25 May 2017
(written by Dave)
Yesterday was about the people. Today was about the scenery. We were on a part of the Alcan that crosses closet to the Alaskan Mountain Range. It seemed like every corner we rounded the views got better and better.
But before that, we should talk about the morning. We were up early, sharing the bathroom in the motor home with Chris before the school opened. He seemed pretty cosy snuggled up in the back bunk. We did not hear him snoring through the walls of the motor home. After grabbing a quick oatmeal breakfast, Nancy and I did a short presentation on Australia – one that we’ve done for my sister’s class a few times. It went well and I think the students and teachers enjoyed it. The sum total audience was 10 people – but we still had lots of questions. After finishing, everyone came outside to help Nancy and I load up the last of our bikes and to see us off. The kids were very enthusiastic, as was Julie their teacher. What a great stop that turned out to be.
Based on Julie’s advice, we rolled through town on the way back to the Alcan. Dot Lake is not much of a town, mostly just a few residences, but we saw what looked like a new duplex going in so there is some hope that at least one more family move in, bringing more kids with them – and helping keep the school open. We wish them well.
Back on the main highway, we had a stream of corner after corner photo opportunities. In fact, I got close to drawing the wrath of the senior editor at one point (maybe two) for stopping too many times for pictures. The boys were ok stopping as they were doing the same. Below is a small sampling of the day (I may have gone overboard here – sorry).
Somewhere along the way we passed the last of lakes named after women – there was Dot, Lisa, Donna and a few I can’t remember. The last of the lakes was called Jan Lake (it was Jan, Nancy mom’s birthday this week – so happy late B-day Jan!).
We made good time in spite of my doddering. We had one sort of formal stop right in the middle of the mountains. They had some nice Alcan Highway information, including the story of Slim Williams who in 1933 mushed his dogsled from Alaska to Chicago as a way of telling the world about Alaska and promoting the possibility of a road. It didn’t really stick as an idea until it became needed for national security in WWII.
We rolled into Tok around 2PM and went straight to the information centre. We ran into a fellow south bound rider from Finland who it turns out had been trying to catch us for 2 days. He met Austin (the guy we met) two days ago, only about 5 minutes after we did. Somehow at our dinosaur pace he didn’t catch us. He slept in the woods at Dot Lake and then chased us all day today. I hope that we didn’t disappoint him when we finally met up! He was off to go camp in the woods so we didn’t have much time to talk to him. He is headed to Whitehorse as well, so maybe we will run into him again on the way.
We had another roadhouse meal at the only joint in town – the ‘famous’ Fast Eddy’s. We were all stuffed afterwards and rolled over to the Tok RV Village just a couple of blocks away and have now set up camp. It is a nice park, with good warm showers, laundry and good water. We are easy walking distance to the one store here, the Three Bears Grocery – we have already made one visit and I am sure we will be back there tomorrow. That is, if we have any room left after our breakfast at Fast Eddy’s! We are taking the day off to do some chores, rest and recoup to get ready for a 7 day stretch into Whitehorse.
It is supposed to be cold tonight – maybe down to 27f– so it may be a chilly night in the tents. We may be up early to get over to breakfast just to get warm!