Did you know that Bears don’t s*** in the woods …and its purple!
"We asked him about the piles of pooh in the road and he told us that was bears! Gulp!!!
We asked how safe the local camp ground was, and I kid you not, he offered to lend us a gun for the night …GULP!!!"
After getting back to Fairbanks we decided to take a couple of days to recover and found what they call a “dry cabin” in the woods on Airbnb.
Basically this means that it has no running water to or from, so the toilet was a long drop and the shower was a wooden cubical outside with a white shower curtain for modesty …that stuck to you like glue if the wind was blowing = no modesty! But it was homely and quiet and just what we needed to catch our breath.
We spent a morning washing all the mud from our bikes as the calcium chloride that they use on the Haul Road (aka Dalton highway) had already started to cake to the engines and was seizing the links of the chains as though they had been in the sea for a week.
We also spent the time catching up with Bruce and Debbie who’s cabin we had stayed at in 2013 and they cooked us a delicious meal of sockeye salmon caught locally.
We also went to see Nita and the dogs of Sirius Sled Dogs and caught up with 6 of the 8 dogs who were in our mushing team when we did an over night sled dog tour. It was truly wonderful to see them and here there howls and communications …they and Nita are very special!
She now runs a sled dog rescue operation to look after and if possible re home sled dogs no longer able to mush. Some of these are from professional racers (Sled Dog Racing is BIG up this way) and are deemed not fit enough for the team at only age 6 or 7!
I have to make mention also of Brianna Raegan…. We came across her beautiful art when looking through the Fairbanks farmers market on Wed. even though we have NO room, Bec ended up buying a couple of cards and an Alaska sticker for her bike.
Thursday 25th Aug and we hit the road again. It was very apparent to us how quickly the foliage was now changing and how much the trees and landscape were colouring.
There is a saying in Alaska that "when the Fireweed turns to cotton, summer will soon be forgotten".
The Fireweed is starting to loose its fluffy seeds …we are literally travelling up here on borrowed time now!
Our destination for the evening was meant to be Tok, but 30 kms out of town we stopped at a campsite next to the Moon lake and found a spot right next to the water so set up our tent there. Nick scavenged for wood and we lit a camp fire and Bec cooked up food we had on our camp bag (powdered potato, salami and cheese) and we had a veritable feast …and so did the mozzies, eating us alive!
The following day (26th) we headed to a little town called Eagle. It was an old remote mining town; one 105km dirt road in and the same road out …literally the end of the line.
It was a beautiful road and had a lot more bends and twists than the dirt and gravel roads we had done so far in Canada and Alaska so we really enjoyed it.
There were some spectacular drop offs and views down to rivers and streams.
At one point we reached the brow of a hill and had 360 degree views for hundreds and hundreds of miles. The autumn colours were stunning with carpets of red foliage and berries, we even saw and tasted some wild blueberries!
After 40 or 50kms we started seeing piles of s*** in the road, there must have been 20 or so within a ½ km length. At one point we stopped and saw they were purple and full of seeds …how strange!
A bit further down the road we saw moose prints coming out from a stream at the side of the road so thought it must be that …a moose with an upset stomach after too much Blueberry pie!
As we got to Eagle we pulled up at the oldest operating gas station we have ever seen and got chatting to the guy, an interesting fellow who was disgusted that our government had made us give up our (unregistered!) guns.
We asked him about the piles of pooh in the road and he told us that was bears! Gulp!!!
We asked how safe the local camp ground was, and I kid you not, he offered to lend us a gun for the night …GULP!!!
Needless to say, after setting up camp and again being eaten alive by mozzies we didn’t sleep well that night! Aside from he fact that we jumped at every sound it started to rain and then pour!
By the morning everything was sopping wet so we made the decision to try and find a motel room somewhere that evening and once again set off in blind faith that we would find somewhere. Getting breakfast and making rolls for lunch was interesting in the rain, but Nick found a little wood hut that was empty and had enough room for the two of us and the cat we were swinging about!
The ride to dawson City was cold and wet but still beautiful and enjoyable. We passed through customs again, this time back into Canada, and then did the “top of the world” highway.
We stopped to eat on the brow of the hill. The temp was 5 degrees, we hadn’t showered for 3 days and were more than a little tired but that 4 day old roll stuffed with a hunk of cheese and half a tomato was the most delicious thing we had ever tasted!
Watching the ferry that crossed us from the Top of the world highway to Dawson City was entertaining. The river it crossed was incredibly fast flowing and the ferry got swept part way down the river before going full throttle to make it to the other side. It was the most exciting ferry ride we had ever had.
Once in Dawson City we found the last motel room and set about spreading out our tent and belongings everywhere in the room to dry!
Dawson city is a lovely little mining town that has been preserved with great detail. We ended up spending a couple of days there to dry off and explore.
We met two bunches of motorcyclists who were off to travel the Dempster Highway to the Artic Ocean. It was something we had considered but ended up discounting due to the terrible weather the road had been having …”but the weather is great at the moment” they said!
Hmm…. Why not!