Saturday, August 05, 2006

In transit


Date: August 2 and 4
Mileage: 14.1 and 33.8
August mileage: 66.2

One way to make a move involving 1,000 road miles, two international border crossings and a scheduled ferry ride even more exciting is to prolong the bulk of it as long as possible and then scrunch the rest into one super Saturday. Another way to make the move exciting is to do it in this rig ---->

And I sure am excited, because after three days of schlepping around a 10-year-old Geo Prism with a metric ton of all of my worldly possessions, I am currently in Palmer, Alaska, about 250 miles north of Homer by generous estimates. But, hey, my slowness hasn't been in vain. I spent a tourist day in Seward on the wildlife cruise and glacier tour, visited friends in Palmer, wrestled a mad zoo movie crowd to see "Over the Hedge" and finally got a chance to ride the rollercoaster bike path along the Parks Highway. And how could I leave southcentral Alaska without at least once standing next to a Halibut that's taller than I am?

Now that it's Saturday, I may even be able to catch a glimpse of the pain Geoff is willingly putting himself through tomorrow before I embark on my own marathon. I feel really nervous for him and the Matanuska Peak Challenge, and it helps overshadow my own realities ... the fact that I'm "between jobs." And homeless. And more than 700 miles from the place that is responsible for my next paycheck. And putting a lot of faith in a loaded-down sedan with 142,000 miles on it.

It's exciting.

And Mom, I'll call you from the road tomorrow. Don't worry. I'll be fine.

For a great diversion, a Soggy Bottom spectator climbed all the way to Devil's Pass to get some great pictures of the leaders and the course. They're posted here. I think they show in stunning detail why people do this race. They don't, however, explain the Matanuska Peak Challenge. Nine thousand feet in 13 miles? (Make that six and a half miles, with six and a half more of knee-busting descent.) No amount of scenery is going to save that race. Wish Geoff luck.