September 4, 2021 I eat caribou! https://new.spotwalla.com/trip/fad5-5fe4c-4716/view Sometime last night a truck had pulled over at the rest area adjacent to where I was sleeping. All night long the diesel ran. Periodically it would rev up. It must have been powering a reefer unit. And it rained much of the night. Despite the clear skies at midnight, I’d put my rainfly on, and I’m glad I did. I packed up my tent, still soaked. I rode into Watson Lake and stopped first at the signpost forest. It’s a must-stop. It’s much larger than I was expecting. I was really astonished at the variety and quality of signs here. Because I had a phone signal here, I posted a picture of my bike at the signpost forest on Facebook. Within a minute or two, one of my cousins commented, “I’ve been there!” And then a couple minutes later I got a random message from a person I didn’t know. The message said “Come on over!” and an address in Watson Lake. WTF? Slowly I put the mystery together. My cousin and her husband are big game hunters, and they have come up to the Yukon a few times for hunting. They have friends here. And that’s how I met Ruth and her husband Terry! First thing Ruth asked me was, “Do you have any laundry you’d like to put in the wash?” Terry offered to cook up some caribou. I’ve never had it before. Wow, some of the best meat I’ve ever eaten. I visited with Ruth and Terry for about an hour. They told me about some of their travels, including Mongolia, and Ruth had a lot of questions about Cuba. Terry told me that bears are not a problem this year because of all the available food in the wild, though he did warn me to keep a distance from the bison. Ruth told me I should ride out to the airport, the terminal is built from logs. When I left, she sent me with homemade cookies. There’s a plaque describing a plane which crashed into the lake 60 or 70 years ago. The plaque says that the wreckage is visible along the shore, but I never did figure out where it was. Before I left town I stopped at the grocery store deli for a sandwich and then across the street to the liquor store for a bottle of wine. The Alaska highway is wide, with full-width shoulders and trees cut back well off the roadway to minimize animal collisions. Now I was heading south. Watson Lake was my northernmost point, ever. iOverlander recommended a spot a few clicks off the highway into the forest. The road was a little wet, but not bad. The campsite sat on the bank of the Hyland River. I didn’t figure anyone would bother me out here. Like a lot of iOverland sites, this is a good spot for vanlifers, but not great for tents. The ground is uneven and covered in thick gravel, but it’s still a pretty good spot. I gathered up some firewood, far more than I thought I would need and got a fire started, for the first time on this trip, I think. Then I busted out the wine. I sat out until well into the night, occasionally putting more wood on the fire. With all the signs and talk about bison, I was reminded of the movie, Dances with Wolves, so I got my tablet out to watch it.