Friday, August 13, 2010

Monday, 09 August 2010 - Teslin, Yukon Territory to Haines, Alaska - 191.9 miles

I woke up from a great sleep to a beautiful view of Lake Teslin. This is the view from my front porch. The cabin in front is quite a bit bigger than the one I stayed in. (I gotta say, I liked how cozy mine was!)

Let me just put in an unsolicited plug for Dawson Peaks Lodge and, in particular, Dave and Carolyn. They went out of their way to help me and others who weren’t even their customers. They made calls to find lodging for folks who stopped in. They serve a delectable dinner (didn’t have time to try breakfast or lunch), and they’re really nice folks. Stay at the Dawson Peaks Lodge if you’re in the neighborhood. You won’t be disappointed.

I continued northwest on the Alaskan Highway toward Teslin. There’s a turnout where I saw another trailer I liked even better than the one at Hell’s Gate. And I liked that she was bundled up even more than I was.

The Nisutlin Bay / Teslin River Bridge was impressive to look at but the metal grates made it a bit dicey to ride over. Plus, It was kind of freaky to see through the grates to the river rushing below as I tried to keep the scooter upright.

Just over the bridge was a gas station. You know I had to stop and refuel. There I met a bunch of folks – a cute couple each on BMWs from Wasilla, a fellow who kept saying “I gotta get me one o’ them” and Trevor, pictured below. Trevor told me about two Italian fellows who flew here, bought Vespas (200s I think he said) and were on their way to catch a ferry to Vancouver. I was on my way to catch a ferry, too – from Skagway to Haines. I’m sorry to say, Trevor, I never did see them.

One of the turn-outs has some rusting trucks left from 1943, when Canol Road was completed.

Another scenic turn-out with a view of Bove Island.

This a view of Tagish Lake near Carcross. The lake changed from gorgeous turquoise to deep aquamarine to sparkling sapphire. Truly breath-taking. I wish the photo showed it better.

There were waterfalls all along the highway feeding into the lake. It was cold and windy so I didn’t stop. No wonder they call this part of the lake Windy Arm.

I was welcomed to Alaska as I rode toward Skagway.

Once in town, I stopped at the library to e-mail my folks (Hi Mom & Dad!) and check the ferry schedules. I was just in time to catch the last ferry to Haines. Whew! The clouds were low and thick so the view of the Inside Passage was lost to me. That freed me up to take a shower and do a load of laundry. (Those ships are very well equipped!) Once in Haines, I tried two campgrounds – both closed. Oh, man - not this again! (I was getting cranky.)

I was tempted to camp along the road like many folks do.

Instead I opted for Chilkat State Park. It was getting late. It was still windy. And it was getting colder. The good news is I got this photo of one of the many mountain tops peeking out from the clouds.

The bad news is the road to the park was mostly gravel, washboarded, heavily pot-holed and has lots of switch-backs. CRAP. To top things off there was a 14% grade. Criminey!! I was tired and stressed out by the time I set up camp. Not a happy camper.


AKElizabeth said...

Hi there :) My husband and I are the couple from Wasilla you met at the gas station in Teslin. Stumbled across your blog the other day - great writing and congrats on making it all the way up the haul road! That's awesome (I'm still too chicken to try it LOL)!! We had a great rest of our trip down to Nakusp BC and saw our fair share of the rain too. Ride safe :)

Liz & Scott

Scooter Wanderlust said...

Hi Liz!

Good to hear you enjoyed the rest of your trip in spite of the rain.

Funny to see you here - how did you find this blog?! If I had been thinking more clearly, I would have snapped a photo of you and Scott. I admire you ability to handle such a powerful and heavy motorcycle. I always love to see women that ride their own!

Keep the shiny side up! :>)

AKElizabeth said...

Scott saw it linked on and realized as he was reading it that we'd met you at Teslin. Totally unexpected :) I did take a photo of your Vespa while you were fueling up - it's not great but I'd be happy to send you a copy if you'd like.

I haven't really blogged our trip, but I did put some of my favorite photos up on flickr - here's a link.

I'd love to try riding a scooter sometime. They look like so much fun :) It's nearly riding season again - I can't wait to be back on two wheels!