Hoi hoi, still both alive and well. Finally made it up North to Alaska after another few long days in the saddle across the northern part of British Columbia and the Yukon. Enjoying a day off getting new tires put on the bikes before taking on the Dalton Highway tomorrow into the Arctic Circle and on to Deadhorse/ Prudhoe bay. Anyway, picking up where Kieran left off we rode out of Lake Lousie heading north with no real plan - we thought we would see what Jasper was like and maybe stay there, we had time and no place to be. The drive through the Rockies was spectacular and we were delighted to finally be driving some twisty roads again, our wheels were beginning to square off after the long haul through the plains and the warm sunshine and almost perfect surface made for an ideal opportunity to use the outside of the tires. Just before the climb towards the Sunwapta pass we overtook two guys on v-strom 650s who obviously took this as a challenge to their masculinity and decided to ride in tight behind us. Myself and Frosty had been riding for 2 weeks straight at this point, we were feeling cool, confident and fierce handsome so we welcomed the challenge. We opened the throttle and let the bike accelerate as much as it could under it's heavy load. Their bikes were carrying a good deal of luggage too but the vstrom motor was clearly far stronger on the straights so we held as much speed as possible in the corner and hoped they would slow a little. Over the next 20 or so miles the four of us rode long sweeping corners and switchbacks between the mountains, by he time thy pulled off at the Athebasca Glacier we had widened the distance between us enough, they acknowledged the encounter with a wave and continued on towards Jasper, both quite pleased with the impromptu excitement. We ended up stopping in Jasper for some food and decided to push on into British Columbia where we settled for the night in a small town called McBride.
We continued on the road the next day through the enormous British Columbian territory leaving the mountains behind us and passing through dense forest, huge swollen rivers and a cornucopia of bears and deer grazing by the side of the road. We setup camp that night beside the Bulkley river and bedded in for what we hoped would be a peaceful sleep. I woke at first light, about 4am, to find Kieran quite awake indeed and staring directly at me. "Did you hear that" he asked immediately. Now, that is the sort of question that, when asked at a certain time, in a certain place and in a certain way is nothing but terrifying. "Hear what?" I replied like a scared child. He held a finger in the air and cocked his head slightly to the side... I listened for a second. Directly beside the tent, no more that 3 feet away came the sound of a large patch of grass being torn from its roots. "THAT!" he said in a loud whisper as my bowel woke, prepping itself for an involuntary purge. We sat a moment in complete silence looking at each other. Frosty moved first and unzipped the tent door. He poked his tasty head through the gap before retracting promptly with eyes wide and mouth firmly shut. He pointed to the hole in the tent door, "look outside!". I gathered myself and upped periscope bringing my line of sight directly into the center of an enormous moose anus no more than a few feet away. Frosty laughed loud scaring the enormous animal and frightening away the best chance we had for a ride since we arrived.
The next two days were spent driving through the rest of BC, past Dease Lake and into the Yukon. We stayed a night in Whitehorse on Monday hoping to get some food and maybe a quiet pint however, as is the way with such things, we ended up with a skin of whiskey and what can only be described as a crippling hangover the following day making the 500km trip to Dawson City almost unbearable. Dawson City itself is without doubt one of the oddest places I've ever been, it was the center of the Klondike Gold Rush at the turn of the last century but now for the most part it looks like a small community have decided to inhabit and run an abandoned theme park. It's almost difficult to take it's authenticity seriously having seen towns like it parodied and replicated but when you turn off the main street and start down the dirty side roads you realise that it isn't just a guise, small local hardware stores, radio stations and bakers are still operating out of these wooden fronted buildings with hand painted signs in fonts that House Industries have since made widespread (sorry). We went for some food in Klondike Kate's and then over to the Downtown Hotel for the famous Sourtoe Cocktail. Put simply, this is a shot of whiskey with a real pickled toe dipped into it. As the Captain says, you can drink it fast, you can drink it slow, either way your lips must touch the toe. The whole spectacle draws quite a crowd with surprisingly few actually drinking the shot, most watch and wince while drinkers get given the spiel by the captain. We left Dawson the following morning, ferried across the Yukon river and drove up the steep hill onto the Top of the World highway where we rode the 250km dirt and gravel road to Chicken Alaska before heading North again to Fairbanks.
There;s no place like home ! Well boy’s, The journey look’s great ! When you get into the mountain’s, it is so neat but after awhile and a lot of miles enough is enough . bet you didn’t think Canada was so large just think if you started from st . john.s Newfoundland if you liked he moose newfie road,s are dangerous for sure ! Ihope someone in alaska takes you fishing and panning for gold .back here in London the weather has been hot still at hotel and followinng your journey gives me hope some day i can hookup in europe maybe but you probably won;t want to go for a ride hehe ! well cheer’s for now! wayne
Well great blog guys, and some great photos. Its not good when you can’t decide which is the most interesting, the Cat forty diesel or the Cat House!
Wonderful writing men!
Keep up the good work and travel safe
more pictures!!!!!!!!!! Keep the rubber side down boyz!
I’m not sure what the United States can do about Iran at this point. Due to the ongoing mrltiaiy operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the “Global War on Terror” the mrltiaiy is worn thin almost to the breaking point. Iran is backed up by Russia and China. Russia and China are the two most powerful countries on earth right now. Also, the EU has numerous commerical interests with Iran. They would have no problem sacrificing America to preserve those commercial interests. America is in no position to challenge Iran right now. It lacks the technological sophistication to defeat the higly advanced Russian defense systems that guard Iran and its mrltiaiy is worn to thin and probably suffers from training deficits and low morale. (In order to keep enlistments up, the US has had to lower training requirements.)Israel has shown it is able to defeat these Russian defense systems when taking out Syria’s mrltiaiy installations. The Israelis are in a much better position to defeat the Iranian defense systems than the Americans or the EU countries. I wish Israel would go ahead and take out the Iranian nuclear program. When they do, in private, the Americans and the EU will likely thank them for doing it.Btw, Barack Obama and Secretary Gates are f’ing idiots. Idiots or not this does not change the fact that America is in no position to be able to challenge the Iranian mrltiaiy right now. Israel has the technological savy, the training, and the leadership to be successful. May God guide the Israelis to success here.