Wednesday, March 17, 2010

From Matanuska to The Moose's Tooth

To celebrate this Saint Patrick's Day I joined my wife and some friends at The Moose's Tooth Pizzeria for dinner. This is a local brew-pub that serves up some good food and beer. It once was the best brewery in Alaska, but its popularity is hurting it as the quality of their product is going downhill. They are still good, but the beer isn't aged out enough to not produce excess carbonation and the flavors are not setup fully. This produces a product that makes a lot of folks ill, to put it bluntly it gives them gas. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the place but I rarely will go there to eat as waiting for hours for a table in a restaurant that has been open for over ten years is ludicrous when I can get the food to go and enjoy it with friends elsewhere. The Moose's Tooth gets it's name from a mountain in the Alaska range just to the Southeast of Denali. There is another restaurant in the Moose's Tooth family that is a movie theater named the Bear Tooth. Public belief is that it get's it's name from another peak in the same grouping as the Moose's Tooth, but it is either not an official name or is a very small rock peak as it doesn't appear on standard maps of the area. The Bear's Tooth does get referred to by local climbers a lot. It is a peak right next to The Moose's Tooth but must not be officially classified a mountain peak. Another mountain in that chain is called The Broken Tooth. Somehow I don't think this one will be going on any restaurant expansion signs anytime soon. I got in 6 miles today as I ran from my house to midtown for dinner.

This was a good run although I am sure I will pay for it tomorrow as I know I pulled something in my right hip while avoiding getting wet from melt-off puddles and the drivers not watching the road and narrowly managing to not get hit twice. It was great to run outside today and while the weather was great, it is not really Spring just yet. We still have a few snow-falls to get in before Old Man Winter finally lays down his head for a short summer hibernation.

This 6 miles brings me to 101.56 miles for the year. This breaks the 100 mile mark. I am a little ways behind where I would like to be right now. I am going to hit it hard after the middle of next month as all my personal projects should be completed and I will have time to go out and play. It is time to get dedicated to my marathon training. There are 94 days until the marathon. I would like to take off a considerable amount of time this year over the first one I ran last year. I have some projects I need to finish before the first summer guests arrive at home and after that it will be hardcore training for me.

This brings me to 4863.44 miles left to go to reach Davie. Every step brings me closer to the goal. This puts me almost to the water at Caribou Creek (the one by Matanuska glacier, odd how this State has at least a half dozen Caribou Creeks). This is a great place to put in if you are interested in doing some white water rafting and getting to see the Matanuska glacier up close and personal. If you put in on Caribou Creek and float down the 1.2 miles until it reaches the Matanuska River you will be in for a great ride. NOVA Rafting took a group of us rafting through The Lion's Head area last summer. It was a blast. Everyone liked it so much they signed up to go raft Six Mile Creek, the largest guided white water in Alaska. Both trips were truly memorable and well worth doing. I would recommend them and would do them again. In fact in the spring when the water is at its highest there are several of us who are going to take on Six Mile Creek again.

This also puts me just past the Matanuska glacier, the headwaters for the Matanuska River and also the source of the cold silty wind that blows through Palmer insistently. This is a very spectacular place as the road follows the ridge-line above and away from the glacier. This provides a stellar view of the vastness of the glacier.

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