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Souvenirs from Tok

So, I rolled into the driveway (1784 miles later) from my Klondike Loop motorcycle ride. Exhausted enough that I almost couldn’t climb off the bike, let alone unpack it, wash it, and do the maintenance needed for the next trip. *Sigh.* It looked like rain.

When Jaz and I rolled out of Tok last Tuesday, the sky looked angry. Angry enough to take extra precautions. We both suited up with all the warm clothes we brought. Jaz joked about having lots of empty space in the saddlebags for souvenirs from Tok. I looked like a condom meets Michelin Woman! I was wrapped in rain gear over my heavier riding gear. I had my heated jacket and gloves. I was a toasty warm slug.

Condom = michelin man on a bike ?

Images: http://scientopia.org (condom), and http://www.sporkmedia.com

So, the trip is over and I have all this maintenance I need to do on the bike. The chip-seal on the Canada roads ate my rear tire tread away. All the shops in Anchorage want way too much to change this tire (~$200) or can’t get to it until the summer is over. I guess I’m going to have to spend a weekend fixing my bike rather than riding it. But not this weekend, I’m going to Seattle for some R and R from my ride.

Motorcycle tire with worn down tread

Chip seal takes its toll on factory KLR tires – ~5000 miles

 
                               Here are the trip details:

A map summarizing the motorcycle trip with points A (Alaska) through F (Canada)

Click on map for a larger image

 
Total mileage was close to 1800 miles, and it is referred to by the locals as the Klondike Loop:
  • We did it in roughly 7 days.
  • The trip was mostly paved road, but there was a section from points H to C (Taylor Highway and the Top of the World) that contained mostly dirt/challenged road. This portion of the road is weather-dependent on how safe/good you can travel. It is roughly 130 miles of dirt/challenged road.
  • The worst part of chip-seal occurred between points C and D. This part of the road was also very repetitive (granted gorgeous repetition) and it’s easy to fall asleep here. Do this section after a good nights rest!
  • There are two ferry crossings. One is free and a no brainer. That is the Yukon River near Dawson, at point C. The second ferry crossing requires you to pre-purchase tickets from the Alaska Marine Highway system. This is a one-way ticket between Skagway, Alaska and Haines, Alaska. The boat trip is about 45 minutes, but they require you to check in two hours prior to departure. We have no idea why, we stood around and waited. You should have your own tie down straps for the boat ride.
  • We took one day off in Dawson to drink Black Death at Klondike Kate’s. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS.
  • There are two liquor stores in Dawson; the best one is on 3rd Street.
  • Our schedule allowed a leisure pace to photograph and take our time. Even so, some of the roads are hard and the mileage should not be measured with Freeway/Interstate mileage in mind.  It is tiring because the roads are filled with potholes and heaves, dirt, and water trenches. You waste a lot of energy looking for road issues.
  • Gas was not a problem, it was anywhere along the way.
  • There are numerous US Border/Canadian crossings. Make sure your papers are in order.
  • It is highly recommended that you carry both US and Canadian Money.
  • Don’t forget to call your credit card company and tell them you are traveling between two countries. Otherwise you might end up like Jaz, threatening the guy at Wells Fargo that you are going to reach down his throat and rip his fucking lungs out if your card doesn’t work tomorrow… oh wait. She did call, but they still fucked her. Have a back up plan.
  • Cell phone coverage could not be counted on while traveling the roads, but we had internet service at all hotels/B&Bs we stayed in.

We stayed at:
Red  Eagle Lodge @ Chistochina (on account of having to work the same day we left)
5th Avenue B and B in Dawson (Highly Recommended – They are cool)
Casey’s B and B in Whitehorse (Okay, but nothing to write home about)
The Historic Halsingland (It is historic, but I like old buildings) Not right in town, but they have a nice place to eat and a bar right on the premises.
Kluane B&B (very rustic!) but gorgeous. If you want a view this is the place for you – right on the beach of Kluane. It is right next to an old ghost town, so you can take pictures. BE WARNED – it is remote… bring your own dinner/lunch. They serve a nice breakfast. Closest cup of espresso: 30 miles.
The Golden Bear in Tok (as always, they are very biker friendly and highly recommended)

DO NOT EAT or STAY in Glennallen, AK at the Caribou!!!
DO NOT EAT in Beaver Creek, Yukon Territory, Canada at Buckaroo Betty’s. The one thing this place has been over the last 15 years is consistently bad! It looks nice outside… but trust me!

Hatcher Pass here I come!
Spread out
About Maya

My name is Maya, and I wander.

Comments

  1. Nice wrap up post. I always learn something from your blog posts. Hope the bike repairs allow a few more adventures this year.

  2. Definately!

  3. Oh, and the changes to the right hand column on this blog are nice. Good work.

  4. Thanks !

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