Day 9 Ė Laird Hot Springs, BC to Whitehorse, YT
Finally I am in the Yukon Territory, someplace that I have only seen in pictures and dreamed of visiting. If you havenít been here, put it on your list of places to not miss.
You will see locals like this watching you go past.
A side road leads to Smith River Falls and a trail and stairs take you down close to the falls.
On down the road is Watson Lake, home of the famous Signpost Village. People from all over the world put signs up here. Some I suspect didnít get permission to take the signs from their original location.
This place is amazing, more signs than a California open space! At last count they had over 60,000 signs.
The ride went on past the Canadian Rockies and the Cassiar Mountains. There are so many mountains here that it is hard to tell where one mountain range stops and the next begins.
Day 10 Ė Whitehorse, YT to Tetlin National Wilderness, AK
I think maybe our church needs to think outside the box about a building like these people in Haines Junction did.
To break up the monotony for me and for a group of Japanese tourists, I made a little stop on the beach.
Note to self: Gravel paths in Alaska may have a lot of sand under them. When making a total fool of ones self, make sure that you have not only one busload of tourists but two. Somewhere out there, about 43 Japanese tourists have video of me getting hopelessly stuck on the beach. Hey, I wanted a picture of my bike next to the ice chunks on the lake and this way I didnít have to put the kickstand down!
One of the bus drivers, who would have rather been on a motorcycle, came over with another guy and helped me get back to solid gravel.
There are many patches of gravel on the Alaska Highway.
I have been working hard on my bug collection. Some are pretty yellows, reds, and greens but before long they all turn brown.
Back in USA, back to miles and gallons. Now I know how expensive gas is. The highest yet was $1.62 per liter. I donít even want to know what that is in gallons!
I stopped at the first sign for camping in Alaska. A beautiful place in the national wilderness. No fee, no bears, a great nights sleep. Hey look, there is that piece of plywood again.
Day 11 - Tetlin National Wilderness, AK to Lower Tonsina, AK
Donít miss those signs for the old highway. They are especially fun when you pass a sign telling you that ďmaintenance ends.Ē
Some of the back roads are also used for runways.
The bathroom facilities at some gas stations are a little primitive. Running gasoline but no running water!
Absolutely fantastic views wherever you look.
Day 12 Ė Lower Tonsina, AK to Kennecott, AK
Last chance to gas up before the McCarthy road, Chitina, AK.
I stopped at a picnic area just past the gas station to make a sandwich. A guy who was coming from the McCarthy direction riding a BMW dual sport stopped at the same place. It didnít occur to me that his bike was clean when I asked him about the road conditions. He had ridden to the edge of the gravel road and turned around. He told me multiple times that the road didnít scare him but never did succeed in convincing me, or himself. Apparently his ride to Alaska on the ferry didnít prepare him for roads like this.
With wildlife like this couple.
The Kennecott Mine is amazing! It was in operation from 1911 until 1938. It built a complete town and was one of the first towns to have electricity. Its hospital is rumored to have the first X-ray machine in the United States.
There is apparently a camping area past Kennecott, down this trail.
But it was too much for one old guy on one top heavy, overloaded KLR.
After unloading the bike to get it right side up, I turned around and spent the night at Glacier View Campground, a friendly place with great facilities like the bathroom/shower building.
This local restaurant started as a van and then they build walls around it and made a small eating area. Look through the window and you will see the van.
Day 13 Ė Kennecott, AK to Fairbanks, AK
If you visit Kennecott, be sure to take the inside tour. It is $25 well worth spending.
On the way back to Chitina, I went searching for the original train route to the railroad bridge.
I brought a little of the McCarthy road with me.
This picture in the Chitina hotel shows just about how I feel by now.
Then on down the road to the Richardson Highway towards Fairbanks.
It was so windy in places that even the porcupines had their quills blown up!
But the views were fantastic!
Day 14 Ė Fairbanks, AK
It is time for a day off the road and to sleep in the same place two nights in a row. Besides, I found a welcome sign. Ahh, saved by the Bell!
The back tire is cracking so I sent this picture to KLR650.com to see what they think.
No luck getting the speedometer fixed. The local dealer doesnít have parts and the only other dealer in Alaska is near Anchorage so Iíll check with them next week.