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Valdez, AK


So forget what I said earlier about a civilized pace. It turns out that it takes civilization to civilize me, and where none can be found I just continue to ride. I did all 120 miles from my campground in Glennallen to my spot in Valdez yesterday. Along the way I met a solo tourist living in Whitehorse, who entreated me to visit on my way up from Haines, and I met another from Australia who informed me as to the ferry schedule to Juneau —non-existent— and how I might make my way there anyhow. It turns out that I must first go to Whittier, and then wait until the 19th to travel from Whittier to Juneau. That ferry only runs every other week, so I am rather lucky in catching it with so little a wait.

The scenery along the Richardson highway was as spectacular as anything I’ve seen in Alaska, and I’ve given up trying to have a favorite spot in the state. It’s just too hard to decide between one set of gigantic mountains with glaciers flowing down their sides and another. It is impossible to judge distances or heights. Sea monsters inhabit the waters and giant animals everywhere else. Alaska exists on a scale that is completely beyond me and is of a quality greater than any I’ve experienced.

There’s a saying here that Switzerland is the Valdez of Europe. I find that does not do Valdez and environs any justice at all.

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