T – We woke up today to not just beautiful blue skies, but also the sounds of wolves howling and the massive waterfall across the lake pounding into the river. This was one of my most favourite free camps yet.
The dismal attempt at last nights fire sat mocking me. We had barely managed to get smoke out of the very damp wood let alone flames. Stupid fire. I didn’t sleep well last night for some reason and I spent alot of the night laying in the dark listening to the sounds of the forest.
After we packed up I checked the tyres on the bikes as we had ridden across some pretty nasty sharp rocks yesterday. Both bikes needed a little air, nothing more than usual. We normally check them every 3-4 days and put air in once a week.
Then it was time to head off. Today was going to be a long one by our standards. We wanted to cover a bit of ground over the next few days, just until we get into Whitehorse. We were looking at around 400 km’s to the next camp. Around two days worth of normal riding!
We had to retrace a little of our route but neither of us complained as it was back along the Glacier Highway. So beautiful! We tut tut tutted at some tourists who were taking photos in the ‘No Stopping’ area where we previously had stopped. Bloody tourists hey?
Then we were stopped by a bear on the side of the road. We approached it carefully, unsure if we should stop or race past. I had images of being beheaded on the fly by a set of razor sharp, laser guided bear claws. So we stopped. And waited. And waited. The bear started eating grass. Or sharpening its blood drenched fangs. The smell of fearful yet oh so tasty Australian tourist in the air obviously driving it towards an insatiable thirst for our blood. Obviously…
Then a car came the other way and the bear scurried off into the forest. Throwing us one last glare from its red flame filled eyes as it disappeared down the bank. Thwarted from its lunch time meal.
Actually it was a beautiful animal, and about as close as I ever would want to be to one of these guys in the wild. Around 40 meters away.
C – After about 45km we arrived in Meziadin Junction again. We put some fuel into our bikes and then filled up our water bottles. As we were pulling out, Rosie felt like she had a hand brake on. We stopped about 100m up the road and after a quick visual scan decided I was imagining it. Not long after that though………
T – Rosie decided enough was enough. She had a flat tyre. AGAIN. So far we have put two new tubes into Rosie and all we have is some patched tubes until we get to a larger town. We ripped her tyre off to find she had a small gash in her tyre. About 1cm long. Sigh.
We fitted one of the patched tubes, and also replaced the sliced tyre for a new one that we had been carrying for the Dempster Highway. After we pumped her up and she held pressure we were off again.
Over mountain passes and around lakes we went. The scenery changing from thick forest to almost arid type as we went. The road was smooth and relatively quiet and we played leap frog with quite a few cars. Slow and steady wins the race every time. At one point we stopped to offer some assistance to a girl who had managed to drop her car off the road and halfway down a steep bank. She had help coming though so we continued on.
C – At one point along the ride, we crossed a long bridge and, snap, just like that, everything changed. The scenery completely changed, as did the colour of the water in the streams. The scenery was still beautiful!! We started to climb and didn’t stop climbing for the rest of the day. Rounding of the many bends, I suddenly saw quite a large black bear right on the edge of the road. Todd was a bit behind and I had a moment…. so I decided, for some reason, that the appropriate reaction to this was to scream ‘bear’ repeatedly into the headset and sort of half stop and half keep going. The bear and I had a stand off, neither of us knowing whether we should keep moving forward or stop. Luckily, Todd then rounded the corner, and obviously deciding to not confront both of us, the bear loped off into the forest.
T – We eventually made it to camp around 530 pm. Around 6 hours total riding time today. We were both exhausted and I was looking forward to sitting down for a bit. When Rosie decided she wanted another flat tyre. Damn you Rosie. Damn you! Again? Why?????
After pulling her apart it turned out that a small rock was inside her tube and had rubbed through the tube creating a nice new hole for me to fix…
C – We pulled into a recreation site near Gnats Pass, which is about 4000ft, and could feel the chilly, icy air that comes with the elevation. We both agreed it was going to be a cold night! We took a walk down to the lake, making the most of the long day light hours and giving the eagle size mozzies for their dinner. Then it was dinner and bed by 9.30pm after a long days ride!
T – Tomorrow we shall hopefully get to Watson Lake. Another 350 odd km’s and the point at which we head west again for Whitehorse and Anchorage! Yipee!!