Starting Out on the Alaska Highway

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I hope everyone had a great July 4th with friends and family. Although there were no fireworks here, my day was exciting, nonetheless.

I started my morning at mile 1 of the famous Alaska Highway at the town of Dawson Creek with a raw gusty wind blowing sideways drizzle. The first few hundred kilometers took me through oil field country, so about once every ten seconds a massive semi would roar past in the opposite direction, buffeting the bike with a blast of muddy mist. Eventually, the rain let up and although the trucks were still ubiquitous, at least it was dry.

By this time I needed fuel, so I decided to stop at a town that, according to my top-notch research, had a gas station. In this neck of the woods, the towns are getting sparser and sparser and fuel stop planning is becoming more and more critical. When I arrived, I found an abandoned complex resembling a horror movie set.

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My trip computer predicted I would run out of fuel before the next town, but all I could do was cross my fingers and curse myself for not keeping the jerry can full in an attempt to save weight. I motored into Fort Nelson, BC with the indicator on E and the “km to Empty” display reading “——-.”

The jerry can is now full.

I sat next to a celebrity at lunch, which I wouldn’t have realized had not the guy on the other side of him said, “Are you Ken from ‘Yukon Gold?’”

“Yukon Gold” is apparently a reality show about prospectors in the Yukon.

Ken said he was indeed and the other guy, who must be Ken’s #1 fan, started shouting throughout the restaurant and pointing.

“Holy cow! It’s Ken from ‘Yukon Gold!’ This guy’s on television! Hey everybody! This guy’s on television! What are you doing in our little town? Unreal! Everyone! It’s Ken!”

At this point, this Ken guy was in such a hurry to get out of there that he accidentally paid my bill, which was more than his, and boogied out the front door. I figure a big shot TV star with bags full of gold can afford it.

The rest of the ride along the Alaskan Highway was breathtaking with long sweeping turns through northern Rocky Mountain passes and along cascading rivers only meters from the banks.

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At my next fuel stop, I met a busload of Amish tourists in the parking lot of. I didn’t know they took bus tours, but then why shouldn’t they? They seemed to be having a great time and I suppose it’s like any other group of retirees on a bus tour, except everyone has matching suspenders and beards. Daniel from Kentucky let me use his binoculars to look at a moose and her calf on the other side of the lake. Most of the Amish tourists had binoculars, but I saw no cameras. Apparently the line between acceptable and unacceptable technology falls somewhere between the two? A few miles later into the ride, I had to come to a complete stop for a herd of bison crossing the road and slowed down for a black bear.
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Now, at the end of an 850 km day, I’ve set up camp in Coal River, British Columbia and am working on this post. If all goes well, I should be in Whitehorse, Yukon by tomorrow afternoon.
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7 thoughts on “Starting Out on the Alaska Highway

  1. Great stuff. Keep it coming! I’m living vicariously through you as I’ve always wanted to go on an adventure like this. Kudos to you for having the guts to do it!

    Like

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