[AAA] Arrival.

17 Aug
I drive all the way to Alaska and don’t see one moose.  [“I have your car towed all the way to your house and all you have for me is light beer?”  Name that movie and ten fictitious points could be yours.]  My wildlife viewing [other than the typical cattle, horses, etc.] ended with one bear, a few mountain goats and a couple deer.  Moose mourning aside, I arrived!  I’m in the Valdez public library, waiting for Ben to get done with work for the day.  [We’re three hours behind you folks in the central time zone.]  It’s rainy and I figure I have all day tomorrow to explore the town; right now I’m thrilled to simply not be in the car.
I drove to Alaska.  It’s nearly exhilarating and bit unbelievable to think – I drove to Alaska.  I can do anything!  [That’s how the saying goes, right?  If you can drive to Alaska, you can do anything?]  That’s how I feel anyways.  It was a smooth trip, I did it by myself, and I feel proud that I pushed fear aside and tackled this adventure.  I never considered myself one for adventure but this – this was good.  Very good for me.  [And I’m beginning to think I’m more adventurous than I ever thought I was …]
I slept in this morning and got ready in the room I rented that was originally designed with hobbits in mind.  Loaded up Betty and then we set off.  I stopped a few times – for fuel, to snap photos, to make a pb&j, and to wait for the pilot car.  Lots of construction slowed me down today.  So much that in the line of people waiting for the pilot car to guide us, engines were turned off and people milled about, knowing it would be a bit of a wait.  Gravel roads and lots of rollercoaster-like dips in the roads from frost heaving was all a part of today’s journey.

It’s an icky picture, but I promise its the Worthington glacier. 
 As I neared Prince William Sound and Valdez, there was also a glacier.  and a canyon.  and mountains.  and lots of fog.  and rivers.  and waterfalls from the rocks.  Highway Four is not a road I would want to drive in the winter.  Like the descriptions of my other days of driving, it was just crazy.  I’d take a corner in the road and then find myself with some new natural wonder in front of me.  I literally said to myself, “You’re kidding me!” more than once as these awesome things appeared.  I’d seen mountains and glaciers in my drive previously but what I hadn’t yet seen – nor did I expect – was a winding road cut through a canyon with water falling from the rocks high above the highway.  Crazy.  Simply crazy.

I’m happy to not have a full day of driving ahead of me tomorrow.  I, in fact, am not sure at all what I will do tomorrow and the next day.  I’ll see what Ben and his girlfriend, Kim, [who is also living in Valdez right now] have to suggest.  I’d like to think I’d be perfectly content just hanging out with Jetta at Ben’s cabin too, relaxing and doing those things I brought that I still haven’t touched [and totally didn’t touch last night either, after I said I would].  Two days in Valdez, a ride to Anchorage [with Ben and Kim who are running a marathon there on Sunday], and a red-eye flight out of Alaska on Friday night/Saturday morning.  That’s what’s left of the August Alaskan Adventure.  Stay tuned.
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