Pictures: Day 9

Day 9 / Friday, June 20, 2008

This is Chris from San Jose on a BMW R1200GSA who's also heading up to Alaska and stayed at the same campground and since we were going the same direction, we decided to ride together for a bit.

Chris on the Alaska Highway. We were told by many people that the Cassiar is the more scenic of the two highways to get up here and we felt it true as well.

Now I know they say the Bimmer is the Cadillac of adventure touring bikes, but I didn't know you could cruise in such comfort, haha. He has a manual cruise control (throttle lock) and the bike being so stable allowed him to cruise like this.

Having lunch in Whitehorse at the Klondike Salmon & Rib, a very old establishment. We got a sense of the town from our street-view tables. The weather was just great. This trip and the bike were a milestone birthday present to Chris and this is actually his first street bike after having ridden dirt his whole life. He just got his street motorcycle license a few weeks back.

The road right out of Whitehorse heading to Dawson City is a long straight section for about 10 kms and they had these odometer calibration signs every kilometer, so that you could check to see how accurate your vehicle's odometer was. Too bad, cause ours were in miles.

Chris was only going to make it to Whitehorse today, but as he was heading up to Prudhoe Bay, just like me, and since we already established a good rapport, I asked him to come along to Dawson City to check out the ADVrider Dust2Dawson bike rally that was happening there. And the views were nice along the way to Dawson, just like this.

Riding some twisties.

The road was generally very remote, which I liked. Some rain threatened all day, and only poured down for a little bit. Note the isolated shower up ahead.

Filling up at Carmacks, about a third of the way to Dawson City. And across the Yukon, businesses that are Motorcycle Friendly have these signs posted. They give a discount to bikers.

Curious pooches at another gas stop. I love dogs.

The sun's rays breaking through rainy clouds always seem to add a divine feeling to the scenery. There were sections of gravel on this highway and the rain helped to keep the dust down.

Our campsite at Dawson City. This was the least beautiful camping site of the whole trip, but we were here for a rally and the town was packed, so we got one of the last available sites.

Mounting the new rear tire that I was carrying with me as my current tire was worn down. This was the first time I was doing a tire change on my own, out in the wild.

They say getting the rim off the old tire is the toughest part and I was through. But I struggled with mounting the new tire and a passing rider, Tom from Anchorage helped me out.

The new tire mounted on the left and my old bald tire on the right (same brand - Kenda K761).

This is Tom, who helped me out with the tire. He's an old pro from Anchorage and very well-known among the local riders. I made it out to the rally, which is held on the summer solstice to celebrate the midnight sun. If your bike is out here at midnight, you get a little commemorative sticker.

This is Mark, whom I'm meeting for the first time after exchanging emails for a few months and even knowing him before that through one of my rider friends in Chicago, Anna. I would be staying with Mark in Anchorage, after my Prudhoe Bay run.

The Kawasaki KLR650 and the Suzuki DR650, two bikes in different flavors. The KLR belongs to the guy standing there and he just did the Dalton Highway recently - in the rain. That's his Dad's GS on the right.

Downtown Dawson City on the summer solstice. It's a few minutes past midnight. Riders came in from all over, with quite a few local Alaskan riders showing up. This has turned into an annual rally and is growing by the year.

A nicer shot from Chris.

Clouds capturing some strange sunlight (the sun was setting behind me), which some mistook as a daytime aurora. The ladder in the middle of the street was used to take a group shot of all the bikes.

From downtown a few of us went to the lookout point of Midnight Dome to get a great view of the setting sun. It's about 1 am in the morning and the sun rises again in about two hours.

This view alone is worth coming up here during the Summer Solstice. That's the Yukon River flowing westward into Alaska.

Next: Day 10, Riding the Top of the World Highway into Fairbanks

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