We were briefly back on schedule, then off again! But the trip has continued to be fabulous (except for a few minor issues such as a punctured tire, barking dog & rain).
Since I last posted, you have missed a little excitement. Friday night we stopped for gas & realized my back wheel bearing was still rolling, but not in good shape. After 2 hours, Shawn managed to get the old bearing out & the new one in. Thank goodness I brought my mechanic with me! Dad has been excellent help as well!
Saturday I ran over a bungee strap. Unluckily, it stabbed my back tire & stuck. It proceeded to whip in a circle with the tire rotation & bent my license plate & smashed my tail light. Awesome. I never sweep (ride last in the group) but I was taking pics of the group so no one was behind me to see that I needed help. When I dropped off due to a punctured tire, Shawn came back for me. He had the tire plugged & we were about ready to roll out when Rob & Dad came back. Thankfully it was a quick fix!
Shawn’s front fork seal has given up & his engine mount decided to support its last rocky road bump today. Thankfully those items won’t keep us from rolling on, but he is online looking for parts. With a little luck the new ones will arrive in 875 miles in Dawson Creek. I also wore through my back brake pad on the right side. The BMW and the VStrom haven’t needed any work yet…..
So – back to the ride. Whittier was amazing. It was so beautiful! We rode past glaciers, through a 2 1/2 mile long train tunnel that was super cool & visited the port. This has been one of my favorite rides on this trip. The water was blue like something you would see in the Caribbean. On the way back we saw another amazing sunset. We left Whittier & headed north towards Chistochina.
In Chistochina we stayed at a campsite called Red Lodge. It had the cleanest, nicest showers & restrooms we have seen. There were quite a few mosquitos, but it was worth it. Judy, the owner was super nice. We had breakfast in the lodge and had a lot of time to visit with her & other guests. If you are traveling through, definitely stay there! They have 5 original homestead cabins you can rent if you don’t have an RV or tent.
From Chistochina we headed up the Taylor Highway & Top of the World Highway. The ride to Chicken was mostly paved & although pretty, not overly exciting. The unpaved 100 mile section to Dawson was very pretty. It does feel like you are riding across the top of the world. The weather was clear & nice.
We stayed the night in Dawson, YT. The music festival was going on so the town was full of people. Rob was brave & had a Sour Toe Shot (gag). Apparently someone lost a toe to frostbite & they keep it on salt & drop it in a shot if you want to have a toe in your drink. I couldn’t do it, but we had a good time taking pictures & cheering on Rob as he drank a shot of whiskey with a nasty shriveled toe in it (gag some more). We stood in line for about an hour so he could take the shot. After each person, they rolled the nasty toe in salt, dried it on a clean napkin & then dropped it in the next shot that was at least 40 proof. He left with a certificate & bragging rights.
The campsite in Dawson was miserable. The Dawson RV site doesn’t have a host working it at night and a college girl came & set up her tent, tied out her dog & left. She came back after 2am and her dog barked & howled almost constantly until she came back. It was our worst night ever. I finally fell asleep & woke up in the morning to rain. It’s the first time we packed up our tent in the rain. It continued to rain all morning. It was cold & not fun. At our lunch stop we decided we should get a hotel in Whitehorse so we could dry out. We’re at the Best Western & thankfully our room is big enough that we could set up our tent & dry it out.
Tomorrow we will head to Laird Hot Springs. We have heard great things about it. I’m sure a hot soak will feel good after our 6,500+ mile ride!