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Old 08-07-2012, 07:32 AM   #46
Brian06
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:11 PM   #47
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End of Day 6

It was suggested we get to the hot springs early so that it wasn't full when we got there. It was pretty darn close when we arrived, only a few sites left at about 2pm.

We started picking sites that had some kind of overhanging tree if at all possible. It provided some shade if we were lucky enough to get some sun, it helped make it just a bit darker so I could get some sleep and most importantly it provided some additional cover if it was raining.

We were there so early I thought we would have a fire that night. As it turned out it was the only time the whole trip we had a fire!

We hurried and set up camp, I knew I was toast if we went to the springs first!

I took a couple of photos of my tires to compare tread later on. My front Heidenau K60 was doing just fine.



My rear, not so good:



True confessions…I was being cheap on tires at home. I was getting some good deals on Shinko 705's and was pleased with the tire life riding around home. Then we hit the Alaska Highway! Gulp, this would lead me to stop more often to check on it and to take it easy riding. I had a Heidenau K60 waiting for me at Adventure Cycleworks in Fairbanks and was trying to make it there. We had enough weight on that bike already and I didn't want to carry a tire AND a passenger.

I was also taking an inventory as to what I was using and what I wasn't from a gear standpoint.

With camp set up and an idea of what to cook for dinner later on we headed to the springs:

Thank goodness this would be waiting for us on our return:



I had asked the ranger about what to expect and she had suggested taking a water bottle to keep the fluids on board as they had had some folks passing out. She also told me about the layout of the spring and how the water temperature was graduated. Very friendly and helpful.

It was about a 10 to 15 minute walk to the spring. When we started to see this it was kind of a let down.



I thought for sure we were going to look like a couple of pigs wallowing.

The anticipation was killing us.



This was a looooonnnnnggggggg boardwalk and all we could see on either side was yukky mud and grass.



Then you see it! Nice!



Get ready to scratch your eyes out! Dylan was a bit apprehensive about going in so I went first and let him know that it was OK. He got a couple of photos of me to prove I "took a bath".



Ok, so if you survived that eye opening experience, you'll be good to go the rest of the trip!

Proof that Dylan took a bath as well!



We started out in the "middle". I thought it was fine but Dylan wanted to go down below where it was cooler. Not before we get our picture together!



I could feel the weeks worth of pain leaving my body. It felt soooooooo good. We both floated around and could feel the energy coming back into our minds. There was NO energy in our bodies at the moment. The warmth of the hot springs was surreal.

I headed toward the bench you see. The water temp rose considerably and I felt even more life leaving me…



A view back to the cooler end and the small falls/dam from the bench.



Had I not been so blasted tired I think I could have "placed a stone" on the edge of the REALLY hot area. Alas, I was pooped and felt no need to do it. A few photos will have to do.







This area helped cool the water a bit (yes, it also kept the springs full, too!).







Dylan heading into the water at the cooler area. He felt more comfortable there.



I on the other hand knew my limits and needed to get out before I had to sleep there all night! I took some additional photos and dried off.

How the springs came to be.









It was time to leave.



Hey Dyl! Wake up, we need to get moving.



He was so tired after the dip in the springs he couldn't even get his shoe on!



I made a hasty meal and we ate quickly.



I made a quick fire while Dylan sharpened a stick. My wife and I allowed him to carry his pocket knife on the trip. He felt compelled to sharpen a lot of sticks.



While the wood was burning and Dylan was sharpening sticks, I talked to folks that would walk by and had an interest in our journey. It was a wonderful experience to listen to their stories and how their adventure was unfolding, too.

Later on in the trip I would witness first hand that we're all individuals and our adventure was very different than any one else's. The adventure they were on may not be as "adventurous" to us but may be to them and you needed to respect that. The smile on their faces and the excitement in there eyes as they told us about the trip they were on was wonderful. It ranged from children younger than Dylan to senior citizens. This was the first time on the trip we had been around this many folks, it was a very large campground.

We had a number of folks just walk into our campsite and want to know our story; Where are you from? Where are you going? Where have you been? My favorite; How do you get all that stuff packed onto that bike?

We both called it a day at 7:30pm. We were exhausted! No problems sleeping that night!!!

Totals for the day:

11 - Black Bear
1 - Grizzly?
3 - Bison
2 - Moose
6 - Elk
too many sheep to count!

Miles for the day - 304 and a total for the trip of 2,214.

Next up? The Teslin River, The Yukon, Whitehorse. Tire, what tire? I don't need no stinkin' tire…..
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:13 PM   #48
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nice to see you both riding 2up father and son .... you re very lucky
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:54 PM   #49
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I identify with Dylan, I've always traveled with my fishing rod,

Good luck on your journey.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:54 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chelo5sur View Post
nice to see you both riding 2up father and son .... you re very lucky
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurro View Post
I identify with Dylan, I've always traveled with my fishing rod,

Good luck on your journey.
Thank you!!! It was a very special journey.

Todd
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:38 PM   #51
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Day 7

We didn't wake up until 7:30 the next morning! I felt great, well rested, no soreness and I was ready to get back at it. Except for one thing….yup, you guessed it, it was raining!

I boiled some water so Dylan could have some oatmeal. The 3 fuel canisters on the side cases had premium gasoline. My stove used the same fuel as the bike so I filled the stove cylinder and put the rest in the bikes tank figuring on filling it up later on. Dylan was still sleeping and I let him sleep for awhile while I packed a few things and did some routine maintenance on the bike and other gear.

The rain had subsided a little and our gear wasn't getting wet under the tree in our campsite. We finished packing up and got under way. By now Dylan is getting pretty darn good at getting the tent up, taking it down and getting his pad and sleeping bag stuffed back into the stuff sacks. It is making my life a little less hectic as we lead the nomadic life. This will prove to be a very good thing later in the trip.

It was kind of a miserable morning (getting kind of routine) so I didn't take many photos until we got to the Yukon border and then Watson Lake. This is day 7 and we have had inclement weather every single day. Some days it was longer than others but it was still nasty at some point throughout the day. I know it's only been 7 days but how do you keep your spirits up day after day as you get up in the rain, pack in the rain, ride in the rain, eat in the rain, and or set up camp in the rain? Things have got to change for the better. Stay tuned because they do get better. A lot better. To the point that all of this weather would be welcomed to justify the amount of warm sunshine and perfect cloudless days we are storing in the bank and have coming to us. I can look back now and say it was all worth it. But right at this moment I could have just screamed. One good note is that the only thing I would have changed about our gear would be the gloves. Everything else was perfect! Ok, ok, maybe a different tire...

Crossing into the Yukon!

He's now known as "Yukon D"



I'm still "Odd Todd" or "One who never smiles".



I felt kind of stupid when we got there. I told Dylan to look really close for any signs of the sign post forest. I didn't want to miss it since I've seen so many pictures of it in other ride reports and also read about it in the Milepost. Well, if you miss it you might as well keep going. It's right next to the road!



Thank goodness I have clothes on again, eh?



What was kind of cool was the blue sign right in front of the bike. Brookpark, OH. I'm originally from Parma, OH and graduated from North Ridgeville, OH!



Dylan getting a shot of a sign from Wisconsin.





He also got a kick out of this one since we were on a Beemer and going to Prudhoe, or at least we were trying, too.



You could spend a lot of time at the sign post forest looking around.



We had a lot of miles to do today so we had to get going. First we went in the visitors center and got a great suggestion for a campground in Whitehorse. Used the flushing facilities and got the scoop on fishing licenses in Yukon.

But first we had a job to do. We had a bumper sticker we needed to place.







Yup, we had brought one with us and I wrote our names and date once we found an empty spot.

Todd & Dylan June 16, 2012!

We had to move on though. Didn't need fuel right now and was more concerned with getting some miles behind us (remember the liter I added?).

We started out again, at least this is my recollection, it may have been before Watson Lake though, when I needed gas. I stopped in a little place called Contact Creek to get fuel. I filled the bike up and also filled the liter bottle. The total came to about $42. I moved the bike out of the way so the line of RV's behind us could fuel up while we paid.

Dylan wanted a candy bar and something to drink. Now we're at about $46 or so. I gave the owner my Visa card. Declined! Excuse me? She suggested I use the pay phone on the wall. Umm, I don't have the code that they probably e-mailed and left on my voicemail I will need to get this straightened out. I don't know if I can "dial" all 16 digits of my Visa number either! Let's see how much cash I have. Whew, just enough plus a enough for a campsite. That's it! I wasn't carrying a lot of cash and only got it from an ATM as needed.

We headed up the road knowing that we had plenty of gas to get to Whitehorse and Dylan had some extra fuel in his belly to hold him over until I could get this corrected.

Then we hit the washed out area. This is the traffic signal that was there. It counted down from 120 seconds to let you know how long before it would turn green and you could go. Maybe it was 240 seconds, I can't remember.



Sure enough, the road was gone. There was a temporary bridge in place and the river was rushing all around. I can't imagine the force of the water coming off these mountains with all the rain and snow melt. If I didn't tell Dylan to take photos he would just gaze with his mouth hanging open at all the sights. I had to get in the habit of telling him to get photos.

It was miserable again. Raining on and off, mostly on so not a lot of photos. No sense in stopping and getting any more miserable than needed. We did however stop at the wayside just outside of Teslin. There was a beautiful view of the bridge and I wanted to make sure we remembered it. Little did I know, duh, that it was a grated bridge.

The view from the wayside.









You can tell it was't the most beautiful of days outside but this bridge and the Teslin Lake are enormous and spectacular to look at. You know it's pretty cool when you get a rise out of an 11 year old and he goes wild taking pictures! I asked Dylan to get some photos as we crossed the bridge.

















Last and certainly not least is the video of us crossing the bridge. Notice how much the bike moves from side to side, and then at the end a car approaches just as we get across. I've crossed the Mackinac Bridge during high winds (on the pavement though) and this bridge was just as challenging with the bike weight and a bad tire.



More later...

I have to start packing for the Central Rally! http://www.cadvrider.com/index.html/
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:11 PM   #52
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End of Day 7

We continued on through the on again, off again rain. It was starting to break up a bit.





I was still watching the tire pretty close when we stopped. This is at one of the many "pulloffs"



We approached Whitehorse, Yukon and had to start paying attention for signs for the campground recommendation. Notice the "services" do not have a picture of an RV.



This campground catered to tents only. Nice! No generators running and no big diesels idling. I have a class C motor home but on this trip I didn't need or want to hear that. No offense.....

I had just enough cash for a campsite ($20) and since it was after 5pm Internet access was only $5. That took all my cash since I had to pay cash back in Contact Creek.

Just so you don't think the next statement is derogatory or meant to be mean; I am a graduate of Northland College, an environmental liberal arts college, so I have been a member of what is known around here as a "Tree Hugger" or at least associated with it. It is meant tongue in cheek.

I now know where all the tree huggers go when they grow up! This place was very cool!! Very bright and eclectic. There was an area for what I would guess is an indigent population and then an area that is almost exclusively motorcyclists. Vehicles had to stay in the parking lot but bikes were allowed in the campsites.

This is the office where you check in and also a small coffee shop.



This is what I was told is the "living room". Wi-Fi worked very good here, and I was going to need it!



You could pay $5 for "unlimited" wood. However, you needed to cut it yourself. The wood piles.



The long term guest area:







Nice area to clean your dishes up.



This is the shower door. It was a very cool, colorful, and refreshing place to be!



Since "Yukon D" was getting so good at getting our camp set up I asked him if he would do that while I used the wi-fi to get my credit card working again.



Ok, I was being a bit lazy and took some photos, too. This is the view from our campsite to the office. There was a picnic shelter and playground close by if we needed to get out of the rain for a bit. Of course…we did…



Yes, that certainly is sunshine coming through the trees! Things are changing for the better!!!

I needed to get on a phone to make a phone call to the credit card company and we also needed to eat something for dinner. We just snacked it today so far. Dylan said he could go for a pizza and we had seen a sign on the way into Whitehorse for a Pizza Hut. I can do that!

We went into the Pizza Hut and sat down but didn't order anything yet until I could use the pay phone to make the call about the Visa. I actually had to wait for a few other folks to get done with the phone. I guess cell phones aren't as prevalent as they are in the states. The company cleared up the "red flagged" card issue. Even though I had contacted them about being in Canada, they didn't care! Now we can order and eat.

We were only eating the one meal a day at a restaurant. This took me by surprise; 12 inch pepperoni pizza and 2 soft drinks……..$35.00 including the tip! Oh my!

We walked (and rode) around town a little bit, not much since we would be returning to Whitehorse again.







Whitehorse is the capital of the Yukon. This is the government building.





And a very prominent attraction on the edge of town, The S.S. Klondike





Dylan wanted to go back to the campground so he could go fishing in the Yukon river. There was a great spot on a bridge right by our campsite.

But first…you've got to get ice cream at the coffee shop/office.



While Dylan got his pole together and his tackle box ready I took a few more photos:





These is from the bridge where Dylan was fishing.





Dylan set his pole down long enough to take this photo with his camera. You can see his pole leaning against the rail of the bridge:



All done fishing it's time to sharpen a stick! You can see we had the bike right in the campsite and also Dylan's fishing pole.





In my journal I wrote that "it was cold and rainy all day" and "saw a couple of black bears" and "dropped the bike in a gravel wayside but got it back up easily". Last but not least "staying at a cool tent only hippie compound". It really was a great place to spend the night. The folks were very friendly and we got to chat with several folks doing the same thing or close to what we were doing. Most were just tooling around until the D2D (Dust to Dawson), I had planned on doing that but we had a late start and had to scratch that off. Stay tuned for an update (to D2D) though on the return trip, remember, the people made our trip EXTRA special.

A couple had ridden in and later stopped over to chat with us. The previous year they had ridden to Tierra del Fuego and thought they had better ride to Prudhoe Bay. They were first doing the Dempster Highway and then the Dalton. We were all very interested in each others trips and then they saw my tire....how embarrassing! They tried to help out though. They said they had seen a TKC80 for my bike at the Whitehorse Yamaha dealer (this was Saturday evening) and I could get it changed on Monday when they opened. Hmmmm, that would be a pretty smart move. But I have a tire waiting for me in Fairbanks. Its only about 600 miles to Fairbanks. If I am careful I can do it. I don't want to waste a day hanging out here even though it's a pretty cool place to be.

It was time to try and get some sleep. We had another long day ahead of us and if we had ANY tire issues it would be even longer. Back home I am notorious for running out of gas. It's a game, see how far you can get. Am I doing the same thing here? Hmmmmm, I guess we'll see......

Total miles for the day: 407
Total for the trip: 2621
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:33 PM   #53
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Day 8

Days 8 and 9 were very special days for Dylan and I. For Dylan, he got to see how to handle adversity beyond the weather issues. He was growing and maturing and making me more proud everyday. I had to keep the positive outlook no matter what we faced during these two days. It kept my attitude positive and forward thinking rather than cave in to what was happening. It turned into a roller coaster ride!!!! You'd be on top of the world (literally) one minute and then wish you could just curl up in your sleeping bag the next minute. There really are some very good people in this world. We didn't get to meet them all, but they still had a hand in our experience.

We again woke up to this. I kept the camera in the tent pocket and just had to get a picture of the raindrops on the tent fly. On a positive note the tent held up PERFECTLY. Not a single thing inside that tent ever got wet. And believe me, mother nature attempted to burst in several times.



Remember the picnic shelter by our campsite? Remember me telling you about the tree we always looked for to shelter us? Well it paid off again, we were able to pack up our gear under the shelter and stayed dry. The folks came back over to see if we were staying another day to get a tire. Nope. We're moving on. Wow! You're crazy! Yup, I guess I am. We'll face that bridge when we have to. I had my last cup of coffee in Whitehorse (from the coffee shop).

The great news is that after we fueled up in Whitehorse it stopped raining! The sun came out. It was a spectacular day. We must have played the cards right. Deal with all the adversity of rain for a week and you will be rewarded with sun and warmth. It was a great feeling.

The gentleman at the gas station gave us some advice; be careful, a guy lost his life on a bike on his way to Tok the other day. The road has seen a lot of damage from the winter. Pay attention to the small flags and slow down. Especially around Destruction Bay. Thanks, will do!!!

Just to prepare you all for this segment of our trip, it was indeed one of the most beautiful and scenic days we had. The sunshine, the mountains, the lakes, the rivers, just marvelous. Dylan was taking lots of photos and some (ok, a lot) are crooked. You can still see the beauty though. He was just as mesmerized as I was.

See the little orange flags? That was a tell tale sign to slow down no matter what! This one was loose gravel.



The only way I know where or when these photos were taken is by the amount of cloud cover. This was earlier in the day and before Kluane.







We started to get into some REALLY beautiful mountains. This is why we came.



How our day progressed; ride, stop and look at tire, ride, stop and look at tire, ride.....you get the idea.

Dylan started to wonder if we would ever get to use the bumper sticker we bought in Dawson Creek;

I survived the Alaska Highway....and lived to tell about it.
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:42 PM   #54
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What a trip

Thanks! I just purchased the Heidenau k60 tires and was starting to think maybe I'm just going for the price tag, But it sounds like the tire to have. Man your kid is so cool to be such a trooper on a trip like this. And hey, It's cool to be a tree hugger, it's just not real popular in times like these. Trust me, I have a few splinters.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:11 PM   #55
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Thank you for the report! I am reliving last years trip through your report, it is fun to see you stopping at all the same places. My first trip to Liard was in 1972 hitch hiking and then last year on the bike, it did change a litle in those 39 years!!
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:18 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by 1MUDDY1 View Post
Thanks! I just purchased the Heidenau k60 tires and was starting to think maybe I'm just going for the price tag, But it sounds like the tire to have. Man your kid is so cool to be such a trooper on a trip like this. And hey, It's cool to be a tree hugger, it's just not real popular in times like these. Trust me, I have a few splinters.
They are hard to come by sometimes! I tried to get another rear recently and had to put a TKC80 on. We'll see how they do.

Your comment about the splinters brought a verbal chuckle out of me that my wife wondered what I was doing. Funny!

I've got big shoulders and can handle just about anything. I just needed folks to know that it's OK to be different.

How many nut jobs think that a 24 day vacation should subject an individual (and their child) to these types of extremes?

I will NOT spoil the end with commenting completely about the K60. Let's just say I would buy it again without hesitation. But you better realize there are a few questions that need to be asked.

If you just can't wait? PM me and I will spoil your surprise...

Thanks for following. I had no idea how much fun this would be. I am reliving every single mile and truly do appreciate the comments and questions. PM or otherwise!

Thank you,

Todd & Dylan

PS: Dylan has gained an interest in the report and has been reading along as I write it. He's going to keep this accurate and not let me tell some tall tale!
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:29 PM   #57
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Thank you for the report! I am reliving last years trip through your report, it is fun to see you stopping at all the same places. My first trip to Liard was in 1972 hitch hiking and then last year on the bike, it did change a litle in those 39 years!!
Wow!

My wife wants to go, too. Not on the bike, but she wants to go. Hmmmm, how can I arrange that?

I knew there were tons of reports about going to Prudhoe Bay (I read as many as I could). But none of them were through my eyes or through my sons.

I gained so much knowledge through those reports and they helped me plan our trip that I felt compelled to write this report.

If it helps just one person have their own trip of a lifetime, then we did what I wanted.

I thought who the hell is going to want to see some gibberish you write or or a photo you take. Believe me, every night I sit here and type this gibberish, it brings tears to my eyes and I have a lump in my throat. My oldest son Stephen even walks around like a proud peacock that his younger brother went to Alaska on a motorcycle. Not his dad! But his younger brother.

Thanks for following along!!!

Todd & Dylan
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:10 AM   #58
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Wow!

My wife wants to go, too. Not on the bike, but she wants to go. Hmmmm, how can I arrange that?

I knew there were tons of reports about going to Prudhoe Bay (I read as many as I could). But none of them were through my eyes or through my sons.

I gained so much knowledge through those reports and they helped me plan our trip that I felt compelled to write this report.

If it helps just one person have their own trip of a lifetime, then we did what I wanted.

I thought who the hell is going to want to see some gibberish you write or or a photo you take. Believe me, every night I sit here and type this gibberish, it brings tears to my eyes and I have a lump in my throat. My oldest son Stephen even walks around like a proud peacock that his younger brother went to Alaska on a motorcycle. Not his dad! But his younger brother.

Thanks for following along!!!

Todd & Dylan

Well said!!! I spent 18 months of planning, preparation and reading ride reports before my trip last year!! I am still reading the RRs every chance I get!!!, although my RR remains unfinished...... and yes........I am planning the next trip, this one will not be as agressive as Key West to Prudhoe Bay and back to Key West in 34 days, it will be a little more relaxed. I will be riding with my best friend, he asked me to go and take him there. I turned 50 this year and he turned 60, he says he needs to this before he gets to old..........Arctic Cirlce will be as far as we go, he will be on an RT, so I wont risk him going to Prudhoe, but I do plan to take him on the TOW to Dawson, if a chick can do it on a Hybusa, he better be able to pull off the RT!!! lol!!!.

Anyway, you and Dylan keep up the good work, you have me hooked. The time with your son will never be forgotten, it is a memory of a lifetime for him!!!! Can't wait to see the big finish...........
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:10 PM   #59
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Whats Dylan going to say when the school teacher asks "what did you do on summer vacation"

All that fishing and no fish pics .

Looks like you guys had a great trip
I look foward to reading your posts every night .
Thanks for sharing
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:53 AM   #60
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Day 8 Continued

We were really enjoying the weather and with the sun at our backs we could enjoy the views of the mountains we were seeing. We were now approaching Destruction Bay and the Kluane Mountains. The next few photos are from Takhini Crossing and the Takhini Valley:





Still getting more and more nervous about that blasted tire!

We stopped for a break at the Kluane Provincial Park and to get some great photos without moving! This was just outside of Haines Junction. There was a small bakery that Dylan was licking his chops over but we needed to eat something more substantial for our "one" meal.

This was one of the most beautiful places we would come across. The sun would hide behind a few clouds once in awhile but it was just a magnificent day.







This is what we came to see. Neither one of us needed to say anything. It's kind of scary but we were starting to think alike! We both knew this was something very special and we were experiencing it together.

Once we left the park, Dylan kept taking some photos. I'm not sure what he was doing or what he was thinking when he took this series. Maybe he was getting "artsy".











We were now starting to get closer to Destruction Bay and it was time for lunch. We stopped at the Talbot Arms Motel. It was nice and bright, lots of sunshine in the windows.

Through the window from our table:



Dylan was so hungry he's eating his hand!



The scenic views kept getting better and better. The next few photos are from around Destruction Bay:











I couldn't stop taking photos. I was in awe.



Dylan took this photo as we were riding around the tip of Destruction Bay. It looks like it dead ends right into the mountain. Don't worry, it doesn't....





Next up? Alaska!!!! I hope....
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