We wake to the loud sound of rain bouncing off the tent. A big contrast to the beautiful night before. We strategize, which means nothing more than deciding to go over to the Tangle Lake restaurant for bfast.
Less than 20 minutes from stepping out of the tent to having the bikes fully loaded and rolling. Not sure we could have done that the first week.
Christina the grand daughter of the owner and born and raised in AK shares some great stories. How she would never eat meat bought in a store. How can you eat meat that you don't know where it comes from? She tells us of winter hunts for moose, gutting them and throwing them on the machine to haul home. Then carving it up. Chris and I both laugh as just yesterday he was saying that he would like to learn how to fillet a fish.
She says that one thing she wants to do is go to a big mall. wow what a contrast.
Today will be a 3L day. Layers, Liners and L'ectricity.
Tangle lake marks the end of the dirt as you head east and this is not lost on me as we roll out.
The ceiling is low and we lose much of the majesty, yet somehow it is still beautiful.
We hit a dense fog bank and I lose Chris in the mirrors. After a radio check he is just drifting back to see how far he has to go before I disappear. It is funny the games we play on the road.
I am not sure what to expect today. We have decided to head north up to Delta Junction rather than go south to the TOK cuttoff to TOK. that is the way we came over, and we are looking for something different. Although it was a stellar ride. I wonder how good the road north could be.
Turns out it is a great road. Bounded by huge cliffs. I need to come back here in the sun. This would be spectacular. We don't take too many pics given the rain. But we do spot the pipeline.
A little info for those with enquiring minds. This one engineering marvel.
We get to DJ and it is cold and wet. And cold. We go into the grocery to stock up and eat in the deli. The locals young and old all come in wearing jeans and carharts, the tourists are all in shorts and white tennis shoes.
We head south towards TOK after getting gas, and forgetting to pay for it.
Tina came running out to the intersection to get me. She must have said "im sorry" 10 times for running after me. Damn, I am the one who is sorry. I guess it happens so often it now comes out of their paycheck. And with a thirsty 1200 ADV at the pump, that would likely zero out her day. So everyone go to Tesorro and Tip Tina in DJ
In TOK we find out that the TOW has been closed !! Turns out it was 3 days after we went through. Looking back at our notes, had we gone on to Inuvik instead of turning around at the Circle we would have been smack in the middle of the storm and the washout instead of the hot sunny dusty day that we had on the TOW.
We hang around in TOK and talk to some other riders. They all have crazy stories. ONe guy from Texas on his wee had to hitchhike into TOK to get more plugs cus his tire would not hold them. He plugged it like three times, and each time it failed. Finally he ran out of plugs. It took him three days to get a ride to TOK and back to his bike. Looking at his tire it was BALD and no wonder the plugs would not hold. I offered him my spare rear as it was the same size. He said no he had one lined up in Wasilla, and as he was able nurse it this this last 100 miles (at 30 mph) he could nurse the rest. Ah, that's gotta be over 300 miles to Wasilla, on a main highway, u sure? yup. ok. GL
We hang around and around, enjoying the folks. Long enough for the rain to catch up. And boy did it catch up. We hit the campsite just south of TOK on the river across the bridge. I tell Chris that the good lord was not going to let us out of AK telling 'girly' stories of sunny warm days. We set the tent up in a downpour. In the end everything we have ends up wet. goretex is only so good.
This pic is well after the fact. Just about everything you see that looks like ground, looked like a lake. The two trenches helped greatly to drain it, and would provide peace of mind should the rains come back hard again in the night.
It is still raining hard, but the ground seems to be able to suck it up for now.
Anything wood is drenched and we head back to town to buy some dry wood at the store. Cus no matter how bad it gets, and how hard it rains, the show must go on
It is almost dusk-like as it gets late indicating our journey south. As we hit the warm and dry bags, we know we are heading eventually to a ferry in Haines to take us to Bellingham. We talk about maybe leaving out of Skagway instead. Hmmm, Whatever. We drift off.