|Woke up to that|
The objective today was to go to Watson Lake, Yukon. The northernmost point of my trip, and gateway to Alaska.
|It was about 6 degrees C here|
|There were lakes like this one literally at every corner of the road|
|Most bridges are like the one above|
|With a "mesh" road/bed/whatever it's called|
|How cool is this island?|
|Long drives across the forest between two outposts. There was a motorcycle or a truck every 15 minutes or so.|
|If I remember, that was the southern end of the lake|
|And that was the northern end. Water as clear as it gets!|
- Hey there, where are you going?
- Well I wouldn't have guessed!
- * enters his plane
So I guess some people don't like tourists in this area! I had no idea what there were doing. But after a few kilometers ...
|I guess they were watching for wildfires|
There were just a hundred kilometers before Watson lake, and very long stretches of the road were burnt like this. On some creeks, I think I saw people/tents along the river, I guess mining for gold?
|Northernmost point of my trip, 60deg 03min (same as Helsinki so not that high) and precisely 4000km ... haa feels nice|
Watson lake was certainly the biggest town of the region, several roads, multiple gas stations and even a few hotels. They even had a fun place for tourists.
|There were signs like this on an area the size of a football field|
So I naturally looked up for Boulogne Sur Mer, Paris, Bangkok. Without success so I decided to get back on the road. I'm not sure why but I didn't want to stop in that place. Maybe because I just left my riding buddy, maybe because that was as north as I would get, maybe because there were so many tourists. I just wanted to be into the forest again.
|I got a bit more courageous and took that photo of a bear...|
Well forest I got! I was heading for the next city eastward of Watson lake which would be (according to Garmin) Fireside, 40km, away. In fact there was no more city in Fireside, just a few abandoned buildings. Oh and that was 40km if I could have flown but turned out to be 140km on wheels. I was tired and pissed.
But I had just fueled up in Watson Lake and knew there was a lodge and gas in Toad River, 200km away as I met some riders who slept there. So I thought I would rather continue and stop at the first opportunity rather than head back to Watson Lake.
|Oh you wanted to see the forest? Well I put more forest in your forest!|
Eventually I would arrive to Coal River after seeing 10 black bears, 3 brown bears (or maybe black cubs?), 8 bison and 6 horses. That was quite impressive.
Coal River was something too :-)
|Picture is not from me, it was sunny|
The place, 164km away from Watson Lake and 60km away from Toad River. So basically nothing around in a 60km radius.
|Setup camp in 30 minutes ... improving!|
I stopped there because I saw a sign "Bison Burger". I didn't eat in a restaurant for 7 days and thought eating bison wouldn't be too bad to celebrate reaching Yukon. So I went into the restaurant/lobby/lodge/gas station office/tourist shop/convenience store/ok I stop you got it.
|Picture is not from me. Imagine it with 4 Harley Davidson riders, 2 girls form Alaska, the 4 staff and me|
The staff escaped from American Gothic I think. With the exception of the cook who was basically Crocodile Dundee.
The oldest member of the staff moved towards the door, opened it quickly and told us all "come outside! ma dog is fighting a bear!" and surely enough, their dog was actually chasing a bear away from the property.
One of the Alaskan girls there asked "what if the bear comes back?" in a playful way. "Then ma bear will chase him back again young lady, don't'cha be scared, now let's have diner".
So I sat and ordered diner. Above the counter I noticed a sign "We don't call 911 here" with a gun pictured.
I ordered my bison burger and it was excellent, although I'm wondering if that really was bison meat. Whatever, it feel great eating something decent. I tried to make use of the internet there "sure we got wifi here boy, with internet too" but it was just too slow to do anything.
It was 9pm by that point and I was exhausted so I thought I'd better just go back to my tent and sleep. The staff were having dinner at the table next to me and in a heated discussion.
The oldest: Did you take the 239 dollars or not Jimmy?
Jimmy (the cook, crocodile dundee): No I didn't!
The oldest: Then were did they go?
The two others: Yeah right where did they go?
Jimmy, unsure: Well I 'ont know, I didn't ... Ok maybe. Maybe I took the 239 dollars but they gave it to me!
The oldest, angry: Gave what for ??
Jimmy, in a low voice: For camping their RV! I told them 239 dollars for joking and they gave me the money so I took it.
While Jimmy was getting shouted at, one of them noticed I was looking at them so I asked for the check.
That was a $16.95 burger. I had precisely that amount in small change so I gave it to her.
Her: Oh but I have to add the taxes on top.
Me: Well I have precisely this amount ...
Her, after looking out the window, leaning forward and whispering: Ok then we'll forget about the taxes.
So I left to my tent while Jimmy was still getting shouted at and fall asleep almost immediately. Long but fun day!
I recommend the Coal River lodge and camping to anyone.