North to Alaska
After passing the Emerald Lake we stopped for a breakfast/brunch/lunch at Carcross where we met Jo and Graham on a BMW from New Zealand who were traveling with Mark and Lisa, also on a BMW from New Mexico. They had just gotten off the ferry from Skagway and we spent some time chatting with them and getting the low down on the ferry trip we were to make in the next few days.
The ride down to Skagway is one of the most stunning and awesome roads we have been on so far.
Canadian/Alaskan Boarder - Klondike Highway
The Canadian/American border is high in the Continental Divide mountains where snow and ice is still abundant, even for summer. We did a short hike thought the alpine high country enjoying the clean air and crystal clear water from snow melt before continuing on the rapid descent to the coast, and Skagway.
Skagway is a really neat little tourist town preserved in the Gold Rush theme, specifically for the numerous and grand Alaska cruise ships, however there is a fabulous little restaurant called ‘Stowaway Café’ that serves huge slabs of fresh halibut! One serve is enough for two! (Thanks Lynn for our dinner.)
Once the ferry tickets were secured we waited at the terminal until boarding where we met Howard and Alan from California who were traveling around Alaska on the BMW and Gold Wing respectively. We had such a nice time talking about travelling and motorcycling... as you do!
Waiting for the boat
We spen two nights and a day on the boat and the weather had turned very cold and it was quite windy on the water.
Julie in the Wind!
The journey from Skagway to Prince Rupert (known as the "Poor Mans Alaskan Curise") took in beautiful scenery and rugged isolated coastline of the Inside Passage. We were able to see some humpback whales swimming along side the boat and glaciers high up in the mountains.
Grant rugged up for the Alaskan Summer?
After disembarking from our 'cruise' we continued on to the small town of Kitwanga wher we met some cyclists that were riding from Alaska to Vancouver. the Group included Eduardo and Michael who were good friends and we all talked about our favourite subject.... MEXICO as Eduardo lives in Mexico City it was good to get information about that part of our trip to come. Eduardo also owns a BMW and maybe we will hook up and go for a ride together.
The ride to the Mezidan Junction is a little tiresome as it is all managed forests and swamps and you are boxed in by trees and do not get to see much scenery, however once you turn off on to the 37A - the road to Stewart, things change dramatically.
From Highway 37A
The road winds its way past high mountains with glaicers topping them, along the Bear River, past the Bear Glacier and through a tight little canyon.
Just on the other side of the boarder, three kilometres from Stewart, there is an even smaller town called Hyder.
There are no paved roads in Hyder but there are fantastic restaurants! The people in our campground in suggested we go and eat at 'The Bus'.
The Bus is a famous seafood restaurant attached to the 'Alaskan Premier Seafoods' outlet and began around seven years ago. If you are in this neck of the woods go see Diana and get the story (www.hyderalaska.com).
At breakfast we met Al and Lorene from Ohio who got us very excited about heading over that way to the National Museum of the Untied States Airforce in Dayton Ohio, but we will have to see... after all we made it to Alaska and that was not in the plans!
Leaving Stewart it was back to Kitwanga for two days of rest before doing a few long runs, one throught the Rocky Mountains.
It was now time for us to continue on to Calgary.
Posted by Julie Rose at July 02, 2005 06:39 PM GMT