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Glennallen: City of God

I left Anchorage today with a destination of Tok, Alaska. I am headed up to Eagle to visit Yukon Charlie National Park and Preserve. The road leading up to Eagle is dirt, and I have been warned that when they spray the road with magnesium chloride to keep the dust down, it can get dangerous when it’s wet. Apparently, it gets, “slicker than snot.” In the last little while, three motorcycle riders have crashed and broken legs on the Taylor highway. Hmmm…

So naturally, when I departed Anchorage today, it rained all day. The forecast for the next four days: RAIN RAIN RAIN. Jaz and I will need to be extra cautious.

The weather was so bad, I made the comment that someone must be paying me back for a discretion in the past. Jaz promptly responded, “It’s because we are going to the city of god.” Not sure exactly what she meant by that, I asked for clarification. Glennallen is the city of god. Similar to “SLOW” – dot-na in shear numbers of conservative folk, but (apparently) higher on the god-factor. I asked her how she knew that. She said it was because of the many mailboxes, bumper stickers, and signs posted all over town declaring something about god.

I was still confused and did not understand why we were being challenged. The rain had caused many landslides along the side of the road, resulting in debris, pebbles, and large rocks strategically placed on blind corners in the road lanes. In addition, there was fog so thick you could cut it with a knife, adding to the thrill of looking for the rocks in the road. She was in front of me maybe 20 feet, and I could barely see her tail light. Did I mention the rain? Her response to my confusion? “Glennallen is the holy city and we are people with low moral character, thus the challenges.” Sure enough, we rolled into town and there was a sign that said, “Prepare to meet thy God.” Hmmm…

Although it may appear that we are morally challenged, we are also pure of heart. This is the reason we made it safely through the test. Whatever.

Once we got to Mentasta, the skies cleared up and it was sunny all the way to Tok (what few miles were left). The roads were lined with dwarf fireweed, lupine, white flowers, and beautiful yellow flowers (NO-not the invasive dandelion). We saw three moose (one spring moose), two squirrels, one eagle, several trumpeter swans, and a TON of mosquitoes.

We got our run-in with the law out of the way the first day of this trip. While sitting in Glennallen at the gas station resting, Jaz noticed a trooper hanging out across the parking lot watching us. There were lots of motorcycles around, but I can’t figure out why we seem to be a magnet for the law in some shape or form. Sure enough, after about ten minutes he drove around behind us and sat in the car. It looked like he was running plates. Another ten minutes later and he pulled up and rolled his window down and asked us where we were headed. He warned us about the road conditions and how we needed to be really careful. Then he talked about the fact that he has a motorcycle too and likes to ride. Sounded like he just wanted to kill time. We both thought he was strange.

The road to Tok was horrible. The worst I have ever seen it. The frost heaves were like riding a roller coaster and the road had many sections of broken gravel/dirt areas. In fact, the gravel was recently spread out, so it was very loose. Like riding a motorcycle over marbles, which is even more interesting when a crosswind is hitting you from the side. The patches of marbles appeared often, but you got a warning with road signs. At some point, the sign posters must have either ran out of signs, or figured, “why bother”and stopped posting. Then it got really interesting, especially the first unexpected patch of marbles. Jaz hit it going about 50 mph. The dust flew and I braked in time to slow it down to 35… pretty challenging. We rolled in to Tok and I got a well-deserved cold Black Butte Porter.

Tomorrow the real challenge begins…

Road to Tok with very evident frost heaves.

Frost heaves near Tok http://theadventureroadshowwithjerryandjudy.blogspot.com/2008/06/road-less-traveled.html

"Do you think we’ll get shot?"
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About Maya

My name is Maya, and I wander.

Comments

  1. The sign on the edge of town that you saw reminds me of the billboard that has been sitting on the edge of town in Emporia, Kansas (my mom's hometown) for as long as I can remember (40+ years!): A big open book silhouette with the Bible verse: "Ye must be born again!" on it. My father, a church-goer himself but really a member of the Church of Music in his heart, muttered on more than one occasion, "My mother got it right the first time!"

    Enjoyed your description of your journey (even if it sounded like not much fun to experience) and looking forward to you and Jaz posting photos. Safe travels!

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