Sunday, August 10

Top O' The World To Ya!

The next day was, as you can guess, overcast and rainy as we set out south to Tok (all roads lead to Tok).
The road is of passable paved quality and reminds me a lot of Newfoundland.
Pavement bordered by a cleared section of brush then some dense woods off to the sides.
And just as in NFLD, Moose would come out to the road to wave to us!
They were just young ones but still commanded some respect as they are still MUCH larger than a bike and rider!
We paused in Tok for fuel and tried to get some info on the route to Dawson city via Chicken.
Of the 2 routes to choose from, south was the construction mess we negotiated a week ago or across the Top of the World Highway.
We chose the unknown route and off to Dawson we go.
The Taylor Highway is a "paved" road that stretches the description "Highway"just a tad.
Back road, more like!
The 100 or so km to Chicken passed through, what we later found out, was about 2 million acres of burned out forest.
That's SOME campfire!
It was clear from the map that the road from Chicken to the border was "unpaved secondary" but the rain had made it, shall I say, challenging!
There is an amusing egg shaped sign just off the highway at Chicken saying...
"I got laid in Chicken"
But after that amusement...80km of narrow, twisting, turning ,climbing and diving slickness!!!!
The ST1100 seemed to work well at about 65KMH but Kats bike was a bit more of a handful and required a more conservative pace.
There were few places to pull over so the ride became not as much a short term technical trial but a long term marathon!
You could not really let your concentration laps for a second so we were a bit wrecked by the time we reached the border.
After a long up hill grade to the customs post, we had become cloaked in thick , thick fog!
"The road is better from here on" was the encouragement from the guard
What road?
I had to concentrate on a patch of yellow lined pavement about 10' ahead of me.
I'm sure the view was outstanding but the visibility left that to the imagination.
This is where I find riding the hardest and my hope was as we descended, things would clear up.
Finally we drove out of the fog and began to enjoy the pavement, and the view.
The road wound between large rolling hills and the rain had stopped and the sun was attempting a coup.
Then, more gravel! Not the worst kind, just hard packed surface with a sprinkle of small stones.
Eventually we were treated to a sign welcoming us to Dawson City and the final downgrade to the ferry.
Doug, the guy we had booked a cabin in Dawson from, had said "see you in 6 hrs" when we called from Tok.
6 hrs?!It can't take THAT long!
But it did and then some!
Kat was very pleased to see that the cabin with the old style claw foot tub was available so we stayed in a room for the first night and moved to the cabin for the second.
Unlike the polished well heeled Skagway, Dawson City has more of the authentic frontier feel.
A lot of the original buildings have been brought up to modern standards and still stand as a salute to the past.
As a small diversion from riding, we hiked out into the bush on a little traveled path to have a look at 6 1800's paddle wheel boats that had been pulled ashore at the beginning of the 1900's.
It was very strange to pick and poke around the hulls and boiler bits that remained of the hard working vessels from the past.
The forest was slowly taking the broken hulls back to their origins.
Rear wheel paddle boats were perfect for work on the fairly shallow Yukon River, just like on the Mississippi.
There is a beautifully restored boat at the foot of Front Street.
Pics will be provided.
Back to the cabin and it's steak and mushrooms on the barbi as we see another 11pm sunset.

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