Tailgate Alaska: Day 9 - Easter Showers

The NOAA forecast for Valdez on Sunday called for snow showers in town, and snow in the Pass. This time they were right because I woke up on day 9 of Tailgate to see snow falling to the ground. On the one hand I was glad since the Pass could use a little bit of cover to bury the tracks from the past week, but on the other hand I was a bit disappointed because it meant I couldn't go snowboarding. However, since it was Easter Sunday, I thought I should go to town anyway to call my family and wish them a happy Easter. While I was at it, I decided that Sunday was a good day to bathe, and since the forecast was calling for showers in Valdez, I similarly forecast a shower of my own.

Sign for Thompson Pass: Elevation 2678 feet.
The sign indicating Thompson Pass under a light dusting of snow. This was the firsty time I saw this sign that day.

The timing for this excursion into Valdez was somewhat fortuitous; the back battery of my RV was completely dead, so my heating wouldn't work and I couldn't get the generator started. I figured that the drive to and from town would recharge it because idling wasn't charging it like it's supposed to. So I drove into town, fuelled up the RV, and got some supplies at the grocery store. I was planning to drive to the Rendezvous to take a shower, but when I got back to the Pass, I noticed that the back battery still wasn't charged. So I drove back to Valdez for a second time to see if there wasn't a place where I could plug it in for a few hours.

I stopped at Captain Joe's RV Park and Tesoro service station. They were gracious enough to let me plug in my rig for a couple hours to recharge the battery. While I was there, I ran into Doug and Carlos from Big Mountain Taxi. They were in town getting gas for their sleds and to take a shower. That's how I discovered that the Tesoro also had shower facilities. I now had something to do after I called my family while waiting for my battery to charge.

Once I got done on the phone, I went inside to find out where the showers were. The clerk showed me where to go and told me it would be $8 for a shower without any time limit. MY response was: “Dude! Right now $8 is totally worth it.” So I pony'd up the dough, got my stuff and proceeded to take only my second shower since arriving in Alaska. It was epic, and that's not even hyperbole; definitely worth the $8.

Hungry Man turkey dinner on the RV table with Charlie and my laptop.
Easter dinner Tailgate Alaska style. Charlie and I were getting ready to chow down on this Hungry Man turkey dinner.

Showered and recharged, I made my way back to the Pass to see if there was anything going on at the Tailgate camp. I headed over to the office and discovered that the results of the King of the Hill were being announced at the Totem Inn later that night. I really wish I had known that before I drove back from Valdez because I was really not keen on driving into town for a third time that day. In the end, I decided to not make the trip and was hoping that I could get the skinny from some of the other Tailgaters. Instead, I decided that I was going to make my own Easter dinner. Since my generator was now working properly, I had a Hungry Man turkey dinner to make.

The next morning, when Justin got back from Valdez, he filled me in on everything that took place at the awards ceremony. As expected, Travis Rice was the winner on the men's side. He said that of all the contests he's ever been in, this one was the most fun. On the women's side, Vera Jensen was the winner. Other notable events included the battle for sixth place. Apparently Shaun Farmer and Mark Landvik tied for sixth, and they settled it by having an arm wrestling match. Lando won which is surprising because Farmer is a much larger man. I guess that just proves the old saying that size really doesn't matter.

The return of the King of the Hill turned out to be a great success. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who wasn't really stoked on it. Plus this is a great boon for the city of Valdez who might want to get into the business of selling gold of the white variety rather than the black. Whatever the case may be, I'm really looking forward to doing this all over again next year, and next time, I hope to compete in the King of the Hill.

Winter Matters Bubble

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