White Mountains, again
|Find the tiny biker in the big wilderness|
Six weeks in Alaska and a weariness had settled into the journey, like a bungee cord held taut for too long. I knew once I let go I was going to fall limp to the floor, sun-faded and cracked from weeks of freeze and thaw. My stretch marks spread across the state — over the streets of downtown Anchorage, up the Yentna River to the sun-kissed summit of Rainy Pass, Interior swamps and hard-frozen lakes, the magical corridor of the Kuskokwim River, McGrath, Anchorage again, Turnagain Pass and the Placer River Valley, deep snow in Denali State Park and Talkeetna, Willow, a puddle-jump flight into Cordova and Yakutat, onto gray and misty Juneau, Douglas Island, the wet pavement of Thane Road and wind-blasted ridge of Thunder Mountain, then high over 1,500 miles of empty wilderness to Alaska’s gold coast, Nome, the frozen sea, Cold War relics on Anvil Mountain, and back to the streets of downtown Anchorage. After all of that, it was time to turn north for the last leg — Fairbanks and the White Mountains 100.
Oh, White Mountains, I will be back. On foot? Don't hold me to any promises. ;)