Thursday, August 21, 2008

Last part of Alaska Highway

It is hard to see the angle here, but the bridge slopes steeply (VERY bad camera angle) to the inside of the curve. This is part of the original AlCan Highway and is part of a 10 mile byway that is newly graveled with an angular "locking" aggregate, that once it sets up will be quite nice to ride on - very stable, but in its new condition was not at all comfortable to ride on. This was part of what gave me pause about the later sections of the road I expected to encounter.
The great thing about doubts is that they can vanish as soon as they creep in. The Caribou, Dall Sheep, Black Bear and Forest Bison might have something to do with lifting my mood.
This adolescent bear was with two cubs that scampered (a rare opportunity to use "scamper") into the forest when a truck passed by us.

Soon after I saw this little bear I came across a roadhouse with stories to tell. Perhaps someone should tell them about those dudes in Georgia that claimed they had a bigfoot in their freezer - or explain that bears aren't really considered Sasquatch.
This is the SS Klondike, a paddle wheel boat that is permanently moored on the banks of the Yukon River after a long career running passengers and supplies up and down this river during the gold rush. The Yukon River may not be as wide as the "Mighty Miss" or as long (shorter by 45 miles), but it sure does move some water along quite a span of land (2300 miles), dumping into the Bering Sea (see map here). For a river that long it only has 4 bridges spanning it and all but one has been placed in my path.
One thing you can count on are the mosquitos. In fact, Alaska has a tribute to their state bird (seen below).
1422 miles from Dawson City, BC. What a long blur this was to me. I went from one frost heave to another, to one gravel patch to another and have entered into Alaska all the better for it. This is a trip that I believe is mandatory for everyone to do at least once in their lives. The spectacular beauty that you see one day is only surpassed by what you see the following day. There is so much beauty and nature that it becomes monotonous (but never boring). 
Well, just another 101 miles to the starting point and 498 from there to Prudhoe...I wonder if I can ride from Fairbanks to Prudhoe in one day. Stay tuned.

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