Today is the day we are getting on our bicycles again. In the morning we say goodbye to Jeanette before she has to go to work. We enjoy coffee and tea in the sun on the front porch. We both take a shower for we never know when the next shower will be when we are on the road. We eat some breakfast before we pack our last things on our bikes and leave. We go in town to get some last groceries at the supermarket. Now we are finally set to go!
When we cycle out of town we decide take a small detour to see Miles Canyon. It has great views and because it has become quite late already we decide to eat lunch here.
We have a short day in mind. Only about 65km total to cycle today. We have some steep uphill cycling coming from Miles Canyon up to the Alaska Highway, but once we are there the road is easy. We make great distances in a short while. We take a rest at a resting area. Here meet a man who is originally from Whitehorse. He gives us some water refills and he tells us that his daughter cycled from Whitehorse to Edmonton last summer. Arjan asks him how it was and how the road is all the way down. He says that the road shoulders should be very good going all the way down to Edmonton. He tells us that there is a Country festival in the small village called Teslin on the 23rd of June. We don’t know if we go to the festival because we will be there a few days earlier. Still it is always nice to hear about these things from the local people here.
Tonight we are staying at Marsh Lake Campground for the night. It is a very busy campground. It must be very popular because this is the first campground that we see with this much people. It looks great and we can put our tent almost on the beach of the lake. We enjoy a beer that we brought from our stay in Whitehorse and relax at the lake for a while. After dinner we enjoy some reading. The weather is nice and warm even until late in the evening.
Wednesday 20 June
We wake up and pack our things quite quickly. We eat some breakfast and we are good to go. We can still wear shorts and t-shirts for the weather is still very good!
When we are on our way for not too long we see a Bold Eagle? sitting on a branch very close to the road. So we stop to take some nice photos.
The kilometres are going quite fast again. We have to watch out to not being sun burned. So we keep putting on sunscreen. After a while we get to Jakes Corner. There is a gas station with a restaurant here so that is a good opportunity to refill our water bottles. We also order something to drink. Again we see a Bold Eagle flying in the air. What a nice sight is that!
We arrive early at the Squanga Lake campground so we have our lunch here. There is a little squirrel that is very curious and is not afraid at all. He runs around our table and under it trying to catch anything that falls off that he might be able to eat.
The weather is not as good as we had hoped. It looks like it is going to rain soon. It looks almost as if it is going to rain. That’s too bad because otherwise we wanted to take a dive in the lake and sit there in the sun for awhile.
At the campground we meet a guy that arrived on his motorcycle. He is right next to us at the campground. He tells us that his parents are both Dutch and that they used to live in Gelderland. He himself has traveled to Peru, Chile, Argentina and lots of other places in South America. He gives us two cold beers that he just bought before he came to the campground.
Later when we want to start cooking and put up our tent. We see that there is a couple from Switzerland that just arrived. They drive with their own 4×4 Mercedes bus rebuild into a camper. They shipped it to Canada and will be touring trough Canada for a year. They are retired so they can take their time. They also give us two cold beers. What a day!?
The campground is very nice but there are a lot of mosquitos that are very annoying. We already have put on long trousers and jackets. But now they keep swarming around at our heads and ears. They get worse and worse when it gets later in the evening. We decide to eat our dinner inside the tent. This is the first time this trip that it is so bad that we have to eat inside.
We hear some noise at the table and we see that the squirrel gets a hand on our garbage bag as we are sitting in the tent. He is nibbling off some peanut butter from a plastic paper. Kim goes running after him and in the end she is able to get the plastic paper back. Okay, we should watch our food and garbage because this little funny creature will steel it away!
When we are done with our dinner we put the food and all the stuff that smells in de special food lockers that are again provided here at the campground. Good against bears but also good against squirrels too!
Thursday 21 June
Beginning of the day there are a lot of mosquitos again so we pack our things and eat a quick breakfast and we go. The weather is still dry but cloudy. It is warm enough to keep on cycling in shorts.
At Johnson’s Crossing there is a gas station with a restaurant and a very small gift shop.We go get something to drink here and one of their homemade cookies to go with it! We take our time here to enjoy our cookies and drinks. We take a look around in the small store. To our surprise we find the bannock mix that we tasted from the lady in Haines Junction. It is called “Grandma Treesaw’s Yukon Bannock Mix”.
When we are ready to leave we see that it just started raining. Well then let’s put on our raincoats again… Although it’s raining it still is quite warm so that makes it not too bad.
Eventually the weather clears and we get to see the sun again!
There is a sign at the side of the road that says “Extreme dusty conditions”…..well indeed dusty it is!!! Sometimes when traffic passes us by we completely vanish in dust. We have put on our sunglasses and bandanas to have some protection for our face and eyes. We sometimes even have to get off the road to avoid being hit by other traffic that might not be able to see us cycling in this dust. It feels as if we have gone into 6km long gravel sandstorm. Eventually the road gets better and we can just cycle without problems again. As if nothing ever happened. 😉
For a long time we cycle along the Teslin Lake. It looks beautiful!
After a good day of riding we arrive at the village called Teslin. Just when we enter Teslin there is “The Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre” but again we are a few minutes to late. It closes at 17.00 and it is already past that time. Well maybe tomorrow… After that there’s a viewing point were we take a look at. It has a nice view over the Teslin Lake.
We only have to cycle 4 more kilometres before we will be at the “Yukon Motel and RV park” that we want to stay at. It is expensive for what we are used to, but we will be able to take a shower here.
RV parks we now are never the most beautiful places to camp at, but when you are in a village there are never many other options.
We enjoy some beers we still have and make some dinner. The weather is nice and even better we are not bothered by mosquitos!
Friday 22 June
We first wanted to stay in Teslin for the day but because the RV Park is quite expensive we decide that we do what we need to do here and just go. Kim really wants to see the “The Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre” but Arjan does not feel like it. He will clear out the tent and do some groceries while Kim goes to the centre that is 4km back. We meet again somewhere later.
The Heritage Centre is great. It has a big collection of clothes, shoes, carved masks and other arts and crafts used by the Teslin Tlingit. The display a movie about their celebrations were they wear the original clothing and masks and they perform their dances in. The clothes are very important because it shows where they come from and at what clan they belong. Outside the centre there is a boat house where you can take a look at. Inside there are a few boats displayed. One in particular is a original carved out boat that is made out of one giant tree. In the boathouse is displayed how it is done.
Around The Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre you have many beautiful views on the Teslin Lake for it is built on a great spot. It is really worth to go see this place.
Kim has a lot of nice photos to show to Arjan.
We meet each other again and we cycle back to the RV Park. There is a gift shop with a small gallery at the back. It shows all kinds of wild animals in there natural environments. The animals aren’t alive anymore off coarse.
After this we decide to leave. Leaving Teslin means we have to go over a long metal bridge that goes over the Teslin Lake. At the viewing point we have a nice view over the bridge and Teslin. We eat our lunch that Arjan bought at the local grocery store.
It is already late so we don’t cycle for too long today. We find a nice fishing spot where we are also allowed to camp and it is for free. The spot is called “Morley River”. Arjan takes a plunge in the river. The water is very cold!!
In the evening when we are having dinner there is also a couple with a camper that stays here and another cyclist that has just arrived. The couple and the cyclist are all from the lower 48. The bicyclist is originally from Toronto, he tells us. He has cycled from Tuktoyaktuk what is the most northern point of the Demster Highway (also the most northern road of Canada). He wants to cycle to the most southern point of Canada. He is cycling for two and a half months and he does it for the Alzheimer’s foundation.
The mosquitos are driving us crazy again. As soon as we are finished eating Arjan puts our food and smelly things in the tree. We dive into the tent to avoid being eaten alive by these little buggers.
Saturday 23 June
Arjan starts the day filtering water for us we clear out our tent and eat some breakfast. Off coarse we are bothered by the mosquitos again, but as soon as we put on some insect repellent we are quite okay. The weather today is still very nice and for most of the day we got the wind at our backs. We do have to climb a lot but still we are going fast. Because we don’t find a good spot for lunch we put our bicycles on the side of the road and go sit a little further down to be away from traffic.
We enjoy lunch and just when we are ready to leave a man and his wife pull over with their campervan and he starts yelling at us. Saying something about that he thought our laid down bicycles were motorbikes that have had an accident and that we should be more visible!! He thought something had happened to the bikers and therefore he was probably angry that we were “just” cyclist having lunch! All the more embarrassing for Kim was that she had her pants down her ankles and was taking a pee while the man was shouting at us….? therefore all that was left for Arjan to do was to give him the finger!??
When we go on our bicycles again we are still a bit confused about what had just happened. If the man would not have shouted at us we probably would have had more compassion to what he was saying and it would have had much more result for him. Well lets shake it off and think happy thoughts again.?
The cycling still goes pretty fast. We want to try to make it to Rancheria Falls. There should be a fishing spot again like we had last night and we probably can camp here again. To our surprise we pass by a Gas station with a motel, a restaurant and RV Park. That is nice because we can get something to eat and refill our water bottles. The food is good and not too expensive. We enjoy the sun on the terrace for a while.
We now only have to cycle 4km to Rancheria Falls.
The place looks great and it turns out to be the best camping spot we have had since we started our cycling trip. Wow, we really enjoy the waterfalls here and we can just pitch our tent very close to one of them.
Sometimes people come and go to see the waterfalls and we have a nice chat with them.
We sit en enjoy a nice and warm evening here. Just relaxing, reading and writing on the blog for a bit.
Sunday 24 June
We start our day early for a change for we want to cycle all the way to Watson Lake. It will be stretch of 130km. A minor glitch is that Kim is not feeling to well today because she woke op with a urinal infection. So we decide that we will see how today goes and act on that.
The cycling seems to be pretty easy. After almost 20km we arrive at the Rancheria lodge. We get some tea ☕️ here. There are a lot of people eating and drinking here because of a touring bus that just stopped here. It seems to be a special tour for elderly people. They all wear a name tag. It looks a bit silly from an outsiders perspective, but it also looks like these people are having fun. We enjoy our tea while we watch the spectacle.
Kim seems to feel a little better so we head out on the road again.
Either we are very lucky today or it’s just because we’re passing through “Bear Valley” but we see 5 bears today just a few kilometres away from each other.
Fist we see a Black Bear mother and her cup and later three other bears just walking to the other side of the road or just eating along side of it. They all don’t seem to care that we are there. One Black Bear heard us talking and ran straight into the bushes! We probably scared him away with our talking. It’s fun to see some wildlife again and these bears are beautiful creatures! We also see a big Eagle today it looks like a Golden Eagle but we are not really sure. We know they too have their habitat here.
It is lunchtime and we see a rest area that is only 9km away. We decide to go there and make tea and hot chocolate. Kim is still not feeling to good but after some lunch it seems to be a bit better again. After 10km it doesn’t feel to good anymore for her and we decide to go to the Big Creek Campground. It is a state campground again and it has a water pump, bear proof lockers, toilets, garbage cans and even wood that people can take to build a campfire with. When we arrive it is only 14.30 and we already cycled 70km. On the campground we find a nice spot right next to the creek.
We built a campfire and make tea again. Arjan takes a dip in the creek and we enjoy some relaxing and reading.
There’s a man arrived at the campground who is with his motorcycle and comes to make a chat with us. His name is Angle an he is from Toronto. He is interested in what we are doing. He used to cycle a lot too but now he prefers his motorcycle because it is easier. He just retired and he is riding for two months. His wife doesn’t like motorbikes so that is why she isn’t going with him on his his trip he tells us. He is going to Deadhorse, Alaska. The place that we started our trip almost 5 weeks ago on our bicycles. He has a Kawasaki tour motorcycle, that should be an okay bike for the Dalton Highway we tell him. We even saw some Harley riders there!
Tomorrow it will only be about 65km to Watson Lake. If we are able to leave early in the morning again we will be able to arrive early in Watson Lake too. Hopefully Kim will feel better and otherwise we might be able to get some medicine for her there.
Monday 25 June
It started raining early in the morning. No early start for us! We want to wait awhile to see if it will stop raining. But that seems not to be the case so eventually we clear out the tent.
On the campground they have a dry spot. That’s a place with a roof and two picknick tables. We take all our stuff there so that we don’t have to stand in the rain to pack up our bikes. We meet Mario there. We ask him if he likes some tea or hot chocolate. He likes a hot chocolate. We sit down together to have a nice chat. He is also with his tent and his motorcycle. He tells us he has driven from Port Albanie (That’s his hometown at Vancouver Island) to Tuktoyaktuk. He is 83 years and still riding. That is incredible!
He has also been riding with his motorcycle to South America with his wife on their honeymoon when they just married 45 years ago. He gives us some advice, but he also says that his information is probably not the best for it is of course 45 years old. So we have to double check on some things. But still it is very nice to hear his stories. He gives us his home address so that if we will be in his neighbourhood we can come and camp in his garden if we like. He gives us two apples and for him it is time to go.
We also pack up our last things and start cycling in the rain.
Today it keeps on raining all day long. It doesn’t seem to stop. There’s a guy on a Vespa ? passing us by on the road. When we stop at Nugget City lodge and motel we see him there again. He is just leaving and we talk to him for a while. He just had two weeks off from work and wanted to do something else he tells us. That is why he is driving his Vespa. He is driving from 6.30 till 16.00 every day he tells us. He went all the way up on the Dempster Highway. He didn’t go all the way up to Tuktoyaktuk otherwise he would not be back in time to go to work again. He lives all the way to the south of British Columbia and this country is not like Holland at all! You have to make a lot of kilometres a day to get somewhere!
We go inside where it is nice and warm. Outside it is still raining so there are a lot of men with motorbikes who are also stopping here to get something to eat and warm up again. The guy working here does not seem to have his best day. But hey, at least it is dry and warm here! We finish up and take a quick look in the gift shop. We fill up our water bottles and go on the road again for the last stretch. It is only about 10km. That’s not to bad!
When we eventually arrive at the government campground just before Watson Lake we decide a sign there that it is still 2,5km to get to the actual campground. We already have cycled 2,7km from the main road to this sign at the beginning from the campground. This is more than 10km we have to cycle extra going back and forth to Watson Lake. That is a little to much so we decide to cycle into town and hope we can camp on an RV Park.
At Watson Lake we ask at Downtown RV parks if we can camp with our tent here. The man is not to nice to us, he first says that there are no places for tents. Then he changes his mind and says that we can stay there but have to pay the full rate of a RV. Okay, thanks a lot but no thanks!
Kim also starts to feel not to good again because of the infection. It is still raining and we are cold. We go to the supermarket and Arjan sees Denise and Adam going in. We meet them again in the supermarket and we ask them where they have been camping. They have been camping at the library (illegal) for one night and another night they could stay with another cyclist at his hotel room. Also they got some money from a lady and therefore they decided to go in a hotel for this night. We will probably not see each other for a while for they are going on the Cassier Highway and we are staying on the Alaska Highway. So we say goodbye. Until we will meet again!
We got our groceries and are going to the visitor centre. See if they know any other options. Hellas, they only know the government campground. There is nowhere where we can stay and camp in our tent. The lady even phones the other RV Park for us but they cannot help us either. We ask if there is medical help here and the lady of the visitor centre tells us that there is a hospital and a clinic at the side of it. The clinic will be open at 9.30 tomorrow morning. That’s good news. Eventually we decide to go in a hotel for one night. Here we can be warm and dry.
If Kim was feeling better we would probably have made a different decision. For now this feels like the best option. We can make lots of tea, take a shower dry our clothes and other stuff and have everything we need!