Valdez to Mccarthy 200 Miles


From Cordova I took the night ferry which left at 11:00 at night and got into Valdez at 6:00 in the morning. I tried to sleep but didnít have much luck on the ride. That morning when I got off the boat in Valdez it was cold and raining and my stuff was already wet from Cordova rain. I decided to head up the Thompson pass even though the weather was terrible. I thought the weather would be contained at Thompson pass nd I would ride out of it.





On the way up the pass the weather got worse instead of better. Eventually I was riding in thick fog and could only see about 20 feet in front of me. I was tempted to turn back but there really was no way. Stopping and turning around in thick fog was more dangerous than riding. A few times in the fog I came into a construction zone and lost my center stripe. This had been my reference to tell me I was in the right lane. Now I had to use the road edge and make sure I was as far to the side as possible. While riding this section with no center stripe a semi passed me and thankfully he was in his lane and I was in mine. He was passed me before I knew he was there.





These riding conditions didnít last long and eventually rode out of the weather and arrived in Chitina and gassed up the bike and had something to eat.








About a mile outside of Chitina I found a campground and was very amused at their bear containers which are in the foreground of the picture. The only problem was the overflowing dumpsters in the background. Somehow I donít think the bear proof containers were doing much good. This was a good spot to camp and get some sleep because my body was running on empty. Tomorrow I would leave camp setup and head in with the bike fully unpacked.










That evening after sleep I took a little cruise down the Mccarthy road to see what lies ahead. The views off the side of the road with the river below were impressive.








The next morning as I left camp I noticed a bald eagle perched up the hll on the side of the road. The locals donít seem to care about checking out these birds but each time I see one Iím still amazed at their size and beauty.













Along the McCarthy dirt road you can see the remnants of the old railway line. This road was built right over the top of it. This railway used to connect Cordova and the Kennecott copper mine in the early 1900ís and was used to move coppe down and supplies up. The million dollar bridge near the childs glacier was part of this railway line.







At the end of the road to Mccarthy the road dead ended into a footbridge to cross the river. McCarthy was still half a mile away and Kennecott 5 miles. Today the footbridge made a nice Motorcycle bridge.













McCarthy is a tiny little town with many old historic buildings built in the 1900ís.








Most of these buildings today are falling apart due to the extreme weather conditions they endure each year.












There are a few buildings that are used as restaurants and hotels for tourists.





Inside the restaurant the walls were covered with antiques from the mining days.






In McCarthy thereís a museum with even more artifacts from the mining days. This had to be my favorite with the instructions on how a man was supposed to ride in the tramway while be transported into the mine.



















I road over to Kennecott mine and the size of this place was unbelievable. This mine was built back in the 1900ís and must have been something when it was operating at itís peak.






While I was at the mine I wandered around the old complex and there was a lot of work being done on the mine. It appeared to me that the parks were working to preserve this old mine and restore it for tourism purposes.







After this I headed back to camp and packed up for my ride to Glennallen and then the next day to Tok and Haines.



Continue to Haines