I left home under dark, gloomy skies, but at least it wasn’t raining. I planned on driving through Anchorage mid-day for the lightest traffic, which worked out well.
My mood was bubbly, my anticipation high. I was finally, once again, out on a road trip!
🎶🎵 On the road again … 🎵🎶 Just can’t wait to get on the road again! 🎶🎵🎶
It’s a good thing I had at least the early stages of my trip planned out, because my navigator, Rhonda, had curled up and gone to sleep before I’d driven a mile – and didn’t stir again until we were the far side of Anchorage over an hour later!
The real adventure for this trip began as we made the first big turn to start the long drive down Turnagain Arm – and were buffeted by the first of many strong gusts of wind.
I’ll note here that winds along Turnagain Arm are a pretty common occurrence and I’ve driven my rig along this route enough times to be familiar with the way it handles in windy conditions.
This day, however, the winds were the strongest I’ve yet experienced, and periodic sideways super-gusts had me giving the steering wheel my full attention, if not quite to the point of white-knuckling it.
That it would be windy came as no surprise. I’d been checking the weather reports daily for the past week and had come to the conclusion that waiting for a sunny day was beyond my current patience level.
The only way I was going to get to the sunshine I was craving was to pass through the ominous weather around the inlet. So be it.
White-caps chopped the water of the inlet to my right, with low clouds swirling mistily over and around the mountains to my left and across the way.
From my viewpoints along the highway, I could clearly see the collection of ominous dark clouds and sheets of rain obscuring the far end of the inlet. Oh boy, that looks like fun … not. Girdwood and Portage were obviously getting dumped on and I was heading right for it.
I had been expecting some rain, but I admit, I hadn’t really counted on such a serious, wind-driven gully-washer.
At least I needn’t worry about slowing anyone down. With rain-water literally running across and down the highway, visibility diminished by heavy rain and constant spray from oncoming traffic (non-stop and nearly bumper to bumper as weekend warriors headed back towards Anchorage and beyond), no one was speeding.
I simply turned the volume up on my Bob Seger CD, sang along to “Runnin’ Against the Wind” and settled in to slogging through. Sunshine would be my eventual reward!
The pounding rain did not let up until well past the Hope cut-off. Ronni slept through most of it, including my off-key singing. But as I finally made the turn onto the Sterling Hwy, this glorious view opened up in front of me – and it was all worth it.
Rhonda and I continued on, now under mostly sunny skies, my mood vastly boosted. I finally stopped, tired of driving and hungry, at one of my favorite roadside pull-outs along the glistening Kenai River.
After taking Ronni for a long sniffy walk and enjoying watching a boat-full of enthusiastic fishermen drift by, I managed a well-deserved roast beef sandwich before taking an hour’s nap.
Revived and rested, I turned my now eager mind towards choosing my first night’s destination.
I hadn’t really had a specific location in mind when I left home. I was simply on a quest to find sunshine and to wake up with a new view outside my window.
So, since Ronni and I have a Barn Hunt trial to attend in Soldotna next Friday, heading for the Kenai Peninsula seemed the logical start.
But where to go? It’s a long road, with lots of options. Are you wondering where we landed?