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June 20, 2010

The weather forecast is not good, but we decided that we have little choice but to hope for the best for a side trip to Homer.  It will be a 400-plus mile day so we’re off by 8:15.

The first leg runs along the coastline around the base of a large inlet called Turnagain Arm.  The tide is out and we can see for the first time the effect of the 30-foot tide in the Anchorage area, the basin outside the city nearly empties revealing mudflats which go a long way out, leaving channels of varying depth.

Low tide

The inlet is named from explorer Cook’s time when navigation of the inlet required turn after turn to find a navigable channel.

Aside from a brief spit around the bottom of the inlet (known locally as the armpit of Alaska where the weather is good only 30 days of the year), the weather held off but veiled most of the mountains in clouds.

LB in Kenai

We passed the large and very blue Kenai Lake and stopped to watch salmon fishermen lining both sides of the Kenai River.  There was a fisherman positioned every 20 feet or so for several miles of river.

About halfway to the end of the road at Homer, a cold, steady rain started and then turned into fog.  At Anchor Point, Dave led us to the most westerly spot US roads can carry you.  On the way into the Anchor Point Park, we seem to have exceeded the speed limit, and a pair of park rangers flagged us down just as we were parking.  We were so cold and wet that our fingers could barely fish our licenses from the wallets.  The ranger took pity on us, and even though he’d recorded us at twice the posted speed (all of 25 mph), he let us off with warnings.

LB Westmost


Had the weather been clear, we would have been able to see 5 active volcanoes across the Cook Inlet.  But we could only imagine.  The stop let us recover enough body heat to carry us the last 14 miles to Homer where hot chocolate and lunch let us gear up for the return.  The return was entirely in the rain and we charged home making stops only for fuel and to get Dave a pair of waterproof gloves.  We arrived home at about 9:00 as cold and wet as any of us had ever been.  Dave gave me his gloves remarking that he’ll never need them as he will never go riding in conditions like that again!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jeff L permalink
    June 21, 2010 12:30 pm

    Great pics! A lady bug in Alaska, go figure! Nanc loved the pictures.

  2. Gale permalink
    June 21, 2010 2:14 pm

    OK, Peter. It’s time to let you know that I’m following you and Seb on your amazing journey and enjoying your fun and informative postings & pix. Sorry to hear about all your technical and weather difficulties along the way, but you guys certainly know how to handle those things–and that will just make for a more memorable trip (lemons to lemonade). You have so many wonderful people, places and experiences to override the “negatives.” We miss you at MLRI, but wish you happy trails all the way. Hope you raised a Sam Adams (or something) to celebrate Bunker Hill Day last Thursday!(I assume you see email, but in case you’ve missed the big news: AGR is retiring on Dec. 31.) Ride safe, have fun, come back and tell us all about it.
    –Gale (& woof from Miko)

  3. Peter Zadorozny permalink
    June 21, 2010 9:00 pm

    Been watching your trip — congrats on a great adventure guys. Looking at your planned route I can suggest a nicer motorcycle route for you. Instead of going to Kamloops just before you get to Cache Creek take highway 12 to Lilooet – from Lilooet it turns to Highway 99 to Pemberton. You continue on thru Whistler (home of this years winter Olympics) to Vancouver. A lot of this route is good pavement now because of the Olympics investment. Your route takes you into Vancouver on a super slab. My suggestion is low traffic, great scenery, but likely not as quick.

    When you get to Vancouver I likely can put you up for the night. I assume you can see my e-mail address from the blog or drop a note in comments.

    Fellow avid motorcyclist — just passing a good favor forward.

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