Day 18 – Beaver Creek, YT to Fairbanks, AK

Day 18 – Beaver Creek, YT to Fairbanks, AK     09/07/10     Mileage: 319  

Today was all about crossing into Alaska and getting to Fairbanks. The weather was the same as it has been since leaving Colorado….cool to cold…some sun, lots of rain.  

Here's what $68 gets you in Beaver Creek, YT...half a single wide trailer.

 

Back in the U S, back in the U S...back in the U S (S) A!

 

 The scenery was good, but mostly obscured by clouds so I hardly took any pictures. I did see a female moose walking around in a shallow lake, so I stopped to watch for a while. It seems they also eat aquatic plants…who knew?  

Roadside moose...

 

Roadside moose...

 

Anyway, what I lack in pictures I will make up for in a harrowing tale. I stopped for lunch in Tok, AK and had lunch at the Grumpy Grizz. Being cold and wet, I ordered coffee…4 cups of coffee in fact to try and warm up. Now, those of you who know me well know I don’t drink much coffee and no other caffeinated drinks for sure. You might see where this is going. So, I got back on the bike and started making miles for Fairbanks. Just about the time I was sufficient distance from Tok to be in the middle of  f—ing no ware, the urge to have to go numero dos snuck up and became, umm, rather urgent. Now, in the wilds of Alaska, if a bear shits in the woods and nobody hears it, will anybody know? Well, if I shit in the woods, I don’t think anyone would know either, but what’s stopping me from pulling over is the hummingbird size misquotes that would use my bare ass for a pin cushion. Rather than suffer that fate, with gritted teeth and clinched cheeks (of the rear end variety), I pressed on. But that is not the harrowing tale I am speaking of, but merely what I was thinking at the time that I hit an unmarked section of loose grave doing 85 mph. The rear tire as you may recall is half bald and offered little grip on the ball bearings they use for gravel up here. The sensation was that the front of the bike was in a race with the rear, and the rear was winning. In fact, I waved to it on its way by and thought, boy, those side bags are filthy, someone should really clean those up. So in the end, I would have shit myself for sure were it not for those 4 cups of coffee….

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Day 17 – Teslin, YT to Beaver Creek, YT

Day  17 – Teslin, YT to Beaver Creek, YT     09/06/10     Mileage: 394  

Morning came and of course it was raining. The forecast was for clearing mid-morning so I decided to wait and make use of the internet connection while I had it. I also did some maintenance on the KLR and noticed the rear tire is wearing down much faster than I had planned. It was brand new right before the trip, and I was hoping it would make it to Seattle. At this point it will be lucky to see Fairbanks…and I hope it does as that’s the only town I can get a replacement at this point! So, at the crack of 11 I started making my way out of town…with one last stop for gas. As I pulled up to the pump, there were two other riders there…one on a Kawasaki and the other on a Honda Goldwing. We got to talking and they are both from Fairbanks making their way down to Vancouver. Pete, the big guy on the Gold Wing has put 45,000 miles on it in two years…including a cross-country trip to the Jersey Shore….pretty cool!  

Fellow bike travelers...

 

So after the standard telling of stories and lies, I was off and making tracks towards Whitehorse. The weather was overcast with spots of rain, but I’ll take that over the total soakers of the last 2 days.  

On the road to Whitehorse...

 

In Whitehorse, I ran some errands, had a quick bite and met a great group of riders while topping up the tank. They were on their way back from Inuvik, the farthest town accessible by road in Canada. The couple on the left is from Nederland, CO…very close to my friends Paul and Kim in Golden. I had breakfast two minutes from their house just over a week ago…small world. The gal in the middle is from Georgia and rode up from Colorado also. The other couple was riding two-up with luggage on an old model KLR from Seattle….and I thought my bike was weighed down!  

L to R: Couple from Nederland, gal from Georgia, couple from Seattle

 

After wishing each other a safe journey, I was off again…this time to try and make it to Beaver Creek, YT close to the Alaska border. I don’t have many pictures as the weather was dreary, the light flat and I wanted to make up for the late departure this morning. The scenery around Haines Junction all the way to Beaver Creek was outstanding, it’s too bad the clouds obscured the peaks of the mountain range or I would have some great photos!  

Mountains near Haines Junction, YT

 

Gas stop near Destruction Bay, YT

 

At least it's not raining!

 

The weather did clear and the sun came out for the last hour into Beaver Creek…so that was a welcome change.  

Sun at last!

 

Dinner was at Buckshot Betty’s and I found a reasonable room at the “1202” motel. Tomorrow, it’s on to Fairbanks, AK where the KLR will get a new pair of shoes and some much needed maintenance.