Tok to Haines Junction has been epic on all fronts. The weather riding out of Tok was absolutely stunning. The biggest puffy white thunderheads throwing lightening storms and dustings of rain all around us, but for the most part, we stayed dry. And the views of all the massive mountains constantly changing hour by hour was worth all the cycling. On our way out of Tok, we stopped at a beautiful lookout to stretch and a very sweet Swiss couple came out of their RV to check on us. Lydia and Ernst were on vacation traveling around Alaska and Canada in a really sweet small RV (we have decided since being in theirs we will need to have one just like it at some point). They invited us in for beers and Lydia made us a yummy spaghetti dinner! Very kind people who have globe trotting children and were really excited to hear about our adventures. It made me so happy to hear about parents that are able to support their kids in doing global exchanges! The opportunities their kids had were priceless, the experiences something they will never forget and they grew into their own capable people with so much more to share with others now. What Ville and I have learned about ourselves and others cross-culturally is what we believe will bring love, peace, and acceptance in an ever changing world.
Every day we woke to sunshine, and continually moving cloud-cover throughout the day. The roads were gradually rolling hills and only a moderate amount of big climbs. Of course, after the Dalton Highway, everything is cake. Right before dropping down into Beaver Creek, we rode late into the night (daylight is until 11 pm still here or even later so we get long days of riding mixed with breaks) and made it to the Canadian Boarder and Customs. The man was super nice to us and we camped soon after to hit Beaver Creek hard for breakfast. After a quick resupply, which in these tiny towns is super tough to find much as well as crazy prices because they have to truck the stuff in so far, but we have managed. What has been tough, is staying on budget when you ride by a restaurant and you absolutely have to stop and eat everything in sight! Both of us have agreed that the biker hunger has been way more intense than the hiker hunger of the Pacific Crest Trail.
After leaving Beaver Creek, we dropped into a valley of lakes nestled between the Kluane Mountain Range and the NIsling Range. The views were spectacular, and the area is a very necessary stop for thousands of migratory birds, and we were able to see so many all around us as we rode. On a lake stop for dinner, Ville and I watched a bald eagle soar over our heads and fish in the lake in front of us. My Scandinavian Stallion threw off his clothes and ran into the lake to swim and bathe like a fish. And not a soul around!
En route, we met a kind road maintenance worker, Doug, who passed us a bunch on his routes and then met up with us at Destruction Bay, where we discovered a restaurant to have burgers. He offered us his yard to camp in and we again, are so grateful for all the kindness of so many people! And after chatting with another great couple recently retired from Florida at dinner, we were shocked to find they had paid for our dinner on the way out! Random acts of kindness. The next day we met another couple from Indiana on a sweet Honda Goldwing at a rest stop and after taking our pic on their sweet ride (can you believe they refused to trade our bikes for theirs???) they gave us some sodas and headed off towards Alaska. Can't tell you how good two cold sodas taste after sweating on your bike all day! Many thanks to all our Road Angels out there!!!
Yesterday we dropped into Haines Junction, the last 7 or so miles were straight downhill, and with the plan to grab dinner, resupply and get up the road a ways to camp, we discovered a super welcoming and cute little town with a bakery and spectacular mountain views. At the bakery for dinner, we were offered pizzas from a wood fired oven in the back and a gathering of really nice locals that invited us to stay and hang out. One of the couples, Dave and Christina, offered us their yard to camp in and we had some beers on their deck overlooking the Saint Elias Mountains. What a perfect surprise! And we were able to get up and hit up the bakery on our way out this morning towards Haines, Alaska. We will have some climbing to do before leaving Canada for the U.S. again, but will only be a brief stopover. And a very sweet girl Elly has lent us her laptop to use to update our blog. Kind, kind people in this town and very much worth a stop if you are on travels up here, and on the plans for a return trip from us.
And when we were leaving Dave and Christina's house this morning, half asleep, rolling down the long driveway, Kristen startled a big grizzly bear and Ville got to see it growl and bail back through the trees! Oh boy, our first bear sighting of the trip. And then while pedaling to the bakery, we saw a fox on the side of the road. Guess if your stealth ninjas like us, you get to startle a bunch of wildlife!
K.G. & Ville
On a cruise ship, heading north up the west coast to Los Angeles.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” - Hunter S. Thompson
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