Dawson City here I come!
Finally, the fateful day of all the plans I'd put together over many months, the research of the route and places to see along the way, the PM's I'd sent and received that made this trip possible and gave me comforts along the way.
I hardly slept the night before, never mind banging my head on that cursed low ceiling yet again, it was the dark clouds racing towards Seward the night before that gave me some good nightmares. No matter, I was well equipped and I only had a couple of hours of riding before joining the group in Anchorage.
Went for breakfast at 6 a.m. at a cafe where I sat next to a table of passengers and the captain of a fishing expedition. Conversations about French-Canadians peaked my attention while I struggled into my rain boot covers. Don't even remember what I had for breakfast (can you believe that???) and went back out to the bike anxious to get underway.
My spot had been malfunctioning whenever moisture was present. The opposite buttons would light up when pressed. Or the darned tracking wouldn't work at all. I was decided to get a back up spot just in case once in Anchorage. I found out later from Mark they were sold out at REI but Vic had another place to try, BestBuy where I bought the very last one.
Arrived at Mark's right on time and our first stop was at a wildlife visitor center where I finally got to see Elk and Caribou up close and personal.
These wicked looking Moose antlers (complete with part of the skull) were lying around and I suggested we all pose with them....
And I couldn't even get those things above my shoulders....Lord, just imagine carrying around that weight on top of your head!
Passed by the Mantanuska Glacier outside of Anchorage, still a lot of smoke from the fires.
Next stop Sheep Lodge for that amazing pie that Mark kept telling me about....
Breakfast of champions....
Giant stuffed moose in the greenhouse next door.
There was a little drama around Vic's bike loosing a rather important looking part and quite a bit of pushing the bike to jump start it, as well as using my spare gas right before getting to Glennallen. Gassed up at the junction gas station, along with dozen's of other riders all headed in the same direction as us. The excitement was palatable.
Finally made it to Tok and this time I got the teepee.
We found out from Vanessa on the way back that 49 riders stayed at Thompson's Eagle Claw that night.
Shared the teepee with the only other female riders in the bunch. Julia from Germany and Annemika from Holland. That girl is 6'4".
Woke up the next morning ready for anything and with beautiful weather, well just a tiny sprinkle, as we were eating breakfast at Fast Eddy's along with at least 60 other riders.
My dad was in constant contact with me over text (turns out AT&T does have excellent coverage in Alaska) telling me about moving storms and how to avoid them. So we set off and arrived in Chicken early afternoon.
Made a deposit here in #3.
Had a blueberry pie that seemed to be made out of oil. Well at least Moose liked it. My new stow-away.
Clever use of a large bush with a metal chicken head and tail. Real and otherwise chickens were everywhere.
Cute saloon. If you weren't riding, you could spend an afternoon here just throwing back beers and watching folks coming and going to the Top of the World.
About 40 miles of dirt to the border. Pristine dirt mind you. Very little gravel. No ruts. Hell, hardly any washboard. It was better than most paved roads I'd
Gorgeous clouds in the distance.
Then another 65 km of dirt, a little more gravel but still otherwise easy and no rain! Made it to the ferry and waited our turn to cross over. Time to put on the moose antlers I'd made.
Unfortunately there was one rather serious bike accident involving an RV and this police car was headed there to help. For anyone who's reading this and has ridden Alaska, I know you aren't surprised but for those of you considering riding Alaska....watch out for tourists driving massive RV's without any experience and hogging the road.
They piled the lot of us along both sides of a 18 wheeler with it's caterpillar cargo.
It had rained in Dawson City so the ground was this milky, snotty color and slick as hell.
Before heading to my hotel, I did a little tour of town with Vic.
Found the triple J hotel and told the receptionist that I needed the key to Russ's room that I was sharing. She handed me a key and told me the room was in another annex building so I moved the bike, grabbed a bunch of gear, struggled up the stairs and knocked on the door. The guy that opened the door didn't look like Russ, then as I'm introducing myself, a very suspicious wife peeks out from behind the wall at me....oops wrong Russ. (no photo)
Got to the Motel 6 room for $150 a night.
Started raining so walked around in the muck.
Went to the firehouse.
I'm a big fan of Art Deco so I loved this one.
Dawson City was just awesome. Just like stepping back in time, only it smelled cleaner than it probably did back in the gold rush days.
Snot. And plenty of it.
View of the town below from it.
Then to Jack London's place.
Bear proof food storage a la 1898.
The museum was totally awesome and well worth a couple of hours. They did a good job building sets of how people lived back then, even how the banks set up in tents!
I even found a community indoor pool. Headed back to the hotel to get ready for the main event.
Turns out the fire station guys were grilling the steaks.
As midnight approached it was time for the shennanigans to start.
It was one hell of a good time!