July 2nd: Edmonton
I had a few parts shipped to P-A’s including a rear tire and oil for an oil change. We spent the afternoon working on the bikes. I had the bike set up on grass and in the shade for most of it. At some point the landlord came out and was furious to see us work on the lawn and we had to move on the street… I then went in town to shop for a few more parts and soon enough it was dinner time. P-A cooked some awesome pasta and we ended the night watching the really cool Human Planet documentary about various tribes in the jungle.
July 3rd: Edmonton
The day before went by too fast and we were both late in our blog postings, so we asked to stay another night and our hosts kindly accepted. I literally spent the day blogging. At night, we went out to an Italian restaurant with really funky pizzas. I had the delicious spicy thaï!? We then came back to the apartment and played a funny game called Cards against Humanity.
July 4th: Edmonton, AB to Dawson Creek, BC – 590km
P-A and Michelle had to leave for work by 7h30, so we had all our stuff ready at night. They both signed the map and we took a few pictures before leaving. I really enjoyed my stay there: thanks guys! The ride up to Dawson Creek was not very interesting… Other than a chilling moose on the side of the road. We arrived in Dawson Creek around dinner time and we met more other motorcycle travelers there in 5 minutes than we did for the past 2 weeks. This town is home of the beginning of Alaska Highway up to Fairbanks. There are not several route options to go up there I guess…
July 5th: Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson – 455km
Next destination was a small place called Fort Nelson. Once again, not much to see along the way, but road were well maintained. It was quite the engineering project back in the days when they built this highway up to Alaska. Some of the original bridges are still standing today and this curved wooden bridge was well built.
July 6th: Fort Nelson, BC to Watson Lake, YT – 515km
The day started with a huge sign warning us of bisons on highway. I had never seen a bison before and I was eager to see them. Road was scenic as we drove passed rivers and mountains. It turned out to be a very active wildlife day. We came across a deer, two caribous, two bears about 10 mountain goats and more than 50 bisons. Those things are huge. As Nate likes to say though, they are just different cows. I did not want to mess with them anyhow. We stopped for lunch in Toad Lake and they had over 9000 hats hanging all over. We crossed the Yukon border later and arrived in Watson Lake around 7pm. There they have a forest of road signs and licence plates from all over the world. There were wayyy to many of them to see them all in a few minutes. I saw a few from Quebec. I group of nuns were actually putting up their sign, it was a fun sight. There were old machines laying in the middle that they used to build the highway. I was impressed with the fuel injected engine on the bulldozer built in 1943. I wonder how hard it was to kick start! We then found a camp site by the lake and went out for a swim. I do not know what the temperature was, but it was not far from 60F.
July 7th: Watson Lake to Whitehorse – 440km
As much as the day before was filled with wildlife and scenic views, we did not see much on this day. Nate got new tires in Whitehorse and we kept going towards Takini Hot Springs 30km out of town. We set our tents at the camping there. I met Laurence from Quebec as she served me a delicious crepe for dinner. We made plans for the night as she was meeting with her friends from Quebec to play games. I then went for a run and we tried the hot pools. It was quite hot and we only stayed in for half an hour. I then went back to Whitehorse to meet with Laurence and her friends and had a great night with them.
July 8th: Whitehorse to Dawson City – 535km
I slept in in the morning and we left around lunch time. We saw a few landscape coming up. Olga turned 50 000km a few minutes away from the Dempster highway. This one goes up to Inuvik which is 750km up from that point. We thought about doing it, but decided to come back the next day and visit Tombstone park. We arrived in Dawson around 8pm and found a campground in the city. Then we went out and happened to hit the bar I heard about: the SourToe cocktail bar. My friend Marc-André was here a few years ago and told me about it. It is basically a dehydrated human toe that they put in your drink and you have to drink the shot. If you want to get your certificate and do it for real, the toe must touch your lips. We met Mairin sitting at the bar there. She came here last winter to work as a vet and saw temperatures below 60C. That is crazy cold! She surprisingly went to the same high school as Becky and knew her. She showed us the local cool places and we hang out for the night. At 3am, you come out of the bar and it is still bright out. I don’t know if I will get used to all that daylight. It is kind of cool though as you can make your own day. It doesn’t really matter how early you get up, you still can get all the daylight you need.
July 9th: Dawson City
I felt like I had to go for a run in the morning and I felt so much better after. I randomly sat by the river and started analysing the mud. It is actually pretty easy to find very small gold flakes all over it… I guess there must be a trick to it: we are in Klondike! Nate still had to install his new tires before hitting the dirt roads in Alaska. We did that together in the afternoon and he got really good at it. I met Mairin for some chicken wings after. She told me how she met her boyfriend from Denmark and we chatted about many interesting subjects. We then headed to the ship wrecks on the other side of the river with Nate. The three old ships were falling apart but really cool to crawl in. They had old steam boilers that look just the same as they do today. The hull was all wooden and therefore pretty awesome. We sat by a fire on the beach until midnight before heading back to town. The ferry there is free and on demand. As soon as there is someone waiting on one side, they come. We went back to the same bar before heading back to our respective tents.
July 10th: Dawson City – 200km
Getting up around 10am, we had to move our tents to another campsite as ours has been booked long ago. We then walked in town for some breakfast/lunch. I took some time to edit pictures and blog before we got ready to ride up to Tombstone Provincial Park. Mairin only had good words for it and we decided to go as it was only about 100km away. It turned out to be a beautiful park with scenic views. We hiked up a small mountain before coming back in town. We then rode up the dome road to have a panoramic view of the city. Our night ended with the local show at the casino and thanking Mairin for being such a good guide for us.