Tuesday August 17, 2010 – Day 12 – “Cassiar Hwy??”
Another morning at a campground; I roll out of my bag about 6:00 am and start to pack. By 7:30 I’m on the road. I barely got to Haines Jct last night so I wanted to cover some miles before getting breakfast. Whitehorse would be my next fuel stop so I planned to see what I could find for breakfast there.
The mountains looked pretty in the morning light.
I stopped at a combination gas station and grocery store when I got to Whitehorse. I asked another guy who was filling up for gas where he would eat breakfast and didn’t get much of an answer. When I was closer to the airport, I pulled over at a small hotel that had a restraint and got some breakfast.
After Whitehorse, I was driving on part of the Alcan that I had routed around by taking the Campbell hwy out of Watson lake.
This bridge by Teslin crossed an arm of Teslin lake.
Today I wanted to take the Cassiar Highway, Hwy 37, south along the coastal range in BC. However, when I left home, and several days along my trip the highway was closed at the junction to the Alcan because of a forest fire.
The turnoff is called Jct 37, and when I got there the gas station was crowded with an RV caravan. I pumped the gas into my bike, chuckling as I listened to the RV owners discuss how much this gas stop was going to cost them. In the store I learned the Cassiar Hwy was open, but you had to follow a pilot car through the section with the forest fire. There was a line forming at the roadblock just outside the gas station.
While waiting for the pilot car, I end up talking to a fireman from Michigan on an R1200GS. He has taken a month off and is touring around.
As we travel along the highway following the pilot car, I was surprised that we never saw visible flames, just some burned areas. After we got out of the piloted section, I pulled over for a quick break.
The road is mostly paved, but has some gravel. The Alcan is wider also.
As I kept going south the smoke started to dissipate and the views of the mountains improved.
This little shop sold jade and other rock curios. They have a bunch of pictures of them pulling a jade boulder out of the hills
Dease Lake was the next fuel stop. After picking up fuel, some water and snacks for the campsite tonight, I stopped at a restaurant called Mama Z’s. For their special they were serving a buffet, but it was really good. While I was sitting and eating, the fireman stopped in. Turns out he had gotten a motel room next door for the evening.
Sitting at the table after eating, it was tempting to stop for the night. However I still needed to put in some miles tonight or tomorrow would be a long day. About 7:30 I get back on the bike and continue south.
The setting sun and the shadows from the clouds make for some picturesque views. This bridge crosses the Stikine River, which flows into the Pacific Ocean near Petersburg AK.
The river also flows through a small community called Telegraph Creek. Out of Dease Lake, there is a scenic gravel road that follows a creek down to this town. This road is on my list of places to visit in the future.
Since I was there, I decided to take a picture of the grating used on the bridge deck.
It was getting later, and the sunlight gave the clouds brilliant colors.
Another fire was giving off large clouds of smoke.
I finally put on 70 miles after dinner. The moon over the hills set the mood for the evening.
It was finally 9:40 when I got to Kinaskan Provincial Park and set up the tent for the night. It was a pretty campground.
Stats for Day 12: 568 miles, 10.9 gallons of fuel, 14.1 hours