July 30th 2011
We were prepared for pests of all sorts! Leslie has her bug terminator arsenal, and we pulled out the bear spray for the first time on the trip. We slept with it inside the tent, but fortunately we were not visited by any angry grizzly bears during the night. Cheryl considered scaring off some very noisy camper neighbours who were partying late into the evening, but she refrained ;o).
We ate breakfast at a little cafe at Kathleen Lake lodge which was about 1/2 kilometer away from our campsite. As we sat down, the owner lady tells us how it hardly EVER rains here and that she was so thankful for the rain so she could finally turn off the sprinkler to her garden. We informed her that she could thank US for the rainfall as it has seemed to follow us around wherever we go.
After breakfast we hopped on the bikes once again and headed towards Haines. Approximately 3 miles into our ride, we observed a grizzly bear meandering across the road in front of us about 25 feet away! We then saw that the grizzly bear was travelling with a friend …. right behind the grizzly was a black bear who decided he was not going to chance his luck by crossing the road in front of two crazy motorcyclists. We sat and watched the bears for about 5 minutes until they both wandered away.
Rain and more rain but we had a surprise once we got closer to Haines.
We are really beginning to learn how to envision what we should be seeing other than low clouds!
Million Dollar Falls about 90 KM from Haines Junction and they have a great campsite there too!
This was after we got into BC for just a bit after the Yukon and right before we entered Alaska again. The BC road was under construction and we got stuck behind cars and RV’s and got the mud and crap all over the bikes and us yet again. I tell you we will not miss this cement like glue that makes it almost impossible to get cleaned.
As we got closer to Haines the skies were beginning to look promising. Yet, as the title of this post says, Chasing the Sun, that is what it felt like. Kept raining on us but we could see sunny skies. I was picking up the pace to see if we could out run some of the rain and Cheryl kept saying we are “Chasing the Sun.” We caught it by the end of the day.
The border guy dude YELLED at Leslie from the little booth thinger “NO PICTURES!” but she managed to snap a couple before getting scolded.
Had to stop and take a look for eagles. Way too soon in the season but worth a shot. Bald Eagles migrate here for the salmon spawn and it can get quite busy in October, November through December with thousands of eagles all here.
See the day we rode into? Welcome to Sunny Haines!
A fiddler coming back from the Haines Fair … he was pretty good! The whole town was shut down, closed for the fair. It was SATURDAY and nothing was really open!
Just trying to get some of that BC road off our bikes, familiar to us are car power wash stations.
We had about 6 hours to kill before our ferry ride to Skagway so we went out to the Chilkoot River and got to see all sorts of Fishermen and gals and some bears!
This is where they count the salmon daily and they count everyone that passes through the hole in the gate.
One lucky guy who actually caught a Salmon.
Then these grizzlies shows up and surprised us! Gorgeous!
We will be posting a Grizzly page because we took so many pictures! Just amazing to see in real life, up close and personal!
Cheryl’s boots. DIRTY!
The bikes looking oh so pretty while waiting for the ferry to arrive and take us to Skagway.
This is Mark from Richmond, BC. He made the ride up to the Arctic Circle on the Dalton Highway on his Harley. He feels great about his accomplishments and seems to have really enjoyed himself as a solo rider even though he was supposed to have a group. All his riding buddies bailed at the last moment. Good for you Mark and nice to have met you!
Getting ready to board the ferry for the one hour ride to Skagway which would get us there at 2130 hrs.
A Holland America cruise ship we passed on our ferry ride to Skagway.
Good Evening Skagway!
This is when my bikes stalled coming off the ship and stalled up to the motel. But not even a stalling bike would stop us from getting some beer!
Day 31 was a great day even though our tent is soaked and started out cold and raining. In the end we got some sun, a little warmth, we got see Grizzly bears, eagles, met some nice people and had a smooth ride over to Skagway. The bike stalling did put a kink but we can work with it and will make the rest of our trip.
July 29th 2011
Woke up in the cozy room of the Young Motel in Tok … looked outside and SURPRISE … it was raining! Oh well …. we got ourselves dressed and ready and headed into Fast Eddy’s for some caffeine and breakfast and saw THIS guy! Cheryl loved the sideburns and snapped a covert photo.
After breakfast we got on the bikes and headed towards Haines Junction, Yukon. Even with the clouds the views were outstanding.
Just before we crossed the Canadian border, we happened across the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Centre.
700,000 Acres BIG!
Through a scope they had at the visitors centre.
Some cool exhibits they had inside the Visitors Centre.
Sylvia and Teddy – Run the visitors center and live about 20 minutes away from the Visitor Centre. Sylvia agreed to have her photo taken, but had to approve the final shot before allowing it to be posted on the blog.
Amazing once we crossed over into the Yukon the paved road disappeared and the road from the border to Destruction Bay was how we say, a disaster of a road. Fun for our type of bikes, not so much for cars, RV’s or cruisers. The frost heaves were out of control, loose gravel patches everywhere, pot holes and some could eat up a small car went on and on. The Tiger’s sucked up all the bumps and loose stuff like a champion. It was super fun! In fact at one point, Leslie let out a “wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee” when flying over one of the frost heaves.
Waiting at this not so busy border. We think the guard must have been on his lunch break. When we went through the guard looked like he was 10. Nice young man but young looking!
I think we were only supposed to be doing 50 KM per hour. Hmmmmm.
We made a quick pit stop at a place called White River to munch on a few snacks and lube our chains. Interesting little campground.
The following chain lubing technique originated on the (very narrow) gravel shoulder of the Top of The World Highway and has been perfected over the course of approximately 5500 kilometers.
Very reasonable signage!
While riding down the main highway in Destruction Bay we came across this one dimensional plywood RCMP cruiser! From a distance it really looked like the real thing and it likely serves as a deterrent for speeding vehicles!
Destruction Bay continued
Raining and completely fogged in
The road around Destruction Bay was very smooth and views all around. I know I have said this before but every area we go to seems to have a beauty that we have never seen before. Although we have seen many mountains and glaciers, the weather, timing and our moods makes each place special and different. Not sure if that makes any sense.
When we got to Haines Junction the rain let up a bit but not for too long. We headed to the visitors center and decided to not go to Whitehorse just yet but to head down to Haines and then Skagway. Our plans are always changing at this point. By the way, that is a real mushroom!
Went over to the bakery near the visitors centre in Haines Junction and had a quick bite to eat and use their WIFI. Mmmmmmmm …. rhubarb pie.
Me looking tired as always and hard at work on the update
Birch trees are all over the Junction.
After Destruction Bay we headed into Kluane National Forest
Headed towards Kathleen Lake campground for the night. At this point the rain had stopped but it was really overcast and looking like it would rain again.
The above is the view from our camp site
Went to hear a nature talk about Bears and how to be safe. The First Nation’s gal had many stories about her people and their respect for bears. Cheryl did not find her too interesting and at the break we both took off to go down to Kathleen Lake for a walk.
The mosquitoes at this campground were really annoying but at soon as it got to be around 2100 hrs they all disappeared after trying to drive us nuts.
Kathleen Lake allows little boats and Jet Ski’s
Had a great camp fire going, ate some marshmallow’s and went to bed. All in a days work.