Well, the big Whittier ride for 2008 came down to the Final Four! Burt, Val, Phil, and yours truly, me. Come Saturday morning it was all up to us! Hard to believe what with the clear blue skies and warm weather, but so be it. We hit the road around 10:30 and headed north to Cooper Landing, where we took a short detour down Bean Creek road for a photo op and a stretch. From there it was up to Turnagain for another stretch, and on to Portage. Coming in to Portage I missed the photo opportunity of the trip. As I came around a semi belching smoke, there in front of me was a large mass on what turned out to be a Buell Blast! As I pulled the trusty camera out of my pocket there was the battery door hanging open! Bummer! As we passed the Portage visitor center and lake there was a nice ice berg floating near the road. Pretty cool. From there it was on to the tunnel where we had a nice talk (huh) from the ticket guy informing us we had to wait until the next opening, and would be the very last people to go through. They feel that in case we go down inside the tunnel that by going last we won't hold everyone up. No respect! So we hung out for an hour or so and enjoyed the scenery and harassed the passerby's. Eventually we made the 2.5 mile trek through the tunnel into Whittier where we were met by perfectly clear blue skies and the largest cruise ship I had ever seen. With the Silver Salmon derby going strong there were more than a few people fishing also! We made our way through the booming metropolis to a nice little town center by the small boat harbor and found a place to have some lunch. And a great lunch it was. Great company, food, scenery and livations. Whittier is such a great little place! We even met a few groups off the cruise ship that begged us to have their pictures taken with the Harleys (at least that's how I remember it!). Finally it was time to head out. And after another 40 minute or so wait for our tail end trip through the tunnel, we were off and running. It was a short run up to Girdwood to top off on fuel and scrape a few bugs, then head back towards Sodotna. The trip back home was somewhat un-eventful, other than a guy on some bizarre type of bike who managed to pull a wheelie in front of me at 70 mph and pull out to pass a few cars on his back tire. Not wanting to lower ourselves to the show off level we managed to maintain ourselves and keep all two on the road.
All in all, this was a very good trip! Other than a thread bare tire that showed itself on the trip back, there were no problems! And we met some great people in Whittier. I can assure you that the four of us will be the first in line next summer when the Whittier trip comes around, and we hope a few others of you out there will want to join us!
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Visit North America's longest railroad-highway
tunnel to Whittier.
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