True story! There were once two muppets from New Zealand…
“With a grimaced smile and a twitch in one eye they supressed every desire in their bodies to say “ no shit Sherlock” and instead smiled sweetly and retreated back into the rain”
17/8/22 There were once two Muppets from New Zealand who were going to ride north 550kms and catch the ferry in Dawson City and cross into Alaska …but they found out the ferry in Dawson City was broken “for 5 days broken” so they did a quick rethink and then decided to reverse their route in and out of Alaska and travel 200kms south ! Brilliant!
So they headed off for Skagway to take the ferry across to Haines and then ride up to Haines junction where they had booked and paid for a room for the night. The scenery was meant to be BREATHTAKING.
It was raining a bit at first …then it started to hose it down …and blow up a storm. Visabilty was zero and the views looked wet and foggy.
By the time they reached the US border into Alaska the border guards there warned them about a weather advisory of torrential rain and road washouts. With a grimaced smile and a twitch in one eye they supressed every desire in their bodies not to say “no shit Sherlock” and instead smiled sweetly and retreated back into the rain.
When they reached Skagway (and had ridden 200kms in “said weather”) they wondered why there was so few cars queuing up outside the ferry terminal and put it down to changed plans due to “said weather”.
NOPE! This ferry had gone wrong TOO and had been cancelled!!!!
So they hopped back on their bikes, rode through the Canadian border check point, went back to Whitehorse (oh they were so sick of this place by now!) and then continued onto Haines Junction via the not so scenic but quicker route!
By the way …there is no such thing as water proof, whether it be jackets or luggage!!!
18/8/22. Refreshed after a great night’s sleep we head off towards Tok along the Alaskan Highway. While the road was still pretty straight, the scenery was much more interesting.
We even got to see a Bear and her cubs grazing at the side of the road …unfortunately still no Go Pro footage as the rain must have somehow caused the camera to corrupt. Cest la vie!
We had to cross the border again into Alaska and spent the night in Tok at a camp ground specifically for motorcyclists. We splashed out $40USD on a cabin and it was very rustic but very cute!
We met some great people, Taylor was from Virginia and had been on the road since June. Pablo from Italy had been on the road since 2012 and had pretty much done the whole world so far! Then we met Saks Alaskas and his wife who lived just down the road but came around for a chat with everyone in the evening. He had lived in Tok (pronounced Toke like our dear Tokoroa) since 1967 and was telling us how much it had changed, how there used to be so many Caribou that it looked like the whole plain was moving and how he could earn money from trapping but now it was a dirty word. He found it difficult to understand how his life had changed so much due to the impact and opinions of people who lived thousands of miles away and had never lived a days life in his shoes. It seems to be the same the whole world over.
The following day (19th Aug.) we rode from Tok to just past Denali …but once again we decided to take the long route. I think it ended up being 730kms once we’d had to shoot off course to find fuel.
We hit heavy rain again and 5 degree C temperatures. We ended up following another 3 bikers that we’d come across a couple of days earlier through this bad weather, and then when we stopped, we shared a few pleasantries and route plans. It turns out they had dubbed us the “Twinkle Twins” because of the bright headlights on our CB500xs
We moved on and then rode the old Denali Highway (8). It was a 230km road through the most BEAUTIFUL landscape we have seen, a mix of the Scottish Highland and South Island NZ. And there was no body there …until the last 50 kms or so when we passed truck after truck loaded with ATVs and side by sides! What on earth was going on we thought! Turns out it was opening weekend of Caribou hunting! So that’s where all those Caribou had gone!
By 5pm we were tired and hungry and had nowhere to stay. After no showers and long drop toilets the night before we needed a basic motel (okay Bec did!) but no way were we paying Denali prices!
In the end we found a Roadhouse about 40kms along towards Fairbanks. It looked incredibly run down and very similar to tens of dozen roadside accommodation and café places that we had passed along the Alaskan Highway that were boarded up and falling down… guess this is what happens when chain hotels like Best Western etc. spring up in towns along the way, they take away trade from the family run establishments like these.
The Fireweed Roadhouse was delightful and homely, yes, the décor and bathroom were like something from the 60’s but the lady was so lovely and we had a great night’s sleep.
We even found a great bar and grill down the road which did the most awesome fried chicken and burgers!
Fairbanks tomorrow and then the “Haul Road” aka the Dalton Highway.