Yukon is beautiful. You can ride for miles and miles without ever seeing another soul. And there is plenty of opportunity to clear your head. Honestly, I’ve needed this time and I am extremely grateful for the experience.
If you haven’t been anywhere in a while that is truly off the grid, may I suggest Northern Canada. It would be a choice location to get away from it all. We have been disconnected from cell service and the web most of yesterday and today. I was told this morning that a single internet fiber runs underground from Fort Nelson, British Colombia up to Dawson City, Yukon and that this line serves all 34,000 residents in the province of Yukon. For the few brief connections we did have, it seemed as though we were sharing our conenction with thousands of people. It was S.L.O.W.
The highlight of yesterday was the wildlife. We made our share of stops along the road to take pictures and just observe nature up close. The highlight of the day was a black bear with two cubs. Unlike USA national parks where there are plenty of sightseers pulled off the road alerting you to the wildlife, here you just keep your eyes open and something will step out of the trees every few miles. Yesterday we saw 77 Buffalo, 15 Bear, 3 Moose, 3 Sheep, 1 Rabbit and a Marmot.
There are several dangerous conditions that we constantly stay alert for. It isn’t uncommon for the road to suddenly turn to gravel or simply have patches of dirt occasionally. This is NOT good for motorcycles.
Another danger are bridges made of metal grates instead of asphalt or concrete. The grooves from the metal on the bridge can force a motorcycle tire to go where you don’t want it to go. Several times I was sure I was going down, but thankfully didn’t.
As you might imagine accommodations, food, and fuel along the Alaska Highway can be scarce. We fill our tanks at every opportunity because you never know if the next station might be out of gas or closed until next week, which one sign stated. Last night we stayed in a renovated (1942) US Air Force barracks. It was clean, but small with shared restrooms. Our room was about the size of a prison cell (no further comment needed).
We saw the strangest roadside attraction yesterday. It was called the Sign Post Forrest. It is located in Watson Lake, Yukon. It is several acres of signs from all over the world that people have stopped and nailed to large post for display. They told us there are over 77,000 signs.
Another great attraction we found yesterday was a Hot Springs near a camp site. We stopped and went for a swim, or should I say a simmer. The closer we went up toward the source of the spring, the hotter it got. We wished we had brought hot dogs as they would have cooked just fine while we swam. Yes it was that hot! Legend says that if you place a small rock on the ledge near the spring’s source you are granted one wish. After much excruciating pain, and encouragement, we are both now expecting to see our wishes come true.
During our planning, people repeatedly warned us about the bugs and mosquitos. And yes, we brought plenty of Deet. However, they never mentioned how big the bugs are, and for whatever reason this type tends to like to land on me. Not sure what it is, but it is big and when it hits my face shield it makes quite a mess.
Today we passed the 3,000 mile mark of this leg of the trip (total since the tip of South America is roughly 15,000 miles). Dave decided to celebrate by doing a three limb extension (seen below). I can’t wait to hit the 4,000 mile mark and see what he does.
Just like every other country we visited in South and Central America, wherever we stop people tend to be kind, cordial, and talkative. We always get the same two questions, where are you riding to?, and where are you riding from? It’s that second question that raises a few eyebrows. Some people flat out don’t believe us when we tell them we started at the tip of South America in Ushuaia, Argentina. Of course it’s also a great time to share about the original mission and charity fundraising for the first trip and the great guys that have shared the journey with us.
No doubt, we are all privileged to be able to have shared in this adventure. And although it is one I would encourage anyone to do, it is not one I would repeat. That is what we mean by “trip-of-a-life-time”; meaning, once is enough!
As always, we are posting videos and other interesting photos on Instagram and Twitter (www.plexpod.com).