Day 21: Eat, sleep, repeat. I had a shower, too!
Day 22, 23, 24: Refreshed I set out exploring Valdez. With its steep, snow capped mountains that basically drop into the Ocean it reminds me a lot of the Lofoten in Norway which is probably one of my favorite places on earth.
With its 4000 inhabitants Valdez is actually the 2nd largest town I visit in Alaska [I don't count Anchorage where I basically just slept at the airport]. It's mainly known as a fishing town and for its oil terminal. The Trans Alaska Oil Pipeline that starts in Prudhoe Bay ends here. On big oil tankers the crude oil leaves Alaska bound towards the Lower 48.
Mind boggle: It might be the same sip of crude oil arriving in Valdez right now, that left the Arctic just when I started there. Cutting out my rest days and considering that I made detours to Denali it took me 16 days to get to Valdez. On the Dalton I read somewhere that the oil takes usually around 14 days for the 800 miles from Prudhoe to Valdez. Depending on the flow rate it can be also faster or even much slower.
I enjoy slowing down a bit. It's a charming town [full of rabbits] and the little cozy A-frame house of Amanda and Tom in the center is the perfect place to take some easy days and organize some things. Mainly getting back to some messages, phone calls and mapping out my proceedings to Canada. By Saturday the rain also finally stops and I look forward so some very nice and sunny days at the seaside. To keep the legs moving I bike a bit in and around town and go on some hikes in the sorrounding mountains. This is mostly followed by checking out the local culinary highlights (beer + fish) or enjoying a home cooked meal.
I also take time for my travel updates. So far I have been enjoying it a lot to write this daily updates. I am very motivated by the kind feedback I get. Nonetheless, I mainly enjoy writing it for myself. I could easily do this trip without any form of documentation. I did very much regret this on some previous trips and hence hatched the idea of these public outlets to hold myself accountable.
Even though it might seem like the complete opposite, the majority of my days here in Alaska I am completely offline [there is no service for the most part anyway]. I either write these lines in the morning or in the evening in the cozy shelter of my warm sleeping bag and also filter out a snippet of my day for Instagram in a simple notepad on my phone. I limit myself to 20 minutes a day to do that. Once I am in town I only have to upload and schedule everything. Like this you get a [more or less] daily fix regardless of my connectivity. Bonus feature: I don't even run into the risk of getting sucked into the world wide web.
I write things and thoughts how I'd write them to myself [more or less]. At times this might be a bit unstructured [or even too detailed uninteresting random thoughts] and confusing to read, but I rarely edit or correct anything afterwards including grammar or spelling. So bare with me!
Also, I do not intend to write the all bright and shiny travel romance to myself but rather an insight into my days on and off the road. Besides a fair share of travel romance this also means the daily dealing with weather, road condition, food and sleep for me.
So far this trip has been enfolding even much better than I could have ever imagined. I draw so much motivation from both, the romance and the struggle. This is exactly what I've signed up for!