26 May 2017
(written by Dave)
Some random thoughts on our first rest day… All the basic jobs were done without issue. Everyone is happy and healthy.
- Laundry done
- Bike maintenance done – only minor adjustments here and there
- Grocery shopping done
- Eating done – special mention goes out to great brekkie at Fast Eddies
- Junk food consumed – M&Ms for Nancy and Dave, Ice cream for Mark and beer for all (consumed with dinner only for those moderating – no names will be shared)
Mossie update – Happy to report so far that we’ve seen very few in four days. It could be that overnight temps (in the twenties last night) might have something to do with this. It’s been so good that Mark sent home the special one off mossie suit that his mom made for him. He never got to test it but all of us got to admire how smart it looked on him.
Bear update – Like the mossies, bears have been missing in action. Just about every traveller coming from the south reports seeing quite a few of them along the Cassier Highway (where we’ll be in 3-4 weeks). We are not thinking of giving up our bear spray or bear-proof bags.
Route planning done – We spent some time looking at the next 7 days and checking to see what’s really open. It looks like we can get 50 miles a day and have a place to spend every night without rough camping, maybe even a shower every night.
Phone coverage update – Nancy and I, and Chris have AT&T – coverage is good. Mark had T-Mobile – coverage has been ok but drops out at time. It could be because the tower below has an AT&T logo and that it also happens to be casting a shadow on our tent right now. We will probably have a challenge with coverage once we get into the Yukon even with a new Canadian sim as it looks like coverage is pretty sparse there.
Local stuff – Nancy and I hit the info centre and gift shops. We learned that this year is the 75th year anniversary of Alcan and that it is some 313 miles shorter today that it was 75 years ago – mostly due to re-routing based on better understanding of the geography. We tried to visit the sled dog puppies advertise outside one shop but it’s too early for them to be released from mum – all you get is a stuffed dog. Nancy also snapped a silly photo of me at the information centre. Just to prove that Mark and Chris aren’t the only ones making silly photo appearances in the blog.
We also snapped a few shots of a local crew getting ready to head home from the shops. They shared one quad and two helmets – only one helmet actually being used. Law enforcement may not be as strict here in Alaska.
At the last stop we took a look at some cabins with sod roofs. The cabin would be fun for a night but we’ll wait until after the boys take off before we splurge (Mark would never sleep in a cabin with Chris and I snoring). Not sure I’d enjoy being in one when the roof was being mowed.
Weather update – today rain was forecast – we had great weather, sun and what would have been a tailwind. Tomorrow the forecast looks even better. In fact, the next four days look like mid-60s and only limited clouds. The only issue is how cold it gets at night. Nancy snapped the photo below of me as we were getting up this morning. We slept last night with sleeping bag liners, me in my buff and of course, eye shades. We were nice and warm, and will probably continue with the extra liners until the overnight temps warm up.
Tomorrow our goal is a state campground in the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge about 50 miles down the Alcan – supposedly with showers but we won’t get too excited about that until we get there to see if it is really true.