Knowing where not to go

God I’m tired

Image of Judy wearing a motorcycle helmet and smiling

Me – in the rain.

I awoke to the smell of fresh coffee, Jaz was making Kaladi Brew. We walked over to the main lodge for breakfast and I noted the other motorcyclists were still sleeping, tents all lined up in a row. We met one rider the night before, a guy named Rob from Arkansas. He was on the road traveling for a month and headed to Alaska. Somewhere along the way, he met a few other motorcyclists and they were riding together for a short time. He said one of the riders had motorbike issues; he rode ahead to scout for a place to camp for the night.

After breakfast, I noted there was movement in the tent camp and walked over to ask if they got everything taken care of and to see if they needed any tools (recall my bike is wobbling because I have too much weight from all the tools I am carrying). They needed a torque wrench. Ummm, I don’t think so.

Image of several tents, with a motorcycle park outside one, in a green patch along side a dirt road

“Camp ArKansas”

We headed out of Chistochina and into Mentasa. The road was decent until after Tok, then it went into varying shades of “shitty.”

I mentioned to Jaz that the Alcan was the worst I had seen it yet, she mentioned that it was always the worst. I agreed. The road, due to permafrost and heaving, was like melted rubber with trenches that were, in some places, a foot deep. Given the wobble issue I have been fighting, it was extra difficult to ride. You really had to be diligent with your eyes. Some trenches had no shadows and blended into the background like a camouflaged redneck. I watched Jaz closely, so I would know where not to go by watching her rear end rattle and bottom out from the dips she didn’t see.

Image of Jaz covering her face with a scarf

Jaz recuperating from the trenches

In some areas, there were of course the constant patches of loose gravel. In Canada, the patches of gravel got longer and longer, with two sections of pilot cars, Lots of gravel, lots of pilot cars, and lots of bugs.

The rough road conditions caused slow going, in some cases only 35 mph. It took us all day to travel 340 miles and we didn’t stop for lunch! We did stop at an old abandoned road stop, called Grizzly Bear Flats to poke around. I took the bear spray, just in case some of those grizzlies remained.

Image of a red light on the side of the road with a sign reading, "Wait for Pilot Car About 15 Min"

Lack of a navigator

Image of Jaz sitting on her motorcycle while waiting for the pilot car

Jaz thinking, “Where is that pilot?”

The ghost stop was overgrown with vegetation. It looked like an old motel and RV park with a café. We peered into the windows (not all were broken). It looked like the owners just walked away, in the middle of the day. Kind of creepy, like one of those sci-fi movies where the aliens take people away or the sun gets too hot and turns everyone into a white powder where they stand. All the food was there, but the sun and the critters had gotten into it. Faded boxes of pilot bread, Betty Crocker, and French Canadian products you couldn’t understand unless you had high school French. You could smell the rot from 30 feet away. We opted not to go inside, since all the wood was rotting and we feared stepping in the wrong place and falling through the floor.

Image of a secluded cafe surrounded by overgrown weeds

A cafe begging to be explored. Vegetation has taken over.

Image of the side of an abandoned-looking motel

Some glass still in place in the motel

Jaz peeking into the window of an abandoned-looking hotel

Jaz scoping it out

Image of the inside of the kitchen of an abandoned motel

Old boxes, all faded from age, many showing signs of critters.

We came across a gravel/pilot section where I thought Jaz was going to go down twice! 800 pound bike in soft fill, not yet smashed by rollers – she was all over the place. I had to back off so that when she went down she wouldn’t take me with her! Those Canadians were testing our skills, eh.

We got to Kluane Lake and bedded down at Kluane B&B. Simple, but clean. And even though it reminds me of staying in a shed, I still like staying here.

Image of a laptop in a lap with toes peeking out from under

Comfortable in my “shed”

Image of a motorcycle parked in front of a wooden cabin

Cabin for the night

We knew there would be no food here; it is too remote for even a gas station or market. We brought a couple of cans of chili. How do you choose a chili brand for the road? It’s not the fat, or sugar, or even spice. It’s whether the can has a pull top (we had no can opener).

Your love has lifted me higher
“Creepy” Outhouses
About Maya

My name is Maya, and I wander.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: