The day started off gloomy, grey, cold and very wet. Before we could leave Anchorage we needed to take care of a 9ft length of baleen that we had purchased from a Native Alaskan in the parking lot of our hotel the night before. We had seen baleen displayed in various cafes, hotels and restaurants and though how cool it would be to own a piece. It is only legal to purchase baleen directly from a Native Alaskan, so we were on the hunt. How to get it back on the bikes was far from our mind, but if we were able to find a piece, we would deal with the transport issues later. There was no way that we would be able to ride with a 9ft length of whale tooth on the bikes, so we hailed a taxi, stuffed and bent the flexible baleen in diagonally across from the from seats to the rear and headed to the packing store. It cost us just as much to ship back to the States as it was to purchase, but there was no way we would be crossing the border with this! Sorted! Back to the bikes we saddle up in the rain and make our way out of the Anchorage area. The first couple of hours was seriously like riding into a power sprayer. It was ridiculously wet, flooded in areas, and challenging. The truckers and dually trucks that pass leave you in a nerve racking blind wet mist, which generally clears nicely if your helmet isn't fogged. It was a tense couple of hours! Men trucks and camo are king in Alaska, and if you happen on all three watch out!…ha ha ha. Gotta stay tough, commit…no wimping out up here in the "Last Frontier"!
Once past Chickaloon, I know, not a very tough name for a town in the "Last Frontier", the weather started to clear up. Our rain gear had held up and bonus…my feet were somewhat dry in my old leather riding boots. I had wrapped my feet in small plastic bags before putting on my boots to see if it would help! Why aren't I wearing gortex boots you may ask? Well I do own a pair, but just can't seem to part with my leather ones! Now that my last good zipper has finally broken, I may be forced to turn my boots into planters!
So the scenery is amazing, we are stopping every 10 mile or so to take "the perfect" shots…pull over, stop the bike, pause music, unplug communications, unplug heated vest, remove sunglasses, unbuckle helmet, remove, take off gloves, get off bike, unlock back box, remove camera…..and finally take the shot! Crikey what a major pain in the butt…beautiful weather is always a blessing and a curse. It just so happens that when we were setting up for one of these "perfect shots", a car pulls up to us. Out hop Gino and Fiona from Scotland, a couple of bikers that we met on the ferry traveling the inside passage to Haines. Awesome! After a quick visit and bitch about BMW problems we were back on the road. BMW's always break down on a Sunday! You can't even start to get parts or service until Tuesday????? Yes Gino's bike has run into problems, and that is why they are "cage'n it", for now. Good luck guys!
Amazing clouds, amazing wilderness, countess numbers of pools, rivers and reflective lakes, and even a surprise glacier view. Tonight is a full moon and I so want to take some more pictures, but we now have arrived in Tok, and after 9 hours on the road I am tired... there will be another! I have to admit that it was very spectacular riding from Anchorage to Tok via the Glenn Hwy, then traveling the Tok Cut Off.
The next day we traveled from Tok to Beaver Creek and it was uneventful. The construction in- between the US and Canada Border seemed to be less challenging, but, also seemed longer in length. I think that they have torn up more road! From what we have heard, this section is always torn up….just a little taste of challenging times ahead before hitting "the real stuff". We had pre booked a room at the Beaver Dam Hotel in town before leavingTok this morning, but left quickly after seeing the less than acceptable accommodations they provided. I think that the "Dam" stands for..."Dam awful conditions" in this case! We rode back to the gas station that we had fueled up at noticing that they had a motel attached to the property. We pull up as the hotel manager is walking in the front door. Kev asks, "Do you have an available room for the night?" "Yes we do", replies the Indian hotel manager. "Great we will take it!", Kev announces. The hotel manager turns around and is fumbling with the room keys then turns back and asks "Will your mate be needing a room also?" "No, thanks we are traveling together!" Obviously bothered by Kev's answer the manager is once again fumbling with the room keys. Kev senses the miscommunication and bursts out "My mate is my wife!" "Oh very good" replies the hotel manager and hands Kev the room key. We laughed and role played different scenarios with his misinterpretation and enjoyed our clean and comfy room for the night. Next time I will remove my helmet!!...ha ha ha.