Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day 13 - June 26th, 2010 Dawson City to Tok, AK

Today we would finally, after nearly two weeks on the road, make it to Alaska.  But first we would need to survive a ferry boat ride across the Yukon River, ride the Top-of-the-World and Taylor Highways, get approval to re-enter the USA, do the Town of Chicken for breakfast, and finally ride into Tok, AK.

We were up early to get in line for the ferry.  Based on the line of nearly 20 RV's the previous evening waiting for the ferry, we wanted to beat the rush.  The ferry runs 24 hours a day and has a three person crew.  Good news was no line; bad news, Tammy needed reassurance she could make the ramp onto and off the ferry.  She did perfect.  Turns out they crowd motorcyclists between the larger vehicles.

View from the west side of the Yukon was great looking back over Dawson.  There even was a golf course that featured midnight golfing west of the river.

This is where I got into trouble with my traveling partner.  I really thought the road from Dawson to the Canadian/US border was paved.  Turned out nearly 40 miles of the 70 to the border was gravel.  Not Tammy's favorite and I heard about it.  She did fine but I suspect her 17" front wheel was a little "skittish" at times.  She knew the section from the US border to Chicken, AK was gravel and was a pro at it by then.

We had to wait for the  border crossing to open at 9AM and simply sat in line visiting with other motorcyclists.  Ended up riding with a BMW GS rider from El Paso, TX to Chicken and having breakfast with him.  He was a retired border security guard that flew planes to provide the security.
It took Tammy a long time to pick out her breakfast.  She kept saying pie for breakfast was a good thing.

Road from the US/Canada border to Chicken had plenty of views, loose gravel, and wet sections.  That evening we would learn that two motorcyclists from the D2D rally had crashed on this section later in the day.  One, a retired doctor from Anchorage on a Wee Strom, broke his collarbone and the other on a Yamaha TW200 broke his leg on the first curve after the border going into AK.

Chicken, AK was interesting.  Simply a novel place with a gold mining history.  Not sure why the town exists today except for us tourists.

Began to rain as we approached Tok and chose  a motorcycle only campground.  Did an oil change on both motorcycles, had a great dinner in town while watching tourists get off the buses, went to the campground sauna to warm up, and then to a wet campground setting.  Met several interesting motorcyclists each with a unique perspective of motorcycle traveling.  We would enjoy everyone we met on this trip.
I think the long day, gravel roads, and rain had been a little taxing on my riding partner.  But we we're in Alaska finally!

1 comment:

  1. Tammy didn't need reassurance -
    Ron was worried I'd decided to stay and wanted to make sure I was on the ferry...