The wind is blowing, and the cold starts to seep through your coat. A cold chill. Fingers reach for the knob and give it a small twist. A flood of heat washes over and bathes you in warmth sending a warm little shiver up your spine. A bit of a cold breeze, and the fingers turn the knob again to the right. That’s the stuff. I love my heated coat. I used it a lot today.
I was told that the section of the Alaska Highway between Fort Nelson and Watson Lake is the most scenic section. For the first hour, I was a bit skeptical, but then I was surrounded by mountains, frozen lakes, and rivers. It was gorgeous. It even made me over look the frequent snows. It was very similar to the ice fields parkway, but on a smaller scale. The mountains weren’t nearly as tall, and there was much, much less traffic and a lot more animals.
I saw more animals today than I did people, and I am not even gonna cheat and count the birds. I saw dozens of buffalo, about ten caribou, several stone sheep, a muskrat, a large black bear, two moose, and two playful dogs. Most of them were hanging out in the road or just off to the side. The caribou and sheep appeared to be licking the road. yuck. The buffalo were trimming the grass on the sides and leaving regular deposits for almost 100km. Those not eating were laying in the sun soaking up the warmth. A great plan since it was chilly (less than 40F).
Buffalo running with their babies:
For the first hour, I was staring at some horrible looking dark clouds, and just dreading riding into them. Fortunately, the road turned, and I missed the bulk of it. Being on the top of a mountain road on a motorcycle with lightning around doesn’t seem too safe.
Instead, I got a bit wet and found some snow on the other side of the pass. It was over an inch deep on the road. Yikes!
The rest of the times it snowed were just like the previous times on this trip. Clumps coming down and bouncing off me like little bits of mashed up styrofoam. The only ones that stuck and melted seemed to be the ones hitting my face shield. The little wiper blade on my thumb made quick work of the mess however, so no worries.
It was a bit strange to ride for so long and see so few people or even cars. This is a remote part of the continent. At my first gas stop I was surprised to see $1.75/liter. The owner was a bit cranky and seemed like I was disturbing him.
I paid for my gas, and rode the bike across the lot to some picnic benches. I wanted a snack. Once I sat down, his dog came running over. He was quite friendly and really wanted to play.
I think he wanted my food too, but I didn’t share. I just sat and petted him while I ate. Once I was done, he grabbed a 2x4 to play fetch with. He really wanted to eat it though, and even though he wanted me to throw it could hardly take a break from gnawing on it. I threw it for him a few times, and decided to go before he go over excited. He looked very sad when I started the bike.
My second gas stop of the day was my new record for most expensive gas I’ve ever purchased blowing my previous record set earlier in the day out of the water at $1.92/liter which is $7.27USD/gallon. Wow! The girl selling it was not impressed that I had a new record. I wonder if I’ll be able to break it before the trip is up. Part of me wants to, but then the sensible part says no way!
I’ve also learned something about my SV650. When I keep the RPM at 4,000 for cruising I can average about 60+MPG. I’ve been able to repeat this several times in the last couple days. With my current gearing, that means I’m cruising at an indicated 55mph which is about 85kph actual. Perfect speed for enjoying scenery and watching for animals. Other vehicles can easily pass too when the speed maximum is actually higher than that. For reference, I used to cruise around 5k-5.5k rpm and only was able to average 45mpg.
Red Moss. Weird:
Lake Muncho was my favorite part of the ride today. Beautiful blue-green water (frozen), a twisty road, and some mountains.
A little less frozen, and it would have been perfect. I really enjoyed riding around it, and admiring it from the overlook.
I hope you like the pics. They took over 100 minutes to upload 20MB of photos. Internet sucks in this part of the world. So unreliable. Had to restart many times.
A good day of riding even though it was very windy and chilly. The scenery was enjoyable as was the solitude. There is something nice (and eerie) about only seeing one car per hour.
Sing Post Forest:
Cool sky shot:
Good looking mountains. almost looks like a painting.
Day 11 Full Flickr Album (77 pics!)
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