I went to the beach today! It was nice and sandy with just a couple rocks.
Oh wait, those aren’t white rocks. That’s snow.
The water looks a bit cold to me, I guess I’ll swim somewhere else. lol.
The word of the day is cold. My second choice would be wind. Today was the coldest riding day so far. I stopped at a closed campground (almost all were closed) and put on my thermals. So just imagine, you are cold, so you stop to put more layers on. This entails taking off your gloves, but not your helmet. Then taking off your riding pants, boots, and regular pants just to put on another layer. It was cold. The Alaska Highway is pretty empty, so the only witnesses were the trees. I have been wearing my thermal top since I left MN, but I hadn’t felt the need for the lower half until today. Brrr.
My heated coat and grips were doing a good job keeping me warm, but my toes started to suffer by lunch. I turned the coat all the way up to the rotisserie setting to try and convince my brain that I wasn’t cold and to send some more blood south. I could feel the burns starting, so I turned the coat back down to a more sensible setting – toasty.
I don’t think the temps were the coldest yet, but close. It was 39-40F most of the day. The real kicker was the strong, blustery wind. It was coming straight off the mountains and across the frozen lakes. Taking turns between a side wind and a head wind. It wore me out in a couple hours. My body was working on auto pilot to keep the bike straight, but my neck started to suffer by lunch time. It felt like the wind was trying to pull my head off.
I was so sick of the wind by then. I just wanted to get out of it. There wasn’t anything around – just the road, trees, and snow. At one of the rest stops I found an empty firewood bin, so I sat inside of it and ate my lunch.
It worked great to get me out of the wind. Just after I sat down, the sun came out which felt great. I sat there for a while after I ate just enjoying the calmness while I watched the trees dance and flail around in the wind above.
Then the snow started again, so it was time to go.
When I wasn’t dancing with the wind, I was dodging potholes and other road hazards.
It made things interesting as large parts of the road were way too straight with nothing to look at but trees.
I did have several great mountain vistas and many frozen lakes and streams to enjoy as well.
One of the more exciting moments was crossing the longest metal deck bridge I’ve ever seen. I slowed down to 50kph (~30mph) and pressed into the pegs while loosening up on the arms. Loose is good, let it wander. Below was a frozen lake, and the cross wind was strong.
About midway a large truck went by and his wake was fun to deal with as well. It was only snowing, so I was lucky. If it was raining, it would have been more interesting. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I wasn’t vertical until I saw the video tonight.
The Alaska highway will cure you of your fear of metal deck bridges if you have one (I don’t). I think I’ve crossed a dozen so far on this trip.
The low point of my day was when a bird (a robin I think) flew into my left mirror. I am pretty sure he died, but I couldn’t see because he bent my mirror out of position. I pulled over and fixed it; poor little guy. I had several close calls prior to that, but this one didn’t make it.
Typical gas station:
Another hardy motorcyclist:
Lots of names and messages in rocks west of Watson Lake for over 50 miles. I didn’t see my name, so this will have to do:
Today was at least 80km shorter than yesterday, but felt longer. I was very tired by the time I rolled into Whitehorse.
I found a place to stay downtown with a view of the mountains.
When I got to my room, I was happy to see the bathtub was large. I started a hot bath and a big cup of hot tea. I soaked and sipped for almost an hour. It was great; I should start ending each day this way. The wind is still going strong though; I can hear it shaking the building as I type.
I am excited to cross back into the US tomorrow. Alaska here I come!!
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