Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ride to Anchorage

Early this morning I headed towards Anchorage on the Parks Highway and it was wet and cold for much of the trip. About 20 miles from Fairbanks it started to drizzle and then it started to snow. None of it was sticking to the road so I figured that the road surface was still above freezing. In Nenana, a thermometer on the side of the gas station claimed 38°F so I figured that the road was still in good shape. I pulled into Denali National Park to check out the weather report at the visitors center as the snow was getting heavier at this point. Cantwell was still 34°F so I continued on and stopped at a gas station to fill up. The attendant said that it was snowing for another 25 miles south then it was clear and sunny on the other side of the Alaska Range. At mile post 200, the sun came out, the snow stopped and it was beautiful all the way into Anchorage. I stopped at the Denali viewpoint just south of the Denali State Park and got a great view of the mountain. I lined up the mountain with the informational sign showing the names of all of the peaks.

The temperature stayed cold until I started descending into the Susitna Valley. I tried using the heated grips and I'm not completely convinced that they actually work consistently. At first, they would get really warm and the battery voltage would drop to about 12½ volts while they were on. Later on in the day, the battery voltage wouldn't drop all the time and you felt some heat some of the time. It sounds like there is a bad connection somewhere. I got to Anchorage around 3:30 PM almost early enough to beat rush hour. Too many cars...

I think that I've been in Alaska too long as I only took one picture along the way. Compare this with EverydayRiding Day 7 on the same trip.

Thursday Morning - The weather here in Anchorage has been beautiful with clear, sunny skies and moderate temperatures. I have been attending the Northern Tier meeting and it has been good to see all the familiar faces again. This is the first time the meeting has been held in Alaska and it sounds like most of the attendees have extended their stay and catching some of the local sights such as glacier and whale watching cruises in Whittier and Seward. Some have been here since last weekend and have been travelling around the state. This is the view from my room looking towards downtown Anchorage. As you can see, even are largest city with over half the population of the state is still a pretty modest city. One attendee thought it felt like Seattle 50 years ago. Tomorrow, I head back north to Fairbanks. Hopefully, I'll take more pictures.

17 comments:

SonjaM said...

Still a bit nippy, eh? Down here the no-socks-season has started.

Your viewpoint snapshot is brilliant. Next time kindly take into consideration that we don't get to see so much pristine beauty and nature, so next time please more pics.

Gary France said...

Sounds chilly to me. I was lucky to be in 33c / 91F last week and it felt terrific with the sun on my back.

Unknown said...

Richard:

I was wondering whether you were riding with Chris. I guess you can take photos anytime so there isn't a pressing need to take more than one.

As Sonja said It's "no socks season", could also be no shoes season

Hope you get warmer weather soon, otherwise you'll have to leave for CA earlier

bob
Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

RichardM said...

I didn't even think about taking any pictures until I saw the peak right behind the sign. I guess the snow covered mountains have become routine. It was really became apparent after I read Chris's post about the same route. I'll try to take more pictures.

RichardM said...

Still kinda cold and the heated liner is starting to sound better and better. Fortunately, I have this barn door of a fairing and it does a pretty good job keeping the wind off.

RichardM said...

No, Chris headed down on Monday. I headed to Anchorage on Tuesday.

Taking pictures doesn't even cross my mind. I stopped fairly often to warm up but usually just walked around a bit and admired the scenery.

I heard that it is supposed to be approaching 70°F by this weekend.

Trobairitz said...

Brrrr. It sounds like a chilly ride, but at least you headed into blue sky, sunshine and warmer temperatures.

I like the picture. It is neat how you thought to line it up with the sign.

I think Chris has mastered the art of taking pictures on the road. We don't stop that often either, although we should, we need more photos.

RichardM said...

Yep, it's pretty nice down here right now. Clear, sunny but still in the low 30s in the morning. I'm always impressed by the quality and the quantity of the photos on some blog. One of these days....

Geoff James said...

Heck Richard, it's nearly June!!!

My admiration for you being on two wheels, either powered or non-powered knows no bounds. I must be getting soft!

BeemerGirl said...

You kept writing "so" and I just expected bad news...that it never finished snowing, or that it started sticking.

Nice ride! Happy you were out. Sorry I don't know anything about electrics.

RichardM said...

Sorry for disappointing story. I guess I need to not us "so" so many times in my posts. It never really stuck but it was coming down heavy enough to get a nice "Star Wars" effect as you rode through it.

Yes, it was a nice ride. I look forward to going back on Friday.

RichardM said...

Or smart. We just need to adapt to the situation that we are presented with.

Chris said...

Your post made me smile with your proclamation at the end about wanting electrics and learning to take more photos.

Sorry you had to ride in the snow/rain, but you have a giant fairing, that should have helped some. Quite the contrast to my tuesday ride.

PS: I found some of your snow on my way to Tok today.

RichardM said...

The snow wasn't too bad as it wasn't sticking to the road and the fairing did keep me pretty dry. But I was happy to see the sun come out.

Sorry for sending the snow towards Tok.. ;-)

Chris said...

admit it! you just wanted to share. such a nice guy. hahaha. no worries it didn't stick to me or the road.

redlegsrides said...

Depending on the altitude Richard, you can find ice at 37°F.....I know this from somewhat painful experience.

Still, you're right, a lot depends on how "warm" the roads are....still, when on a sidecar rig (hint hint) I don't worry about black ice so much.

dom


Redleg's Rides

Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

RichardM said...

Yes, I was watching for that tell tale haze that lets you know that it is getting pretty slick. The most snow was when I was in Denali National Park and it was the huge chunks or wet snow. At that point, it was much warmer.

I remember reading about the fall on your RT. Didn't want to repeat that. Still would like a side car rig for the ends of the riding season. I'd be delusional if I believe it'll work year around up here.