Thursday, August 13, 2009
My god it’s beautiful out here.
Every once in a while riding up a big “hill” and it becomes clear why the engine has been straining. The road starts to level off and drops down in front of you like a curtain being pulled back. You’ve just crested another summit. There it is, the Northern Rockies! An endless valley stretches before you, so large that it can have several different types of storm systems rolling along at the same time; 40, 50, 60 miles across.
I’ve not been taking any pictures for any number of reasons. Pictures wouldn’t mean anything anyway against this vastness. Would be like bringing back a bottle of water and trying to explain the ocean. Pointless. Don’t know if my family or friends will ever forgive me….but it’s really not that kind of trip anyway :)
Even though I never said it out loud, the mile post gave me the impression of the Alaskan Highway being like Route 66. Small towns, cool little attractions, fun and interesting restaurants….the reality in a way is fairly unglamorous.
Nine times out of ten the cute little hotel or RV park or camp grounds are shrouded with the “closed forever” look…or the towns just don’t exist. The gas stations are further apart than the book says also. It was a good thing that I went to the visitor’s center in Fort Nelson.
Apparently two of the gas stations I was counting on to get me to Watson Lake are closed forever (ish)…that means a stretch from Muncho Lake->Watston Lake will be 180 miles sans gas. Damn. That is larger than my range with the 1 gallon gerry can…..so I had to find a larger one! I gave my old one to the clerk at the hardware store and upgraded to a 2 & 1/2 (10 liter) tank…which was harder to strap onto the already pretty well loaded blast :)
I expected to see more couples and families road tripping…at least come home…but nothing. Maybe it’s too late in the year….but mostly it’s shipping trucks or work trucks. A motorcycle couple passes going south every once in a while….but we never get more than a wave in. Not very many people riding this road solo on motorcycles.
Anyway, it’s 8:30 and I’m excited and exhausted. The sun won’t really set till somewhere around 10 here. As I get further and further north the sun keeps hanging out in the sky longer and longer. Wonder what it will be like in Fairbanks?!? The light is fine with me. The darkness is a little unsettling here with all the bears (which I’ve seen EVERY day). The less darkness the better!