Pictures: Day 8

Day 8 / Thursday, June 19, 2008

I was woken up by a herd of crows that were trying to get my oatmeal packets open. This was the view from my tent at about 5 am local time.

John Jacques Caux, one of the great frontiersmen of the day that opened up interior BC.

The starting of the Cassiar Highway heading north to Alaska. This was one of the destination roads of my trip as I read a lot about the scenic beauty of this highway and was looking forward to riding it on such a beautiful day. It's about 450 miles north to the Alaska Highway.

One thing I didn't expect was the numerous long, long straight sections of highway, where a throttle lock would've been handy to relieve my right wrist. I was waiting to cross the Rockies further up ahead for some good riding and views.

However, the road did wind a bit. The road conditions were great except for some slight gravel here and there.

At the turn-off heading to Stewart and Hyder. The Cassiar Highway is pretty remote and gas stations are few and far in-between. Previously, I read there used to be a gas stop here, but now, most riders make the 40 mile diversion to Stewart/Hyder to fill up instead of risking trying to make the next station.

Fueling up in Stewart isn't the only reason to come this way, as the scenery is great.

Electric posts reinforced with a stone base to maybe protect against avalanches in the winter.

A canyon near Stewart, BC. Most of the coast here is featured with mountains and cutting through canyons seemed to be quite common (did it about 3 times this trip to get to the coast).

Looking at Hyder, Alaska from Stewart. It starts where the pavement ends. It's a small town, which is technically in the state of Alaska but uses a BC area code and doesn’t even have customs or immigration services. I could've entered just for fun, but didn’t want to risk anything with my new visa status.

These signs are posted at the land borders between Canada and the US and I was converting in my head the whole time from thinking in miles to living in kilometers. I easily adapted to thinking only in metric and then surprisingly took about a day or so to starting thinking back in miles when I crossed into Alaska.

At the gas station in Stewart, another adventure rider heading up to Alaska on a Suzuki DR650 just like my bike pulled up. He also had the same brand of aluminum side panniers - Happy Trails. This was Ryan's bike and he was from Nevada making a month long trip.

Since there's only way to go to Alaska from here (north), we rode together for a while.

Entering the canyon on the way back.

auDRey and Bear Glacier - one of the big reasons of coming this way to Stewart/Hyder. Really cool to see an actual glacier for the first time. You can just imagine it was much bigger before. Locals have said they've seen it retreat quite a bit in their lifetimes.

And how aptly named - a few Black Bears were right around the corner from the glacier.

They do look cute, don't they? These guys were just hobbling about on the road and crossing it back and forth, not really bothered by me. I was about 200 ft away. When I had waited long enough, I revved my engine and they ran into the bushes.

Back on the Cassiar Highway, which was becoming more fun to ride as it got into the mountains.

This was the extent of how bad the road gets, which is not much at all. These spots were all well-marked with orange flags.

Waiting for about 30 minutes for the highway crew up ahead to finish up some explosive work. As you can see, the only people on this road were mainly RV campers, bikers and construction workers.

While the highway is mostly paved, there are still sections of gravel road, by it's not bad at all. And with that kind of scenery, who cares what the road is like.

It rained a little bit here and there and that made the gravel/mud roads a little slick in the hilly terrain, but it wasn't too much for my 80% street / 20% dirt tires, Kenda K761's.

Pavement up ahead.

My faithful companion - Sir Shadow. For the amount I love riding with friends and others, I truly cherish solo riding, as well.

Just fantastic. These kinds of views are why I came this way. Pristine, beautiful landscapes.

Let's see, I'll call this 'Mirror Lake'.

The sun was setting on this long day, but there were great views around every corner, which kept me going. This is about 8:40 pm local time.

The bugs came alive at dusk and you can see all the splotches radiating from the center of my shield. It's really not that bad regarding my vision. I can’t really see the bugs because they're so close to my eyes, unlike on a car windshield.

From Dease Lake north to the Alaska Highway, the Cassiar is gravel for a large part. It looks like they're working on paving the last part, so it should be all paved within a few years.

Stopping to lower the air pressure in my tires after not having a good enough feel for the tires with high/pavement pressure.

Entering the great northern province of Yukon, which connects British Columbia to Alaska.

My campsite at Rancheria RV on the Alaska Highway. Local time about 11:30 pm.

Another great campfire.

It was a bit chilly and I was trying to get some warmth to go in my tent...

Next: Day 9, Alaska Highway up to Dawson City

Picture Index

No comments: