July 26th 2011
Congratulations!!! Anyone who wished for a better riding weather day we got it. Still got some rain on us but not nearly like since we left Anchorage! We actually got to see some of the views we missed on the way out of Seward this morning riding to Whittier. So, we thank you all!
Got a late start this morning on purpose. Cheryl needed to try to sleep in because I kept her up all night snoring quite badly according to Cheryl. Not sure why some nights she kills me with her snoring and then I kill her. As if we take turns trying to disrupt a good nights sleep. Another reason not to leave too early was that the ride to Whittier was only about 160 KM and our ferry if we got on left at 1445. I said if we got on because you are supposed to make reservations and we did not.
We stopped at a local internet cafe for some coffee, upload the new update and of course check our emails.
Cool little cafe
with a very interesting bathroom
Right out of the gate from Seward we stopped at the local Chevron for gas. We have noticed many gas stations when using a credit card at the pump ask for a zip code. Since we are from Canada we only have a postal code.
Anyway, I went inside like always to actually guess the amount we need and literally prepay that amount. The lady behind the counter said “if you can’t use your card at the pump I can not take it in here, security reasons.” I said, “it’s not taking it because we do not have a zip code the card is good to use.” She said, “OH NO, you not being able to use the card outside tells me I can not and should not take the card in here. Cash only please.” I said, “I do not want to use cash.” She said “there is another gas station down the street.” What attitude. So, off we went to Shell and paid at the pump no problems. We hate attitudes.
Despite the low cloud coverage we still got to see a lot that we missed on the way into Seward. The bigger plus was that it was not raining. Still having to use our heated gear though. It was about 14 degrees C, around 58 F when we left and it did not warm up that much either.
Our moods and spirits are so much better when I can take pictures.
I can imagine the tops of the mountains when you can see where they are leading up too. The road didn’t even look familiar to me because last time we road this it was so crappy out that all we did was ride.
The Turquoise glacier fed lakes remind me at times of the one’s I saw in New Zealand. Just a really interesting colour. I heard if you drink glacier water you will get the “runs” forever.
The road had some nice curves but who cares it’s the scenery once again that wins.
No words just pics. Enjoy.
Oh, here is how I communicate with my SPOT Connect via my iPhone. So far it has been working pretty well as long as I pay attention to the red lights and change the batteries when needed. It gets about 60 hrs per 2 AA batteries. Lithium batteries that is. SPOT needs to come out with a rechargeable SPOT.
Can you tell who the kid is in this relationship?
White water rafting would also be a good diversion. Why does everything have to cost so much $$?
Portage Glacier right outside the tunnel we took to Whittier.
The tunnel to Whittier, which we hope we got some HD helmet cam video of is only about 2.5 miles long and you have to pay $12 to go through it. Motorcyclists go last after cars and all other traffic for safety reasons. The toll booth lady gives you a speech about how to ride inside this tunnel which is in between rails for the train that uses this tunnel as well. the trains get their turn too. It is all rock, dark, has 2 BIG blower fans that they warn you could blow you off your bike. You stay right in the middle, no deviation and you will be fine. Needless to say no one handed riding for me while in the tunnel, hence no still pics.
It was worth the $12 because of it’s uniqueness and sense of adventure.
We got to the tunnel and had to wait about an hour until it was our turn to go.
That “A” framed building off in the distance is the tunnel entry.
On a slightly different note we changed our configuration for our rotopax and dry bag. For the longest time the latches on the Jesse bags were not closing all that well. We figured it out about a week ago that the pax and then pulling the dry bag down onto the lids using the Jesse mounts and our roxstraps were screwing with the mounts just enough to make the latches not want to really lock. So, we did this and now there is no undo strain on the Jesse mounts and everything works great.
Lesson? Just watch how much weight you put on the top of the panniers and make sure you distribute the weight as well.
Got into Whittier a little after 1300 and went to buy our ferry tickets to Valdez.
Nothing really in Whittier but some cute food joints and outdoor activities like sea kayaking, fishing and tours.
This is Cheryl trying to be patient with the guy writing the tickets. We also were trying to find out if the ferry had straps on board or rope and NO one could answer us. I know that many riders bring their own tie downs but we were confident to some degree that the boat would have something to secure our bikes. We really did not want to spend about $80 on tie down for just 5 1/2 hours.
Just some of the shops in Whittier
This is our Ferry the Aurora coming in
Our friend that Cheryl calls a rat with wings, a juvie Raven
the ferry had a lot of rope on board for us to use.
Leaving port for Valdez
Portage glacier from the water
Now I will promise to shut up and jus take a look at the sensory overload this ferry ride is providing us, or me. Cheryl fell asleep.
Sea Lions. Hard to see them as my other camera is on the deck with the bikes. Not allowed to go back to the bikes after we leave port.
Now that is a sky we would love to see more often than not!
Looks like Valdez is in the rain….well, at least this is our pit stop for the day. Still about an hour away.
Look at that sky!
Coming into Valdez and it started to rain. Surprise! We got off the ferry and went for a local hotel. We need showers by now and it is raining after all. I do hate spending the money on hotels, I really like camping but it’s late and we took the easy way out. My credit card is going to hate me for this day!
refinery outside Valdez
The beauty that surrounded us today was so incredible I could not take a nap. It’s so hard to capture in pictures how large this state feels in more ways than one. I hope you are getting the idea.
First we had to go to Safeway Foods to get beer and stuff. There we met Bobby and Lynn from North Carolina. All three of their kids are in the military and they were having a reunion it sounded like for one of their boys who just got back from Afghanistan. Nice to meet you guys and thanks to your boys!
Our dump of hotel that cost too much but we have a roof over our heads for tonight.
We can hear the trucker dude next to us blow his nose and jut make white trashy noises. Why is it that these hotels attract loud people?
And finally this is how Cheryl looked on the boat. A little sea sick but mainly tired.
Not sure what exactly is our destination tomorrow but as soon as we know I am sure I will post it. Sorry for all the pics. I got carried away but today was a great day!