Day 14 - 7/15/07: Whitehorse, YK to Tok, AK

Day 14 - Whitehorse to Tok
Leaving Caribou RV Park DC-3 at Whitehorse Airport
Scenery Scenery Scenery
Approaching Alaska Approaching Alaska
11 miles of Gravel 11 Miles of Gravel from Bike
Alaska Border Alaska Customs Bike in Tok, AK

Today started off cold. When I woke up it was in the 50ís outside. By the time I got back from the bathroom, Dave was all packed up and ready to go. We exchanged email addresses and wished each other good luck. He is on his way to Dawson City and the Top of the World Hwy.

 After seeing Dave off I had to pay bills. I had tried to last night, but the stupid websites were down for maintenance, both Sprint and Wells Fargo. As the internet at the Caribou RV Park was not very fast or reliable, it took awhile, but I got my bills paid.

 Around this time it started to rain. I still had to plan out gas stops, so I sat in my tent in the rain. The tent did a good job, no water got in. When I had finished planning my stops I had to pack, in the rain. I stayed in the tent and packed everything I could (usually I do this outside).  I zipped everything up and put it on the picnic table. Then, in the rain, I took down my tent. Everything was soaking wet, but I had to pack it up anyway. In the end, most of my stuff, including me, got wet. I loaded up the bike, put in my jacket liner, put on my BMW gloves, and headed out for gas.

 I went to a Husky station near the airport at Whitehorse. I got off the bike, checked some stuff with my gear, and then went to pump gas. Oh yeah, except the station was closed down! This has been one of the biggest issues on this trip. Yes, there is gas at least every 50 miles or so. But is the place open and in business? Who knows? I have taken to planning gas stops in major cities only, and hopefully major cities close together as most of the major cities consist of a quick stop gas station and a restaurant. So I plan on riding about 150 to 200 miles and getting gas. If the major city is at 120, then I ride 120.

 Ok, long story short, I get back on the bike to go look for gas. I get to a Fas Gas just 2 doors down and fill up. While filling the bike I meet a man with a trailer who has just come from Tok. He says the roads are awful, but I should know that given the nature of my trip. I hopped on the bike and rode away into the rain. It didnít rain for too long today, but the road stayed wet. I did see a deer, two chipmunk/squirrel thingys, and finally a black bear. The bear was in Haines Junction. I turned the corner to head for Tok and passed by a construction site. Walking down the road from the site was a black bear. I almost stopped, but he was awful close so I decided to keep going. I had started to get pretty cold, even with the jacket liner in, and handgrips and seat heater on full blast. So I stopped at a rest area to pull out my heated vest. I ended up having to unload the bike as the power cable is under the seat, and the seat is under the load. While unpacking, 3 BMW 1150 GS ADV riders passed by. I gave them the biker wave. After getting all my stuff loaded again, and dodging 10,000,000 bugs (they descend on you as soon as you stop) I plugged in the vest. Oh it was heaven. I really want a suit like Brianís now.

 The road was the worst yet today. That being said it really wasnít that bad. It was a road after all. Every time I would start to think that the road was really bad, a Harley would come by from the other direction, so I knew he had to ride though it. There was a stretch of about 12 miles of gravel today. And the majority of the road from Whitehorse to Tok was very bumpy. Well, not really bumpy so much as full of dips, and Iím talking boing boing dips. These things were huge, miles and miles and miles of them. The absolute worst part of the road was also the coolest. On the way to Kluane lake there was about 3 miles or so of gravel. It was the first time I got to wait on a Pilot Truck. When I got to the line up of vehicles, everyone was just stopped. I decided to pass them all and head for the front of the line. I met the same 3 BMW riders that had passed me earlier. I chatted with one of them for a few minutes. They are up from California and are going to tour Alaska. Their bikes were all duded up with gear and gizmos. I didnít get the chance to dude up my bike as much as I would have liked. Oh well.

 So anyway, back to Kluane Lake. The Pilot Truck took off and we followed. This was my first big stretch of loose gravel on the trip. It turned out not to be too bad. After about 3 miles the road cleared up and it was back on paved roads. I went over the bridge and had to stop on the other side again for more construction. The flag girl told us to go to the head of the line and wait for the next Pilot Truck. This part of the road, if you could call it that, was not even a road yet. They were blasting the hillside to make way for a road, the road making machines were working everywhere, and the actual road is much like you might think the beginning stages of a road are. It was not level, there were tire tracks worn into the dirt. The actual road bed was all mud, dirt, gravel, and big rocks. But at the same time, it was really cool. I got to ride through a road construction zone for a road that was just beginning to be built.

 After Kluane Lake it was time for gas at Disaster Bay. The 3 BMW riders continued on. I had a bottle of water and a snickers after filling up. I hopped back on the bike and a few miles later ran into them again as they were leaving a gas stop in Burwash Landing. We rode together for a while. I was amazed at all their gadgetry. They were taking pics on the move, they had video, etcÖ They all pulled over for a break and I decided to keep going. I took some pics on the 12 miles of gravel near the end of the Yukon. I stopped for gas one last time in Beaver Creek, the farthest west community in Canada. The 3 BMW riders passed me again. Then it was back on the road for more dips, gravel, you name it, especially after passing Canadian customs. The road between the US and Canada ports of entry is not very good. I wonder if neither wants to maintain it. The border is about 4/5 of the way between the 2 ports of entry. I stopped and took my Welcome to Alaska photo. The border crossing was very easy.

After crossing the border I had 78 or so miles to go to Tok. The scenery was fine, and once again, at every photo op there were overgrown trees. I met up with the BMW riders in Tok at the campground. After setting up camp I checked out their bikes. They showed me how they secure the cameras to the bikes, how they operate them, etcÖ It was very fascinating. I then had some spaghetti camp food which I must say was delicious. I took a shower and now Iím writing this log. Itís 11:23pm and it is still very light outside. Itís hard to get used to all of this light, you never really get tired.

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