Alaska 2023

Day 06

July 13

  As I am getting BlueBelle ready to roll I meet these two fellers from South America. We had a good time talking about life on the road and things that you encounter along the way.  

I figure I'll get breakfast somewhere down the line so I get out of Stewart pretty early.

  I remember when this bridge had washed out and was replaced by a temporary one for several years. I guess they finally got around to fixing it.  
  Soon I make the turn off Highway 37A and I'm back on the Cassiar and I have it pretty much all to myself.  
  Before long I'm at one of my usual gas stops on this section. I don't really need gas at this point, but if I fuel up here I can easily make it to the gas station at Dease Lake. Gas 'management' on the Cassiar and the ALCAN is very crucial factor in riding in these parts unless you want to end up as bear bait. If you run out, you could be sitting on the side of the road for a really long time until you have hungry 'visitors'.  
  One thing up here besides the often gravel sections of roadwork are those lovely grated bridges. They are not the place to have a really firm grip on the handlebars as the front end will dance around as you cross them. This one reminds me of the really long one going into Teslin where I will be spending the evening.  
  It is peaceful and isolated out here and I have to believe the scene has not been changed much by man since the Lord originally created it.  
  I see my first sign of wildlife on this trip and there are no signs around to indicate it. I'll see two more bears along the Cassiar but this is the only one I'm quick enough to photograph before he disappears into the bush.  
  It's just a lot of peace and quiet and beautiful scenery as I move right along.  
  Up here you never know what will be over the next hill ...  
  then you find out - it could be thick gravel on a down hill slope or ...  
  or one of those 'wonderful' grated bridges that makes your motorcycle dance ...  
  or some very pretty scenery. Obviously some are much more enjoyable than others.  
  My next gas stop is in Dease Lake at the Tin Rooster which has a pretty nice little grocery store and deli inside.  
  Today it proves to be a popular spot with a bit of strangeness going on at the pumps as I don't know if they can't figure out where their gas filler cap is or what.  
  I manage to snag really good breakfast and to meet ...  
  a lovely poochie dog who is quite willing to pose for a picture in hopes of a bite of my sandwiches.  
  He graciously introduces me to his humans which I think is pretty nice of him. But he's a little embarrassed since they only walk on two legs so he tries to hide his face in the picture.  
  With a good breakfast tucked away, I get back to enjoying some more lovely panoramas ...  
  and some more splendid isolation. As I said, this is not the place to do something stupid or to run out of fuel - it could get quite interesting to say the least.  
  It's just so nice to see such vast areas of beauty unspoiled by the hand of man and so called progress. I'm afraid so much of today's 'progress' is actually quite the opposite in reality.  
  Then once again I come to an area that has experienced a devastating forest fire. It always brings sadness to my heart for the poor innocent wildlife that gets caught in this kind of disaster.  
  Soon I cross over into the Yukon. A little further along on the ALCAN I will be back and forth from the Yukon to British Columbia several times.  
  I come to the end of the Cassiar (also known as Highway 37) and at least the sign at the north end is still standing.  
  Maybe this sign is still up because of the guard dogs working here, but this one evidently worked the night shift and he's tired.  
  But he's backed up by his fellow worker so they've got it covered between the two of them.  
  I get BlueBelle fueled up and hang a left to finally get on to the ALCAN.  
  Unfortunately the reality up here is that there are two seasons - winter and road construction and I am in the road construction one.  
  I make it through that one without incident but it sure looks like trouble up ahead judging from the sky.  
  But I just keep pressing on in hopes the road will twist away from the rain before it gets to me.  
  And sure enough it does and for that I am very thankful - though I always carry a rain suit with me.  
  As I said earlier, this section of the ALCAN sort of straddles the Yukon and British Columbia borders and you go back and forth several times.  
  But it's a lovely section with far reaching vistas and a real visual treat to me.  
  When I see this sign I know two things for sure ...  
  I will be crossing the longest grated bridge up here shortly ...  
  and my motel is just on the other side.  

At least they are in the process of replacing the old grated bridge which is 1,466 miserable feet long and the longest bridge on the ALCAN. And to me it is also the most 'uncomfortable' bridge to ride across.

  This is a great stop as not only are the rooms nice but there is a really good restaurant in the facility. After you've been up here a few times, you learn the places to stop and the places to avoid. As always, the food is excellent ...  
  and I do my best to do what my momma taught me - 'Clean your plate!'  
  It's been a longer day of over 540 miles so I am ready to check out the horizontal position for a while. I am able to travel quite well in the strength of that meat I just consumed to reach the place of quiet rest.