And far more easy to find here in Dawson City.
Especially under Dori’s guidance.
Dori had invited me to come and stay at her place, and after riding down the Dempster she served an awesome feast of Lasagna and chocolate cake! Absolutely suberb.
It didn’t take long or I had found my way to the infamous ‘Pit’.
And no I didn’t try the sourdough cocktail. This is in another bar in town where you can get a shot of alcohol with some old toe (yes a human toe!) in it. I was told over and over again I’ll have to try. But thanks, no thanks, I think human toes are gross enough as it is, firmly stuck at the end of their feet. I don’t need one in a cocktail.
A good few people have warned me that many people come up for a holiday and stay for years.
I had no plans to get stuck. Not consciously anyways.
But on the day I planned to leave my body went into protest.
After speaking to kids in the school, which is always fun;
And suddenly I went from happily pushing and riding along a snowy highway to laying flat on the floor and not even being able to turn over!
No idea what I’d done, but stuck in Dawson I was.
Good thing Dori didn’t mind me laying about on her floor and she is a wonderful ‘mum’.
And when I was able to move again, a few days later, we celebrated by finding a bit more gold 😉When I wandered out and looked up I saw the Northern lights dancing through the sky!(you can tell in this pic my back doesn’t feel all too flash yet, but I’m trying!)
Clearly I couldn’t yet leave the morning after a night at the Pit. So I got organised and ready and finally managed to leave a week after my arrival.
I was only about 60km when my bike stopped. Maybe I should check the screws a little more regularly but at least I had a good excuse not to ride as by now my back wasn’t feeling all too comfortable either.
But I had met gold miner Peter,
He showed me how to pan for gold and we drove the long road down to Whitehorse.
Big bicycle-touring enthusiasts themselves they made me feel welcome at their wonderful home 20 km south of town.
Or the maple syrop wafel in this case. Yum indeed 🙂
But I didn’t stay in town the whole time, I had roads to ride.
Dan and Helen had met each other in Mozambique where he worked as a lawyer for an Canadian volunteer organisation and she as a nutritionist for a Dutch one in many remote villages throughout the country. They only spoke portuguese together.
Their home is a colourful mixture of things from all over the world and places they worked and travelled.
They happen to like beer too.
In case you didn’t know we (the Dutch) have the wonderful habit of sprinkling chocolate on our bread for breakfast.
In fact, we might be the only country where adults without hesitation or embarrassment see this as a perfectly sufficient breakfast.
Which is exactly what it is.
Helen showed me the town by bike,
Not just that, she’s an artist with hair, always looks gorgeous and even managed to get my hair to behave. And she has her driver’s licence. All things I don’t or can not do. Very impressive indeed.
I’ve spoken to various school groups, but never yet did a whole class join the ride 😉
Ben, 13, is the baby of the family and an excellent sportsman in his own right.
He especially loves snowboarding and mountain biking with his friends.
He lives in the right part of the world for that.
He’s also pretty handy on the computer and put together this video of him and his friends.
A good friend of the family happened to be a physiotherapist (and all so a very keen cyclist) and she told me exactly what’s wrong with me. physically that is.
Ok, I can explain…
or maybe not.
But there is a story.
A 18 year old girl from Whitehorse, Morgan went to Haiti after the earthquake to help at an orphanage.
But what she found when there was shocking.
What she did amazing, check out her story on http://www.littlefootprintsbigsteps.com/
Here in Whitehorse, supporters do whatever they can to help and in this case it was a clothing sale to collect money.
I found that outfit at the sale and bought it. Just couldn’t help myself. And I felt like I would fit right in back up in Dawson 😉
I have an irritated disk pushing on a nerve. Nothing too much I can do but be careful and do some exercises. A long bicycle ride could help the physiotherapist said.
So I planned this loop to Alaska.
The sky was clear the road was smooth, it was a wonderful ride indeed.
Before heading out Helen gave me this lovely cycling skirt and arranged for me to stay with her friend Jane the first night,
And a tree-house!
Jane also happened to have a friend up the road in Haines Junction.
She lives in a spectacular place but is planning to move,
Don’t tell me you don’t want to live there.
It didn’t matter, through this scenery I couldn’t go slow enough. I loved it!
Headwind is no good if you need to use bearspray,
So it’s lucky I didn’t.
I had decided bears don’t worry me as I probably don’t worry them.
This works really well.
And then I wasn’t as cool calm and collected as I had planned to be. So I flagged down a vehicle and a friendly lady drove up past the spot where I saw it with me, the bear had scurried off into the bush.
I know you have to make noise and let them know you’re here but that goes a little against my instinct that says, run! And that’s precisely what not to do.
Now I just had to not worry too much and I told myself if I’m gonna be afraid of every little bear I come across I better not go cycling in Northern Canada and Alaska. So I kept on looking for a good place to camp that night.
and found a great place to sleep!
Matthew has been hauling fuel out of Haines for a while and knows the road very well. He was in no hurry to get to Haines as he wouldn’t load until the morning, so he agreed I should be sleeping on top of his truck as it’s clearly the best campspot around.
You can’t beat sleeping out under the stars, if you’re prepared that is.
Matthew decided to try it himself, but without a good mattress or sleeping bag it isn’t quite as comfortable, and he retreated to his cab.
Isn’t that lovely!
There is enough of them.
Now it’s mainly used by passing cyclist and ski-folk.
It was a beautiful evening as the full moon rose and the sky coloured pink,
He had been up the mountain a while taking the most amazing pictures!
Nr 61 on my list.
I’ll tell you all about it!