Along the Alaskan Highway to Whitehorse. The Alaskan Highway through the Yukon is fantastic. The sky is crystal clear today as we cruise past mirrored lakes and snow caped mountains. We find a great camp ground only a short walk outside Whitehorse. After setting up camp we go into town to get some fresh Alaskan Salmon for dinner, yummm.
Stay another day in Whitehorse, need a break from riding and its also good to check out town.
Leaving after breakfast , still on No.1 Highway up towards Destruction Bay, Beaver Creek and across the border into Alaska. Cool we are in ALASKA!!! We stop in Tok tonight at a camp side where they have a pancake trowing competition every night. Simple, get the pancake in the bucket that stands about 4 meters away and you win free breakfast in the Restaurant the following morning. I have a go but no luck whereas Maggie gets it in on the first attempt. I guess I watch her have breakfast in the morning.
The sky is not looking to promising this morning and shortly after we head of itís starting to rain. We rug up and ride on to Palmer near Anchorage. The rain and fog make it for a miserable day on the road but at least the Hotel is ok and warm.
The weather is on our side today as we pass through Anchorage and along the coast down to Seward. We stop of at Moose Pass for a delicious smoked Salmon Lunch. Seward is a fishing town as well as the sea port for the Alaskan Cruise Ships. There is a Salmon Cannery and a Brewery where the Alaskan Amber beer is made. What else do you need?
Weíre on our way back to Anchorage and stop of at the Alaskan Motorcycle Shop just to say hallo and have a chat with some people. We drive around town for a bid and then continue driving up north to Talkeetna, a small village at the end of the road. Itís Saturday afternoon and a band is playing in the beer garden so we join in and meet a couple of swiss guys on a tour of the north. A few Pitchers later we head of to the local pub where another band is blasting out there sound, so we fell it our duty to support the local talents and party on to 2 am. The mad thing is itís still light outside so you lose all sense of time .
Bit of a late start after last night. We are on our way to Denali National Park, the rain is all around us but weíre lucky not to get wet. Denali is just a big tourist trap and at this time of the year totally over run. We drive in to the National Park as far as we are aloud and then turn back to the village looking for a camp spot. All booked out, so we drive on for a few kmís find a camp spot and are the only ones there. Nice.
Fairbanks is todays destination and after a few cold hours on the bike we arrive in town. Itís starting to rain and itís cold so we look for a Hotel. Even the shÖ.íiest looking place wants over a hundred dollars. We stand outside the Winmark Hotel and decide to give it a go, Maggie goes in and comes back shacking her head, 240.- for the night with free WiFi. So we get the laptop out get on the net and book this very same Hotel for 80.- Go figure !!!! In the evening we go up to the University Museum, very interesting, and a great view over the city.
We wanted to go up to Prudhoe Bay but due to the weather and the forecast for the next few days we give it a miss and heed to Tok. Just outside Fairbanks is a place called North Pole with a huge Christmas shop. The rain sets in just after North Pole and it gets really cold by the time we are riding into Tok itís only 7C and pouring down.
There is snow on the distant mountain tops this morning. The sun is shining and we are heading up to the Top Of The World Highway. Taking the turn at Tetlin Junction to the north the road winds its way through the mountains to a old mining town called ď Chicken ď we stop to check out the old goldmining equipment and a bite to eat and then continue on the dirt road towards Dawson City. The drive over the mountains is just fantastic, the view is never ending it feels like we can see the whole of Alaska from up here. In the middle of nowhere is the US/Canada border where after a short stop and a ďwelcome to CanadaĒ we drive on to Dawson City.
Dawson feels very much like an old Western Town with dirt roads and wooden sidewalks. There are plenty of Shops and Saloons around town one of them being Diamond Tooth Gerties Gambling Hall, Canadaís oldest Casino. In the name of research we go and watch the girls to there thing, not bad
Dawson to Carmaks is a long road along rivers and through forestís. About half way there we take the turnoff to Mayo and see a Black Bear with 3 Cups right in front of us on the road. There is not much in Mayo so we go back and end up in Carmaks on a great camp spot right on the river. We meet JP and Hanni who are also travelling the world in a very neat 4x4 they only picked up a couple of months ago.
On the road south from Carmaks we stop of at a Roadhouse that is famous for their gigantic Cinnamon Rolls. We reach Whitehorse in the afternoon and go back to the campground we stayed in o the way up.
Spent another day in Whitehorse. Walked along the river and into town, just having a break for a day.
On our way to Skagway we stop in Carcross for Coffee. We go to the Tourist Information to see if there is any accommodation around here as we got time to kill until Thursday when we catch the ferry. We are told about a little cabin on Crag Lake so we drive out there to check it out. Itís a log cabin right on the lake called the Dunroamin Retreat. What a great place to relaxand do nothing, itís a really cool cabin and great hostís, Susanna and Rob. In the afternoon we have a sauna right on the shore of the lake, so when it gets hot we jump in to the lake thatís only about 5C. Check out the cabin under www.dunroaminretreat.com if you in the area itís a must.
Of to Skagway over theWhite pass down into town. We had no idea what to expect. That place is full with people and jewellery shops, there are 5 Cruise Ships in town with over 2000 people on each ship. Itís just mad, Iím glad we stayed at the cabin instead of hanging out here. We end up in a bar for a few drinks ( Happy Birthday to me) where there is Karaoke night, mostly staff from the ships having a night of, itís a laugh.
Thursday 28 Ė Saturday 30.7
We board the ferry this morning and after tying down the bike we go on the upper deck to our cabin. The ferry is booked out and there is a lot of people from all over the world on board, makes it an interesting trip. The scenery through the Inside Passage is fantastic, from Glaciers that come to the waterís edge to waterfalls from high up in the mountains. I get up at 5am to see some whales and there are literally hundreds of them, we even spot a few Orcas.
Saturday 30.7 5am
We are docking in Prince Rupert everybody is up and ready to get of the ship. Itís very hectic on the car deck as people are getting ready, there must be about 40 bikes and we are all packing and untying the bikes. The front of the ferry opens up and itís absolutely pouring down so on with the wet weather gear. We only just get of the boat into a 3 line road and there is the Canadian Customs, so waiting in the rain for our turn. After clearing the customs we drive up into town to get petrol where a guy tells us that it always rains in Prince Rupert, according to him they have about 300 days of rain a year. We drive on and after about 2 hours it starts to ease of and the sun is breaking through the clouds. As we reach Smithers we call it a day, the motel we are staying in lets us hang up the tent and our gear to dry out in the sun.
Easy drive to Prince George where we stay in the same motel as on the way up due to the rain coming back again.
Today the clock on the bike turns over 100í000 kmís. For us that means we have travelled 71í590 km since the start of our journey, ouchÖÖ. We camp on Lake Hope for the night, very busy place with heaps of RV.
Through the mountains to Whistler, great ride a very scenic. Whistler itself? Take it or leave it, we left.
Most spectacular piece of road along the bay towards Vancouver. The road clings to the mountain side and the views are breathtaking. From Horseshoe Bay we take the ferry over to Vancouver Island and camp in Parksville for the night.
Crossing the middle of the island we come to Ucuelet a small fishing village on the Pacific coast. The first campground we check out tells us that there have been some tents shredded by bears in the last few days but not to worry about it. We are not worried as weíre not staying. We find another camp spot and go exploring the village. After Fish and Chips for dinner we wander out to the Lighthouse where the whales just happen to swim past right in front of us and the sun is setting over the ocean. Someone reach me a bucket
Through the National Park up to Tofino a more touristy place with the usual shops and restaurants. On the way back we stop at Soldier Point. A walk through the old grow forest past some enormous treeís brings us down to the beach.
Down to Victoria today where our camp place is right next to the speedway and being Saturday they are racing today. We go into town where itís all happening along the waterfront. By the time we get back the racers ar all packing up and are on the way home.
Spent the whole day in Victoria. Drove around the waterfront and stoped at the Yacht club for lunch. Then back into Downtown for Happy Hour ;)
On the ferry again back to Vancouver. Staying in a Motel in Suburbia, not great but itís only for 1 night. Drive into town and around Stanley Park, great place.
Today we are leaving Canada. We very much enjoyed it and had a great time. Crossing the border is no problem, after cuing for 40 min. Itís the first time that an officer asked for the rego papers. All is good and we are off down to Seattle. The traffic coming into town is very busy but we manage to get to our motel without problems. Unload all the gear and hit the town. Have Clam Chowder on the Waterfront for lunch and then climb the stairs up to the markets. We come across the first Starbucks shop where it all started. End up wandering about town for hours.
Only a short trip down to Fife where the bike is booked in for a service. South Sound BMW is just down the road from the motel so we can walk between the places. We both go for a haircut and my beard is going too, so now Iím working on a moustache for Mexico.
Just hanging around, blogging, reading and later picking up the bike. Met 3 Mexicans at BMW on their way up to Alaska so we exchange some tips and places to go and see.
Making our way out of town and across to the coast. Stoped at a camping ground in Seaside. Seaside is like a time warp somehow it got left behind in the seventyís, there are gaming arcades with all the old games in it and the merchandise also looks like out of a museum. There is a huge beach volley ball competition on with hundreds of people on the beach.
Another day in Seaside, as it is the weekend we learned that it is better to stay put because a lot of places are booked out during the summer holidays and especially on the weekend. There is a small village just down the road called Cannon, a huge tourist trap with a nice beach so we go for a long walk enjoying the sun and watching all the activity along the beach.
Riding south along the coast with some great views to be had we come to a little place called Seal Rocks with a great Camp ground right across from the beach. We put up camp and spend the afternoon on the beach. A camp fire and a nice piece of steak over the fire, nice day.
Coming in to California today. The fog is very thick this morning, we stop at the visitors centre to get a map and some info for the area. There is a very nice old lady at the counter telling us everything there is to know and a bit of extra as well. We take the road through the Redwood Forest and only minutes into it we come pass the biggest trees we ever seen. Itís absolutely amazing and makes us feel very little. We stay in Crescent City for the night. Had some great seafood down the wharf and watched the seals play on the pontoon in the harbour.
Did some more riding through the Redwood Forest and camped in Arcata for the night.
Another great day riding along the coast but the fog is starting to annoy us we stay in Ford Bragg, it looks like a November day in Europe cold and miserable. Today we had our first flat tyre, picked up a nail somewhere along the way. Pulled over on a headland to fix the problem and while I was attending to the tyre, Maggie is watching the whales swimming out in the ocean.
We had enough of this fog so we go inland. A few kilometres in and the sun is out and itís getting warm. We are coming into the Napa Valley, Californiaís Wine country, Grapevines everywhere. Maggie is happy!! St. Helena is where we stay for the night and are being told about a free concert in the park, so we got ourselves a pick nick at the local deli and joint the locals in the park. Of course we had to sample a bottle of local wine, not bad.
Out of the valley along the bay and over the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco, what a buzzÖÖ. Then through the city across the Bay Bridge and into Alameda where we found a Motel right on the wharf for a reasonable price. Since we are next to the Yacht Club we may as well go and say hallo and have a beer with them.
Saturday 20. Sunday 21.7
Taking the Ferry across to the city. Hoped on a sightseeing Bus and enjoy the trip around the city. Got of at the Golden gate and walked across it. Back into the city, China Town, Little Italy, Business District as well as the Hippy part of town itís all very cool. We very much enjoyed San Francisco.
We are leaving Alameda this morning crossing the bay over the San Mateo Bridge down to Half Moon Bay and along the coast to Santa Cruz then on to Big Sur and down a spectacular coast to Morro Bay a great little village on the coast.
Had a day off today. Went for a big walk on the beach and through the village. Great Thai food for dinner.
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