Skagway

July 2

The morning was dry when we got up so once again we got to put away dry tents.  Again, the simple things like this are great.  We went off to try and find a real breakfast.  Haines has three restaurants so the pickings are slim.  We chose the Chilkat Restaurant and Bakery (serving Thai food).  There was no omelet to be had but we enjoyed the Thai version of huevos rancheros.  A young boy was fasinated with our bikes and we chatted with his parents.  His father is the police chief of Haines.

After breakfast we had time to go south to one of the state parks and learned that it required a hike into the forest.  Our time was short so we went north to Chilkoot Lake and marveled at the beauty of the area.  We were hoping to see the mother bear and cubs that are in the area but all we saw was scat, lots of scat.  The arm of the sea ran to a short river that flowed out of the lake.  There were fly fishers in the river, and some at the lake outlet, trying to catch sockeye salmon or dolly varden.  The water is a light turquoise blue and the steep emerald mountains come down to meet it.  In the mountains all around there are numerous cataracts.  It is breathtaking.

We had to be at the ferry terminal by 1:30 so we cut our sightseeing and rode over there in time to see the ferry coming and get pictures and footage.  Most Alaska ferry docks can load the RVs and other vehicles from the front and drive them out the back.  The loading is done from the side.  In Haines and Skagway there is only provision for loading from the front so the big vehicles had to back down the 150 foot ramp and then turn into the hold.  The trailer drivers had a hard time and we left about 40 minutes late.  Motorcycles have no trouble getting on.  The ride was smooth and swift and we got to Skagway in about 35 minutes.  The trip through the fiord was very scenic and we enjoyed the ride.

We rode off the ship and found the room we booked for the night.  We needed to do laundry and Alla did not like the funky shower at our campground last night so she wanted modern comforts.

I have clean clothes, nice.

Skagway has a great deal of history of the gold rush and the park service has done a great job here.  I hope to see it all tomorrow before heading on.  The rest of Dawson is a tourist trap catering to the cruise ship set.  There are nice eateries which we took advantage of and lots of jewelry stores and other high-end shops for the well healed, kind of disappointing for a place with this kind of history.

Today we noticed that my bike has developed a small oil leak at the back of the engine that I suspect is the engine rear main seal.  It should be OK until I get home and I will have to split the bike in two and fix it.

After tomorrow I will seperate from my riding companions of the last week or more.  We have had a great time and are very compatible.  Alla is one tough cookie, we have had long, cold, wet days and she takes it in stride.  I do know she will be glad to get back to her world but she will have the best time she can before then.

I will head down the Cassiar Highway and Justin and Alla will continue on the Alaska highway and then to the Icefields Parkway.  I may be out of touch for several days.

Currently I have logged about 7500 miles and the bike keeps running fine.  The Mitas tires are wearing very well and i think the rear will last the entire trip.

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