Day 25 - 7/26/07: Tok, AK to Whitehorse, YK

Day 25 - Tok to Whitehorse
Lake near Tok
     
Entering Canada GPS Canada
     
Border Lake
     
Kluane Lake Construction Kluane Lake Construction Kluane Lake Construction
     
Kluane Lake Construction Kluane Lake Construction Mountains
     
The Road Shadows

I woke up around 8:00 today and took lots of time getting ready. Even though I had squared away my gear in Anchorage, I took time to repack it once again as my saddle bags were not quite even. The left side bag was way heavier than the right side. I moved my souvenirs around and shuffled some items to the U-Pac. When I finished around noon I still had 3 items left over, the tripod, the flexmount for the camera mount, and an extra roll of toilet paper. There was a group of Australians camping to the other side of me. I offered them the tripod and the roll of toilet paper (luckily it was unused). They accepted both. I threw the flexmount for the camera in the garbage. I will try again in the future with a shorter flexmount. This one was just too long and bounced around too much.

 I went to the Tok post office to mail my postcards. As I already had stamps I was able to drop them in the drop box. Then I headed to Chevron for gas. I bought a water and was drinking it by the bike when another BMW rider pulled in. He was pulling a one wheel trailer which was very cool. Then in came a rider on a Buell Ulysses, then a rider on a Ducati, and yet another rider on a Kawasaki. It was very cool to see 5 bikes taking up the pumps at the gas station.

 I headed east out of Tok at around 12:30. I was in for a long day. The GPS gave an ETA of 8:15pm to Whitehorse, but with the border crossing, stops for gas, and stops for pics, my ETA was around 9:00.

 I really want to try and take some pics everyday. Sometimes though, there are unexpected opportunities that you may or may not have time for. As I rode towards the border, I was planning to stop at a nearby viewing station when a big dog ran out into the road. Now I was in the middle of nowhere, and a dog runs out into the road? It took me a minute to realize it was a wolf. It was rather amazing. I slowed down and planned to stop for a pic, but just as fast as the wolf ran into road, it spotted me and ran back the way it came. It was an amazing animal.

 I stopped at the viewing station and took a few pics of the hills and the lake. I got back on the road and stopped again about 15 minutes later to put my rain pants on. I took some pics of yet another lake at this rest stop. I watched Forest Gump before I left home and in the movie near the end, he talks about all of the sites and things he has experienced. One of them is running past a mountain lake that was so clear it acted like a mirror, and it looked like there were two skies, one above, and one below. I really wanted to find a lake like this so I could add that pic to my collection. So, I found myself stopping at lakes, but the wind was up as it started to rain.

 The rain stopped shortly before the border. I took a pic of my GPS to show the border approaching, as well as the welcome to the Yukon and Canada signs. Then it started to rain again. I rode for a few miles and went right past a beautiful vista. I made a u-turn at the first opportunity and went back to immortalize the moment via photo.

 Canadian customs is about 20 miles down the road from the border. I had a great talk with the border guard. I asked her to stamp my passport. After all, what had I bought one if no one was going to stamp it. She said that land crossings donít require a stamp, but since I asked, she would oblige.

 I started getting hungry so I stopped in Beaver Creek, YK for some lunch and some gas. I had a turkey and cheese sandwich and some water. It was ok, nothing to write home about (but apparently something to write on the web about). I got my gas, then paid for everything in one go.

 I rode for about another hour and a half or so and stopped at Destruction Bay. I filled up and had some water. Then it was time to ride through the construction at Kluane Lake again. This time I wanted to take pictures. It was getting late and construction was winding down for the day. I pulled to the side to get out my camera. I wrapped it around my left wrist and ran the cord through the velcro on my glove. I got to the line up waiting for the pilot car and rode right up to the front of the line, Motorcycles to the front! I got the camera ready and followed the pilot car through the construction. The construction crews had actually got a lot done in the past 11 days. The road was in much better shape than it was the last time I came through. It didnít look like the bombed out shell that it was before. I kept the camera out and took some pics over the next 30 miles or so. Of course, not 5 minutes after I put it away, a moose crossed the road.

I pulled into Whitehorse at 9:15 and went to the Hi Country RV Park. I had wanted to stay here the last time through, but I agreed to stay with Dave at the Caribou RV Park. I got off the bike, went inside, and wouldnít you know it, they were full up. They did have a more expensive RV site with gravel, but I passed. Onto the Caribou RV Park for me! I remember it being on the outside of town so I headed east. I went about 12 miles and I could swear it wasnít this far out. I pulled over and looked it up on the GPS. The GPS said I had passed it, and that it was 15 miles back the other way. So another U-turn on the Alaska Hwy and I went back towards town. Big mistake. While the GPS is good, itís not perfect. It directed me right to the front of the airport and proudly declared that this was indeed the Caribou RV Park. Time was running out for me. Most of these places close up shop between 9:00 and 10:00 pm. I did the mad dash back east and got to the Caribou RV Park at 9:55. I wasnít tired, so I figured if they were closed I would just keep on going. But luckily enough they were open till 11:00 and had plenty of tent sites available.

I quickly set up camp and headed for the showers. By the time I came back it was already 10:40. The Caribou RV Park is very nice, but it is way overrun by mosquitoes. I tried to cook dinner real fast (chili-mac of course), but I wasnít fast enough. So even though I showered, I slathered on the bug spray. Once finished I quickly retreated to my tent.

I got on my computer but was unable to get online. I couldnít get it to work and ended up blaming their wireless system. So I worked on the website some and ate my dinner. I ended up going to be around 1:30 or so.

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