June 11

The Yukon

I awoke at Liard River Hot Springs dry and warm in the lodge.  My temporary traveling companion is very easy to get along with and we have very similar philosophies about most things.  The room we shared is about the best $60 I ever spent.  We have talked with two other riders on this same road that were in the campground in the rain all night.

We had breakfast in the lodge, it is a modest operation in a remote place.  The lady let us know that they were out of eggs because the truck forgot to bring them.  I had some sort of healthy oatmeal-like thing they called ‘Red River’.  It was filling and lasted me a long while.  A bit later a local came in and sat at the next table and ordered eggs and got them.  When we were paying the lady said that he had brought them a dozen aggs.

We left there at about 8:15 in a steady rain.  We rode until about 12:45 when the rain first stopped.  The forecast said that the rain would stop at Watson Lake about 9am but when we got there at 10:30 it was still raining off and on.  In Watson Lake there is a Sign Post Forest at the visitor’s center where anyone can put up a sign.  I brought a sticker along for my archery pop up target system and put it up.

Our tentative stop for the day was Teslin Lake 160 miles from Watson Lake.  As we rode west the rain continued, then diminished, then stopped and 100 miles from Teslin we were drenched in sunlight for the first time since Friday morning.  We had ridden in 45 degree weather for hours and now it climbed into the mid 60s.  Woo hoo.

We are now in some pretty remote country and there ain’t shit for 100 miles, or more.  There is enough traffic on the road that if something went wrong someone would be along soon, but it would take a long time for the ‘authorities’ to arrive.  It is now sinking in that I am going into ‘the wilds’.  But first, Whitehorse tomorrow, a big city of 27,000, the biggest up here.  I will have a short day and provision myself for the ride to Dawson City.  I am running low on rye whiskey.  Also my boot has sprung a leak and I need something like silicon gasket sealer to fix it.  Hours on end in the cold with a wet foot is not fun.  I know, at least I am not walking across the place like the pioneers.  I also need to get some sort of anti-fog treatment for my face shield.  In southern California that is not usually a concern.

Along the way we met a man from Fairbanks driving a restored WWII Chevrolet truck, the kind used to build this highway, to commemorate the 75th anniversary.  He said that he ‘just missed’ having it restored for the epic 50th anniversary ride when there were hundreds of vintage vehicles.  This time he is the only one, and his dog.  He goes about 40mph.

We are camped at Teslin Lake in a nice tree sheltered spot in the poplar and spruce forest.  It is a bit breezy and I have made the first camp fire of the trip.  At last I am in the Yukon.

To get into Teslin we had to cross another steel grate bridge.  This one is 1,987 feet long, if I recall.  This crossing was downright terrifying.  Not only do you have to deal with the tires squirming around on the different sections of the grate but there was a brisk cross wing from the left that wants to push you to the right so that you have to very gently correct for that.

Tomorrow Peter and I go separate ways, he is heading the Skagway and Haines and I am going to Dawson and spend a couple of days exploring the historic gold country before the Dust to Dawson motorcycle gathering on Friday and Saturday.

Today we rode 300 miles.

2 thoughts on “June 11”

  1. Kevin,
    I was wondering what sort of safety things you brought along, and what sort of spares you brought along for your bike?


    1. Dave, I have bear spray and air horn for animals. I have a tool kit that will allow a lot of bike work. I have roadside assistance with Progressive that covers anywhere they can drive. No spare parts but tire repair kit for tubeless tires.


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