Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 24 & 25 - Kitwanga, BC to TMoN, YT

Day 24 - I left the Kitwanga RV park at the crack of 9:00. It's always a bit harder to leave early when camping out. There are four of these metal grate bridges on the first half of the Cassiar and many motorcyclist freak out when riding over them. This is just practice for the one over the Teslin River once you get on the Alaska Highway. The key is modest speed and a very light touch on the handlebars as the front wheel will seem like its bouncing all over the place. Just let it and make slight corrections to maintain the right general direction.

The Teslin River bridge is much longer and much higher. I have heard of riders refusing to cross and just turn around and head home. Especially when there were quite a few of this style. Now, I think the Teslin bridge is the only one left on the Alaska Highway.

This is a "typical" look of the Cassiar Highway taken from the middle of the road. Since traffic is so light, I just waited for a long stretch when I could see traffic coming in both directions before stopping. There must be a lot of black bear in this area since I saw nine of them and also one sheep. All of the black bear were crossing the road.

About fifty miles from the junction with the Alaska Highway, this is the weather that I'm headed for and also gives a nice look at typical scenery. It rained pretty hard for the last twenty miles and when I arrived at the Nugget City campground, I opted for a "sleeping room" instead of setting up my tent in the mud. The rooms are probably for construction crews but it was clean and compact. No complaints from me. Another tourist passing through was on a Harley and he and I had dinner at the restaurant. The wi-fi here was $10/hr so I passed.

Day 25 - I left Nugget City at 7:30 AM and it was still raining. After about an hour, it had cleared up so I could dispense with the rain gear. My first stop was Teslin for gas and an early lunch. I thought about taking a picture of the bridge but didn't. As I was crossing, another rider was filming with his GoPro as he was crossing from the other direction.

This is from a rest stop coming into Haines Junction. I'm told that the haze is from brush fires but they weren't sure where they were. If it was clear, there is a 15000' peak visible through the gap. The Kluane visitors center was closed but I think that they may have moved it somewhere else as it was one of the best on the highway.

 

Right after leaving Haines Junction, the rain started again though these were more like afternoon thunder showers. A lot of wind as you approach the rain, get dumped on, then clearing up once you pass. I passed up the campground at Kluane Lake as it was still early in the afternoon and I knew that there was one further down the road that I wanted to try out.

The Kluane Lake area is still one of the most beautiful parts of the trip. The lake is glacier fed so it has a greenish tint to the water. It is much more evident on a clear day. The road has been redone in recent years as the road used to run right along the shore of the lake. Now there are only a couple of places to pull off to get a view of the lake. This one is about a mile northwest of the visitors center.

By the time I arrived at he campground at TMoN (The Middle of Nowhere) somewhere between Beaver Creek and Burwash Landing, the rain had cleared. They gave me a wonderful site right next to a little pond. On the other side were two couples on Harley's with two little tent trailers. They said that they weigh about 350lbs empty but with all of there stuff in them, maybe 500lbs. They said that they tow really well and beats sleeping on the ground (gesturing towards my tent).

I should be home tomorrow afternoon as Fairbanks is about 6½ hours from here. I'm told that it takes forever to cross the border though...

BTW, when I here the word "meadow" this is kind of what I visualize.

 

13 comments:

Martha said...

What's this "meadow" discussion I keep reading about? There really is a definition of a meadow. There is pasture and there is meadow.

Other than that, your photos are lovely. What a beautiful ride.

Dar said...

I really like the little trailers, but my hubby says if we are going to tow stuff might as well take the Westfalia. I bet you will be happy to be home, you have had quite an awesome trip.

SonjaM said...

Martha is right. Someone as some 'splainin' to do. Bob? Karen? Anyone?

Great pics, Richard. Thanks for stopping and getting out the camera. You really seem to get into the groove.

Trobairitz said...

I am glad that you are almost home Richard. Hard to believe it has been over 3 weeks since you started out on your journey.

Fingers crossed you have some sunny skies to guide you home today.

Trobairitz said...

Martha - the meadow/pasture comments are due to the fact that after 10-15 miles of twisty mountain roads with sheer cliffs and no guard rails - Bobskoot told Karen that was the worst of it and it was all "pasture land" from there on out. Turns out it was another 30 miles of twisty mountain roads with sheer drop offs and no guard rails. So now we tease Bobskoot about his definition of pasture land.

redlegsrides said...

Don't relax your guard Richard as you near home, it's in familiar surroundings where accidents tend to happen.

Dom

RichardM said...

Kind of sad now that the trip is over since I have been thinking about it for so long. But it is nice to be back home.

RichardM said...

Just a couple of days short of four weeks. Probably because I cut out Banff and Jasper on the return trip.

RichardM said...

No issues and I have heard that about the end of long trips.

Chris said...

Those places look familiar! I wrote about the long metal bridge.

BeemerGirl said...

Those metal cheese grater bridges are fun!! I especially love it when they are damp and curved. ;)

Great little camping site. Have you ever considered a trailer? I'm leaning towards Dars comment. Though I can't help but be intrigued by them.

RichardM said...

Only I didn't have to deal with snow. Just a lot of RV's.

RichardM said...

Enjoy damp cheese grater bridges. Has anyone ever told you that to check yourself into someplace with padded walls?

Nope, I have never considered a trailer for the bike. If I have that much stuff, I should probably just take the truck...