Tuesday, 10 August 2010 – Haines, Alaska to Haines Junction, Yukon Territory – 159 miles
Today started badly because I hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before. The wind had been unrelenting, angry and howling all night. I finally got up and broke camp and tried to muster the energy to face the ride back up that steep, gravel, pot-holed, wash-boarded road. On the short walk to get water, I came across the biggest mushrooms I’d ever seen! And they was growing out of the most delicate carpet of moss. Somehow that helped put me in a better frame of mind.
The ride out was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Don't know if it's because uphill is easier than downhill or because I felt more confident. Or maybe it was because of the giant mushrooms. Whatever the case, I made it out with only a little bit of a death-grip on the handlebars.
Guess what? Guess what?!? I saw a scooter! An Elite ridden by a guy in shorts (brrr, cold!). We were both so surprised that we did “The Geek” wave. Seeing him really perked me up! I wish I had the camera ready. Between seeing the other scooter-ist and this sign, the morning was getting better.
I stopped at the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve beside the Klehini River to walk around and have lunch. Unfortunately, I'm here at the wrong time to see any eagle activity (September / October is better). There was a very cute stone bear at the next turn-out, though.
There were lots of traffic delays due to construction projects improving and widening the roads. It made for very slow going. One of the flaggers told me it would continue to be this bad and worse all the way to Burwash Landing. At least that’s what I thought she said.
I was tired by the time I got to Haines Junction even though it wasn’t very late. I had a good dinner at a Chinese restaurant that was recommended to me by the woman at the gas station. That hit the spot!
The Kluane Kampground was just a little further up the road. I found a quiet spot and went to bed by 9.