7/8/2014 – 374 mi – Into the Yukon
Crossing into the Yukon feels like a big milestone for riding this far north, and we’re crossing off new states and provinces quickly.
We made the mistake of having lunch at the first real stop after the border, and felt ripped off by our low quality $15 burgers. There was gas, a small motel, and the restaurant at this intersection, and nothing else for miles. Welcome to the Yukon I guess.
Found camp at a provincial park on a lake about 30 miles south of Whitehorse. Our neighbors are bicycle campers traveling with a 2 year old. One of the bicycles has a trailer for the kid, and both bikes have multiple panniers. I am amazed. Our trip is tame in comparison.
Check out the most excellent moto-camper water filtration action in the pic below. Despite water everywhere, we’re finding potable water scarcer than expected, and have been using our filter quite a bit.
7/9/2014 – 44 mi – Whitehorse, YK
The sensible thing would have been to plan ahead to have the tires we wanted in Whitehorse before we arrived. However, we hadn’t really decided what the plan was until it was too late. So, we spent the day in Whitehorse trying to source the more off-pavement oriented tires we wanted, since worn out street tires were not really going to be a good choice for where we want to go. After striking out twice, the local Honda moto dealer had 3 of the 4 tires we needed in stock. They had two TKC80s that are a perfect fitment for my bike, and a rear TKC80 that’s close enough for Kevin’s. However, the 17 in front tire on Kevin’s bike proved to be difficult. (This is what Kevin gets for having a giant, powerful bike with street size tires. Knobbies for 150hp bikes are kinda hard to find. We would have taken anything with knobs that fit). The guys at the dealer turned out to be really friendly and helpful moto enthusiasts, and pointed us towards possible solutions. We eventually sourced the tire in Edmonton, and had it shipped Greyhound to Whitehorse. (Could not import a tire from the US). The campground on the south side of town came highly recommended, and has excellent internet. We had a nice walk back into town up the sidewalk by the river for dinner.
Whitehorse is our planned rest stop. We sort of hurried up here, not really stopping to do or see much on the way up. Just like the historical purpose for this town, we’re stopping in Whitehorse to rest and get provisions before heading out into the bush, as they say. We also really, really lucked out. A friend of ours has and Aunt and Uncle who live in Whitehorse, who apparently don’t mind hosting a couple of dirty bikers. Kathy and Glenn lent us a spare room, and their bicycles with saddle bags to run errands around town. Whitehorse is small enough for that, has bike lanes and sidewalks everywhere, and the weather is warm and sunny every day. There’s a farmers market, and a local art gallery showing. The prices for everything are really expensive, but the tacos at the taco stand are delicious, so it sort of evens out. I could listen to Kathy and Glenn’s stories for days, and hang out with their friends, but it turns out they have a really special opportunity for us. Once they learned what we do for a living, they immediately thought of a friend that would be interested to talk to us. He lives in a cabin on a lake not too far away, that is remote and completely off the grid. His family compound is accessible only by boat or float plane. He also has a stream that he plans to use for a micro hydro system to provide electricity. This, naturally, is right in Kevin’s wheelhouse. Even though the hydro system is largely designed, and many parts purchased, Jim is still interested in talking with people experienced with hydropower. After a phone call from Glenn, the invitation was given, and we had plans to spend a day with our new acquaintance.
This pic probably sums up Whitehorse. We love it here.