Daily Journal: Yukon, Canada
Beaver Creek to
Junction 37, Yukon, Canada (July 14 - 29, 2008)
July 14 Beaver Creek to Snag Junction Campground 22 km. We had a
lot of bike work to do this morning and it kept us from getting on the road
early again, that was probably a good thing because an hour and a half after
we left Beaver Creek the skies opened up again.
We were in luck, we were near Snag Junction Campground and it even had a
cooking shelter that we made use of. We met a group of Germans and we
had a huge gathering for dinner. It sure beat being on the side of the
July 15 Snag Junction to Km 1916 100 km. The morning
was sunny and the wind was behind us. We were cruising along when out
of the corner of my eye I saw movement. I looked over and saw a momma
grizzly bear and her two cubs. She was across the road and up a rock slope,
the cubs were eating berries from the bushes. Momma didn't see us
stopped on the road but I did notice when she smelled us. She put her
nose in the air and stared right at us. The cubs ignored us and
traveled on so momma was not too concerned with us either, Tim caught some
great footage on the camera and it will be showing up on his new Alaska and
Canada video. Now that the book is done he has time for video again.
I can't say I wasn't a little scared but we kept our distance and
everything worked out just fine.
July 16 Km 1916 to Destruction Bay 73 km. We expected the Alcan to
be really busy this time of year but traffic is light and some places have
told us that tourism is down 80%. Well we saw the reaction to this and the
high gas prices today. We passed three no maybe four places that were
closed. We later learned the lack of tourism and the price of diesel
put quite a few businesses under. It wasn't just he lone RV park
either, it was the entire Kluane Wilderness Village.
We rode on to Burwash Landing and had lunch, it was a little
disheartening when the waitress didn't give me the proper change. For
some reason the place just didn't feel right so we slogged on in the head
wind to Destruction Bay. The RV Park wanted to charge 10 dollars per person
for a piece of ground covered in gravel and in the wind. We decided to look
around and found Talbot Arm Motel, where we could dry camp for free behind
the hotel. The people were nice and very accommodating, we decided to stay
the night and spent our money here.
July 17. The wind was gale force again so we decided to take a day
off the road and catch up on laundry and computer work. There is free
wireless here, it is great to be in North America where the grizzly, moose
and wireless run free.
July 18 Destruction Bay to Sulphur Lake 63 km We were greeted in
the morning with a stiff head wind, the locals said the wind would die down
at the end of Kluane Lake so we pushed on thinking things would get better.
Then we hit the construction zone and it took us over a hour and a half to
get through. This always breaks up the rhythm of the ride. Back
on the road we could have pulled over at Kluane Base Camp but decided to
push on because it wasn't raining. Well we fought the headwind all the way
up the passes, finally we made it. We set up camp and watched a beaver
build it's dam while we ate dinner. We also heard wolves howling in the
night. A nice peaceful place to spend the evening.
July 19 Sulphur Lake to Pine Campground 49 km More head winds with
rain and sleet to the point where I felt like I was being pushed backwards,
we knew once we were over Bear Summit it would be a nice downhill to Haines
Junction, well almost all downhill, it was so cold on the way down I felt
like a Popsicle. We found a great bakery in town, had lunch and got on line
to check a few things. Earlier in Destruction Bay we had posted to a bike
forum that we had completed our second book and were back on the road in
Alaska. You would think that other bike touring cyclists like
ourselves would be interested in our book or just plain ignore it.
That is when we saw the nasty posts, we were called shills, freeloaders, our
web site was ugly and my blog was boring. Ok not in all one post but in a
combination of many. There were a few good ones in there but they were
trampled by the trolls. We were really bummed to read all the nasty comments
and responded the best we could by apologizing and moving on, we chose not
to engage anyone and hoped the whole issue would drop.
July 20 Pine Campground to Rest Area 90 km. The provincial parks
in the Yukon are stellar, nice camping areas with a table, cook shelters,
and firewood. We set up camp about 6 km from town and tried to dry
everything. The weather has been wet, windy and miserable. Today
however, we had an awesome tailwind and we cruised along, a pleasant change.
July 21 Rest Area to Robert Service Campground, White horse 62 km
It was mostly a tailwind today and around town the wind swirled around us,
we were in town early enough to stop at the bike shop to pick up some
derailleur cable. I popped into walmart, a haven't seen one in years and
that was in China, picked up a few things and set up camp at the Robert
Service campground. It has wireless but our computer is getting old,
our wireless is acting up, we get bumped off all the time, Canada is not the
place to fix this so we will limp our way down to the lower 48 where things
July 22 - 24 White horse. I had plans to do some work with the
book, online stuff and marketing letter. Not my favorite thing to do
but books don't sell by themselves. We spent a lot of time in the White
Horse Library, and a good thing too because it rained on and off.
Summer does not appear to be coming anytime soon.
While in Whitehorse I started getting back pain that moved from my spine
around to my front. I thought I was just sleeping wrong or not use to
sleeping on the ground. I also felt run down but that is a bit normal when
getting in shape again. So I thought
July 25 Whitehorse to Wolf Creek Campground 17 km. Being fully
loaded slowed us down and we got out of town late. Again the weather
didn't help much, it was raining again so when we saw Wolf Creek we stayed
the night and once again pitched the tent in the rain and made dinner in the
cook shelter. Really nice place. I collected wood from a number
of places and must have gotten a spider bite on my back because I had a few
bumps on the lower left side of my back.
July 26 Wolf Creek Campground to Squanga Lake Campground 94 km.
We stopped near swan lake to have lunch and when Tim stepped around a tree
to go to the bathroom I went back to my bike to put some food away.
When I did I about came face to face with a large black bear, he was so
close that I could see the whites of his eyes. I yelled to Tim, so much for
being calm, Tim Tim a bear. Calm cool collected Tim, immediately said to me,
everything will be all right calm down. By this time the bear was off
in another direction. I try to stay alert for bears but they seem to
take me by surprise every time.
Boy did I feel tired at the end of the day.
July 27 Squanga Lake Campground to Teslin Lake Campground 59 km.
Augghh! the head winds were tough and the rain showers were
relentless, we had to choice but to push on. Luckily we made it to
Teslin Lake Campground and made a fire in the cook shelter. I was so
worn out I took a nap. I am beginning to think that something is wrong
with me. I had Tim take a photo of my back and show me. When I saw it I
realized that I did not have spider bits but something else. Then I
remembered my little sister Darlene telling me that she had shingles.
We rode on into Teslin.
July 28 Teslin Lake Campground to Teslin 17 km. We arrived in
Teslin and went to the restaurant and used their free wifi to look up
shingles, I saw the photos and knew that is what I had. Luckily Teslin
had a medic center and I went there before they closed. I had to pay
for treatment up front first, to see the doctor I had to pay $450 CN, yikes,
I am back in North America, it is much more reasonable in Australia and New
Zealand. whow. But there are some things that are worth money and that
is my health. The doctor confirmed that I had shingles and prescribed
an anti viral and hydrocortisone cream.
We met Stu and Kathy and their granddaughter at the campground, when they
found out that we were going the same way they offered us a ride. Wow, I
never thought about getting a ride, I tossed and turned about whether or not
to take the ride and then I realized that we do not have any reason not to.
We knew it would save us three days of head winds and we could stretch our
July 29 Teslin to Junction 37 turnoff - 240 km. We were not a pedalin
today. Kathy and Stu loaded us up quite easily and we were down the
road in style. It was certainly a different perspective of the road,
enjoyable to. We were dropped off at Junction 37 and stayed at the
campground. Tim fell asleep in the front seat as the wipers cleared
the rain from the windshield