@2WheelieADV: you could easily spend 3 weeks just in the Alps. But yeah, your schedule should be OK. If you feel rushed and that you are running out of time then try to avoid maybe the big cities. I wish for you the weather will be good too! You will have great fun!
@ben2go and Jake: good to have you along. Hope you will enjoy also the next ones :)
We were thinking that after Valdez we will head straight and return to Whitehorse Canada and from there to start our descent South. But hey, plans are good as long as they are flexible. So following a tip got while on the road, we decided to make another detour and check out Haines first.
Haines was still 2 days riding away though so we stop in Tok in a motorcyclists campground. It was nice to meet other long-travel riders. Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Romania, Canada and Alaska, sitting around the fire and sharing a grilled salmon.
In the morning, one has to have his priorities straight. First check for bears then brush your teeth.
For the next 2 days we will have a new riding partner. Dylan is on the road for more than 2 years, so he has lots of experience. South America trip is going to be probably his last leg of his journey before he returns home. For a while at least.
From the mountains slopes rain is also riding with us. And it is a hide and seek game. We are trying not to get wet.
At some point my rain pants have their last stand. If I think about the things I’ve put them through in Yukon and Alaska, it might be understandably. I think the designers had in mind rides on Amalfi Cost in Italy, not the rugged rides of Alaska.
Left without rain paints, I can only hope that the rains will go past us. And mostly they do.
We settle for the night near a lake in a place called Destruction Bay (good name)…
… and we find out the benefits of solo riding is that you get a lot of space for food and a kitchen
Next day we part ways. Dylan was going directly to Whitehorse. We instead were turning South and start our detour towards Haines. A new mountain pass to ride on, new amazing views.
Then, just before Haines, we need to mind the local traffic…
Talking with a bartender in Haines, we find out that this kind of “traffic” can often be found right in the town center. Just the other night she had to turn around in the bar, when she found a bear just outside the back door. And still, we like Haines. Well not for the bears but for all the other things around. For example the views are like this:
And in the small marina you may find wooden boats with classic lines
Our hosts Alexandra and her husband Bud, live some miles away from the town, in the forest. We liked them and their place so much!
First of all, the place is quite remote already. But then, when you reach it, you leave your car (or your bike) in the forest, away from the house.
And then we head over a wooden bridge and further on a small dirt trail
You thread carefully so you could spot any bear or moos that sometimes are around. And then you see the house.
It looks big, but it is very functional. And what is even more amazing is that Alexandra designed it and built it by herself. With a little help from Bud here nad there but most of the things she did with her own hands. Now that must be a good feeling to live in a house built by you. And it is not all. She designed it so that it will integrate with the surroundings and be as less intrusive as possible. They have tanks that gather rain water and that is used for showers and watering the garden. And almost nothing goes to waste, everything gets reused or recycled or returns to nature.
We had an awesome time with them. And we found out that there are people living even more “off the grid”. No power from the grid, no dependency to anyone. In order to reach some houses, you have to even wait for the low tide in order to cross the golf with rubber boots. For so many of us, city people it’s hard to imagine even how it is not to be able to park your car in front of the house (or garage?), let alone to.. hmm wait for the low tide to go home.
It is an entirely different way of life. One that we liked very much. And it makes you think how much of the stuff we consider “necessary” is really… needed. And most of the people there, live this way because they chose to, nobody is forcing them.
And the things we found out made us think. Good thoughts!
Next time we will find out how we spend our last day in Alaska and who came to visit us. Stay tuned!
Written from Rock Creek, Canada. With a view to the hills and crickets sounds as background. Good morning!
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