Haines Junction

Alaska Ride – June 24th – Day #30

One month on the road! I think the hardest part of this trip has been the length of time away from my family. I arranged for some roses to be sent to my wife tomorrow. Hopefully she likes them!

Today started out cloudy, but dry. We had a short ride from Haines Junction to Haines…only about 150 miles. Along the way we saw a grizzly bear running away from the road – really only just got a glimpse of him.

The weather changed and it dumped on us – the temperature stayed fairly warm though. You go over a small pass to get into Haines, and as we approached the top, the visibility dropped. We had to slow way down to travel safely, and hoped that those following us did the same.

We cleared customs with no issues, and cruised on into town. After a brief stop at the visitor center, we decided to hit The Rusty Compass for some lunchtime pizza and wifi. Then it was down to check into the RV park.

The park has a sheltered area for tents, although it is on a gravel bed. We set our tents and then hung out with “the guys” – campground host “Buffalo” and Clyde (a camper on a KLR). We had leftover pizza for dinner, and then it was off to bed.

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Alaska Ride – June 23rd – Day #29

Where did the good weather go? It was raining when I woke up this morning, so I decided to stay in my nice warm sleeping bag while waiting for it to stop. After about an hour, it finally let up and I went outside to break camp.

Today’s ride is entirely on the Alaska Highway and we’ve done the entire section before, so what new things could I possibly blog about? Fortunately, I’m riding with my dad and he always will provide something entertaining…

We arrive at customs and get in a fairly short line of vehicles waiting to pass inspection. We sit there and sit there and sit there. Apparently they are doing a full body cavity search on the guy at the front of the line (actually when we made it to the front they were unloading a car). After waiting for about 15 minutes, the old man just decides to “gently lay” his bike down on the road. Don’t know why he didn’t have the sidestand down. Fortunately there were plenty of people to watch him, laugh at him, and then help him lift the bike up. Eventually the line started moving and we didn’t have any more incidents before clearing customs.

We stopped at Beaver Creek for fuel and lunch. Can’t remember the name of the lunch place, but there was one guy working there that took your order and cooked your food and everything. Fortunately we were the only customers there, otherwise we’d probably still be waiting for our food.

As the day went on, the weather improved… IMG_0521

Now that it was sunny, the wind started to blow – HARD. We slowed way down to minimize the amount we were pushed around. As we neared Kluane Lake, the wind slowly started to die down. We pulled over at a rest area to figure out our options for the night.

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There is a campground near the “middle” of Kluane Lake (not in the water, next to the road!). We make the decision to camp there for the night, it isn’t too far away and puts us within striking distance of Haines the next day. As we continue down the road, there is a van pulled over – he’s watching a grizzly bear. Kinda cool – unless you are about to camp in the area. Now, we keep on going and there is bear scat all over the side of the road. We come upon two more cars pulled over…they are watching a grizzly sitting and eating flowers right next to the road. Now we are really worried! We pull into the campground and there are signs all over “No Tent Camping, Bears in Area”. There is an RV park a couple of miles down the road, but that isn’t enough distance between my tent and the bears. We decide to go to Haines Junction and get a hotel room.

We get to Haines Junction, get some fuel, and then go to the nicest hotel in town. They are sold out. We go to the next hotel. Sold Out. There is some kind of conference going on and no rooms available in town. We end up staying at an RV park near the actual “Junction”, and it had a very nice tenting area. It is like camping in an actual campground and not a gravel parking lot.

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Tomorrow down to Haines, then we kill a day before jumping on the ferry.

Alaska Ride – June 11th – Day #17

Total zipper failure! The slider on my sleeping bag zipper exploded last night, so now I have no zipper on my sleeping bag. Not to worry! I pulled out the gorilla tape and taped it closed in the middle of the night.

It rained a bit last night, and there was still a light sprinkle as we woke up this morning. We could see the sun breaking through the clouds in the distance. We stalled for a bit waiting for the rain to stop, which didn’t take very long. We also skipped breakfast because today we were scheduled to have giant cinnamon rolls for breakfast! (of which I did not take a picture, but if you go back a few days, you can see one that we bought on the way north).

Then it was on to Whitehorse. We made a provisioning stop at Walmart, where I also grabbed some items to help fix my sleeping bag. I’ll stick with my tape fix tonight and spend some time tomorrow doing a better fix with needle and thread and duct tape! What a combination.

Now it was time to move on to new territory, heading west on the Alaska Highway. The last couple of days on the Klondike Highway has been so-so for views. This section of the Alaska Highway is way better, with big mountain views. I like the mountain views.

We stopped at a rest area that had a cool little wooden bridge that predates the Alaska Highway, although it has apparently been refurbished since.

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We pulled over at the next rest area to get a picture of the mountains.

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We stopped at a burger joint in Haines Junction to grab some lunch. I ended up having a spicy Caribou sausage (at least that’s what they claimed).

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Haines Junction has spectacular views of the mountains…here are the bikes in the parking lot of the lunch joint.

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We rode another 45 minutes down the road to Cottonwood RV Park. We picked this out of The Milepost because it looked pretty nice, and it is, except for two things. No laundry and super slow internet. Our plan is to take a rest day here tomorrow, so it kinda sucks about the laundry. It will just have to wait till Fairbanks.DSC03306

Lack of internet has caused me to fall behind on posting blog updates (I’ve been writing them though!). Hopefully the super slow internet here will help me catch back up again.