Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Ccccold, bbut brrrilliant Yukon.

Knowing my good friends from home, Creative Recycling, are on the look out for a new truck I thought I'd help them out. Here's one I found on Vancouver Island that could use a bit of very creative recycling. It has plenty of potential and even more character!

Since leaving Port Hardy I've sailed the Inland Passage up to Prince Rupert. There is no where else to go from there except to Terrace on Route 37. Keen to stay off large highways where possible I took a smaller road through New Aiyansh and Nass Camp to Cranberry Junction, where I rejoined the 37. Many hours and a day and a half of riding brought me onto the Alaskan highway (route 1) now I have to follow this East and south until I can find another, smaller, route. One that can provide me with more of a challenge, which will be more fun.

The scenery from Prince Rupert was great, a long, wide sea inlet with a backdrop of mountains, still enhanced with last year's snow. Best of all take a gander at the beauty I saw on the way to Terrace. Isn't it lovely? My first bear sighting, and I got some good photo's, even if the close up is a wee bit out of focus. He was fine with a number of cars stopping and taking photos until one idjeet, with an expensive camera and king dong lense, had to get real close. Shame it wasn't a grizzly!

Its unbelievable the variation you can find in mountains, lakes, trees, snow, mist and clouds. It seems like each bend brings on a whole new vista. Too much to photo or describe, purely there to appreciate.

My first mistake in Canada, not refueling at every available opportunity. On the way to Terrace I had to retrace my route for over twenty miles when I unexpectedly went onto to reserve. Hot damn, at least I've learnt my lesson now! It would appear that I can make it between fuel stops without extra containers. And it brings you into some nice, secluded little communities, this one is the centre of the Naga'a people. The mountain setting around them is stunning, awesome looking rock and gorgeous snow streaked crevices; and I do like snowy crevices!

I certainly picked the correct route, it wasn't long before my second bear sighting, and this one was mine alone. I passed before noticing him, so turned back round and approached really slow, getting about ten metres away. Luckily I got my photos before some yippies in a VW screamed to a stop right next to him and scared him away. But hey, I saw two more that day and three the day after. No chances of more photos, they didn't hang around long enough. The more you get into the wilderness the more afraid of humans or vehicles they become. Good news as I'm about to camp in the wilds alone.

My choice of route proved doubly appreciated when I hit the wilderness road (means unsurfaced and not maintained)from Nass Camp and Cranberry Junction. This was windy, very pot holed and muddy gravel, added up equals enormous fun and a massive boost of confidence. I was more than happy riding at 40-50 mph, hell it was great! The pot holes proved no problem, stand on the foot pegs and open it up. The bike damn flew over them, very impressed with it's performance on trails. So much so I nearly lost it when I looked at the speedo and saw it reading 60 mph, I didn't slow down, there was no need to I felt totally in control. It paved the way for anxiety free tackling of rougher surfaces. The road pictured here was yesterday's 30 miles stint on muddy packed earth. I didn't bother going less than 60 mph; shit if I go over I'll only slide, worse is a broken bone or two, as long as there's no big rig around. Me and the bike got covered in crud, and I'm still minging, so its a hotel tonight to get clean.

It was my intention to blast out a 400 mile ride yesterday but I seemed reluctant to hit town and be out the wilds. A few times I tried tracks off the road, but they always turned out to private property. So I thought bugger it, ride to town; then for some inexplicable reason I tried another track. I followed it for nigh on a mile, hey presto! It came out by a gorgeous lake, room to park and even a deserted log cabin. How good was that? OK, so the windows were put through and it was full of rat shit; but hey, it was more aesthetically pleasing than the rat infested loggers cabin I found to stay in the night before. It took me an hour to clean it reasonable enough for my domestic satisfaction, there was even a dry fold down sofa, which I put my sleep mat on and slept as sweet as a babe.
apart from the freezing temperature the hide away was ideal. A lake who's water had barely a ripple, surrounded by trees and mountains and the only sound was the water running out and down the fast flowing creek. Oh, such tranquility! I could have been the only person alive for all I could see or hear. Near dusk I got a fire going and just stood around mesmerised, watching the fish jump. Then I noticed something swimming over the far side of the lake, a couple of minutes later it appeared over my side. It was right in the reflection of the water and it was too dark to see clearly, I'm sure it was too small to be an otter. Then it dived and I never saw it again, any one know any other creatures it could be? It was definitely at least 9 inches or so long with fur, I got a dark picture of it which I'll keep and try to uncover the mystery.

All these things are amazing and really make me feel alive, as does the biting cold of riding hour after hour. But the nature and wildlife make me miss Cai so much. I still find it hard to believe he's gone, still can't imagine a life worth living without him. Every day is filled with thoughts of him, and punctuated with tears of my loss. But they're not desperate, and I do bring him to mind in a positive light. I bring him into my heart and feel the tremendous love I have for him.

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