Besides my interest in the gold rush history of the Klondike I planned this trip to be here for the annual motorcycle gathering shortened to D2D. This is the 25th year commemorating the journey of two life long motorcycle friends. One rode here with the ashes of the other. They made a pact to do this after their epic journey to the north some years ago. Look it up and read their story.
It is almost 10pm and all day more motorcycles have trickled into town. This gathering is intentionally loosely organized and there will be over 300 when all is said and done. I am in the midst of some real hard core motorcycle travelers. My occasional week of ten day trips are nothing compared to a lot of the riders here. many have been coming for years and it is their annual meeting place. Coming from San Diego is pretty far but there are several from Florida and even a couple from Germany that started in Nova Scotia. The starter on their 1995 R100GS failed a thousand miles ago and they had one shipped here and the bike is repaired.
We awoke this morning in our tent cabin and it was about 40F. I turned on the heater and in o time we were more than warm. We spent a lazy morning with our neighbors in the other tents and cabins drinking coffee and were treated to some guitar from my new friend Moe. He is a good musician. The guys in the next tent are hard core motorcycle travelers from Alberta. They did not know they had a heater because one of them piled all of his riding gear on it. We had a fun morning and then walked into town for a late breakfast.
About a stone’s throw from the cabins is the place where Tony Beets is readying his barge to go 100 miles upstream and retrieve another gold dredge to bring back to life. There were some workmen there and I asked if Tony was around and they said ‘you never know’. We poked around town after breakfast and I browsed around some of the shops before making my way back to camp. I took care of a few things like sealing my leaking boot with the silicon gasket sealer I got in Whitehorse. I have been taking a different street most times I go to or from the main part of town so to see the different parts. It is about 8 by 10 streets in size.
Later in the day I was returning to town and stopped at the barge and chatted with Shamus, who works for Tony. He had a lot of great information. His family has mined up here since the 80s and he is not in it to get rich but because he loves the lifestyle. He told me I just missed Tony but he would be back. I went into the area where the motorcycle event is centered and met Peter once again and he introduced me to his friends that met him there and we visited for a while.
I made my way back to the camp to see what were the plans for the evening and I was struck by something that mesmerized me with Dawson. It was around 7pm and the the sun was high in the sky filled with broken clouds. Yesterday a fire started in the gold country from a lightning strike and it had cast a slight haze over the area the did something to the sunlight that made the surrounding forested peaks dazzling. The colors were amazing and the incessant flow of the Yukon River was surreal. I took a number of pictures but i doubt if they captured the moment. I passed the barge area again and Shamus told me I just missed Tony.
Back in town I met Peter again at the Aurora Hotel and he said I just missed Tony by two minutes. He was there having a beer and his wife came in a got him. Dang me misfortune. After that I was wondering what to do next and decided to go to Diamond Tooth Gertie’s and see the show. It was an old fashioned can can show and I suppose worth the $12 Canadian.
Tomorrow the motorcycles events will happen topped off with the group photo at midnight. I have to find some 5 hour energy. I will make one more trek into the gold country to pan for gold. it is also recommended to walk around in the tailings piles that are everywhere and look for nuggets. A local told me that a few years ago someone found a fist sized nugget in the tailings. I think I will get up early.
Today’s mileage: zero.