Stewart Crossing

Alaska Ride – June 10th – Day #16

More zipper failure! Last night my sleeping bag zipper died again, now it has a broken tooth as well. It is very near the top, I can probably zip it up 95% of the way, which should be good enough for the rest of this trip.

Our ride started around 9a this morning with beautiful blue skies! There was no rain last night and the roads were nice and dry. We are retracing our steps on the Klondike Highway to get back to the Alaska Highway and on to Alaska. This means we didn’t stop to take a whole lot of pictures today – we’ve been down this stretch of road before.

We stopped at Stewart Crossing to top off our fuel and a group of motorcycles arrived shortly after we did. A week or so ago I posted a picture of a bunch of BMWs with a Ducati – this was that group of guys. Since we saw them in that post, they had gone the entire length of the Dalton to Deadhorse, and were on their way home. We chatted about our rides for 45 minutes or so.

It has been several days since I’ve dropped my bike! To make sure my amazing string continues, I backed out the preload on the rear spring quite a bit, effectively lowering the bike. Now the balls of my feet are solidly on the ground and I can save some of the stupid drops.

My dad was getting a little drowsy, so we pulled over at a rest area along the Yukon River. This area was the western edge of the glaciers that covered North America in the last Ice Age. The river cut through the gravelly deposits left by the glaciers, forming the islands in the river in this picture.

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And while we are resting, I always need another picture of my motorcycle.

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We stopped at the coal mine campground (we stayed there just a few days ago!) for some lunch, and then moved on down the street to Carmacks to get some fuel. Not a super exciting ride today.

We are staying at Twin Lakes Government Camp. Out site has a great view overlooking the lake. When we first arrived, there were some threatening clouds, but no rain or thunder developed and it turned into a very nice evening.DSC03273

While we were relaxing, a float plane dropped in for a bit. He only stuck around for about 20 minutes, so he was either visiting a buddy, or delivering people.DSC03277

The view of our campsite.

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Tomorrow we are continuing south for a bit – going to stop for a giant cinnamon roll for breakfast, then swing by Whitehorse for fuel and supplies, and then on toward Alaska!

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Alaska Ride – June 4th – Day #10

WooHoo! We made it to double digit days! Although I’ve got to say the last day or so has been tough because I keep breaking and losing things. The zipper on my sleeping bag broke in the middle of the “night” (it was still light at 12:30a) last night. Tried to fix it while laying there, but gave up, fortunately it wasn’t too cold. Then I couldn’t find the cover for my chair when we broke camp. My best guess is that it blew away in the wind while we set up camp the night before and neither of us noticed. On top of all that, I lost the lens cap to my camera at some point. Oh well.

We were off at 8:45a today…Based on the recommendation of a person at camp last night, our first stop was at the Five Finger Rapids Recreation Site. It was a neat little spot that educates about the steamers going up and down the Yukon river during the gold rush, and how they ended up blasting out one of the rapids to make it safer. There was a staircase going down toward the river but we elected to skip it.

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At Stewart Crossing, we stopped for gas and a snack. We went across the street to the visitor center where the lady tried really hard to get us to drive out to Mayo. Not today, we are on our way to Dawson City! We still haven’t seen a live moose, so I took a picture of the wall at our stop. I think this one might be a moose/elk cross-breed 🙂

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The old man was feeling a bit groggy, so we stopped at a rest area at Gravel Lake. There are tons of nutrients in the lake and lots of waterfowl use it as a resting spot during migration (both directions). Sure enough, there were a bunch of birds there :).

A quick pic of the bikes at the lake, and the old man playing dead.IMG_0330

Dawson City is a gold mining town (they still actively mine up here). It looks like something right out of an old western. I need to take more pictures, this is the only one I took today…

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We stopped by the Yukon and Northwest Territory visitor centers to get an update on the Dempster Highway. The ferries have only been running for about a week. The road conditions are good, and all the campgrounds are open (ie no bear issues yet). There are showers in the forecast for tomorrow and Friday – enough wet to keep the dust down, but not enough to turn it into a muddy mess. Right now, we are planning on taking a rest day tomorrow and then start the trek to Inuvik on Friday.

The Yukon visitor center had a cool display of two moose racks that were locked together. Apparently they were battling it out during mating season, and there best guess is the smaller moose was killed instantly and the larger one either starved to death or got taken down by a predator.

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Based on the recommendation of the lady at the NWT visitor center, we walked over to The Drunken Goat for some dinner. We split one of their sampler plates that had lamb, shrimp, ribs, and chicken. Also tossed back a couple of beers. Good thing I am on a diet.

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Back at camp I still needed to figure out the sleeping bag zipper issue. I’m not a tailor, so please forgive my non-technical zipper jargon. The “slider” had come off one side of the “teeth”. My plan was to bend open the gap wide enough to slide the teeth back in, and then clamp it down. It worked…almost I was fine tuning the fix and busted the slider.

The zipper was the kind with two sliders facing opposite directions. So, I removed the other slider and reversed it’s direction. Then I started zipping up the sleeping bag, and taped the bottom together to act as a stopper. Seems to be working for now!

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