I was planning to camp near Paxson along the DH... well Milepost doesn't tell you that it is about 4,000ft up and there is still snow on the ground in July.. It was about 10pm here... I was low on gas when I pulled into the Paxson Inn... I didn't think it was in operation when I got up to the pump... I was tired, hungry, and cold.
the sign on the door says "pay in lodge."
Shocked that the door was unlocked, I went in. The place looked like it had been abandoned for 20 years. water stains across the ceiling tiles, paint chipping off. Hardly a light on. I didn't see anything but old newspapers and random junk lying around what used to be the main counter. I heard a noise and went further in, looked around the corner to a bar. Two guys were sitting there smoking and drinking. smoke filled the air and the only lights on in the place were the neon bar lights. The guy behind the counter turned the pump on and told me to tell him how much gas I got... As I was leaving I heard a "Hello" from behind me coming from a window upstairs.. the place looked deserted, I couldn't see anything but closed blinds. I got on my bike and headed down the empty road with an empty cold feeling in my gut.
Headphones in, Explosions in the Sky, playing to "The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place."
Cold. My electric coat quit working after I snagged a wire on something. Not wanting to stop and fiddle with it, I kept on.
I didn't take any more pictures that night. About 10 miles from Delta Junction, I felt a strange sensation and wobble from my rear tire. I stopped and noticed that my spokes were loose. It was dark, and raining pretty hard. I did my best to snug them up somewhat evenly. A nice guy on a Harley stopped and offered some assistance. He followed me a few miles to make sure it wasn't too uneven.
I got to Delta Junction, pulled into a gas station and filled up at about 12:30AM.
Inside, I got a few microwave burritos. A guy working there shared some of his chili with me. I knew I had to keep going.
About twenty minutes past Delta Junction, heading for Tok, I was starting to look for a good gravel road to pitch my tent. I didn't have a good feeling, though. It was pouring rain, dark, and wet. I was starting to get foggy, when a huge bear ran right in front of me across the highway, at about 50MPH it looked. Yeah, I am NOT stopping here. Thoroughly awake now, I mashed the gas and kept going.
2:30AM. I see a sign for a state campground. A wave of relief came over me as I pulled into an empty spot. I did my best to quietly set my camp up, and promptly sacked out at 3AM. I had been on the road for a long time.
I don't even remember the name of the campground. I woke up around ten, quickly stashed my stuff onto the bike and left.
Next day, Tok. Thompson's Eagle Claw.
Here I met a number of people, including Ryan. He had a nice F800GS
As well as Bernie and Bernie
And a bunch of other FFs
Bernie and Ryan