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Skagway, Alaska to Dease Lake, B.C.

July 16, 2007

Haines is a great little town on the inland passage with a population of about 2000, we spent July 4th thru the 7th there.  We finally pulled ourselves away from all the biking/camping friends we had met at the grassy meadow camping spot overlooking the waters of the inland passage with beautiful mountain views and took the ferrry to Skagway (a 45 minute ferry ride past more beautiful mountains and waterfalls on each side of the fjiord).

Skagway is another beautiful Mountain town on the waters edge.  Reminded us of Estes Park (as Forrest said).  From there, Pat took the narrow guage trainride up White Pass for the first 30 miles, and Ralph opted to bike up!    Was a rainy day again, but the views were still really incredible from the train.  (For those of you that have riden the Silverton-Durango train, multiply the beauty and scenery by 10.)  It was all built on cliffs – they blasted the rock away in 1898 during the goldrush – to make an easy passage to the Klondike Region of the Yukon Territory.  There are waterfalls on each side as you ascend the pass, and has the longest steel bridge in the world, which the train no longer uses.  From the top, we biked on thru the high rolling Southern Yukon lakes region.   This was a network of long, long interconnected lakes.  We found a great camp spot with our own private beach and very few mosquitoes that night! (Lake Tutshi, a deep teal color).  That evening, we got entertained by a bald eagle hanging out in the trees right above our campsite.  We then feel fast asleep from the long days ride to the sound of the waves hitting the shore only 10 feet from our tent!  Wow, what luxury!  (Don’t know if we have mentioned them before, but the mosquitoes are quite obnoxious and almost always present as soon as you stop pedalling.  They’ve been an unwanted part of our company and we will certainly not miss them if they decide to leave us!  It’s not very often we can relax at camp unless we’re in the tent – so the times we can be without the pesky bastards are heaven!).

 We then passed thru Carcross, Teslin, then onto the busy and most times boring Alcan Highway (They’ve taken the fun out of that road by making it safe – straight and boring).  We try to do big days on the Alcan just to get to the good roads.  We met a Chinese biker on a road bike travelling from Vancouver to Prudhoe Bay – couldn’t communicate very well, but was great hearing of other places he had travelled – NY to LA, Japan to Viet Nam, Lakes region of Argentina.  His next adventure is to hike the Great Wall!  He says he’s too old to do any more bike trips.  We told him about 68 yr old Dan, and told him what my friend David has always said, “we are just young boys in old skin!!!”  We had dinner with a lady at the jct to the Cassiar Hwy who reminded me so much of my mom that we called her “Ida II”.  She was a great time – one of those Everready Bunny types I hope to be when I’m her age.  She told us about all her solo travels around the world – impressive! 

The first day on the Cassiar wasn’t anywhere as beautiful as our friend had told us it would be “That John Denver’s full of s#it man!!”, but it soon turned out to be “Knock your socks off-beautiful”, as our friend had promised – Thanks Monk for the advise!  We stayed at a beautiful lake with a cloud of our buddies, then ran into my new heroes – 3 guys from Spain that have been biking for SEVEN YEARS!!!!!!!  They’ve biked the entire coast fo Africa, India, Indonesia to Japan, China to Mongolia, South America, Austalia, and presently North America to Inuvik!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We saw a bear cub they had stopped to look at across a small lake.  Later that day we saw 2 other bears,  mostly all black bears here.

We got to a place called Jade City, with free coffee!!  Yeah, right- we ended up spending some bucks on Jade jewelry, great marketing skeem!  The Jade is mined in this area, 85% of Jade comes from this area of the world.  Then on to Dease River crossing, where we camped at a beautiful RV site that a couple from Wisconsin own and come up here every summer.  Spent Sunday AM hanging around and drying things out from the rainstorm the night before, Pat went to their morning service and then we got invited to a potluck!  Wow, did Ralph eat again, (he had trouble biking the next 45 miles)!  We biked on in the afternoon towards Dease Lake, where we are now.  Arrived in the pouring rain, so did not pitch the tent, and stayed at a nice log Inn (awe, no mesquitoes in my shower!?!)

Our plan is to leave here tomorrow and continue south on the Cassier Hwy.  We are planning to take the detour 40 miles toward the ocean into Alaska again, to the town of Hyder to observe glaciers and Grizzly’s feeding on the Salmon!

We love all the comments from everyone, please keep in touch and let us know at what point you want to join in for awhile and we will help make it happen.  You might see some pictures soon on our site, we have had some technical difficulties and sent them on to our lovely daughter, Crystal.  Until we find computer access again, — Bikin On—– Ralph & Pat

  

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