Dwarfed by the scale
The scale of the landscape and the distances here makes a person on a bike feel very small. I look out for miles thinking that there will be places the no one has ever set foot.The isolation continues with 600 kilometres between supply points. This means 6 days food on the trailer.
Leaving Whitehorse had some emotional twinges parting ways with Julian. We had covered a lot of ground, both on the bike and in conversation. The first two days were warm and sunny, the scenery took me unexpectedly, I had no preconceptions for this section. I enjoyed the changing vista and the lakes, especially the meandering Yukon River to its source at Marsh Lake. Always mountains framing the backdrop. Joy on the downhills with no buckled back wheel to send the trailer into harmonic wobbles.
On Marsh Lake there was a small roadside sign "Inn on the Lake". "Wonder if they have food?" was the immediate thought (it is a constant thought with the calorie furnace in full burn). The owner was just racing out but was sure that Patrick and Joel could find some leftovers for a skinny cyclist. Joel delivered a triple decker club sandwich, fresh fruit, yoghurt and coffee. I basked in sunshine on the sprawling log deck over looking Marsh Lake. A random act of generosity - feeling good. The day ended at Squanga Lake and a campsite with a view.
The next day climbed into the mountains, dropping down over the Yukon/BC border then back up. Johnson's corner provided a second breakfast after just 20km of riding. The small settlement of Teislin provided a few basic supplies and a huge turkey sandwich. About 90 km out I was stopped by an RV, two brothers and their sister. The brothers had abandoned their bike trip after mechanical problems and called for their sister to pick them up. They were Warm Showers hosts (an international cycling organisation offering free bed for fellow cyclists). Another act of random generosity left me with a can of beer and a fruit bar for camp.
The rain started. I set up a wet bush camp, drank my can of beer and crawled into the sleeping bag. Morning was icy, hands numb packing up soaking tent. Few snack bars for breakfast. Four thermal layers under the new parka were struggling, downhill wind dropping core temperature. Not enough fuel in the snack bars. Pre-hyperthermia brain fade. Needed to focus, warm up and eat. Just had enough discipline to stop, wrap my emergency blanket around my head like a tent, get the cooker going inside, throwing everything from nuts, sultanas, quinoa and granola into the billy. The reflective emergency blanket restored body heat and the mess in the billy fuelled the system. Back on the road feeling substantially better.
Two more wets days. Luckily a chance for dry out at the Continental Divide Lodge. Breakfast payment was refunded by Janet and her partner after hearing of my charity. Next day arrived at the Junction of the Alaska Highway and the Cassiar Highway (37) heading south. After noticing little wildlife in the rain saw 3 black bears close to the side of the road.
Highway 37 started badly, an off day on the bike and myriads of steep short climbs sucking energy I Didn't have. Found a scenic creek side to cook up food on the run, sun and food improved the feel. Then the Cassiar opened up some magic scenery heading through a mountain pass. Lake Good Hope had a fuel station and two hotdogs which were wolfed down. Speaking of Wolves, a very confused fox did multiple circles on a hill as I headed up. Obviously his first cyclist. Rode on to Jade City, a rustic jade mine and a free campsite beside a rusted out bulldozer. 9 hours on the bike and the tent was warm and dry.
The scenery yesterday was stunning. Steep alpine forest. Crashing clear water alpine streams, and a new Lake at every turn. Great little creek side lunch spot in the sun. Another 8 hour day into Dease Lake, B&B with WIFI, and after 23 days and 2000 km another rest day. Yeah!
My average speed is 25% below plan (16kph) To make up time my intention is to touch the Pacific at Stewart (rather than Prince Rupert which will take 2 days to ride in and out).
Generosity from Patrick and Joel at Inn on the Lake
Second breakfast with a view at Johnsons Crossing
Fresh snow on the mountains towards the Continetal Divide
Alaska Highway heading towards Highway 37 Junction
Into BC down Cassiar Highway
French Creek lunch spot
Jade City gift shop
Heading up and out of Jade City
Water stop - fortunately Dry Creek was't
Cassiar Views yesterday morning
Lunch in the sun yesterday beside beautiful creek below