18. Aug, 2016

17.08.16 Soldotna, Alaska to Palmer, Alaska

Last night we were lucky enough to eat some freshly caught Salmon, provided by Linda and Paul who were also staying at our lodgings.  They were an absolutely lovely couple of around 70, from Mississippi who had been childhood sweethearts, married other people and got back together 24 years ago.  Paul had caught the Salmon in the local lake, whilst Linda ‘had to stand there for four hours waiting!’, they cooked it on the BBQ, and it was absolutely delicious.

Today we had an earlier start, and were packed and ready to go by 8.30, as we wanted to visit Seward and Exit Glacier, on our way to Palmer.  We had a clear run, for the couple of hours it took to reach the Exit Glacier, but just as we were stopped in some road works with half a mile to go, it started hoofing it down with rain.  We stopped and walked the mile round trip to view the glacier, and it rained harder, and harder.  In fact, we walked all the way with our helmets, bike jackets and gloves on.

The glacier was worth the visit, it is amazing.  Each year 70 foot of snow falls onto this glacier, although it was possible to see where it has receded. The glacier is called Exit glacier because it’s the end part of the Harding’s Icefield. Harding’s Icefield and 8.2 mile long field of ice, and is in Bear Country!  There was a sign on our way to the glacier stating that a defensive bear had been seen in the area yesterday, a Mum with two cubs.  Of course, this is really serious here, and we saw Bear Scat along the side of the path, so we were mighty pleased to make it back to the car park unmauled!

In the end we only went to Seward to get petrol.  The rain was so thick, we were unable to see very far at all.  For the next 100 miles we rode in this, until we stopped for lunch, back at Beluga Inlet with our teeth chattering, and desperate for Hot Chocolate.

Out the other side of the mountains at Anchorage, the temperature rose by 8 degrees Celsius, the clouds cleared away and we rode the last 40 miles to Palmer in relative comfort.