McCarthy Road, Copper Moose, and Details

I neglected to post the last day on the road from Kennecott a couple of weekends ago. Here are the details:

We left the Copper Moose early, the owner made us breakfast. It was very nice and he got up at 5 am to get us out the door early. That was very thoughtful and appreciated. There were not a lot of places to eat in this neck of the woods, and short of the Princess Lodge, we would have had to go all the way to Eureka for breakfast on account that it is personal policy to not eat in the Holy City (Glennallen).

We had our kickstands up at 7 am and headed home. The sky let loose with rain just outside of Glennallen. My windscreen kept fogging up. I kept trying to wipe my sunglasses and my helmet face shield because I couldn’t see; then I realized it was really foggy outside. My heated gear stopped working and by the time we hit Sheep Mountain I was a popsicle with chattering teeth (and probably blue lips). Turns out one of the cords fried. Jaz gave up one of hers (isn’t that just absolutely sweet?) and I was okay the rest of the way home. I need to get her flowers or a new set of cords or something. The stop also allowed me to take off a few wet items and put on a rain jacket under my riding coat. We rolled into Anchorage in a short time. I hit the hot shower, put on the work clothes and made a half day out of it. Good ride. I did manage to get more GoPro coverage of the trip. Someday I will have time to play with that.

I think this was the last long ride of the season. Soon I will need to get the Alaska motorcycle ready for winter storage. I’m moving the Arizona bike to Utah for the winter. This means there are probably no long motorcycle rides this winter. April will be here soon. Although no more long rides are possible in Alaska, one or two short ones are left!

A beautiful plate of a grilled sandwich, a fresh green salad, and a bright orange flower for a garnish

Grilled four cheese with pesto and tomatoes at Vagabond Blues in Palmer

Now, I am going to sip the last of my cap, and enjoy the day. Kim made me promise to take her on a short motorcycle ride. I hate giving anyone a ride, I only like to be responsible for my own life. The compromise is one ride a year. Today is the day. We are going to enjoy the fall leaves and the ride to Palmer for lunch at Vagabond Blues on account of the fact that the Red Beet Bistro is closed on Sunday.

Kennecott Trip Details:

We left Anchorage Friday afternoon so I could work a half day; I returned with enough time to work a half day on Monday.

  • We did the trip in roughly three days, but you should plan for at least four days depending on how much you want to explore Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve.
  • We thought the gas station in Chitina would be open. It was not which caused a total back track of 60 miles for gas. Get gas in Kenny Lake, it’s the last opportunity. Take extra gas if you can.
  • Make sure you take extra tubes or have the tools to change out your tires if you get a flat, the possibility of a flat on this road is greater than any other road in Alaska. Cell phone coverage is not present for a lot of the road. Don’t count on your roadside assistance swinging in for the rescue.
  • Don’t eat or stay in Glennallen if you want to live. We stayed at that the Tonsina River Lodge going down, but the Copper Moose B&B was more pleasant; I wished we had stayed there going and coming. The owner was talking about retiring. If they are not open, then Copper Center, Hotel Chitina, or the Princess Lodge would be good alternatives.
  • The Kennicott Glacier Lodge is about four miles up higher than McCarthy. Stay at the lodge one night for wining and dining; enjoy the next full day exploring the historic structures. Stay the second night down in McCarthy and enjoy the strangeness.
  • If you smoke, make sure you have enough to last you three days and everything critical you might need. DO NOT EXPECT A STORE, closest store was Glennallen!
  • Food is available from several eating establishments. Camping is possible, but hauling all the water and cooking supplies may not be worth the effort on this one. If you only have room for a few items, take the extra tubes and tools and stay in a B&B.
  • If you have the time, sign up ahead for the glacier ½ day tour at the top.
  • Stop at Sheep Mountain lodge for soup and make sure you get a bread roll.
  • A great loop would have been to go to Valdez on the return and put your bike on the ferry, getting off in Whittier. I didn’t have the time on this trip.

Total round trip mileage: 636 miles
Anchorage to Tonsina River Lodge, (217 miles)
Tonsina River Lodge to Chitina, (37 miles)
Chitina AK to McCarthy, (60 miles)
McCarthy to Kennicott, (4 miles)
Kennecott to Copper Moose, (96 miles)
Copper Moose to Anchorage (211 miles)

Tonsina River Lodge
Mile 79, Richardson Highway, Copper Center, AK 99573
(907) 822-3000
McCarthy Lodge
101 Kennicott Ave, McCarthy, AK 99588
(214) 357-5522

Copper Moose Bed & Breakfast
Old Edgerton Highway
Copper Center, AK 99573
(907) 822-4244

Map of the trip. Pins on map are places mentioned above:

A map with several pinpoints representing the trip starting in Anchorage

End-of-summer blues
Kennecott Red, an Amish strike, and a very expensive day...
About Maya

My name is Maya, and I wander.

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