Saturday, August 21, 2010

Biking the Klutina Lake Road

Part 1 of a two part weekend took me 101.5 miles north of Valdez.
The "Klutina Lake Road", also known as the "Berwick-Craig Road" is an easement in Ahtna lands just north of the Klutina River, a fun salmon spot you may remember from last year if you were following. The river is an absolute gorgeous turquoise green against the surrounding landscape.
Though this trip wasn't amazingly scenic, nor did it have anything at the end we could reach (the end is gated off to private property/no trespassing signs as seen above, so we couldn't get to the lake legally), it was a mystery road to me and I couldn't find much information on it, so I wanted to ride it to find out. We had gorgeous weather, so were not disappointed in the journey.
The road stayed above the river.. way above the river for quite aways.
Then the gravel/dirt/4-wheeler road steeply descends down to the river around mile 14.
Brian waits for me after the steep hill. It was super scary hauling the bike trailer downhills. The extra weight and bulk acts like a bike-rudder.
The fireweed hanging on to the last couple weeks of summer!
After that major downhill, the road becomes much rougher.
We found ourselves a camp spot down by the river, complete with firepit.
Now here's the part where you say "aw man!!" because we didn't actually go all the way to the end of the road. We came across this big long, very deep blob of water and decided that there was no easy way around it, and didn't want to sacrifice having wet shoes and feet when we were excited to go to Wrangell-St. Elias. Honestly though, if there was more than a gate saying "no trespassing" at the end, I would have easily forded the potentially deceptive puddle. When I threw a giant rock in the puddle, it PLOOOOPED quite a ways down. Without an end-incentive, we decided to bag it and turn back. It was an especially rainy year down in this area, so I think normally it would be much shallower.

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