03-06-2010, 05:14 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Bisbee, AZ & Banamichi, Sonora
Today we're heading out to Dawson City, it'll be our last day in Canada for awhile and we're leaving the Alaska Highway for the Klondike Highway. It's 330 miles to Dawson City, I sort of wanted a shorter day today as this is the first day of the Dusk to Dawson Adventure rally in Dawson City.
Houston's been throwing nuts to the squirrels all night and now they've decided they have free rein over our campsite. As we're getting packed up I make some cocoa and have an “Oatmeal to Go” bar (quite tasty). I set my breakfast down for a second to do something and the next thing I know I see this squirrel running across the campsite with my breakfast in its mouth. A few minutes later he comes back to see what else he can steal, finding nothing left he takes the wrappers off the table and throws them on the ground. Houston and Desiree decide that since we're close to an actual town they're heading off to Starbucks and I can meet them their, sounds good.
As I head off to the bathroom I look over into the common area; what is that? It was a fox sitting not 20 feet away! The ravens in the area are going crazy and as I watch the fox starts throwing what I thought was a rag up in the air and catching it. I soon figured out the fox was playing with a squirrel, a squirrel that no longer cared that it was the foxes toy. After getting my camera I found the fox going around the campground raiding peoples screen porches. I managed to snap this incredibly bad picture before he took off.
As you can see Whitehorse is an actual town, after all it is the capitol of the Yukon! I finally found the correct Starbucks (there were two!) and we all loaded up and got on the road again. The map showed the distance to where we turned off onto the Klondike Hwy to be rather short, or course one of these days I need to look at the map scale as well. But finally we came to our intersection and turned our backs on the AlCan.
Honestly there's not much to say about the Klondike. The road feels quite a bit narrower than the AlCan, I think it's because the trees are permitted to come right up to the edge of it instead of having a 30 foot swatch cut back.
There were also a lot more construction zones on the Klondike, and they seemed to not only last longer but the road surface was a lot looser than anything we'd encountered so far. On this particular section the road was newly graded, the dirt and gravel was quite deep and I know I was worried the whole time that I'd get spit off. This section lasted 5 miles and I figured if we could make it through this then the Top of the World highway would be a piece of cake.
At one point we were following this slow pickup truck down the road when we came across this Mountie; we all pulled to a stop, what else would you do if a policeman is in the middle of the road out in the wilderness? The Mountie has the guy in the truck get out and starts running his information; oh great, I guess we're next. In the middle of dealing with the truck driver he looks at us and waves us on, good deal!
We stopped for gas in the town of Carmacks, now the “towns” really consist of a gas station, maybe someplace to eat and a few houses. While we're stocking up on the essentials (Malteasers and Aero's) another group pull in and ask if we were riding with the guy who'd pulled off the road a while back. As we talk we find out that this other guy was tooling down the road and a bear just walked right out in front of him. He had to brake hard and swerve but managed to miss Ursa Major but ended up pulling over a bit further up, probably to change his shorts. All this happened about 10 minutes behind us.
As we come up to Dawson City I see what I think is a hawk perched on a traffic sign on the side of the road. As we pass it I can clearly see that it's an owl sleeping on the post, Too Cool! I wanted to get a picture but it would've entailed a u-turn on a narrow street, I just wasn't up to it at this point.
Coming into Dawson I immediately think it's very similar to Tombstone; plenty of dirt roads and a lot of history.
As we pull up to the Downtown Hotel, our lodging for the night, it's hard to miss the long line of ADV bikes parked down the street. Mostly BMW GS's and KLR's but I saw one other Strom. The room was much more modern than I expected, but then when I realized what the rate was I don't know why I doubted...
I walked around town for a little while and soaked up some local atmosphere...
Tomorrow morning we have to cross the Yukon River; the only way across, other than swimming, is the ferry.
As I was walking back toward the hotel I saw this guy taking his dog for a walk. Seriously, he drove slowly and the dog stayed right next to him the whole way; I watched him continue on down the street.
And of course if you're doing a lot of camping where there are no campgrounds there's still no reason you can't have a comfortable toilet seat.
I had dinner at Sourdough Joe's, fish & chips made with halibut (mmmmm, tasty), then went down the street and got an ice cream cone (Tiger Stripe again!). Lastly I retired to my room where I did a little sink laundry and watched my first TV of the trip only to learn that Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett had both died today – what a shocker!
Well tomorrow we're cross over into Alaska, the weather was beautiful today and I look forward to more of the same!