Goodbye Alaska – Hello Yukon!

July 12th, 2009

After 7 days on the Dalton Hwy (840km) and then 3 long riding days from Fairbanks via Tok to Beaver Creek (530km) I just arrived at the Canadian border. The Richardson Hwy (Fairbanks to Delta Junction) and then Alaska Hwy (Delta Jct to Tok to Canadian border) were mostly flat and smoothly paved – what a difference to the extreme hills and gravel of the Dalton Hwy. So a daily distance of 170-180km was doable in about 8 hrs of riding.

Overlook of the Tanana River

The last 3 days were mostly long straight stretches through the boreal forest, at times undulating hills along the side of the Tanana or tributary rivers and the occasional steel bridge. The water in those rivers was high and brown from recent heavy rains – however I have not had a single drop of rain while riding in all of Alaska! (I only had rain from a front passing over night through Fairbanks after the 90F hot restday, which was the hottest day in Fairbanks in 15 years!)

End of the 1422 mile long Alaska Highway in Delta Junction

In Delta Junction the Alaska Highway ends at mile marker 1422. I am riding back down all the way to Dawson Creek, so more than 2000km total on the Alaska Hwy. (Currently at MM 1225.)

One of the highlights of the last day was the view into the Teslin National Wildlife Refuge – part of the largest protected wilderness area in the world (with Wrangell St. Elias NP, Kluane NP, Glacier Bay NP). For hundreds of km South of the Hwy there is nothing but protected wilderness, no roads, no buildings, no nothing! This reserve area is so big that it would cover almost all of Germany – such vast wilderness areas don’t exist in Europe anymore…

View South into the Teslin National Wildlife Refuge

The ride between the two border posts (US, Canadian) late evening was absolutely incredible. Aside from a 7km gravel section with extreme dusty conditions the scenery and low sun light conditions were stunningly beautiful. Meandering creeks, sun-reflecting ponds with ducks and swans, green grass, trees and the snow-capped mountains in the background – my own shadow riding 30m next to me… Check out the pictures from the Alaska page!

I’ll close the SPOT tracking page and create a new one for Canada shortly…

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