Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Day 26 - July 24, by Rita
Aye… it’s a great day to finish off our bike tour of Canada. It has been a real experience! Just camping for 24 + days straight has been the kids’ dream come true. Race who has been avoiding the “far-between-shower” nights, now smells like a real little stick of firewood. He is happy, but we have banned him from taking off his shoes in the van. We spent last night at the White River RV Park where we were asked to join in on a little evening nature walk. Our guide was an interesting character that had a real love for nature. He had the kids spellbound with all the cool things that he had found in the ice fields back up in the mountains. The nature walk was to show us the plants in the area that were edible. Now the kids think we should try all the plants we learned about. We will see about! Just wait till I serve them a bunch of fried dandelions for dinner when we get home. We visited with Bob and Amanda, our guides and also the owners of the park. Bob has been there for 35 years and told stories about all the changes along the Alaska Highway. He was a very interesting fellow and after a long visit we headed to our tent and although it was 10 p.m., the sun was shining brightly on the rain that was drenching us and a bright double rainbow appeared over the grass airstrip near our tent. There was no pot of gold, so we all crawled into our tent for a good night’s sleep.
Today we were off to the border. It was only 53 miles away, so we were very excited and everyone wanted to ride. Once again the views were beautiful, although the road was rough. The closer we got to the border, the rougher the road was, with gravel and several road crews as the more important sights at this time. We had our first flat on a gravel stretch about 10 miles before Beaver Creek. We stopped for a nice lunch break at Buckshot Betty’s in Beaver Creek. Brett and the boys had the largest cinnamon rolls I have ever seen. We shared and they were good! Crossing the border, about 20 miles after going through Beaver Creek, we were all mud spattered from the construction, making it look as we had been riding for a lot farther than we had gone today. I can’t believe that we finished out 1900 mile ride. After loading up at the border, we headed to Fairbanks, some 260 miles away. We stopped in Delta Junction and got a photo by the end of the Alaska Highway. Between Delta Junction and Fairbanks we saw 11 moose...more than the rest of our trip combined. We ended up rolling into Fairbanks and our relatives at 1:00 a.m., and it was still fairly light out.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Today we woke up to a cold, mosquito-free campsite. Thank the Lord for no mosquitoes! I’d rather be cold any day rather than eat my cereal while walking circles around the campsite. Nevertheless, it was a very dreary, wet, cold, rainy morning. So after eating some muffins, oatmeal, granola, and a little fruit, we took off from Whitehorse. While we, the boys, started biking, Madison and Mom got groceries and filled up with gas. For the first thirty miles, we had a nice road and tailwind. And, at around the thirty mile spot, Madison and Mom caught back up with us. So, we pulled over on the side of the road and had lunch (delicious pizza-bread pretzels, and a bunch of blueberries and cherries). The rest of the riding was bumpy, but the road was pretty flat. Also, on today’s ride some of us saw a coyote and we also got to check out an old wood bridge that was originally built for wagons during the Gold Rush. The scenery is starting to get more mountainous again. Right now the clouds are really low and we can’t even see the tops. We ended today at Hanes Junction. We had potatoes and hotdogs for dinner. Then we went to the ice cream shop nearby and had a few treats for dessert.
Sorry for no pictures, the internet connection isn't good enough here at Hanes Junction to upload any.
Today we slept in to ten. We sure were well rested after that! (Some of us had wet sleeping bags because our tent isn’t completely rain-proof and the edges drip onto the people who lay on the outside.) Then we ate our breakfast and went into the laundry room to up-date our site and wash clothes. Then, we went downtown and went to a really cool bicycle shop to fix one of our bike breaks. The owner was really kind and talkative (he had some kinetic art that he showed us and he also told us about a bicycle trip he took to Cuba). Afterwards, we went on a tour of an old steamboat. There’s a few interesting things about them that I never thought about. After that, we went to the park and had PBandJ’s, and pita bread with hummus. While Mom and Dad talked, we, the kids went and played at the park and had a blast. Then, we to a quilt shop where mom got to look around. We also went to the Museum and watched a short video about the Yukon. After browsing about town a little bit more, we went to the movies and watched Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix. What a treat! Then we went back to camp, had dinner and went to bed.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Today we woke up to a wet morning because it had rained during the night. There were also lots of mosquitoes, but luckily they were slow and we were fast. We took down camp and set off. Gavin and Race hurried up to the front to get a small figure of an otter and beaver. We went 109 miles. We stopped for some big, delicious, world-famous, cinnamon rolls after going across a bridge that was being worked on. There have been lots of small, gradual hills (felt like most all just went up; no going down). We went across another bridge that some one with a homemade boat had gone under too. We arrived at Whitehorse and are at the Hi Country R.V. Park. Then we went to Boston Pizza to eat dinner and then went to get groceries. We saw a few murals then retired back to camp, took a shower and went to bed.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Hey, thanks for all the great comments. Feel free to ask questions.
Sorry any mispelling being away from school does that to you
Today when we woke up instead of making our own breakfast and cleaning up after ourselves we decided to head to the local restaruante and get pancakes and omlettes. While walking back to our tent the cook's dog, named Hunter,began following Race everywhere.He even had Race shake his hand, but abandoned Race to chase squirrells and go back to his owner.The Ride out of the valley we were in was tough, but it was cool and every uphill was followed by at least a small downhill. About 20 miles into the bike, we stopped at rest area to switch people on the tandem. while there we saw three moose all in the same meadow from our vantage point above them. One was a bull and the two others were cows they could all see and hear us from the quarter mile distance they were at. Not much happened the rest of the ride except our mom and dad saw a black bear contemplating whether or not to coss the road before running of into the bushes. Before driving right into our camp the yukon motel and RV park, we crossed the third longest bridge on the alaskan highway. instead of being concrete it was metal grate so as you went over it you could see the watermoving under you. When arriving at the RV park we got a campng spot next to Telsin lake, and then went to check ou the very well set up wildlife museum. We then went to check out the tinglit(check them out)heritage mueseum but it was closed so we just took some pictures with the totem poles out front. We then took dash to play fetch in the water she gt very worked up we then went back to the tent to finish a mmovie and go to bed
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
We left Watson Lake, traveling only 14 miles until stopping at Nugget City for a little shopping and where we had breakfast. The rest of the day was a long steady climb up to the Continental Divide Lodge. The road had wide shoulders but it was very rough making for sore bottoms by the time we made it to the Lodge. The last 11 miles were gravel, but due to a recent rainstorm, there was no dust. Race and Madison both rode 20 miles on the tandem. Gage and Gavin quickly rode 20 miles, and then got in the van, where all the kids were in the van reading Archie comic books they acquired at Watson Lake RV park. The campground at the divide was nice, with decent amenities. We went and celebrated the owner and his sister’s birthday. He sold his ranch near Grand Prairie about 4 years ago when Mad Cow disease destroyed the Canadian beef market in that area, especially because the sick cow came from an adjacent farm.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Today was a mosquito day. It rained all night, getting several of our sleeping bags and clothes wet. We had plenty of mosquitos to help us get on the road quickly. They were even worse than Grand Forks or Harlem. The only way there could’ve been more was if they had been smaller…and they were in all different sizes. Rita and Madison even found an albino mosquito in the van after everything was packed. We had just as many mosquitos in the van as outside when we started this morning. Once we were on the road, the cool morning air lifted our spirits and we quickly left the nasty bugs at the Liard River.
The road was wide, with good shoulders, but had enough roughness to make one appreciate the smooth paved roads around O’Fallon. Gage and Gavin rode 41 and 31 miles, respectively, with no problem. Race and Madison both did their 20 miles behind on the tandem. Rita got on and went 61 miles, leaving me with a solo ride the last 28 miles into Watson Lake. We’d often top a rise on the highway and see rugged peaks in the distance, drawing closer as we edged nearer to Watson Lake. We saw two buffalo and one fox with a kit (pup). We approached the buffalo with caution, as they were both right alongside the highway and we weren’t sure of their intentions.
We stopped at Contact Creek and got a soft ice cream, reminded me of Steve and Scott’s Saturday rides. Stayed at the Downtown RV Park, a gravel parking lot with power and water outlets, ran by a Scotsman named Archie. He pointed us to his establishment for food. It was burgers for a price, but very good. Afterwards, we went to the local grocery store, where we paid $8 for a gallon of milk and $3.89 for a small bag of ice (very pricey). We combined two days, so now we are a day ahead. We’ll continue north tomorrow after a well deserved shower and good night’s sleep