Knik, not like Nick; the k is not silent. About ten miles up the Knik River Road is a bridge across Hunter Creek. From there, it’s about 8 miles on snowmachine trails along the floodplain to the foot of the glacier, where iceforms dwarf cyclists in icy blue shadows and light. The trail is well traveled and frozen through the morning, and we approach the ice within an hour and a half of departure. Like an icy Bryce Canyon, we explore slots and cracks to their end, climbing over frozen bridges and saddles, and through towering corridors. Sliding across glassy refrozen meltwater and down the sides of giant ice marbles, we are kids in an absurd moonscape. A sunny day in the middle of nowhere full of childlike wonder–the best bike ride ever.
The final bend, a different place
no hubbub, no wind, not cold.
A space frozen, but not unmoving;
Shhh– sleeping monsters in momentary grace.
Cyclops, a Yeti, the Lochness and a puddle of melt;
A boy’s club of scary faces and stalactites for teeth.
Retracing our tracks, we gain momentum from the imperceptible dowstream slope and the glee of an afternoon well-wasted. Lael rides her Pugsley with new gold VP pedals, Tamra rides my purple Puglsey with Nate, and I ride a borrowed Salsa Mukluk 3. Lael finds a moose leg on the trail and is insistant that we take it home, exhibiting it’s uses as a prosthesis and a kickstand; Tamra draws the short straw and straps it to her rack.
The Knik River floodplain is colored pink in this rendering. We rode from the wide braided section left of center, up to the big white glacier on the right. A nice ride; eight easy miles each way, if snow conditions are favorable.