Day 10 - Teslin to Dease Lake (twice) As I was getting ready to head out I thought of something the couple from Spain / Brazil told me: The were at the sight of a collision between a black bear and a Goldwing the day before. The rider was OK, the bear was dead, the bike was wrecked. They had some video that I watched, pretty big mess made of the front end of the 'wing. Was going to keep that in mind today as I was heading South on the Cassiar :) Had breakfast at the hotel restaurant and filled up with plenty of coffee. Next to me was a guy wearing a fanny pack around his shoulder like a shoulder-holster. But we didn't chat. In the parking lot as I was getting gas I met a French-Canadian, Marco, who'd lived in the Yukon and Alaska for a while, riding a GS (how many Marco's would I meet on this trip?). He rode the Dempster the first year it was open all the way through and told me how there were motorcycle parts scattered all along the top most part. He said 55 riders were air-lifted out the first season it was open all the way to Tuk. He was heading into Alberta, trying to get over 750 km per day (though it could have been miles, he was switching back and forth between units). Either way, much too far for me :) Packed and ready to roll I passed him a bit further up the road, we were riding East, into the sun, and the edges of the roads were difficult to see with the interplay of light and shadows, easy for a moose to hide. I didn't go to quick. The previous night I'd gone back and forth about going into Watson Lake to see the signpost forest, it seemed such a manufactured tourist stop, but decided that it was only going to cost me 40 minutes or so and today would be a shorter day, since I was only doing a straight shot into Dease Lake. I had the music playing, the road was quite empty and I was feeling good on the bike. Stopped in the same place that I had when I first rode West on the Alcan and had a snack. How different it all seemed now. No longer so far away and remote, just a beautiful place along the highway. I didn't even take photos this time. Made good time getting to Watson Lake As I started looking around I thought about all those folks who carried signs here to put them up. What motivated them, how could it be so important? I saw large signs from Germany with town's names on them, they'd never fit into luggage. What drove people to show they'd been here, leave such a piece of where they were from as evidence given all the work that it took. Given the hassle to steal the bigger signs, then ship them, it had to have been very important to them. Some other guys on bikes were next to me, but didn't seem interested in saying hello. Very odd at this point :) In the end, it was a very different experience than I had expected and really made me think. Then there was a woman talking loudly on her phone, using speakerphone, and I knew it was time to go. Gassed up, and back South on the Cassiar. Good bye Yukon, it was definitely an adventure! Hello BC, it was time to go see some of the places I passed by on the way up, namely Telegraph Creek and the glaciers around Stewart! As I was riding South I started having an uncomfortable feeling in my gut about riding out to Telegraph Creek on my own. How odd. It wasn't supposed to be a very difficult ride, but I couldn't shake the feeling that it'd be a bad idea to head out there solo. So, I decided that if I met someone to ride out there with, I'd go. Otherwise I'd just keep riding south from Dease Lake. I tend to listen when I have a hunch like this and it's proven to be a good idea. On the way up I passed by Jade City (just like everything else) as I was chasing the weather, so I decided to stop by now and see what it was all about. The 'Free Coffee' sign definitely helped ensure I stopped. I'd just gotten off the bike and pulled my helmet off when I saw another bike go past. I waved and he waved back, and then hammered the brakes and pulled into the other entrance of the parking lot. Damn, he must have thought I had a problem and wanted him to slow down to help... But then, something seemed awfully familiar... Oh, it was Paul, the guy with the KLR from the Netherlands who we met in Dawson City on the lookout 4 or 5 days before! He'd recognized me. We chatted and caught up a bit and I told him about the weather and now riding south and possibly skipping Telegraph Creek. He immediately said "I'll ride out there with you!". Well, that got settled fast, didn't it?! After some coffee I wandered around and got a few photos. They set these blades up to cut the stone and just let them run. The water is on and I guess it acts to 'lube' the blades and a guy comes around to check on them now and then Fish swimming down the rock, front view (tough to get it well photographed :) ) I waved Paul to the front as the KLR only has so much power. I've put around 90,000 km on KLR's and am somewhat familiar with the power (or lack thereof ). But eventually I had to pass and get him to pull over as the coffee was only rented and had to be returned to the environment. I did wait until we got to a nice pullout though. Paul had some time to think about the ride and said he really wanted to try and get towards Telegraph tonight, even if we had to camp along the way. I had enough food and thought that was OK, though it would make for a bit longer day. When we stopped in Dease Lake to fill up he talked to some 'Overlanders' in a big truck who had just come back from Telegraph and they had a camping spot suggestion along the river. I saw a game warden walk out of the store and quickly asked if they had any problem bears along the way and he hadn't heard anything. So we were good to go. Continued in next post.