03-04-2010, 06:44 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Bisbee, AZ & Banamichi, Sonora
Another beautiful albeit chilly morning. I decide to go find the shower house while the other 60% of our trio work on just getting smellier. The shower house is alright but nothing special, at least I'm clean.
As we're getting ready to go we find that Houston's new motorcycle boots are quickly shedding their nether-regions. No problem, I knew there was a reason I picked up that roll of duct tape!
Today's not too bad of a day, well hopefully it's not too bad of a day anyway. Mileage-wise we've got about 380 miles, it's chilly but my weather-eye tells me that it should warm up fairly quickly. It doesn't really look like rain but why should today be any different than what I've put up with every single day of this trip so far.
I decide that it'll warm up soon enough that all I'm going to wear is my t-shirt under my riding jacket. Please understand that although that jacket appears to be quite substantial it really isn't, wind and rain tends to blow right through it. We find our way to Hwy 40 which is billed as a scenic route to Alaska; it's nice but doesn't hold a candle to the things we saw yesterday. Of course my attitude could be tempered by the fact that it's getting progressively colder and all it needs is to rain to be truly horrible.
Of course the weather does its usual teasing and we great stretches of blue sky with light fluffy clouds. When this happens the temperature rises a couple of degrees, just enough to give the condemned man hope before dashing his hopes; what's the phrase, “abandon all hope ye who enter here”. It fits.
Just as I feel like I can't take another moment and I'm going to lose it we come up to the town of Grand Cache and a Mini-Mart. It takes awhile but eventually I'm able to move my fingers enough to turn off my ignition so I can make my way into the heaven that's the Quicky Mart. I take a minute to don my sweatshirt and rain cover to help block the wind and head inside. The proprietor of the store tells us we should have come through last week as the temps were in the 30's. I replied that I was glad we missed it before I realized she was talking Centigrade! She then tells us the scenery between Grand Cache and Grand Prairie was the equal to that in Banff and Jasper. She lied.
All along Hwy 40 I'd been seeing signs warning me of logging trucks. As we're messing around in the Quicky Mart I snap a quick picture of one in the parking lot as I hadn't seen one yet.
Unfortunately we spent a little too much time warming up and the logging truck beat us out of the lot. Don't you hate it when trucks are slow as molasses when you can't pass but speed way up when there's a passing zone? We passed as soon as we could but it took a little bit.
Of course as soon as we put all our cold weather clothes on the temps started to rise and it became quite nice out. I really miss all the green and water that isn't just there for a few short months in monsoon season.
Surprisingly Houston and DD decided we needed a sit-down meal for lunch. In keeping with my burger rating experiment I go for the cheeseburger. Here's where I get a sort of shock; in Canada fries are served with a side of brown gravy. It was very tasty!
The route from the restaurant to Dawson Creek was pretty uneventful. After awhile even beautiful scenery gets old and we weren't riding in beautiful scenery. However one of the high points of the trip came in Dawson Creek as we came to mile zero of the Alaska Highway! Now I'm thinking the adventure's really starting because I'm head all the horror stories of poor road conditions, cars having to be towed off the Alcan and mosquitoes that will deflesh a cow faster than Piranha in the Amazon. The first breakdown came quickly after we got on the Alcan as my first set of headphones bit the dust.
Honestly I think the dangers of the Alcan are overstated, at least today I found it to be a delightfully smooth road with wide, although gravelly, shoulders with nice woods on either side. Sure there're patches of road construction but they manage to keep traffic moving fairly well for the most part and before long we're coming up on our stop for the night at Charlie Lake Provincial Park.
As we enter the campground we see the sign to the right. On one hand I'm very excited as I'm thinking I'm going to get to see a bear up close and personal. On the other hand I'm pretty nervous as I'm thinking I'm going to see a bear up close and personal. The park is set up as a small loop with about 30 campsites in all.
After riding around the whole campground we choose the first site right in the entrance because it has a grassy area. Of course it also has the added benefit of being right on the highway so I'm keeping up with the aura that most of my campsites have had so far with plenty of road noise.
Houston and DD are pretty serious about staying in shape as you can see. Calisthenics before bedtime was a common occurrence. In this picture it's probably pushing 9 pm. This is the first night I've noticed that the sun is setting much later than what I'm used to and I finally have to use my sleep mask to be able to drop off. Now if I would've thought to pack earplugs I'd be doing okay.
Finally a day without rain! Is it a sign of good things to come?
Tomorrow's a big day as we head to the Liard Hotsprings Provincial Park and hope to get a good relaxing soak in!