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Old 09-22-2012, 03:36 PM   #67
calimusjohn OP
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Sprague River, OR & Salome, AZ
Oddometer: 255
Lost Pages

Lost pages
Rather than make a lot of scribbled unreadable notes during a ride, I send myself emails and sort them out when I get home. Except when there are missing emails. Then I stare at the map and try to remember what actually happened. So, onto Whitehorse. Big town. Huge airport. Unique windsock. Transportation museum. Wide streets. Little traffic. Actually ate in a restaurant that had more than hamburgers on the menu. Weather was off and on rain. Fueled up and continued north. Spent the night at Carmacks. Road bounded by a band of trees either side, made the ride to Dawson City less than spectacular. You can tell you are getting close from the piles of crushed rock dumped by the huge barges after they gobbled up the earth seeking gold.
Dawson City is colorful in every sense of the word. The old buildings sport bright pastel paint with a contrasting color trim around doors and windows. It is amazingly clean - the streets are not paved. Boardwalks keep pedestrians out of the mud after a rain. I stopped at the campground that is right down town. Tent sites are the same as the RV's =3/4 inch gravel. Threw down a tarp to protect the tent and all was well. Internet was free and almost non-existant. Any message more than about 20 words didn't get through. A walk around town exposed me to Honky Tonk piano music escaping saloons, laughter and sounds of gaity leaked from every open door. Restaurants and cafes offered everything you could want. A grocery across the street from a paddle wheeler provided my dinner and a couple of breakfasts. Dawson City has a nice feel to it. Sure, the 2,000 some inhabitants are out to separate some dollars from the 650,000 tourists that flow through during a very short season. But they do it with such finesse, you leave larger "Tips" than normal.
Leaving Dawson City is quick and easy. A free ferry carries you from the edge of town across the river and the end of : "Top of the World Highway". After passing another campground and the golf course you climb to another world. A forty nine mile stretch of gravel road introduces you to the tops of ridge after ridge. A few faint trails and narrow roads drop off and lead to mines of yesteryear. Guard rails and road signs do not block the views of endless green hills with low lying vegetation - there aren't any. O.K. a few. For approximately 110 miles - there are no houses, cabins, buildings of any sort. Just thousands of square miles of open land. Asphalt covers parts of the Highway to give you a bit of rest between bouts with 3/4 to 2 1/2 inch gravel. It pays to stay alert.
My Tom Tom GPS has been a great help on this ride as well as on others. When queried about how long this 110 miles from Dawson City, Yukon to Chicken, Alaska would take - it indicated 5 hours and 20 minutes. Whew. That's about 20 MPH. I knew that had to be wrong. I cruise a lot faster than that. Well so much for my thoughts. It did take 4 hours and 30 minutes. I was more tired after this short leg than when I have ridden 500 plus mile days. This route is unforgiving. It is not all that difficult. It just takes a bit more attention to detail.

Wind Sock

Free Ferry

Top of the World

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