I left Palmer in the cool cloudy morning. It was hard to tear myself away from another warm coffee table discussion but both Bob and Sharok understood I must go. I fueled up in Palmer and noticed a strange shimmy in my front wheel. I had been making a bad noise since the Dalton btw 19-30mph but I chalked it up to tire noise since it disappeared whenever I'd lean side to side. It was immediately obvious that my front wheel bearing was shot to hell. Damn. I cleaned it and added gear oil to assist lubrication of the worn part. I picked up my phone and called ahead to Whitehorse, Yukon and ordered two bearings and a new axle. I had them rush it via air mail in hopes I could A.) make it 1000mi there B.) fix it before meeting my parents in Skagway Aug21.
The broken bearing and my incompetence weighed heavily on my mind throughout the cold ride. Beautiful pyramidal peaks soared around me and I passed the Matinuska Glacier before ascending into the rain and clouds.
I picked up a bad batch of gas or something. Alarmingly my fuel mileage fell from 100mpg to 65mpg and 79 on a subsequent fill up. I checked for fuel leaks but found none. No smoke or noticeable smell was present so I put the old air filter on my list as culprit. I could replace that at the next hardware store I passed.