Saturday, 7 July 2012

Tok to Fairbanks

Day 33
Great night sleep in the ambulance even managed a bit of a sleep in. Got up and the sun was shining and had a cold shower no hot water same as the last place need to light a fire to get hot water this was offered last night but I prefer me washing in the morning and a cold shower on a sunny day is invigorating. I was the only one around so slowly packed me kit and headed out met Hugh as I was leaving said Tata and was on the road. Decided it I did not want breakfast yet and would stop up at the first place on the way which was 100 miles away keep forgetting there are loads of distance with nothing in between. Oh yes I have now converted my speedo and GPS to miles instead of km but this just make places a lot longer to get to and seems slower no idea what Fahrenheit and miles per US gallon is in real money but helps me know if I am braking the speed limit and distances on the signs match the speedo and GPS but will take a while to get used to this. The road from Tok to Fairbanks fairly dull after yesterday straight and long and flat with a view of the mountains in the distance but the sun was shining which always makes a difference to my mood. Had a Philly Sandwich for lunch slash breakfast just because of the name found something else that is fattening and bad for me to add to things I like oh my poor leathers. Got to Fairbanks at 5 after a short stop at the North Pole where I saw Santa and his reindeer. This place actually exists and I had to chuckle when I saw the sigh and had to stop when I saw the visitor center. The story is that some entrepreneur wanted to start a toy factory in Alaska and he convinces the folks to change the name to North Pole so that he could label the toys manufactured North Pole Alaska. The toy factory never materialised I think but the locals are making a nice little business out of the name there is Santa Claus House a huge Santa Claus and all the street lights are in the shape of Candy sticks. So well tacky but most amusing distraction made me smile. Found a hostel in Fairbanks but a bit out of town so walked to Safeway to get some dinner about a 5-mile round trip and I have electricity and WIFI so charging up all my electrical equipment and updating me blog. Was going to stay in Fairbanks another day but not sure if it that interesting did not grab me when I cam through today so may do a run to the Arctic Circle dependant on the weather so will be doing the famous Dalton Highway.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Dawson City to Tok in Alaska yes I made it

Day 32
I am sitting in an ambulance writing this on my right I have loads of buttons a beacon a flasher a horn etc. It is quite comfortable as well and away from those pesky mosquitoes. I am in Tok Alaska and my accommodation tonight is the back of an ambulance in great little place called Thompson’s Eagle Claw Motorcycle Park. I was aiming for Fairbanks but ran out of steam and as there is nothing between Tok and Fairbanks I got chatting with the old guy in the tourist info who directed me to the this place. Was hoping for a bed in a bunk house but that was full so I opted for the ambulance as the Tee Pee looked a bit cold yes you can stay in a Tee Pee as well! Why had run out of steam well it had been a hard day in the saddle on the Top Of the World Highway which is about 80 dirt road and it had been raining a lot so quite muddy and sloppy in places. Every turn turned up a different road surface from mud to tarmac to pebbles to gravel to huge potholes so really had to be on my games if I was going to stay upright. The upside to too all this was that every turn turned up a fantastic vista with magnificent views and scenery which I kept getting glimpse of when I was not keeping my eye on the road. So it was extremely knackering and tiring but in the end very rewarding. The border crossing into the States was very simple I was expecting it to be more complex and more paperwork for the bike but as I was not exporting all they needed to see was the papers and $6.00 admin fee and I allowed to stay till the 6th of October so fits in with my current plans. Again I have no electricity and hot water but who needs it when it never gets dark but battery on my kit needs a recharge at some point soon. Managed to get 30 minutes in a shop but not sure If I was able to get this published and updated also grabbed a nice Thai dinner from a stand next door sitting on the side of a dusty road very hungry as I only had a chocolate biscuit for lunch and breakfast as there was no place to eat all day except for a place called chicken but the lady in the cafĂ© had a right attitude on her I was not going to eat there and let that miserable cow spoil by good vibe buzz life is to short for people like that. All in all an excellent day and I am know off to chat with a guy called Hugh who been biking round Alaska for years and who knows all the good place to go. Turned out it was his first time in Alaska but sat good evening shooting the breeze taking all thing bike and travel related.
Last night I went to bed at 11.30 but a latecomer arrived at about 12.30 waking me up young American chap called Matt and stayed up chatting for him for ages nice bloke and an interesting dialog. He left before I was up heading up the Dempster Highway on old CX 500 hope he makes it bit he had driving to Chile on old CB175 so I think he probably will.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Dawson City

Day 31

Another pleasant day just an add on to last night at about 11.30pm I was doing some tinkering with the bike and also went for a short walk at it was still daylight which as I have said before it is a mind f**k but in a nice way. Good night sleep and up at about 9.30. Things here are a bit basic and if I wanted a hot wash then I would have to light a fire and wait for the water to warm so a cold wash instead. The process was similar to the Indonesian showers with a bowl of water and pouring jug. Cold wash certainly woke me up.  Got the ferry into Dawson and made my way to the tourist info place which was the place for Canada Parks events doted all over town first event I did was a tour of the Old Playhouse then some lunch and then a Robert Service Cabin tour with some of his readings must Google this guy whenever I get back on line as I quite enjoyed his poetry and would like to read some more. He is very famous here and has roads and schools and places named after him and I never heard of him until someone mention to me about the Robert Service Campsite on Robert Service Road in Whitehorse both of the Services I thought meant service not Service as in the surname so I have learnt something today. Funny thing is he was born in the UK and yet still unfamiliar to me and he made millions with his poetry and his books and this was unintentionally as he was a vagabond for a large part of his life. After that bit of culture I did the historical walking town of the tour so quite an enlightened day. Got the ferry back to the Hostel   and it started to rain again it had been going from beautiful sunshine to rain showers all day and this was also short lived. I then got the bike and went back on the ferry to get some fuel for tomorrows trip on top of the world highway as there are no petrol stations until a place called Chicken in the USA which is 180km away and I was running on fumes already so with the bike filled up I headed to a lookout viewpoint place which had the most spectacular views over Dawson City and the Yukon and was a great finale for my visit to Dawson City. I really enjoyed and like this place it was fascinating. Back on the ferry after grabbing something to eat in town and catching up on the blog even though I am unable to publish it. Destination Alaska via top of the world highway hope the weather is good as it’s a dirt track but the views are supposed to be spectacular so hope it lives up to it billing certainly looking forward to it. Also will have the cross the border into the US so hope that goes well as well

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Whitehorse to Dawson City

Day 30

Strange day was up and out quite early filled myself on Tim Horton’s for breakfast and then filled the bike and hit the road. Was quite cold so stopped and put my new sweater (Moreno wool supposed to be brilliant against the cold and does not get smelly very quickly which is a bonus jury still out on its capabilities and whether it will live up to all the hype) later it started raining so pulled out the waterproofs that helped with the cold. Did quite a few km today but do not remember much the day seem to wiz by. The scenery was pleasant but stark and passed a lot places that had been damaged by forest fires and for each they had the year so you could see the different levels of rejuvenation.  Finally got to Dawson city and headed to a hostel I had read and heard about which was a ferry ride across the river from Dawson City with view over the Yukon to the City (strong word city more of a town or large village) No electricity water pumped from the river and heated by woodstoves but cheap and cheerful and a great location. Got the ferry back to town to get some supper and the place has a nice vibe to it and looks like a film or museum like an old town from the cowboy films. Going to enjoy wondering road this place tomorrow. I am only 100km short of Alaska and then I can commence the trip as per the title Alaska to Chile but that will have to wait for a while as I going to enjoy this place tomorrow then the day after the on top of the world highway into Alaska so close yet so far away and it is +-120 km dirt track and I did some today where they where digging the road up single file behind a pilot truck which I could not even keep up with in the dirt. Ended up loosing sight of the truck and was on the wrong side of the road following a huge road smoother which was leaving a berm of mud which I had to cross. It is official Phill is a crap off road rider do not have the confidence when it is muddy or deep gravel can just about cope with harden dirt but that about it so could be long drive ahead of me must get more practise and maybe longer legs would help.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012


Day 29

Rest day today. Was looking forward to a night out of the tent but this turned out to be one of the noisiest rooms I have slept in for a while. Snorers, guy having nightmare, girl above me had headphones on and you could hear the music so restful it was not so maybe the tent is not that bad after all. It also never gets dark so that is also a mind f**k as you think it still early and it turns out to be lot later than you expect. Spent the day wondering aimlessly around town found a Tim Horton’s for breakfast and another one for afternoon tea so got my TH fix for the day. I think the attraction I have to this place other than the cinnamon rolls is that is something familiar and is the same everywhere you go so when you are on the road it is nice to have something that you know will always be constant as you move daily from place to place (How about that Sigmund Freud!) Went to see SS Klondike, which is a museum ship of one of the old steamboats that used to work between Whitehorse and Dawson City on the Yukon run by Park Canada so my discovery card got me not sure if I got full value yet so will have to find a few more of these places to ensure I get me monies worth plus they are fascinating and interesting place to visit. Its 11.30 and it still light weird but must go to bed hitting the road again tomorrow destination Dawson City cannot wait.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Watson Lake to Whitehorse

Day 28

Was cold in the tent last night the temperature has dropped considerably but still managed to get a good sleep but was hard getting out of me cosy sleeping bag into cold clothes. Getting more efficient at breaking down my camp but still slow process and being eaten by mosquitoes does not aid the process but does make me more efficient. Heading back to Watson Lake info center as I had a coffee and film date with the nice lady there turned out it was not only me every one gets free coffee and the film was a 18 minute film on the Alaska Highway which was interesting had a cookie coffee and a mars bar for breakfast whilst watching a documentary nice slow way to start a day. Also walked around the signpost forest for a while and it was 11.30 before I hit the road. The scenery was a bit harsh than yesterday maybe this was because the sun was not shining but still very interesting. Not so much wildlife today only nearly squashed a squirrel as I left the campsite and also saw a fox on the way into Watson lake have seen a few of these over last couple of weeks. The weather got colder and wetter as the day went on so on went the went the jumper and the winter gloves will need to think about pulling out the thermals if this continues as I was just on the edge of being comfortable if it gets colder I will need more layers. Found a hostel in Whitehorse last bed going which was I relief as I was cold and wet and smelly and dirty. Had a shower and went to the supermarket to get some dinner and something against the mossies’ I am going chemical on them even if it kills me the process.  Charging everything up as I have not had easy access to power and the net the last couple of days and enjoying Jamaican Ginger Beer and chocolate biscuits burp! Day of the bike tomorrow hope it stops raining.