Saturday, July 19, 2008

Exploring Valdez by bike

Sunday I woke up in a tent in the middle of Valdez surrounded by bikes. Since all I did the day before was watch people ride bikes and drive a car, I really wanted to get out for a ride. I got a tip from one of the team members that there was a dirt road that meandered back into the mountains out of Valdez, so I took off around 10:30 to check it out.

The Mineral Creek Trail turned out to be one of the most scenic bike rides I have ever done. The dirt and gravel road rolls up and down alongside Mineral Creek in a valley that is green and filled with enormous waterfalls. The waterfalls come rushing down right to the road, sometimes rolling right over the road. Anyone who reads this blog in the winter may know what I am thinking when I see this.

Having only spent two days in Valdez this winter for the Ice Pixies Festival, I didn't get a chance to go out exploring on my own. Looks like we'll have to take an extended trip back there this winter. Besides Mineral Creek there are other valleys and canyons that I need to explore.

I didn't even realize as I was riding out the road that I was climbing. When I turned around to ride out I had a fun mostly downhill roller coaster ride back through the terrain I had just come through. Since I got out so fast I decided to check out the Shoup Bay Trail. I actually found out later that this trail is closed to bikes, but I road in about two miles on flat singletrack that was so brushy, I could never see more than 10 feet in front of my bike. Then it opened up to the water and I could no longer go any farther on the bike.

I'd like to go back and explore Mineral Creek further when I have more time.

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