Whitehorse, Canada

Fairbanks to Whitehorse

24 juli 2014 - Whitehorse, Canada

                                                                    Fairbanks Whitehorse

 

Each part of this entire trip is divided into small “bites” to make it more manageable!

For example:

·      The Dalton Highway

·      Fairbanks to Whitehorse

·      Whithorse to the start of Hwy 37, the Cassiar Steward Highway

·      The Cassiar Highway

·      The end of the Cassiar Steward Highway to ……. (under construction!)

 

 

This means I have done two of the goals!

 

 

                                                                    This part of the trip

 

We, Tom and I, did 11 days over the distance Fairbanks to Whitehorse, a big challenge!

Especially the last three days were very demanding, 107 km, 135 and 160 km (66, 84 and 100 miles), this with 8530 feet of climbing.

These long distances, with my luggage weighing almost 100 pound.
Normally about 84 pounds but with the food and water you’ll need for the task!
The temperatures varied from 37 to about 80 Fahrenheit.
Together with sun, rain and sometimes a cold headwind.

 

There is also something really beautiful:
The light in the morning is really soft and makes things even more beautiful.
Most of the time we get up at 05:00 a.m.
The light is already there, it will be less and less as we travel more south.
We are on the road by 06:30 a.m. at the latest.

The nature is stunningly beautiful;
In a car it might be boring, on a bicycle on the other hand, we are right in the middle of all the elements!
We smell the trees, flowers next to the road and feel the wind and rain in our hair and faces.

We meet nature from up close. Horseflies, mosquitoes, but also Ground squirrels.
These are squealing and running across the Alaskan Highway risking their life, sometimes even losing it in front of our eyes!

Also the so feared bears by many of you crossed our paths several times. I made pictures and films of them sometimes, they are so fast moving.
The day before yesterday I did see a Grizzly but he was gone before I could turn on my GoPro (film).
My GoPro is mounted on my steering bar and will be turned on to make a movie part when there is something worth filming.
The battery will be drained too fast when I keep it on all the time

 

                                                                    Whitehorse, Yukon Canada

We are here in a hostel now, the Beez Kneez Bakpakers hostel, a very cozy hostel with all kind of people.
There are hikers, Cyclists (we), car drivers, motorcyclists and hitchhikers staying here.
We changed several times of a sleeping place in the hostel. But Nancy (the manager) is very helpful and kind!
We also use our days to maintain our bicycles
My bicycle lost several bolts and nuts, without me noticing it! These will be replaced tonight. Also my chain will be lubricated after almost 1100 miles!
My bike held well this trip so far!
Also writing blogs and having contact with our home is great these days!
We also prepare for the next part of our trip, towards the start of the Cassiar Hwy (number 37)!
Shopping will be part of it too there will be hardly good shops on our route.

 

                                                                    Other cyclists

When you are cycling on these lonely roads once in a while you will meet other cyclists.

* A Canadian guy who wanted to cycle towards Prudhoe Bay. He did that the other way around several years ago. This time the weather forecast would be bad; lot of rainy days. He carried 9 liters of water with him (for two days) and no filter. He was planning to buy water when it was used.
I met him on my last day of the Dalton Hwy. He cycled large distances.
Later we did see the same man in Fairbanks and Delta Junction and he seemed in a great hurry all the time.
Not my way of cycling these distances. Enjoyment is more important than speed or distance!

* A nice Swiss young guy just from school and going to university afterwards. He started cycling in San Francisco and used the Cassiar Hwy and the “top of the world Hwy”. He recommended the Cassiar Steward Hwy to us! He did see 2 – 7 bears a day and had no trouble with them.

* A young couple (Isaac and Megan), who did start in Austin TX and cycling to Anchorage. Did a lot of wild camping and cycling long distances.
They were young with a low budget and not much luggage. A nice couple! Something different too: they were dressed thin and in shorts while it was cold and windy. We were dressed thick and were sweaty and cold while preparing some soup to make the next stage manageable!

* The day before yesterday we met a marine guy who stopped his work and was going home by bicycle to Anchorage. A very fit guy who had the same kind of Voltaic system solar system I had. But he had two panels, while I have three.

* After a while we met another cyclist, he didn’t wave or wanted to talk to us. Waving is the minimum you’ll do. In our “cyclist” world, not waving or talking for a short while s considered rude!
We both could provide each other with valuable information of the route we were about to have?

 

                                                                    Thomas Hall

 

You have been reading I am riding with a new cycling friend: Tom or Thomas.
Who is Tom?
He is a very good and friendly travel companion.
He is an early-retired minister with a wide world vision!
His age is 62, so not much difference in age.
He has a wife, Dixie, two children a grandson and one other grandchild on the way!
His ideas of distance to cycle and route are almost the same as mine, so we are a good match, I should say!
He is very philosophical and a very good and funny partner to cycle with!
His bicycle, a recumbent too, is almost the same as mine. So the handicap in climbing (it is slower) is equal!

However, he is build lighter, has a lighter bicycle and less luggage, a better climber!
That I met him is remarkable, another example of the fact (for me) that “coincidence” doesn’t exsist. It had to be like it is!
His trip started in Prudhoe Bay with his cycle friend Rick Styles.
Together they planned to cycle towards Missoula Montana. This is the home of Tom.
However, it was not ment to be. Rick had trouble recovering from the hardship on the Dalton Highway and was transported to Fairbanks together with Tom.
He had to fly home again to find out what the problem was.
We both felt very sorry for Rick that he had to leave his dreamtrip he planned so much for! Rick was having a very hard time with this while he left us at the hotel in Fairbanks.

The coming 2 – 3 weeks Tom and I will cycle together and I am looking foreward to this!

   

 

                                                                    STRONG

I now have the feeling I can do everything!

I dived into the Artic Ocean,

I survived the Dalton Highway,

I survived the 100 mile day

Let the chalanges come, I can do it!

Maybe it will take a bit longer but this is not important!

Now I am ready. I will try to post my blog with a variable WIFI this afternoon>
There will be several changes in the route we will take!

To be continued

Greetings from Whitehorse,

Menno

Foto’s

2 Reacties

  1. AlexBrede:
    25 juli 2014
    It was great to talk to you today, and to see your photos on the blog! What a grand tour!!!
  2. Dianne Wildgrube:
    25 juli 2014
    Menno, you are doing great and I know you will be able to handle any challenge. Tom sounds like he will be a good friend. I am happy that you have someone with you - it is so much safer. Happy pedaling and watch out for the midges!!