May 8. Day 33. Whistler to Big Bar. 289 km mostly on gravel.
Lane from Vancouver met me in Whistler to ride with me for a few days. North of Whistler we hit gravel in D'Arcy and rode on a very twisty, dusty road on the north side of Anderson Lake. Anderson lake and Seton lake used to be the same lake and a land slide thousands of years ago split them in 2. Seton lake was very bright blue and Anderson Lake was a darker blue. I felt like I was in the Swiss alps or something. From Seton lake we climbed over a mountain to a reservoir on the north side that feeds the Bridge River. As we rode through the canyon the climate changed from coastal mountains to high desert/pine forest. You notice these changes on a motorcycle more then in a car. The dry air feels different then the wet and it effects your motorcycle also. We ate lunch at a hotel bar in Lillooet then went north along the Frasier River to an amazing camp site. After a dinner of spicy noodles and fish, I was ready for bed. I woke up around 1 am and the moon was very bright so I took some pictures.
|Anderson lake (close), Seton portage, and Seton lake|
|Rocks in the road. The banks are shedding a lot this spring.|
|The sign said "one truck at a time"|
|North of Lillooet|
May 9. Day 34. Big Bar to Quesnel BC. 365 km
After taking pictures of the moon, I never really warmed up so the whole morning I was cold in my sleeping bag. Lesson learned: bundle up if you are going to take pictures at night. A quick few minutes turns in to an hour when playing with a camera at night. We had to cross the Big Bar Ferry in order to ride into Clinton. The Ferry was basically 2 boats connected together. It used the current to cross the river. We got snow on the way to Clinton so a warm breakfast and warm coffee was welcomed. In Clinton, Lane and I split directions and he went back to Vancouver. The ride north toward Prince George was cold so I only made it to Quesnel. $90 for a hotel is way to expensive for my budget but when you are cold, some times you need to decide what is important.
|Breakfast in Clinton, BC. Fried mashed potatoes? Yes please.|
|Quesnel BC. The only interesting picture I took for the rest of the day.|
The riding between Quisnel and Prince George reminded me of northern MN so I didn't take many pictures. It wasn't until I started getting back into the coastal mountains that I was inspired enough to snap some more photos. The towns start to get fewer and far between as you get up toward the middle of BC. By about 5:00 I pulled into Smithers and had a great salad a then got a hotel. There is a ski resort near Smithers but it closed a few weeks earlier. Tomorrow is AK for the first time for me.
May 11. Day 36. Smithers BC to Hyder AK. 377 km
The day started with sun but by the time I turned off the Casiar Hwy toward Hyder the clouds covered the sun. I have been making good use of the heated jacket liner and heated grips. The bear reminded me of deer. They graze on grass on the side of the road and I lost count around 15. I did not feel comfortable trying to get close for a good picture. I don't need to be in the papers. Once I got to Hyder I tried to go to the Salmon Glacier but the road was still snowed in at the north end. It is the 5th largest glacier in North America and something to see I am told. Mark that for the next trip around the world. Eating at the Glacier Inn is a must if you are in Hyder. The Halibut burger and seafood chowder was the best I have had in as long as I can remember. Karaoke with the locals is a must also. When in Rome.
|Hitting the Cassiar Hwy for the first time.|
|Lunch time view|
|That'a a Glacier.|
|End of the road trying to get to the Salmon Glacier. :(|
|Best food in town.|
|Hyder, AK. look both ways before crossing the street. I guess streets. There are 2.|
|Room #1. The bar was the next door on the left.|
|These guys rule. They sang "ramblin man" with me.|
|He didn't like being hugged.|
|The awesome bartender.|
May 12. Day 37. Hyder AK to Dease Lake BC. 410 km
I had an amazing breakfast with a couple locals at the Glacier Inn then went north toward Dease Lake. Bear, wolf, caribou, moose, and countless other critters were out in full force. In Dease Lake, they wanted $100 for a room. I found a $20 campsite on Dease Lake instead. I ate a large pot of chicken soup while the sun set over the mountains across a frozen Dease Lake. The sunset is getting later and later now as I go north. 10:05 and the sun was still visible. The long days are not helping warm up the weather yet though..
|She got the honors of signing AK on my bike.|
|This bridge washed out last summer. I took them a month to add the single lane next to it. This is the only road in and out of Hyder, AK and Stewart BC. Woops.|
|This guy let me photo him for a while. When he would start to walk away I would whistle and he would come back.|
|Best travel vehicle ever?|
|"its getting cold again"|
May 13. Day 38. Dease Lake to Telegraph Creek to Yukon/BC boarder. 508 km
My water for coffee had ice in it when I woke up. I guess it got cold. I was told the ride to Telegraph Creek was beautiful so after some coffee and oatmeal I set off to ride the 120km to Telegraph. I saw a cougar on the way but he didn't want a picture taken. After getting to Telegraph there is the "town" of Glenora. Apparently Glenora was a started as a settlement of draft-dodgers from America durring the Vietnam War. The wether in Telegraph was much warmer then on the Cassiar Hwy. The locals said spring is about 2 weeks further along there and the flowers showed it. The ride up the Cassiar was cold but smooth. I camped just south of the Yukon boarder at Keane lake in view of the Hwy. I only heard a hand full of cars all night.
|Ice in my water.|
|These guys greeted me 20km from Telegraph.|
|Nice piece of mind to know that Telegraph creek has spare clutch parts if you need them|
|Glenora. The road ends here.|
|I wish I knew the story behind this VW.|
|My campsite just south of the Yukon boarder|
|Sun going down. Time for bed.|
May 14. Day 39. Keane Lake (Yukon boarder) to Whitehorse Yukon. 424 km
First time in the Yukon! The Cassiar Hwy meets the Alaskan Hwy just East of Watson Lake Yukon. After an hour of riding It is decided that I need to disconnect my headlight in order to make it possible to run the heated jacket and heated grips. The 55 watts that the headlight draws are just waisted. I need heat, not light. My 20 watt LED supplies a light on the front so the cops won't hassle me. A very nice lady in Jakes Corner gave me dirrections to the Beez Kneez Hostel in Whitehorse Yukon. She had an old VW bug that she kept running. Very cool. If you (she) read this, please email me. I would love to see you again when I ride back through in a few weeks.
May 15/16 Day 40 and 41. Whitehorse Yukon.
The Beez Kneez Hostel in Whitehorse is great. $30 a night, walking distance from downtown and great people. If you find yourself in Whitehorse, you should fish and chips at the Klondike Salmon and Rib BBQ and a bison burger at the High Country Inn. The Yukon brewery tour is also great fun and there's free beer tasting. We went out last night and when we left the bar, it was snowing. We woke up to 6" of snow this morning. I guess I will be staying one more night. It is supposed to warm up tomorrow so hopefully I will be able to make it into AK.
|6" over night. A lot melted by the time I took this pic.|
|This is pointed right at that church.|
|Bison Burger! So Good!|