We crawled out of the tent this morning to a chilly wind and rain on the way. But before we dealt with that we had showers. Free hot showers. So good! Then we had Moose bacon for brekky! That was yum scrum!
We both layered up because we knew it was going to be a cold long day. I was wearing everything that could jam on under my bike jacket and could barely move. Chantelle had so many clothes on that I had to help her put her nice RCMP mitts on. Brian she owes you forever for these things!!!
We got Rosie up and running and warmed up. We had made the decision to not run her unless we really needed to. Sorry Mabel, but you don’t get warmed up at the moment.
Then it was time to go. As I started Mabel up I grimaced. I could hear the bits of engine grinding together and falling apart as she picked up some oil and tried to push it around. Ouchies.
She sounded worse today than yesterday. I just put it down to her being cold. We grabbed some fuel and headed out of town. 246 kms to go Mabel. That’s all!! I promise. Well maybe.
As we rattled and clanged down the highway I began to have my doubts. Something inside me told me that today was all I could ask of her. She could do no more.
As we rode the rain started to come down. A lot of it. Luckily we had fixed Mabels issue of sucking water up into her carby and she didn’t falter once. Poor Channy was really feeling the cold. She hates it and even with her heated grips on flat out she was miserable. Plus being stuck at 35 km’s per hour was no fun for her either.
Bloody Rosie though, she choose this time to be as perfect as she has been since day one. What a smug little bike!
After a while Mabel started to buck and kick. “This is it” I thought. The end.
But nope. She picked up a little bit and sped off. Now she wanted to cruise at 50 km/hr. So I let her. We rode and rode.
The riding on any other day would have been spectacular! Mountains rearing up either side of us, crossing deep canyons and the road diving into steep pale walled canyons. But our focus was on the rain. I shall get some more photos when we come back this way on Tuesday.
Then we hit a mountain range. I opened her throttle wide so we could tackle it head on. 80 km’s to go now.
She screamed in pain. Something went snap. Clunk, clunk, clunk, snap, crunch, squeal.
But still she lived. She powered up the hills. So many of them. Rising and rising until we were in the clouds. The mist closing in behind us and in front of us. We could barely see the oncoming traffic until it was on us. We hugged the shoulder. Chantelle was so miserable. She just needed to stop and warm up. Neither of us could feel our hands. Our boots were soaked through. The wet weather gear started letting cold drips into our crotches. Nice.
We finally made it to the top. Me on my diesel tractor with a million miles, Rosie with her wet cold and unhappy rider. Then it was coast down down into the city. Not stopping for anyone. Red lights be damned. We were going through.
Finally Channy spotted a hotel. Pleading to stay there tonight. To be warm. To have a hot shower and a warm bed. How could I say no.
We showered and went out and bought a hot cooked chook and a chocolate cake. All washed down with a bottle of red. Budget be damned. We earned this.
Tomorrow we shall find a camp and organise a hire car to go and visit Denali National Park.