Well, it was a cold, wet morning, but I scrambled my butt out of bed and joined the Sensational Six for a 7:00 a.m. jaunt over to the wildlife viewpoint in Hyder, Alaska to see if we could find some bears. No bears, so we turned around and headed back. I lost the crew almost immediately by stopping to take a photo with the Canada and US flags. Caught up to them again at the Bear glacier (I think that’s what it’s called). They were taking some pictures and playing with a drone over the glacier. I took a moment to think of Tracey and left some ashes from the small bit I brought with me for the purpose of leaving some in every province and territory as I go. I think she would have thought the Bear Glacier was pretty special – and so it was.
Took some pictures of the glacier again and of the Sensational Six and then we all got back on the bikes. Played tag the rest of the day – falling behind them, being the dawdler that I am, then catching up at various rest spots along the way.
Today topped the Terrace to Prince Rupert ride for flipping freezing. It rained on and off the whole day, though not usually too heavily. It was the low temperature between 5 and 9 degrees most of the ride that made it so cold. The road was good for the first hour and half and then it was intermittently crappy for the next 3 hours to Dease Lake. The road is paved, but with lots of gravel spots and construction to keep me paying attention and the odd steel or wet wooden bridge thrown in for variety.
I felt like a popsicle by the time I hit Dease Lake, where I caught up to the guys again. I had originally intended to call it a day at Dease Lake, but with such an early start, it was only mid-day and it seemed silly to stop. The locals had said there was hail in the area today and I thought that if I didn’t continue on and the precipitation did, it could be snow in the morning and I could be stuck there until later in the day. Didn’t warm up much over the lunch stop, but I decided the 257 kms to Watson Lake was achievable, even if it was 3 hours more of riding. It was miserably cold for another hour and a half. Miraculously, when I dropped out of Jade City and into the last 100 kms, the temperature suddenly rose several degrees and the sun peeped in and out. What a difference. The last hour was actually enjoyable!
I did see 6 bears, though. All black bears, except one. A black bear mom with 2 cubs crossed the road well ahead of me after leaving Dease Lake and the other black bears I saw were munching in the vegetation beside the road. The oddball bear was browner, but not big enough to be a grizzly, I don’t think.
Reached Watson Lake at 4:30 p.m. and filled up with gas. So I have officially reached the Yukon!
The first hotel I stopped at was full, so I called the Air Force Lodge and they had room for me. It is a dorm-style lodge with basic, private rooms, and shared showers and bathrooms (separate men and women’s). It is owned by a German couple and is very nice and well kept. I rolled into the parking lot and saw the now-familiar bikes of the Sensational Six lined up to the building! We all traipsed out for dinner and had a farewell visit in the common area of the lodge after. They are headed for Anchorage tomorrow at some ridiculous hour and I will leave for Whitehorse at a much saner hour. The weather is supposed to be more agreeable, so it should be a nice ride.
In spite of the fact that it is 11:00 p.m. and the pink of sunset is still in the sky, I shall drag my travel weary self to bed. Sleep well everyone. Yukon Ho!