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Old 12-08-2012, 06:18 PM   #61
gringostd OP
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Location: Yay Area
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Day 23 - Whitehorse to Haines, AK



Day 23 - Whitehorse, Yukon to Haines, AK [269 miles total]

Kate's back on the relay! The morning consists of a late start and a leisurely loading of the bike. I bought our Kiwi neighbors some classy moose refrigerator magnets at Dawson City - to reciprocate for the Warriors hats. So, we delivered those, and Kate and I are on our way ... adventure beckons.

Kate's view for the next couple weeks:


Our destination for the day is Haines, Alaska - reportedly the nicer of the two ferry ports that are a day's ride out of Whitehorse - the other being Skagway. We backtrack through Haines Junction and then cut South. It is an absolutely breathtaking ride - a highlight of the trip, and a great way to kick off Kate's rejoining the relay.



We find a cool old bridge along the way and seize the photo-op.




We also find a cool snow field really close to the road. I decide it's a good spot for a glacier snowball fight. Here's me falling on my face trying to get across a field and onto the snow before the camera timer goes off.


It was a crazy experience having a snowball fight while being eaten alive by mosquitoes.


Glaciers are slippery - who knew? We both went ass-over-teakettle several times.


You ride through a crazy beautiful pass on the way down to sea level at Haines. The views were just spectacular. Road wasn't too shabby either.




Ah, the happy couple...


Kate's a Canadian citizen, so we had to do the whole biometrics things at the border crossing. Anything seems easy now, compared to the Monkey Butt episode. Here we are, in Alaska again - briefly.




We found a beautiful lake and a spot to take a load off.


I decided to test out my Gaerne Adventure boots [supposedly waterproof].


... not exactly.


We get a decent campsite right near the ferry terminal [Salmon Run Adventures] and have an awesome camp dinner purchased from the local health food store.


We also stock up on provisions for the ferry, not knowing what to expect of the amenities aboard the boat. Bread, cheese, fruit... box of wine? Check! Tomorrow morning, we sail for Prince Rupert - two days on the water.
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Arctic Relay 2012 - aka "Pass the Gringo"

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Old 12-08-2012, 08:51 PM   #62
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I was also experienced the dempster rains this past summer, what a great time. Time to start planning for next year. Hope you don't mind if I tag along.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:46 AM   #63
gringostd OP
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Day 24 & 25 - Haines, AK to Prince Rupert, BC [by ferry]

On the morning of 7/19/12, Kate and I boarded the Alaska Marine Highway ferry in Haines, Alaska - headed towards Prince Rupert. We would be on the water for two days - Google maps says 478 miles.



When we got to the loading area for the ferry, it was a V-Strom party. These guys had some really cool top luggage racks they had fabbed up. They were aluminum plate frames, and they housed a Rotopax gas can right against the factory rear rack - low and centered. Then, above the gas can, they had a nice platform to support a waterproof duffel. I really dug the system. Someone chime in if there's a build post out there for these racks, or you know these guys.



Here's our home for the next couple days. These will be my only rest days of the trip, besides Portland.



... and this will be our bedroom. We opted not to get a cabin. We had heard that you could camp out on the upper deck of the boat, and that sounded awesome. Plus, the ferry was not cheap as it was.



We met some really interesting people camped out under the solarium. A huge box of wine is good for making friends. Among our new acquaintances were some nutter bicyclists on treks that made our motorcycle jaunt seem paltry and cushy. There was a pair of guys that had also just ridden the Top of the World Highway [Steve and ?] and a young woman named Renee headed to LA. I had a lot of respect for those three. They were having the problem of not being able to get enough calories into their systems to keep up with the energy output of riding the bikes day after day after day. Yeaaaah.... never had that problem.



The scenery was amazing.





And the sunsets were among the most beautiful I'd ever seen.



The happy couple. My wife is the best!



By the way, I should mention that I am NOT a boat person. I get really motion sick in pretty much any vehicle I'm not piloting - and boats are the worst. Control issues... I know. You'll notice that I am genuinely enjoying myself here though - not vomming or anything. The sailing was by and large really smooth, but I also indulged in a scopolamine patch before we pushed off. Good stuff!



This sign was kind of eye-opening to me. Throwing garbage overboard "could" be against the law - apparently depending on how far offshore you are. Really? It made me think differently about where all of my waste ends up, somehow. What's the difference, I guess - the sea or a landfill. Both suck. Out of sight, out of mind...



We saw loads of sea planes along the route. Juneau is the capital of Alaska, a large state with several other 'major' cities, and it is only accessible by sea and air. That's interesting to me, considering it's not an island. I imagined people up here owning sea planes like we own cars and trucks... though I realize it's probably not exactly like that. The sky was full of them in Ketchikan.



The ferry pulled into Petersburg at dawn, and Kate woke me up to see. I'm SO glad she did - unbelievably beautiful.







We met several interesting couples touring on fancy, new Harleys. The guys were all Sonic restaurant franchise owners who had ridden up from the southern US [various states]. They were riotous company and really good people. We parked our bikes in a big group together in the hold of the boat when we first boarded, and I almost toppled mine trying to get it strapped down. They all jumped to my aid - partially to protect their fancy baggers, I'm sure, but mostly to save my ass.



Our time on the ferry was amazing, but in the end it helped us realize that we are not ocean cruise people - not yet, anyways. We were cabin-feverish after the first day and a half - very glad we didn't opt to take the ferry all the way to Wahington.

We arrived in Price Rupert, British Columbia at some ungodly hour of night / morning - I think it was like 4am. It really wasn't worth getting a room, but we didn't know what else to do. We were too tired to ride - we had to get some sleep somewhere, and looking for a campsite at that hour didn't seem reasonable. So, the Totem Lodge it was - funky, but fine - too expensive at $90. In hindsight, I spent way too much money on shitty accommodations on this trip. Next time, more guerrilla camping, more couch surfing, more riding through the night, more aerostich naps on picnic tables.
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2012 Kawasaki Versys - many others have come and gone.

Arctic Relay 2012 - aka "Pass the Gringo"

gringostd screwed with this post 01-04-2013 at 07:03 PM
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