Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Segment 4. Tok, AK, to Whitehorse, Yukon, Aug 4 - 14, 2009, 397 miles, 1607 cum. miles

Jeff, waiting for a Tok welding shop to repair a broken weld on his bike, met a local who played guitar & banjo.
Beer joint, populated by natives, where we drank several rounds of local draft beer, and played shuffleboard.
Here's Kokoro Ito, at our campsite in Tok, cyclist, travel journalist, tour conductor, etc, who was on a round-the-world bicycling adventure. Look him up at http://whereiskokoro.blog34.fc2.com/.
Local food. Click on the photo & look closely at the varied selection, necessary for a well-balanced diet for long-distance cyclists.
Only 1312 miles to go to the beginning of the Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek, BC.
Here's the address of someone who decided that milepost 1312 was good enough for him.
We stopped for a long visit to the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge. While there, we hiked to a hidden lake, and borrowed a rowboat courtesy of the park service. First, we noticed the wild swans.
Then, we noticed the swans noticing the moose.
Then, we rowed up to the moose, as close as we dared, who noticed us.
He got tired of us, and stalked into the forest. We then explored several beaver lodges, and were treated to many sightings of tail-slapping beaver.
When we got back to our bikes, greeted by a hitchhiking dragonfly on my seat.
O Canada!!! At the border, crossing into the Yukon.
Canadian ducks.
Doesn't everyplace have a Turd Factory?

We had previously met a cycling couple from Quebec, Rene & Josh, on the George Parks Highway on the way from Fairbanks to Denali NP. We ran into them again on the way to Haines Junction, Yukon, where they would break off and head south for Juneau and Sitka, thence to New Mexico via the coast route. We thought we might meet up with them in NM, as the Great Divide Mountain Bike Trail we were planning on taking leads to the same area.
Kluane National Park & Preserve, together with Wrangell-St Elias National Park & Preserve, constitutes a World Heritage Site containing Mt Logan, highest peak in Canada. Sightseerers on the cruise ships in the Gulf of Alaska thrill as they watch icebergs calving from the Kluane glaciers. The day after we passed through, it snowed here for the first time this fall.
This photograph was actually taken from a postcard, showing the Southern end of Kluane Lake. It was too cloudy to get a live shot.
Next stop was Haines Junction, where ONE single tomato cost Can$ 4.59 at the local grocery store. (We went without). Luckily, we still had some of our Tok Snickers stash available.

At the Robert Service Campground on the banks of the Yukon River in Whitehorse, we met a German, who flew in from Frankfort with his folding canoe, here to start a two week trip with his dog down the Yukon River. We wished him good luck, as the weather was deteriorating by the day and he (and us) could get whacked by an early winter storm at any time.
At a local eatery, we ran into another cyclist, riding a recumbent. He said he could do better than 300km a day on the road.
Another shot of his bike.
Jason giving Doug a haircut.
Here's our campsite at the Whitehorse RV park, necessary for the showers, and other amenities.  Next to us in that giant RV was a great couple from Northern California, Chyrl & Gary. We stayed up drinking (their) wine until early AM, catching up on each other's adventures.
Camp food, courtesy chefs Jason & Jeff, who could go full-blown five-star when food was accessable. Those Salmon were indescribably delicious.
About 5:00 AM, right before dawn, our camp was raided by what we think was a large fox, who ran off with chocolate muffins filched from Jason's trailer. Later that same morning, the RV park posted signs about a bear sighting, so, it might be possible that the fox might have actually been the bear.
Fish art. How many ways can you depict a Salmon? Lots. This display was at the Whitehorse fishway, the longest wooden fish ladder in the world.
An authentic native fish trap.
Mean-looking, but amazing nutrition for hungry bears & cyclists.
Salmon have travelled over 1800 miles from the Bering Sea at Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta to Whitehorse at this point, and still have many more miles to go before they finally reach their spawning grounds in the headwater creeks of the Yukon.
Here's one making its way up the ladder.
The fishway. Note the wood construction.
Fellow campers, at the Robert Service Campground. Anyone care for gourmet sliced fresh strawberries?
In Whitehorse, the world's only three storey log cabin.
Whitehorse bling-bling
Next stop, Watson Lake, Yukon, just before the Alaska Highway enters British Columbia (BC). In Canada, that's short for "Bring Cash".

1 comment:

He is Zbig-e-nuff said...

Gentlemen: my hat is off to you all.The dream trip of the bucket list and I was able to live it from the comfort of my home. I travelled on a motorcycle to different parts but not as exciting as yours. Thank you for recording this trip and posting it.

Bruce nuckowski