(15) The Yukon & The Alaskan Highway
Tuesday August 10 2004
Another sunny, beautiful, hot day. I love it!
I pass through the most amazingly beautiful landscpes, it takes your breath away!
Mountains, rivers, lakes everywhere, so much to photograph, awesome scenery.
I pass through Buckinghorse River, Prophet River, Fort Nelson, Northern Rocky Mtns. Park, Stone Mtn., Toad River, Muncho Lake and Liard Hot Springs.
Along the way I see mtn. goats, sheep and caribou.
I stop to buy some octane booster to carry with me as fuel stops are long distances in between and they all don't have premium unleaded.
I buy the lower regular unleaded and add a bit of octane booster, the bike runs like the well oiled machine that it is.
After a long, hot, dusty day I reach my destination, Liard Hot Springs.
People have told me about these relaxing, soothing, hot pools with natural water temperatures of around 40 Celcius.
The campground is situated a nice walk from the springs, it was almost too hot for me to stay in. After about a half hour it zapped the last remaining energy left in my body and I more or less floated back to the tent. This was the first sort of wash I had had for about 3 days, good thing I am alone on the bike...not bathing keeps the bugs away :-)
Wednesday August 11 2004
The day started with sun, then cloudy, got rained on a few times, showers and ended up sunny again.
Soon after leaving Liard early in the morning I pass a huge herd of Bison grazing on both sides of the road, the only body part moving were their jaws from chewing cud, it all looked surreal.
I stopped, unsure if it was wise to get off the bike and get good close photos. These are massive steam roller sized animals, I envisioned one bolting, the rest following and trampling the bike & me...so I watched for a few minutes and moved on slowly...no photos of dancing with buffaloes today!
The road crosses into the Yukon, back into B.C. and back into the Yukon to stay.
I have to say that of all the places I have been to in the world, this part of Canada has some of the most fantastic scenery I have ever seen.
I can't really describe it good enough, it is something to see with your own eyes.
I pass through Contact Creek, Iron Creek & stop in Watson Lake to fuel up and check out the famous "Signpost Forest".
There are over 53,000 signs now, it grows by over a 1,000 per year.
Check out the Wiarton Willie sign!
I didn't erect one for Owen Sound nor did I take the time to see if I could find one from Owen Sound, but I bet there is one.
Onwards through Teslin, Johnson' Crossing, Jakes Corner and Whitehorse, Yukon.
I check out the town, talk to the local people, nice helpful info center, I really like Whitehorse and the campground is situated and set up very well, a pleasure to be here!
Thursday August 12 2004
I spend today checking out Whitehorse and the area.
What a really cool town.
I meet Matt from Iowa on a HD Fatboy at the campground.
We drive into Yukon Harley Davidson and I buy a heated vest.
I've been thinking about this for sometime, it is a purchase I am sure will come in handy on this trip and others.
They have just uncrated and assembled a new 2005 HD Softail Deluxe....Wow!
This softail is one of the sweetest HD's I have ever seen!...maybe I will deal mine after the trip and get myself one of these :-)
I drive to Skagway, Alaska.
The road here is just stunning, massive mountains, glaciers, rivers and lakes.
I almost can't believe the beauty and once I am in the old goldrush town of Skagway I am greeted by 4 cruiseliners with 5,000 touists on each one.
The shops are full of people buying everything in sight, I check it out and head back to the amazing scenery from where I came from.
I learned that Willy G, the HD people and VIP's will be here on the weekend for riding/press-photo ops and schmoozing, would be cool to meet Willie G sometime.
Friday August 13 2004
Oh Oh, friday the 13th.
Should I stay put today?
No, I drive on the Hwy. #2 from Whitehorse to Dawson City, Yukon.
More amazing beauty all along the highway today, I pass through Carmacks, Pelly Crossing and into Dawson.
A really cool goldrush town, still with authentic dirt roads throughout the town. I like the look and feel of this town.
I visit the N.W.T. info center and ask/read/inquire about motorcycling up the famous, gravelled Dempster Highway all the way to Inuvik, N.W.T. crossing the Arctic Circle.
Now that sounds like something I want to do oneday, not sure when I will get back to visit so I better check it out and see if it is possible?
Saturday August 14 2004
A nice summer day in Dawson, they have weekend festivities taking place, arts & craft show, a parade through the town, a good time to be here and relax.
I take in some museums to read and learn about those exciting gold rush days of Dawsons' past.
It sounds very romantic but I can read & see that not many struck it rich, there were many hardships and the weather to overcome.
At the hostel/campground I meet 2 dutch men on 2 Honda 50cc. motorscooters that are driving them from Anchorage, Alaska all the way to Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina.
They say they will make it in 8 months, pretty amazing chore ahead of them, drive on I say!
This evening I take in the show at Diamond Tooth Gerties Gambling Hall.
I sat up in the balcony, kept one eye on the dancing girls and the other on all the gamblers down below.
It was a good show & music, everyone was behaved, no brawls or flying chairs to be seen, but I did go home about 10pm, maybe things livened up later.
When I was in town today I bought a small plastic gas can, the first fuel stop on the Dempster Highway is just about the limit of my full tank will take me, so I guess that means that I will be attempting to drive the Dempster.
I lay awake thinking about my drive alone on a heavy old HD with street tires, the ones that get sliced to pieces and I don't carry spares, it takes awhile before I doze off.
Posted by Jeff Nicholls at August 14, 2004 02:36 AM GMT