Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Eve Night Ride

Bill and I rode from Knik Lake out the Iditarod Trail to Flathorn Lake and back on the seismic line to Point McKenzie and from there back to Knik, about a 62 mile ride. We left the parking lot about 3 pm. The trail started out being hard packed with little snow cover, as little as I have seen out there this time of the year. The area around 9 mile hill is better than most years, it is not quite so rutted on the downhills and had beautiful white snow covering the trees.The big swamp before Flathorn Lake was very soft and slow going, so was the lake when we finally got there, it was very windy.
The swamps after Flathorn on the return leg were very fast with ice underneath a light packed layer of snow. The trail in the trees was soft again from all the recent snowmachine traffic and 6 to 7" of fresh snow they had received a few days ago. We only saw about 5 snowmachines right in the beginning and a musher we had met a few days ago. He stopped and we talked briefly. He is signed up for the Knik 200 which starts Saturday, Jan. 5th. I figured we must have been the only ones pedaling bikes through the night on New Year's Eve. There was a cool cloud above the Chugach Mountains in the distance reflecting the city lights of Anchorage in orange and illuminating the mountains in light orange. We stopped at the Point McKenzie Store for a coke just after midnight, what great folks.They are hosting the Susitna 100 start and finish this year. We got back to the Knik Bar at around 2PM with karaoke going on inside the bar.
We didn't feel like going inside a smoky bar after the ride so we headed home to Chickaloon.
Was a great night ride with variable snow conditions. Temps were around 18 to 19 degrees with wind on the swamps.


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