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Old 07-29-2012, 08:45 AM   #16
GB
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Enjoying your perspective on the New World, thanks for the report and pics... bon voyage!
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:38 AM   #17
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The New World I.12 – Reaching Alaska Highway

We leave Lucian’s family quite late, not before having a look at the town’s mascot/symbol.
Quite like home, isn’t it?
We were thinking already at the road after Edmonton but we forgot that we still had like 60 miles until the city. It took us a while to get there and thus we decided to not stop and visit, fearing traffic jams. But the time we make up by avoiding the city center is lost trying to find a gas station at the outskirts of the city. Quite frustrating. But, hey, at least we found the cheapest gas from our trip so far. 1.089 $ Nice!

Being a diesel car owner back home, I notice also that here the diesel fuel is cheaper than gas. Wow! That would be nice back home…
Our aim for the next days was to reach the beginning of Alaska Highway, which was an astonishing display of engineering back when it was build. And which is said to be an astonishing road to ride on, now.
We press on towards West, Nord-West. I am not going to show you another prairie typical picture. OK, maybe just another one, as I love this scenery so much.
House with the view towards the sunset!

The road remains wide and straight but somehow you do not have time to get bored while riding. There is always something new to look at. If nothing else then for sure road signs should bring something new (at least for an European). For example here you go, I can test my odometer.
I’ve seen similar sign like the one below in Norway:
In Norway though we’ve never seen a real moose. And so far neither during this trip. We’ve heard that you should ride either early in the morning or late in the evening. Well, we kind of have a rule not to drive in the night, and as for the morning…. hmm some of us are not known to be early birds…
And speaking of sleeping, during this part of the trip Andreea started to have afternoon sleeps on the bike. Given the straight roads, I decided to let her have her naps. I was even feeling sorry that she did not had a nice spot to rest her head. She kept trying to put her helmet on mine but round on round is not very stable.
But, as a consequence, the number of pictures on this part of the road is somehow reduced.
How could you not be sleeping riding as pillion on this kind of scenery?
You take a look from the top of the hill and then, you can sleep in the back until we reach the next top of the hill.
Funny thing was that on one of these nips, Andreea woke up with the road transforming from the picture above to this:
The round-town road was not yet finished. So we had some gravel “fun” until not long after, we reached the tarmac again.
We start also to feel that we are in a high touristic area. Long gone were the camping sites from Miami with 5$/night (showers, power and water included). Now, for 26$/night, you got a dry spot. If you wanted extra luxury, like having a shower, you payed extra, you tourist! But I do not want to judge these people. I realize that they have just a small window during summer when they can have income from tourism. So I can not imagine how life is there after this window passes. But still, it would be nice not to feel like a cash – milk-cow.
Oh well, at least the spot was nice.

We smile when we see a small airplane who stays with us for a while. Must be super good to be up there on a clear day!
At the end of the next day we reach Dawson Creek, where the construction of Alaska Highway started more than half of century ago.
From now the prairie are a thing of the past. The mountains were close. We almost could feel them. And we’ve traveled from so far to reach them, all the way from Montreal.
Next time we will see if Gunnar still knows how to handle curvy roads. Until then, we wish you an excellent day!
Written from Whitehorse, with cheese-pie by my side. Happiness!
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:27 PM   #18
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The New World I.13 – Alaska Highway

Alaska Highway is a pretty pretentious name for an European, who is still way in Canada, at mile 0, more than 1000 kilometers from Alaska. But I am soon to find out that the naming is not just marketing and tourist traps. In fact it has very little to do with that, the road fully deserves it’s name.
Alaska Highway was build by the Americans during the WWII in a record time of 8 months. And we are talking about more than 1500 miles of road, crossing some very harsh terrain and weather. I personally think that this must be one of the greatest feats of engineering. But why did the do it? Well, the answer was simple. Fear. Hmm OK, a more polite answer would be “military strategic decision”. But still the fact was that they were afraid of an Nippon invasion of Alaska. And Alaska was not linked to the lower 48 states. So, what was not possible during 20 years of peace time (the idea initially originated in the 1920ies) was possible in just 8 months by the effort of more than 10 000 men.
Another interesting thing I found was that the Canadian Government didn’t pitched in with funds or manpower at that time. The only help it provided was granting Americans the right to build on Canadian soil, as long as the Canadian part of the road will become theirs after the war. And the majority of the highway is on Canadian soil…
Even though the Alaskan part was paved since 1960, the road was completely paved only in 1992. So now it is practicable by any kind of vehicle.
But enough “wikipedia style” info! We are here to enjoy the road and the views. And indeed we are… Mountains in the background Yey!! And that feeling of wilderness. It is something that you cannot really experience in much of crowded, overpopulated Europe. But here, we have it with us for some days now. Every where you look, just forests. Some of them probably never walked by man.
The weather smiles on us. We have blue skies and some white clouds here and there.
“Be careful, things change fast in the great North-West” a friend told us. And we were soon to experience it first hand. In case you were wondering how is it for us, here is the “movie” named “here comes the rain while riding a motorcycle”.
Somewhere in a corner, a little “problem” appears.
Hmm, maybe it will go away. Or maybe we will change direction and get past it?

Oh, it is clear, nothing will change, we are heading straight for it!
Emergency stop!!

Time for rain gear to come on:
I am peaceful. Honestly!

And we are ready to proceed!
Gunnar is good to go!

The visibility is reduced and the road is slippery. So we proceed with caution.
Last picture before tucking the camera away from rain

We are not the only ones who “suffer”.
In the rain and uphill. Uhhh…

And no matter how hard it pours, never lose hope and be on the look out for that breakout
Iuhuuu!

Not after long, the rain is just a memory. The road is dry, the sky shines with blue and I am only to twist the right wrist and the engine growls beneath me, accelerating happily. Ah, how I love the V2 engine.
But let’s not get carried away. The road changes as quickly as the weather. From the straight lines above to something with a.. twist.
Andreea giggles in her helmet: “What happened with them? The road is not straight! I guess the Americans leased this part to the Europeans to construct!” !
We would find out that in fact the road was made intentionally so twisty so that it would be harder to bomb. I am still and idealist and believe that it was made like that so it will embrace the environment!
We also meet the Northern Rockies!
And lakes with blue waters
So blue that some of us are considering taking a bath
And quickly chance their mind after testing the water temperature
Whit our bathing suits still not used, we move on and check the signs.
Hmm let’s see, what do we have here? “Curvy road ahead” OK, this we like. Then there is the “maximum height 5.2 m”. No problem, Gunnar is not that tall. Oh and what is this sign in the foreground? I know, for sure it means “Motorcyclists dancing samba ahead”!
And samba we danced on the iron floor of this bridge. At lest it was not wet.
Eh, but this story is getting lengthy and we should stop soon. So we fire up our mp3 player with one of the songs suggested on the Music Box, and we ride on, until next time!
Next time we get to see a “Signs forest”, we meet all kinds of wildlife and we reach Whitehorse. Stay tuned!
Written from Gulliver’s Bookstore, surrounded by books and chocolate.
The route covered during this post is from Dawson Creek to Watson Lake:
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:07 PM   #19
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Enjoying every word of the report and pictures. Thanks so much for taking the time to share.
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:53 PM   #20
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Fantastic report!
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:23 PM   #21
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Lovely story, lovely pics.

How did your rain gear cope? Stay dry?
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:46 PM   #22
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It's clear, you know how to take a photograph.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:16 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by AnjinSan View Post
Another odd thing for us, coming from Europe, is to see here campers trailing SUVs. In Europe you see SUVs trailing a small camper. Or a Camper having a bicycle or OK, maybe a motorcycle at the back. But this…
As a Cdn living in Europe, it's fun to read the reverse observations. I've learned to fit vehicles in places we would never consider possible but those huge campers would not make it at all haha
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:35 PM   #24
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Nice adventure , thanks for sharing , i m following you from Chile.
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:34 PM   #25
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Nice report! Keep it coming!

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Old 08-04-2012, 09:53 PM   #26
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Very nice report!
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:49 PM   #27
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Very nice report, excellent pictures and a positive gentle attitude... It is interesting to see your perspective coming from Europe... Thanks for sharing your story! If you pass by San Diego, my wife and I would love to host you...

Martin
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:21 AM   #28
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I am enjoying your report thanks for the ride along.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:11 AM   #29
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Great report....great pics. Keep it coming . How do you get 7 months off from work?
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:27 AM   #30
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Thank you for your kind words. So far, we are enjoying the trip very much! And I hope I did not offended anyone if sometimes I am amazed by some things that I see here and I point them out. I do that only from the story point of view (an European traveling in the New World). I am not making any judgements, just recording and enjoying the wonderful things that this continent has to offer.

@GoDoMore: as for getting 7 months off work... I was persistent I guess but also very lucky. I work for a big American corporation and they have this policy of taking a "sabatical year". The thing is, back home, nobody took it so it was a little tricky to convince them they should allow me to go. In the end... I am in Alaska, writing to you guys. So it ended up fine :)

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