Wednesday, June 30th
Managed to get out of Llaird Hot Springs…see previous post (Unstuck) and ran north and west. Still on the Alcan. Found signpost-land at Watson Lake…it occurs to me that I am taking my Valkyrie to all kinds of landmarks and photographing her in front of them. Just her.
Seems a bit strange…maybe I should just get a yard gnome huh?
The signpost forest at Watson Lake, Yukon Territory, Canada.
Anyway, 500 miles on the highway today. The terrain varies significantly. Good road, bad road, no road, forest, lakes, swamp, mountains, and prairies.
This place is big. I mean BIG. Bigger than Texas big.
Take every man, woman, and child in America…270 million or so…and dump each one down in his or her own acre up here, and they would all die because they would never, ever, even come close to finding the road.
All the southbound riders I've met are starting to have a dazed look on their faces…and really aren't interesting in talking…and aren't particularly articulate when they do.
I'm starting to understand why. Big!
Ran to Haine's Junction today. Everybody on my route has been friendly…Canada exceptionally so…until today. I guess every country has to have an asshole somewhere…
As I arrived at Haine's Junction, I was looking for a cheap hotel…there are about three in town (hey, that's a big town out here) and I stopped at a likely looking one. It had a "Vacancy" sign.
I walked in and an older man was behind the counter. He said (frowning), "Have you got a reservation?"
At this dump? Not likely. I didn't say that.
"Too bad then. I just sold the last room." He waved as he said in a high tone of voice worthy of a 10-year-old, "Bye bye."
The parking lot was empty.
"Don't like bikers huh?" was my reply.
He got mad. I mean mad. Basically he told me that he was the manager and could rent to whom he chose.
I just left. What, after-all would be the point of arguing? At least he could have been honest about it. Oh well. There are tons of lodges and hotels on this route…including many boarded up and out of business ones. He won't be around long.
Up the road about a half a block there was an even cheaper, but friendlier combination hotel, bar, pool-hall, and Chinese restaurant. I took a room there, and had excellent Chinese food at the bar. I told the lady that runs the bar about the incident up the road, and she said, "Just wait till he comes in here for lunch again. Paybacks are a bitch, eh?" She's got a bit of biker in her I expect.
By the way…Canadians really do (a lot of them anyway) add "eh?" to the end of their sentences. As in, "Sooo, you're from down south, eh?"
I've tried to scatter a few "y'all's around to help keep the stereotypes flowing.
Got up early and ran another 600 miles today. I am in Fairbanks, Alaska, at a not cheap hotel. This city is a bit frantic, and expensive. I'll check it out more tomorrow. I've got to do laundry--I was at the stage of sniffing and saying, "If I haven't run a thousand miles in it already, it's clean".
The border, US customs checkpoint. Alcan, Alaska.
I also need to change the oil on the Valkyrie, and wash at least some of the dirt off her.
One Dirty Machine...
Then I've got to figure out what to do about all the fires. Every route has one, and I don't know where to go.
It is tough finding out. Imagine asking for information about a road in Colorado, from Georgia. The distances are about the same. The Alcan alone is 1500 miles long. Everybody has an answer, but often they are not correct about the conditions 50 miles from them, much less 500 or 1000.
I am going to stay one more night here (I've a better hotel booked for tomorrow night) and then scram.