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1000 Americans: Ariel & Claudia, Argentina

August 30, 2008 by , 1,513 views  
Filed under 1000 Americans, Friendly people

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My Spanish is still limited, but fortunately it is a bit better than Claudia’s and Ariel’s English. “No speakin inglis”, was about it and I am not joking here 😉

With this they had managed not only to travel from Southern Argentina to the Arctic Circle, but they were the happiest people we met so far. They were having so much fun, showed us videos and photos told us about all the marmots they saw (which upon closer inspection turned out to be ground squirrels) and how they passed the borders (with others acting as impromptu translators) and how they managed to stay in campsites for many days while only paying one: “No speaking English”!

See their blog and some photos here (Spanish only :)

1000 Americans: Richard and Judy, Red Eagle Lodge

August 29, 2008 by , 540 views  
Filed under 1000 Americans

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“yes, I was the one guy that honked his horn and waved my hand through the roof yesterday night!”

Richard & Judy are the owners of soon to be opened Red Eagle Lodge in ChistoChina, on the Tok Cut Off Highway. It is a great place, with solar-power heated showers and wonderfully decorated cabins. Check it out here.

1000 Americans: Louise from the Gakona Junction Cappucino bar

August 29, 2008 by , 510 views  
Filed under 1000 Americans

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‘Now you be careful and watch out for that bear! He’s is not afraid of no humans, look at these pictures!”

1000 Americans: Bikergrrl Heather

August 29, 2008 by , 932 views  
Filed under 1000 Americans, Friendly people

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Heather was on her way North, coming from Vermont. Though I only know one person in Vermont (hyperactive Joe from the Riverside Wedding, overall Great Guy) she knew him as well, guess it’s a small world after all…

She was carrying a helmet cam and almost fell over laughing when she spoke of the people she filmed and photographed on the way. Looking forward to seeing them on YouTube Heather!

Day 44- 47: 24-27 August, a warm shower in WhiteHorse

August 28, 2008 by , 2,474 views  
Filed under Canada, North America, Trip reports

We had spend another night in Champagne, hung over from all the food! We headed out on the old Alaska Highway and took a look in the old Indian Village nearby. It is more like a museum, with some examples of how the people lived before the days of the Highway and the ‘white men’. Though it was closed for the season, we wandered around, through the different huts. It had a very high ‘Blair-witch-project’ -level and Ivana wanted to leave quickly :)

It had started raining again and though it stopped for a while, it came down with full force when we were about 30km away from Whitehorse. I was freezing, but Ivana -who did not have any rainpants- was even worse. We went to the first open store and asked if we could make a call. 10 minutes later, Tracy picked us up and took us to her house..

Tracy is one of the 6000+ people on the Warm Showers list. These are biketravellers from all over the world, opening their house for other cyclists. This can mean anything from a place to pitch our tent to a spare bed. No money is exchanged, as in the end most hosts will get some Warm Shower elsewhere. As the host are cyclists, they know what other cyclist need: mostly a warm shower (hence the name), a place to wash and dry laundry but also a lot of food :)

If you want to meet some nice people on a bike, usually filled with stories, sign up yourself and host us or other biketravellers.. Read more

1000 Americans: Scott Snider, Anarchy Farms

August 28, 2008 by , 1,895 views  
Filed under 1000 Americans, Friendly people, Go green

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We met Scott at the Potlatch in Champagne (see previous post here). He has a big greenhouse and grows some organic food as well; the place is called the Anarchy Farm and he is as relaxed as the name implies.

Scott was great, even when he found us in the middle of the night sleeping in his greenhouse :)

A few weeks later, he sent us the following wonderful poem. If the Greenhouse business doesn’t work, a new career is waiting. Thanks Scott, people like you make our trip so special!

————————————-

Hola Ivana and Harry K.

Off you went into our boreal summer
a bit wet you seemed
but shedding water like loons in the rain

Perhaps its your slow drift south
that drags down the cold from the north
and brings the geese to the fields

Run away, run away
urges our saner side
fly with the birds, south

But egos prevail
and we hunker in
as autumn changes colours

Stockholm syndrome with the weather
rationalized reasons to stay
as water freezes, falls from the air

And we remain, human outposts
in hostile realms, inuit, dene, and
pale intruders too enrapt to go

Too long in gaia’s breast
to survive a concrete dream
in steel wrapped hives

So blessings to haired and furred and feathered friends
on perilous journies to the sun
and welcomes waiting come spring

Stay we will amidst the ‘standing people’
and mourn the crack of frozen sap
at forty plus below

Spin those wheels, shed your sweat
on downhill coasts, and
fear those diesel dooms

So chase summer down the road you two
to flatlands flee, boreal lands depart
strange winds in yankee lands await . . .

Day 43: 23 August: Whitemen & Indians: frying fish at the illegal potlatch

August 24, 2008 by , 1,894 views  
Filed under Canada, Trip reports, Yukon

Hi all, apologies for not posting before, we were too busy cycling, getting fed by friendly Canadians, watching bears and visiting doctors. I wil write about all of that soon, but first as promised, our day in Champagne:

We woke up to a nice day, which means: no rain :) Before heading out towards the seductions of Whitehorse, we decided to cycle around in Champagne, which appeared to be a ghost town. We spotted some good campsites near the community hall, wondering why our ‘hosts’ had not pointed these out. Just when we were turning around to start our trip towards Whitehorse, noticed some smoke coming out of a building. We checked it out and found a few ladies cooking in a large kitchen.

‘Do you want some breakfast?’ One asked.

Letmethink-yes!

‘Sit down, you can stay for the Potlatch.’

We had no idea what the Potlatch (often called Potluck) was, but we found out during this wonderful day. It was one year ago that one elder of the Champagne-Aishihik First nation had died. Now, one year later, a spirit house was built on her grave and all friends and family came together for the celebration of this occasion and to remember her.

So during the day a row of people came into the huge community hall, from very young to very old.. We were happy that we could help out during the day. I helped making al the tables and chairs ready for 200 persons and grilled several hundred of ‘Hooligans’: some small type of fish. Ivana helped serving the people, there were many courses. We got fed ourselves as well: from Moosejaw soup to fish eggs to salad and salmon. Ivana convinced teh shy children that she could turn them into animals by painting their faces. We talked with the elders as well as the younger generations. It was all great.

I spoke a while with Yoyo, one of the elders.

‘So you can tell your friends that you were with the Indians and that they all wore feathers and such’, Yoyo remarked.

I told him that that stereotype was not my impression of the First Nation people we had met so far. He looked at me, decided that I was good and started to talk about his past.

‘You know, the younger generation cannot speak our language anymore. I am one of the last ones to speak it. Our language is lower to the ground, closer to the earth. If I forgot my gloves near a tree in a big forest 60 miles away, I could explain a friend where to look for them in a few minutes. In the high speech, this is impossible’. Read more

Day 39 – 42: August 19-22, Beaver Creek to Champagne: wildlife & fall colours and modern totems..

August 23, 2008 by , 1,928 views  
Filed under Canada, North America, Trip reports, Yukon

We were in the Yukon now. Most people we had met on the way told us that if we had not seen any bears in Alaska, we surely would in Yukon… Not sure if that is good or bad news yet.

We took a rest day in Beaver Creek. It was still raining most of the day and we could use the Wifi Internet at the 1202 motel for free, so we could update the website and do some work. The next day we were off and found that the wind was almost blowing in our backs, hurray! The wind is maybe the biketraveller’s biggest friend or foe. It makes such a difference if the downhills can be done without any pedaling, it makes the following uphill look a lot easier, saving physical and mental strength.

When we stopped at a campground for some lunch we were almost attacked by a very persistent squirrel. He used all possible ways to get on our table and to try to steal our food and when chased away, made angry sounds from the top of a nearby tree! Guess he was also getting ready for winter, as it was still getting colder every day..

A little

down the road we spotted 2 big moose. It is still hard to imagine how tall they actually are; as we stay at a safe distance, we never get the chance to check if they really are about 2 meters (6-7 feet) at the shoulders and fortunately our bikes also do not have to test if they are really about 700 kilos each..

We were warned by the lady in the Beaver Creek tourist office not to stop at the White River lodge, apparently they had been very rude to travellers. When we arrived there, the rainclouds were just about to engulf us with full force, so we stopped to put on our rain pants. Immediately a guy came outside and told us to continue, as the owner apparently hates cyclists!

The rain was unavoidable, so we headed right in and got totally wet in about 10 minutes, when we arrived at a small diner and gas station, called Cook’s. The office slash ‘restaurant’ was a complete mess, filled with all kinds of junk, rocks, canned foods and miscellaneous items. We got off on a wrong start when I paid for the can of Irish Stew and a big 1 kilo package of cookies. Read more

1000 Americans: The Cooks, Alaska Highway near White River, Yukon, Canada

August 19, 2008 by , 1,124 views  
Filed under 1000 Americans, Friendly people

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Mr Cook had a new knee, his wife just recovered from lung cancer.

‘We do not know if we make it through another winter, but we love the place’.

In winter they move South, to the lower 48.

Mr Cook gave us a big chunk of moose minced meat. ‘We are not going to finish it.’

1000 Americans: David & Karen Williams, Fairbanks

August 19, 2008 by , 1,066 views  
Filed under 1000 Americans

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David had been a pilot, flying small planes around Fairbanks. David and Karen had saved for a long time to go on their road trip.They had a normal sized campervan/RV, meaning all you need in a very compact model, half teh size of the usual 30ft buses we see on the road..

They shared their campspot with us and even made us pancakes the next morning…

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