Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tok to Burwash Landing

We are at a lodge in Burwash landing now after 4+ days with no phone or internet. The trip from Tok started out ok, but we're battling the wind and now the road conditions.

Saturday - We had a good night sleep at the Mooseberry Inn on Friday night in Tok, and felt fresh for the weekend. We loaded up with groceries and started out towards the Yukon. A few miles into the trip, James blew out his front tire. Luckily, we were in front of a bar. We grabbed a few drinks, made the change, then started out again. The next 25 miles were the easiest we rode, but then the mountains came, and that quickly changed our pace. We climbed two or three hills which were tough on their own, but then the pavement changed as well. The easy ride into the Yukon was gone.

This week starts "winter prep" for the roads. Apparently before each winter season, when most of the RV stops close down, the roads are oiled and then "chips" are shoveled over top. If you have ever seen Cool Hand Luke, you will know what we are riding on. The "chips" are a mixture of light gravel and sand. These road conditions have moved our average speed down to 8-9mph and we're getting behind schedule.

We also are still fighting the wind. Everyday, around noon, we get a head wind of 30+mph. It was hard at first to hate it because it brought such nice weather from the south. I hate it now! My legs are trashed right now and we have only been able to ride 50-60 miles/day the past 4 days.

OK, back to the trip and enough complaining...

Sunday - When we woke up Sunday, we had around 30 miles to the border. All day long, rain was circling us, but we never got too wet. It seamed like we were following the eye of the storm, or maybe the eye was following us. Either way, we rode the whole day on wet sand, and saw our first gas station 1 mile from the border. It was the first stop we saw sinse Tok 80+ miles before. We got 4 cups of coffee and rode into Canada. The Canadian border patrol was 22miles into Canada. By the time we got there, it was 1AM and we had frost in our beards. We stayed the night at a campground in Beaver Creek.

Monday - We got up around 10AM Monday and got a warm breakfast. We then went in the campground facility to pay for the night and got some groceries. After looking around for less than a minute, I got just about all that was left on the shelves. The store was closing for the winter later in the week and hadn't restocked the shelves in over a month. I purchased 2 cans of chili, 1 can of apple juice, and a shower (you can buy showers at campgrounds for $3-$4) The price of the 4 items came to $18.98. After I heard the amount, I skipped out on the camping fee and took a 30 minute shower out of spite. We were refreshed and on our way. Then, the head wind again... Then, the chipped roads again... Then, the mountains again... and again, and again, and again. We must have stopped every 5 miles to eat. I don't know if it was that we needed the energy, or we were looking for a reason to stop peddling. Either way, we were taking our time. About 40 miles into the day, we met a couple at a Visitor Center. We hadn't seen anyone all day, so we were very happy to come across this place. The couple gave us some great pointers and told us of a camp site where were could put our tent up under an overhang and cook our food on a wood burning stove. We had warm chili for a change. Life is good.

Tuesday - I don't want to talk much about Tuesday. It was a very physically demanding one and I'm so glad it's over. Most of our ride was up hill (45miles or so) and the wind was as bad as ever. The only good thing to come out of Tuesday, was around 10AM on top of the tallest pine tree, I saw a bald eagle. I had never seen one before, so I was pretty excited. It flew away before I could get a picture, but it was awesome! Other than that, it's nice to have the day behind us.

Wednesday - We are currently at a lakeside lodge about 65 miles west of Haines JCT. There is a storm across the street in the mountains, but we are still dry. The wind is blowing the trees sideways right now, so we are going to wait a few hours to see what the weather is going to do. There is a good campground about halfway from here to Haines JCT. We may try to get there by the end of the day. I am looking at today as a rest day.

I'll update again soon. We should have interenet signals for a few days now.

Thanks for reading,



  1. Keep it up Steve, the riding will get easier as you acclimate, by the time you are done with the trip you'll be ready for the TOUR. I have a half mile hill I have to ride up everyday to get home that I think is difficult but I'll stop complaining about it now.

  2. Oh and any way you could make the trip map bigger so we can see where you are at?

  3. Hey we've been following your trip. Looks like you two had a fun trip to Santa's workshop! We just went running and now we are eating some soup Nathan made, wish you two could join us for some rock band! Hope to hear some new updates soon :)
    - Jenny & Angela

  4. Rockband does sound like a real treat. I hope you three are playing every day. When I get back, I don't want to be making any saves. I just want to stick to what I do best...Rock your freaking socks off!!!

    Ofer, thanks for making me feel a little better. You're a 4 min miler and you can only bike half a mile up hill. Wow! haha. If you get a chance to take a break from school, we'd love for you to join us for part of the trip.


  5. i stumbled upon this whole adventure via kim plough's post on facebook. although, i think steph had told me earlier this year about your plans. you guys are pretty much awesome, and i'll definitely be following you. plans to come to denver?


  6. This is great! It's like I'm doing it, but I don't actually have to do it.

  7. Hey Meredith! We know, haha. I don't think we'll be making it to Denver on this trip, but our route changes all the time. (that's why our map is so small, we don't want to be limited to one route) I hope you're doing well, and if you get some time off and feel like making a trip to the west coast, we should be there in a month or less.

    Aaron, It's a lot tougher than I ever thought, but I'm glad I'm out here. Thanks for the support.

    Thanks again,