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I forgot my bra… now I know why my bike bag is so light…

Black Death Porter

Need I say more?

I tried to pack really light for this trip; only the essentials. I believe that ultimate lite packing is only three pair of underwear: one to wear, one that is drying out from being hand-washed the night before and one pair that is dry (should you fall, say in the Yukon River). Everything beyond that is a frill. I forgot my extra bra – the one that is dry. Oops. Oh well. Jaz and I also had the discussion that should we need to condense further and choose between the French press and clean underwear… well… I think y’all know what I would say to that.

I woke up in Dawson with bed-sheet wrinkles pressed deeply into my face. This was on account of that Black Death I drank from a brewery in British Columbia the night before. It is appropriately named. We wandered out and asked a local for a good place to eat and she rattled off a few places to go. While we talked, a bird swooped in and actually pooped on her head. Talk about the mark of nature. I was thankful it missed me. The local woman said, “crap,” (really) and laughed it off good-heartedly. She claimed it was okay because, “It’s shower day today…” which made us wonder what would happen if it had occurred after her shower. I love Canadians. They must have large farms of pigs everywhere. I have only been in Canada two days now and I have had a ton of ham and bacon. Except here it is rashers of bacon(?).

There are no words or pictures that can explain the absolute beauty of this place. I thought about how I could possibly capture this section of the Dempster, from the Klondike cutoff to Eagle Plains, and I fall short. It felt like the Top of the World for a short while, But, instead of driving along the ridge of the world you plunged down into her valleys. If, on the Taylor you ride the top, well on the Dempster you ride her bottom.

Eventually, you find yourself passing through vast mountain valleys that are treeless from elevation (I assume). Unfortunately, I was battling the elements and got no photos. I am hoping the return trip will provide me with weather more suitable. Valleys gave way to swamping muddy bogs filled with black spruce and mosquito infested waters.

The first part of the road was still pretty navigable, but as the rains continued the road deteriorated into what Jaz is now calling, “IFR” (Insanely Flipping Risky). The mud got very deep and very squirrelly…. And y’all know how I feel about squirrels!

Check out Jaz’s blog about this trip.

The rain rain rain made it a real challenge, and I kept riding up on Jaz. It seemed it worked better for her to go through the mud slow. It worked better for me to low through faster – we didn’t match. At some point, we picked up a college professor from Edmonton, Mike. Mike was on a Suzuki and was riding solo for three months. I have realized on this trip that although Jaz is a highly skilled rider she is also F*cking insane. Jaz believes that if I continue on the current path I am on I will graduate from crazy to insane as well. Hmmm.

Klondike Kate's Restaurant front

Klondike Kate’s… home of Black Death (and great food and service)

Dirt roads of Dawson

The streets of Dawson… are not paved

Garbage truck with a pirate flag

Garbage truck of Dawson had a pirate flag on it!

Two Inuvik residents (while in Dawson) ask me, "Where Are You Going?"
Let’s spend Canada Day in the U.S. and the 4th of July in Canada
About Maya

My name is Maya, and I wander.

Comments

  1. What a trip. The parallel accounts of the journey between you and Jaz is fun.

    When I was walking to the bus a few years ago, a bird swooped in and pooped on my shirt. My Chinese coworker told me it was a sign of good luck. I think she was pulling my leg.

    I think you graduated from crazy to insane a long time ago, but perhaps this particular journey is your certification test???

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