Subscribe to Harry's bike blog, from Alaska to UshuaiaNews FeedSubscribe to Harry's bike blog, from Alaska to UshuaiaComments

Day 47- 52: Aug 27 – Sep 1: Anarchy, Argentineans & gasguzzlers in Nugget City

September 2, 2008 by  
Filed under British Columbia, Canada, Go green, North America, Trip reports, Yukon

It was hard to leave Tracy & Sylvester as we had felt so much at home in their place, but we had to hit the road, winter was catching  up…

We managed to delay ourselves until about 16.00 in Whitehorse and then left in a terrible downpour, and as the first few km were steep uphill to get out of the valley, we were feeling down. But the sky stopped dumping water on us and soon we found ourselves going up and down over rolling hills besides more Wonderful Lakes. We had set ourselves a new goal: get to Scott’s Anarchy Farm! We had met Scott in the Potlatch (see previous post here) and he had invited us to visit him when we would pass.

Unfortunately he was not in the Greenhouse: a big plastic covered collection of wonderful smelling flowers and vegetables. We waited outside for some moments and cycled around in the area, but as we did not had the directions to their house, we returned to the greenhouse. The rain started again, and we decided to sleep inside the greenhouse, setting up our inner tent only. It was by far the best smelling campsite on our entire trip.

In the middle of the night we heard some noises and Scott came in. He did not seem to surprised to see us sleeping in the middle of hundreds of flowers and added one more log to the slow burning woodstove, so the temperature stayed above freezing.

The next morning he came back with coffee. A few weeks later he sent us a great poem, please check it out here on his 1000 Americans page. We stayed close to the warm fire all morning and only after noon, we packed our tent and continued riding through the rainy Yukon lake District. The wind was friendly and even with our late starts we did over 100 km, ending up late at a deserted state campground, close to Teslin lake.

August 28 – 30: through the lake District with Mate & tortas

We had promised ourselves to start earlier, and actually managed to get on our bikes before 8 ‘o clock! We arrived quickly at the small place of Teslin, where we spend several hours in the library. We were surprised at the many small libraries we met, there is so much great stuff to see and hear, most offer Internet access and the ladies running them are without exception all nice and friendly, so support your local Library and get your kids to read!

We spend some time in the Teslin Motel, working on our reports and chatting with Heather, who was on her way North, on a big BMW motorbike (see her picture here). We fixed her iPhone for her and chatted with this lovely woman, who was in great spirit.. Do not pass the Motel without seeing the hidden gem: a small museum with stuffed animals in the gift shop (some of Ivana’s images are on Flickr here). This sounds much worse than it is, they have done a wonderful job. Oh, and the Wifi is free at the Motel :)

Ivana managed to cross the scary and long bridge, which had a steel bottom, through which you could see water below. As with most rivers, we had to climb a steep hill to get out of the valley it had created, but during the climb a van stopped. Read more

1000 Americans: Ariel & Claudia, Argentina

August 30, 2008 by  
Filed under 1000 Americans, Friendly people

_MG_0612-Ariel-Claudia-Yukon

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: Bikergrrl Heather

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

_MG_0596-Teslin-biker

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!

1000 Americans: Scott Snider, Anarchy Farms

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

ps-1000Americans-Scott-Anarchy-farm-greenhouse

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

August 23, 2008 by  
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  
Filed under 1000 Americans, Friendly people

_MG_0485-1000Americans-Cooks-inhouse

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  
Filed under 1000 Americans

_MG_0493-nice-couple-fairbanks

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…

Day 35-38, 15-18 August 2008: To Canada, rain & bordertowns

August 19, 2008 by  
Filed under Alaska, Canada, North America, Trip reports, Yukon

It was time to leave our friend named Alaska and meet another partner for the next few months, named Canada. We had so many good times and many bad times. It is funny how even a fictional line on a map can define a relationship. We felt like we had to say goodbye to family…

We had stayed another day in Tok, it was just too perfect to camp for free, behind a 24/7 gasstation and next to the supermarket. We had to take care of our belongings as there was a group of drunk locals nearby. We have noticed this often lately: small groups of native Americans, who walk or sit around with paperbags or just with a bottle of scotch. It is a sad sight and a result of many bad political decisions in a long row.

We met a few other travelers who stayed the second night on the same camp; a young cyclist from Quebec, who was on his way home and a couple from Argentina (www.amunches.com) who were at the end of their 6 year journey. It was nice for Ivana to speak some Spanish and to drink some mate, but also interesting to see that they were clearly tired. Tired of travelling, tired of telling their story. The next morning they left early, but they had left Ivana some rainpants, though they were not really suitable for cycling as we would find out soon..

We left with dry weather, but quickly the hills and the rain started. Ivana’s pants ripped and one leg came off. We stayed at a very wet campground near a lake that probably was very pretty if you could see it. Only a few days later (fortunately) we read the report of fellow cyclists Tim & Cindie, who had seen a bear while camping here. We had been less ‘bearanoid’ as we had simply not seen any bears in Alaska outside Denali park, which in some ways is more like the Serengeti than the ‘real world’…

The next day we were completely soaked again and Ivana was ready to quit and fly home to sunny Argentina… Just in time we passed a visitor centre for the Tetlin National Wildlife refuge. Two ladies, who lived all their life in the native village of Northway and worked as volunteers, came to the rescue. They gave us tea, let us dry our clothes and even prepared a few delicious sandwiches with salmon. Just before we left, they even gave some chocolate. It is people like these that we will take with us in our heart when leaving Alaska.. Read more

1000 Americans: Dora & Darlene

August 18, 2008 by  
Filed under 1000 Americans, Friendly people

_MG_0457-Ivana-center-ladies

Ivana poses with the two lovely ladies at the Teslin National Wildlife refuge info center. They talked Athabascan between them, while working on some nice handicrafts. Visit the center if you can and say hi from us :)