Monday, August 11

Loooong post

Today was amazing, the kind of good, sunny day we needed. This good:

This was taken at a pullout along Muncho Lake. I've never seen a body of water so large with hardly a ripple on it. Surreal.

But I feel like I'm getting ahead of much has happened, and I need to get it down before I lose it.

Day 18: Anchorage to Delta Junction
For some reason we had a brain fart and thought that Anchorage was the end of the Alaska Highway. Nope. Delta Junction is, so off we go. Yes, it's way out of the way and yes, it adds to our
saddle time, but hey, we've ridden farther for less.

It was a good start to the day, sunny and cool, and even the construction wasn't horrible to get through. It was weird, every time we stopped for a bite, the weather changed. After lunch at a mountaintop cafe, the weather cooled down drastically, and then the rain started turning it into another crappy day. We made it to Paxson, and couldn't take it anymore so stopped for soup and tea at the Paxson Lodge. Right after that the sky cleared up, and we had a great run along Summit Lake and down to Delta Junction.

Day 19: Delta Junction - Dawson City
OMG, what an awful day. Keith has touched on the ride a bit from his perspective. Here's mine:


The road from Tok to Dawson City is a variety of surfaces traversing a variety of terrains. Potholes. Loose gravel. Hard packed dirt. Loose dirt. Switchbacks. Steep hills. Soft shoulders. No shoulders. Rain. Cold. Fog. All of this experienced on tires and machine meant for asphalt, not off-road conditions.

You all know how much I love riding, love what it gives me. I told Keith at one point, that if I was told I could never ride again unless I did that road again, I would hand over my keys and walk away. I think he thinks I was kidding.

We hit Dawson City finally, and checked into the Whitehouse Cabins. Doug, the owner, recommended Klondike Kate's for dinner.... beer has never tasted so good!

Day 20: Dawson City
We decided to stay a day in Dawson City, and spent a drizzly but interesting day exploring the town and a steamboat graveyard that's slightly downriver. We managed to get one night in Whitehouse's restored Gold Rush cabin, which was heaven.

Day 21: Dawson City - Whitehorse
It was grey and misty when we left Dawson (quel surprise), but at some point the weather started to break, and by the time we were a few hours from Whitehorse the sky was blue and clear. We pulled into the Braeburn Lodge as we'd read about their world famous cinnamon buns. The thing was freaking huge:

Between the sugar rush, the warm sun, and the presence of smooth new blacktop, I was pretty giddy when we got into Whitehorse.

To be honest, I'm a bit sad to have gotten there and left when we did. My nephew, who lives in Halifax, is actually in the north for a canoe trip with his girlfriend, and we have just missed seeing them in Whitehorse by a few days. D'oh!

Day 22: Whitehorse - Watson Lake
The sun continued to shine as we did a highway run to Watson Lake, and got to the home of the Sign Post Forest just in time to find a hotel and go for a quick look around. It's kind of mind-boggling how many signs are there from all over the world. We actually found one from Punkeydoodle's Corners, a small spot near Keith's hometown:

Day 23: Watson Lake - Fort Nelson
Today was as perfect as the day to Dawson City was foul. Sunny, warm (the wool socks and long underwear have been packed!), it was a great day for riding. There was one stretch of highway where we saw buffalo grazing along the side of the road, calmly ignoring us as we passed oh so slowly.

We stopped for a bit at the Liard Hot Springs for a while to soak away some road twinges. It was surprisingly empty:

Actually, everywhere we've gone seems to be mostly empty. According to a lot of local we've talked to, the rising gas prices are really affecting tourism. On the one hand, we've felt that we've had a lot of places to ourselves, which is pretty cool. On the other, there are so many closed and closing businesses along the highway that it's very saddening.

Tomorrow sees us finishing the Alaska Highway, and we will likely stay in or around Dawson Creek, aka Mile 0.

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