170km – 180km – 180km – 140km – 170km … those were the last 5 riding days since Fairbanks! (Fairbanks – Delta Jct – Tok – Beaver Creek – Burwash Landing – Haines Junction). Most rides were very hot and dry. At one clear creek I stopped and dipped into the cold mountain water, with shoes and bike jersey and all – the evaporation cooling helped over the next several miles.
A highlight of the journey so far was yesterday’s ride along Kluane Lake. I remembered this stretch from 10 years ago when driving up the Alcan in a rental car. Again, the refreshing and clear water invited to take a dip:
I also saw my first bear between Burwash landing and Destruction Bay near the lake. An adult Grizzly walked out on the road maybe 100m in front of me and stopped; so I stopped as well. When I stood up the bear ran back to the nearby bushes, then stopped and smelled to check things out. I walked my bike slowly and – just to be sure – pulled out my bear spray (not that I needed it, of course). The magnificent animal lingered a bit and then disappeared into the woods. A bit later I saw a Coyote about to cross the road (maybe 30m away), then turning around quickly when it noticed me. Nice to see more wildlife now.
Around 6pm I stopped by the airstrip where we had camped and waited to fly to Mount Logan basecamp two months ago in May. It was nice to see the folks again – but they denied my special cargo request due to insufficient tread on my back tire!
After another 3 hour ride a 15km, 400m downhill rush finished off yesterday’s ride into Haines Junction. Unfortunately I was still 10min too late for the restaurants close at 9:00pm, so I went to sleep hungry (way too many mosquitoes to cook) as most always on this trip! One more reason to have both a huge cinnamon bun and an apple fritter and lots of coffee and sugar for breakfast this morning…