10-02-2008, 10:55 AM
Eat my shorts
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Yellowknife, NWT
The ride up to Dawson was beautiful and there was very little traffic on the road. I stopped at Stewart Crossing for gas, and as I walking to the store to pay for it I heard a thump and turned around to see my bike resting on its side. Hmm. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to right it when it was loaded so I asked the lady at the till if there was anyone around who could help, but she seemed particularly uninterested in my plight. I unloaded it, righted it and got set to go again. I think what had happened was that there was too much weight on the right hand side, and perhaps while it was resting the forks decompressed and the thing became unbalanced. It became a bit of a problem, actually, and I had to make very sure that when leaving the bike on the side stand the ground was at the very least absolutely level, if not sloping downhill a bit. In the end that evening in Dawson I recruited a bit of driftwood from the banks of the Yukon River to prop up the bike with when I wasn’t sure how steady it was. I called this tool my ‘VFS’, which stands for Very Functional Stick. It was Hecktoglider’s idea to do that, actually - more about that later…
Saw a moose on the side of the road and stopped to take a pic, but by the time I’d got my camera out it had given me the hoof and ran off. Also met a German family in their ’64 Mercedes Unimog camper truck. I had only pulled over for a few pics and hadn’t even taken my helmet off, but this guy kept jabbering away at me. Nice guy and only full of helpful advice as to what I should see in both Dawson and Inuvik, but I wanted to keep rolling…plus there is something a little disconcerting about being spoken to by a German who’s naked apart from a pair of leather shorts. He did have a cute wife, though, and as long as she was standing beside him I was happy to listen, but once he left I wondered how long it’d take him to realize that I was being deliberately rude by not removing either my helmet or my shades. Maybe I should have asked him where the wife’s leather shorts were…
Pulled into Dawson at about 7pm and rode around until I found Hecktoglider, who had been there long enough to have already swapped both his tires, and thought he’d be ready to go the next day. We camped together…
…and while he was doing work on his bike I thought I’d better check mine over. The front tire was down to only 10psi! Otherwise things were good and we began to seriously plan on tackling the Dempster the following day.
But as we finished working on the bikes and prepared to walk into town, the sky grew very very dark. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, it looked as though we were about to experience the mother of all thunderstorms plus the father of all thunderstorms, with lots of little baby thunderstorms on the way! And sure enough while we were on the ferry across the river the heavens opened and we had to ask someone if we could sit in their truck with them!
We went into town that night and checked out the Downtown Hotel, and Ithink Heckto went to see the Can Can girls at Diamond Tooth Gerties for a while too. We end up meeting for some Chinese grub, then crossing the river again to go back to the campsite for some sleep.
Some Dawson pics
Thunder storm looming...
Ride Report: Canada North to South 2008 here
Drive Report: Ice Road Trucking 2005-2014 here