: 9°C – 13°C, cloudy, rain, fog, bearable headwind
Approx. 100 miles to go – and sadly the weather wasn’t a lot better than the day before: grey, foggy, rainy, just not as much headwind.
The first 25-30 miles were challenging, not only because there was quite some climbing involved, it was also in an area completely and closely surrounded by high, steep rocks, plus a windy road without any hard shoulder at all– and in there they had a long road work going on, including areas where they blasted the mountain away to widen the road. In that weather and with these conditions, it was quite tricky to cycle (one could say dangerous, but I’ve hardly ever felt that any of the cycling in my “career” so far has been dangerous… maybe stupid, ok, but again, that’s part of the whole story 😉 ).
But these challenging 30 miles were not only that, they also led me through amazingly beautiful parts of Alaska – stupidly enough the majority enough was hidden behind the clouds. But I saw enough to realize how nice everything was.
Another experience within that section – I met a Moose. After I saw it standing next to the road on the other side, and after it almost ran into the last out of 3 cars driving in the opposite direction of mine, it started crossing the road and the running along my lane, just ahead of me. I kept a safe distance (those animals are huge, even if it was only a female moose) and slowly cycled behind it, not quite sure what to do, so, also not quite sure if I chased the moose or the moose played with me. What so ever, after a minute or so a car passed me an scared it away by honking continuously – and I got the chance to peacefully continue cycling.
And after an unspectacular last 20 miles for the day, I arrived in Palmer, just 40 miles away from Anchorage. The last evening of my trip has arrived. Once more sleeping and then…
Motto of the day: ” ”Pugna almost finitus est” (that clearly is an insider, and also, it never really has been a fight, simply an amazing time)”