Cassiar Highway

Arctic Adventure Day #18

We slept in a bit longer than we wanted… Rolled out of bed around 8:00 or so. Kim took a shower and then we hit the road.

Today we went down the Cassiar Highway. On my last trip up here, we saw tons of black bears on this stretch of road. Today we saw none. However, we saw a large car go across the road. At first we thought it was a small cougar. But as we passed it, it turned out to be a giant lynx.

We did take one small detour today. We took a turn that was marked as a rest area, and it led down a narrow dirt road. It kept going and going, to the point that we thought we made a mistake. Eventually the road was blocked off at a river and there was a small rest area. So I took a picture of the Jeep.

Last night we were looking at the weather forecast for tonight’s camping spot. It looked like it was going to be pretty neat, so we decided to book a room at the Bell 2 lodge. The room is probably the nicest we’ve stayed at this trip, but it is very disconnected… No TV or cell coverage. Internet is $10/hr (they give you a free hour) and only available in the lobby.

We’ve already had one good thunderstorm roll through before dinner, so we made a good choice.

Going to head down to dinner pretty soon. Afterwards, we’ll head back to the room and play some cribbage in front of a fire.

Going to have two fairly long days in a row after this… Tomorrow is on to Prince George, and then home on Saturday!

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Alaska Ride – June 1st – Day #7

It was another cold one last night (28F)!  I had an extra layer of long underwear and my hat on, so it didn’t bother me – It surprised me that the temperature was so cold. This is getting down to the lower limit of my sleeping bag. I’m starting to wonder if I should have brought my expedition bag instead (rated to –20F).

The ride today was just as terrific as yesterday. Lots of huge mountain views, some of the lakes still had a bit of ice on them, and lots of water in all the creeks and rivers. The weather has been great, had a beautiful sunny day today. The road required a bit more attention today. It gets a bit narrower and there aren’t any shoulders to speak of. The condition of the road deteriorated a bit too, with potholes here and there. The BC highway guys do a good job of marking them with little signs.

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My dad stopped chatting on the intercom for quite some time, so I figure he must be getting tired (normally I can’t get him to shut up). We pulled over in a turn out for a short safety break. No picnic tables here, so we put my bike up on the center stand and used the top box as a table to make some coffee.

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While my dad was resting I pulled out my point and shoot camera and got a picture of this cool little bird.

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Speaking of resting…

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At the north end of the highway we finally make it to Yukon! My dad took this picture of me…after this, we set my camera up on a tripod to get a shot with both of us and my battery died. We did get one with his camera, I just don’t have a copy. IMG_0298

You can ride your bike up to the sign, but you have climb a steep little hill (well it looked like you could go 1/2 mile back up the road and cheat). I decided that I didn’t want to pick my bike up two days in a row, so I passed. My dad threatened to do it, but I told him that I promised the family back home that I wouldn’t let him get hurt.

In Watson Lake, we visited the famous sign post forest. My dad wanted to make a sign to leave, but we just were too busy packing and preparing for the trip. The visitor center right next door had some cool exhibits detailing the construction of the Alaska Highway.

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We wanted to stay at the RV park in downtown Watson Lake, but they don’t have tent spots. This forced us to move down the road a bit to Baby Nugget RV park. The old man thought he was cool by weaving through the trees while we scouted out the tent area. And then it happened. This time the “pulling into the campsite curse” got him – the bike hung up on a root and he dropped it. To make things more interesting, he has a cramp buster on his throttle that jammed into the tree and proceeded to take the bike to full throttle. Well, eventually he got the bike shut down and everything was ok. I was a nice son and did not take any pictures of him on the ground…

The tent sites at the RV park are ok – they are away from the RVs, but there are tons of roots (glad I have a sleeping pad). The showers are very nice, but short. I brought along Sea to Summit Trek & Travel Shampoo and Soap – they are these little “leaves” that you get wet and then apply. Well, they suck (at least for me). We’ll stop in Whitehorse tomorrow to resupply and I’m gonna dump these and just get a sample size of some shampoo and soap.

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Alaska Ride – May 30th – Day #5

Got off to a decent start this morning. On the road by 8:30a. Didn’t last long though, we both realized that we forgot to put earplugs in. so we pulled over in a small town (can’t remember the name) to take care of it. At the same time, my dad’s GPS crashed. So he spent this time trying to get it working.

The big thing on the Agenda today – The Cassiar Highway. We were both looking forward to this as it is supposed to be very scenic. We stopped to get a picture at the famous sign that marks the beginning of the highway (Hey, we are going to all of those places today!).IMG_0241

I have to admit, the first section of the highway was kind of disappointing. There wasn’t really anything that made it stand out from all of the other roads we have been on up to this point. That all changes as you approach Meziadin Junction and particularly as you go down the spur to Stewart and Hyder.

We pulled into the campground near Meziadin Junction for a break. We scouted it out and decided that we wouldn’t want to stay there. It was very nice, and right on the lake, but seemed to be geared more toward RVs. The sites really didn’t have any privacy, kind of like an RV park.

So we continued on to 37A toward Stewart and Hyder. This road is by far the best on the trip so far with big, snow-capped mountains on both sides of the road. This continues all the way down to Stewart and Hyder. IMG_0242

One of the highlights on the road is Bear Glacier. We stopped for a bit to get some pictures.

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This picture is not quite as good, it is lacking a fine KTM 1190R…

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We stopped for gas and lunch in Stewart and then proceeded to Hyder to check into a campground. Well, it turns out that the campground in Hyder is closed to tent camping because of all the bears. So, it was back to Stewart for us.

We are staying at the Bear River RV Park. We’ve actually got a spot that is secluded from the rest of the campground. The lady who checked us in said they haven’t seen any bears in the park yet this year….EEK! The campground has nice facilities and a little store with snacks and souvenirs. The best part – they have SHOWERS! Four minutes of awesome warm wetness for just $1. We took advantage of the free WiFi while we did our laundry.

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While we were hanging out on the Patio surfing the net, Kevin the scooter guy showed up (he said I could use his picture)

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Apparently ~40 scooters are showing up this weekend and they are going on a 10-day cannonball run to New Orleans. Pretty Cool!

We haven’t figured out our plan for tomorrow. It sounds like the road to Salmon Glacier is still covered in snow, which is a bummer. We may stay and relax an extra day here (and go verify ourselves that there is snow on the road), or we may continue our way north.