San Diego to Skaqway

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May/June 2007 "Ride to Skagway" - Muncho Lake to Whitehorse
Day 12 - 13

Yukon Territory
Sign Forest
Skagway, AK

Muncho Lake, BC
Whitehorse, YT

Day 12, Sunday, June 10, 2007

We had breakfast at the first gas stop. For some reason the varieties of canned meat at the gas station store were the only thing Craig got a photo of before 9am. 


One step closer -- The Yukon!! 

We stopped for fuel in Watson Lake and met a guy who attended SDSU (my alma mater) and who had lived in Oceanside. He wished us well and said that it would be an awesome ride that day, even with rough weather. I decided to try the belly warmer patch and the hand warmers, and they were super! I was really nice and toasty warm with these little goodies.

Got to see the sign post city in Watson Lake. It was so cold that we didn't stay long. It was fun to see the signs, though. We found Carlsbad, and other San Diego County area signs. The weather had done in a few of the posts, and there was obvious work being done to renew the fallen signposts. Very interesting. Got our photo there, and headed down the road.

Craig is going to report to Carlsbad 
where this missing sign turned up!! 

Must memorize all signs in 30 seconds... 
not working... 

Then it was on to Sally's to drop off the 
ADVrider Yukon-ALCAN logbook.

I was sitting by myself waiting in the cafe while Craig went down the road to "Sally's" house to get permission to leave behind the book. While I sat and drank very good coffee, a couple walked in looking for breakfast. Since my table sat 4, but I was by myself, I told them that they could sit down and avoid waiting for the other tables to finish. This suited them just fine, and as it turned out, they were more than happy to pass along advise as to roads and where to eat in Whitehorse! When Craig got there, he wrote down all the information so that we would be in the right place for a great meal when we got to Whitehorse.

Can anyone explain what these 
things are along the roads up north?

Then, we tried and did not succeed in finding our first attempt at a Geocache together. Nuts. The area looked washed out, and knowing that there was considerable flooding, it was not surprising that this would be the case. It's pretty cold and rainy today, but still nice. I am on my second Audiobook, and enjoying it immensely -- so, nothing bothers me. We stopped for lunch and gas at Rancheria. Good, down home cooking, very friendly folks.

We saw a Red Fox in the grass as we got going again. We probably scared off his supper. With all the drizzly weather, there were not many animals out and about.

It's all so vast and open here that it's a bit overwhelming. There was lots of traffic on the ALCAN, too. Surprising on a Sunday. It was probably because we were approaching Whitehorse, the capitol of the Yukon. We found the Visitor's Information Center in Whitehorse but were too late to get our tourist souvenir pins at the City Hall. Nuts.

We got a room for 2 nights, and unloaded the bike. Then, we headed to the restaurant that we were advised to try by the couple at Sally's! (and by Ed from Dawson Creek)

It was a barbeque spot with Salmon and Roast Vege's and very good food. Then, we walked back to the room and realized that it was still light out and after 9pm!

After a long day of riding it takes Craig 
a few minutes to figure out he's not 
going to get a reply from the statues.

That night we were very thankful that we'd remembered our blackout sleeping masks, however the elastic broke on mine by morning. Must get a replacement, FAST. It never seems to get dark.

Tomorrow Alaska?

Day 13, Monday, June 11, 2007

On Monday we got up and drove to Carcross to have breakfast and get gasoline, then on to the border to see Skagway!

Emerald Lake on the way 
to Carcross and Skagway.

It was cold and drizzly (my kind of weather - NO Mosquitoes and the first few gas stations were closed. We climbed into the mountains after breakfast, and the clouds, rain, and sleet were so thick we could see nothing.

Whitepass Train.

Of course, my smoke shield made things even darker. When I lifted it up, I found that very little was visible, with only occasional patches of views of the roadside. We pulled over for a photo of "Welcome to Alaska" sign, and it looks like we're in a fog bank:

Then, we stopped at the border crossing and got some great stamps in our Passports! We dropped suddenly into Skagway. The town is so cute, tucked in a fiord between steep sloped green mountains. There were three cruise ships, but the drizzle seemed to be keeping a lot of folks on shipboard.

We met 2 fellows without reservations waiting for the ferry office to open. One was on a V-Strom! They told us that another fellow without a reservation had been waiting for days trying to get on board.

After a brief discussion with these two, we headed to the downtown area to look around. It's very historic and lovely. Knowing that I wanted to do a bit of shopping, I started with the Hardware Store. We found decals, and some new straps for the V-Strom.

Craig's phone worked in Skagway, so he checked on accomodations in Dease Lake for our way south on the Stewart-Cassiar.

Then, we headed to a nearby Pizza restaurant for lunch. Our Russian waiter asked how much we would take for the V-Strom! Popular motorbike! We enjoyed our pizza, then headed to the end of the block where the sign advertised T-shirts. We ended up getting T-shirts, nail clippers, a bookmark, NEW sleeper mask for me, and some post cards. I made out the post cards and was able to mail them in the store! Then, we tried that darned Geo cache again. No luck whatsoever. However, since we were next to the ferry terminal, we checked on the two guys to see if they had procured a place on the ferry. YES! We saw their motorbikes in the queue for the ferry.

The ride back to the room was clear and cold, with astounding vistas of the tundra and Taiga forest, frozen lakes, icy rivers and waterfalls and even the train loaded with sightseers.

It's a wonder that anyone made it in the 1898 gold rush. It's brutal country. It was a wonderful, relaxing ride back to the motel in Whitehorse.

Dirt and twisties - the best of both worlds!!

When we got back to Whitehorse our motel "neighbor" recognized our bright rain jackets and inquired if we were the ones crossing over the pass into Skagway this morning. He was surprised to see a motorcycle coming through the fog and wondered how it had been riding through there. It gave me a good feeling that we were easy to spot even in cruddy weather!!

> Go to Day 14