Donnerstag, 28. August 2008

REUPDATED Monday 18th August - Tuesday 26 th August 2008 WET-WILD- and WONDERFUL CANADA

Monday 18th August 2008
We are leaving Fairbanks at rather rainy conditions, with skies slightly clearing up during the day . We keep hoping for some sunshine to ride up the dirtroad Top-of-the- World-Highway, taking us all the way to the Canadian border along a magnificient route.
Weather is on and off with some scattered rain, cloudy mostly and some sunshine spots, giving us an idea of the beauty surrounding us on the way.
Spotting Caribous and some black bear along the road we finally head into Chicken Alaska- allegedly Alaskas smallest "City" with 20 permanent residents - whatever it is , it's one of the funniest places up there and well worth a visit for its setup, but even more than that for its people. Our staying there in our tent included a demonstration of a homebuilt canonbomb sort of thing, tearing apart by an enourmous explosion some ladies panties one of the girls gave to the guys to blast it with their machine - crazy but nice fellows out there in the wild at minus 40 degrees Celsius in winter . While you camp outside in your tent, they tell you not to be worried about the grizzlies around - if one should show up at night , we shall just call them and they will help us with their 20 guns around !

Chicken Alaska

Tuesday, 19th August 2008
We cross the Canadian border along the Top-of-the-world-Highway, facing no real bordercheck but just some friendly questions about who we are and where we are going -


After crossing the Yukon on a ferry down we ride into Dawson City - situated at the confluence with the Klondyke it was from here, that the Klondyke-Goldrush in 1896 took off - leadin more than 100 000 desperate and hopefilled goldseekers on their way over the Chillkootpass to the Yukon - of whom only 35 000 ever got there at all - and very few of them ever got rich at all.
Dawson is carefully restored , maintained and partly left alone to keep the atmosphere of these days alive - pics are soon to follow- but getting access to a fast internetconnection in this part of Canada is not that easy - so please apologize for pics only getting on later.
We spent the night above a noisy and smoky bar in an 1898 built old and pretty rundown hotel in town - and we guess not one of the guys in that pub is not a drunkard - many of who are native people - a population in which alcoholism is a sad and konown problem these days.

Dawson Impresssions

Dawson Westminster "Hotel

Wednesday 20th August 2008
Next morning surprises us with splendid sunlight - how much more we would have enjoyed it, if we had known, that it would be the last real sunshine for quite a long time- not meaning we had too much of it in Alaska before.
We take a lot of scenic goldrushpictures before we head off again, following the road south , running in a dull and rainy riding day. Glimpses of the cloudcoverd mountains let us guess about the beauty of the nature surrounding us , while the day takes us into the not really spectacular, but scenic city of Whitehorse, where we spent the night in a friendly familyhostel.

Thursday 21st August 2008
Having met Kyla, a Canadian female Ducatista ( That is an expression for the Ducati-Riders ) at Denali park, she got us invited to visit her for a free Glacier flight and see her glasblowing business in Skagway, Alaska, 140 km down south from Whitehorse.
Despite the weather is not at all looking flyable, we make up our minds to take the extraway to Skagway - we get rewarded with loads of water from above , but yet we cross a spectacular landscape again, including the totally misty White Pass, where we cross back into Alaska again.
We finfd Kyla in her glassblowing shop as well as a hostelplace in the scenich, but somewhat very touristy setup of Skagway. Slowly but surely that rain is getting on our nerves ...:-)

Friday 22nd August 2008 Weather and rain permitting no flying at all we say Goodbye to Kyla as well as to Skagway and
we are back to paved road on the route to Watson Lake, with continoous rain on and off 10 times a day, thus creating very dangerous bridgecrossings. This due to the fact , that many of the riverbridges are covered with either wood or even worse steelroasts, that get extremely slippery when wet - so bikers take care on these bridges !!!
The rest of the day is rain routine till Watson lake, camping outdoors in our tent.

Saturday, 23 rd August 2008
The Signpostforest (originally started when the Alaskan Highway was built in 1942 and one of the workers put up a sign with his hometown on a tree) is the one and only attraction of Watson lake. It meanwhile contains thousands and thousands of signs brought up and put on there by numerous travellers from all over the world. We keep looking for a sign of our homeregion and add our little contribution there - and mainly take a picture with the shirts on, our Russian friends from Vladivostok Prodrochki Bikers gave to us ( pics to follow as soon as possible ).
We then leave the Alaskan Highway heading on to the lesser driven Cassiar Highway 37 - more scenic and partially a dirtroad again .
The rain on the dirtpart of Cassiar Highway together with the mud covers us up within minutes , so taht we cannot see a thing anymore through our visors ! Yet the driving itself is nothing difficult compared to the Russian "Highways" - we have to use all our drinking water to at least see a little bit again !

Just mud :-)

While Hombre is already riding ahead again, I stop along the road to sort out my raingear and quickly get off my bike .
Guess who is standing 5 meters next to me on the road , when I turn round again ?
Our first Timberwolf - and it is nothing about charging or threatening at all - it's more a sensation of mutual curiousity about who is who .
While I get back on the bike again he walks around , behind and in front of me , and it is only when a truck passes by, that he escapes after a couple of minutes . Wonder what would have happened if that truck had not come ...

Sunday 24th August 2008

With more rain but back to a paved road we are driving our way along back to Alaska into a very special little town named Hyder, passing the Bearglacier and dozens of waterfalls cascading down hundresd of meters, being fed by the magnicient but mostly invisible glaciers throwning above in the cloudy skies. Hombre is spotting another wolf and bears on the road, before we get to a teriific fishcreek, where we are happy to watch 2 younger grizzlybears strwling along the little river. While they are up to collecting berries and trying to catch salmons from the creek, a baldheaded eagle is landing next to them - what an amazing site for wildlife - it even makes us forget the rain ;-)

Next we are riding up a fairytale like glacier road leading us to a mindblowing glacier scenery - not without encountering a major Grizzly along the river and crossing the street right behind Babas bike - moments to be remebered for a lifetime - just as much as the breathtaking landscape - despite you cannot take any good pictures of it due to the rain, the atmosphere is unique and wonderful - wet but happy we find a place to spend the night in Jack's bed and brweakfast, one of the really nice guys living in Hyder. With a great days impressions we fall asleep - wet after another rainy day - but happy for it !

Bear Glacier on the way to Hyder

Monday, 25th August 2008

Canadian rain is on and off all day long while we make our way back to Canada from little Hyder town through Stewart, spotting three more Blackbears alongside the wet but wonderful winding road. One of them sits only 5 meters away from the bikes, while we watch him with the engine running and first "escape"gear set to go in rocket mode. As fascinating these wild animals are - we are well aware of them being wild, untamed and - dangerous.
So we pay our respect to nature and take off after a couple of minutes "face-to-face" and almost completely forget about the rain :-) !
On to Meziadin Junction we pass the historic totempals near Kitwanga - regarded to be the oldest original totempals in Northamerica - we find they would have deserved a greater place to be shown - but yet enjoy the atmosphere that they express by their majestic simplicity.
Highway 16 takes us into Houston (Canada!, not Texas) where we spent the rainy night in our cosy tent.

Tuesday 26th August 2008

We head on ignoring the ongoing cold and rainy conditions , nothing much spectacular on the way but falling temperatures and us dreaming to rather ride a submarine but a bike.
Behind all the raincloud we believe to see a terrific mountain scenery to come closer, while we approach Jasper National Park through Prince George and some other smaller places along the way .
We think about performing anti-raindances and keep the hope for some sun on Wednesday !

Updates end !

Hombre and BABA (who dances with wolves :-) )