Wednesday, June 18, 2014

June 18, 2014 - Pucker Factor 8

What a nice surprise!  We woke up and it was SUNNY, no more rain.  Yeehaw.  It didn't take us long to pack up the bikes, fuel up and head out.  But, we had a stop to make in Watson Lake, the Sign Forest.  We we rolled in last night it was raining and neither of us felt like doing anything more than have a cocktail or two, eat dinner and conk out.  Yesterday's ride was very tiring with the rain, wind and poor road conditions.  I was elated to see the sun shining.

Off to the World Famous Sign Post Forest.  We were on a mission and we accomplished it!  We placed a sign in honor and memory of our dear friend Dread Pirate Kermit, Ken Morton, #257.   Pay attention you rally riders, this may be a bonus location!

 We also placed a sign commemorating our Yukon/Alaskan Adventure!!

 If you've never been to the Sign Forest at Watson Lake, put it on your must do list.  It is a crazy fun place.  We'll stop here again on our return trip and spend a bit more time checking out all the signs from around the world.

Yup, that was a LOT of FUN :-)

We chatted with a few folks that were there and finally got on the road heading west on Hiway 1.  The weather was delightful but a bit chilly.  I kept my heated gear and grips on pretty much all day.  Some wind and some interesting road conditions.  Riding, riding, riding.  Our only stops were potty breaks until we stopped for lunch at Teslin.  Are you sitting down?  Two burgers, onion rings and two coffees - $56.00.  Yes, that's FIFTY SIX DOLLARS.  Yikes.  The burgers were good and so were the onion rings but I'm not really sure they were $56 worth of goodness ;-)

As we approached Teslin we saw this...a beautiful bridge spanning the river. (File photo)

And then we got on the bridge spanning that huge was metal grate the entire way!  Ha, ha, ha.  Made the ride interesting.  No, that wasn't my pucker factor.  Heck, this was maybe only a 2 on the pucker factor scale, if that.

(File photo)

We went into the restaurant for lunch and just about then the rain started.  We had a relaxing meal and by the time we were finished, the rain stopped!  Good timing, eh?  We re-fueled the bikes and motored on, still riding Hiway 1.

After a bit we made a pit stop at this lovely location.

 We spotted several of these beautiful butterflies.  This one was kind enough to let me take some photos.

You know, I'm amazed at how vast everything is here.  The rivers are massive, the lakes are enormous and the forests go forever as far as one can see.  It's so incredible.  It makes one ponder our significance and give thanks that we can visit a place like this.

Back on the bikes we headed to Whitehorse where we turned north on Hiway 2 toward Carmacks, our destination for today.  This road had quite a bit of frost damage but the heaves were marked with tiny red flags on the side of the road.  I quickly learned that I needed to slow down a bit before hitting the heave.  Made for an interesting ride :-)  We came upon a sign for road construction but I bet we went 5 miles before we saw any sign of work and then...all of sudden... the road changed from pavement to snotballs.  The flagger waved us by with a smirk on her face.  She knew what was in store for us and was probably taking bets on whether or not we made it through the construction zone without mishap.

The road surface was mud.  They must have just watered it and I think they tried to drown it.  Nothing by slimy snot, slippery goose snot.  I just pointed the bike down the road and kept telling myself to focus my eyes ahead of me down the road - DON'T LOOK DOWN AT THE WHEEL!!!!  I also kept telling myself to keep my hands and arms loose and let the bike float under me.  Oh, I also asked God to keep me upright.  That was my PUCKER FACTOR 8 moment!!!

We got plenty dirty and so did the bikes.  I thought it was about 10 miles of construction at the raging tempest speed of 30 kph but Eric said is was more like 2 kilometers long.  Whatever.  It felt like eternity.
 I don't look like a poseur anymore.  I've baptized my Klim gear, Sidi  boots and new Rumbux skid plate and crash bars with snot, oops, Yukon mud!

Yes, I can honestly say I'm a dirty girl ;-)

We rolled into Carmacks around 5 pm and checked in at the Carmacks Motel.  We thought we were getting a cabin but really we got a shack.  LOL.  Really, it is a shack but it will work for the night.  I can hear the neighbors 3 shacks away!  Hope they don't party all night.

Our animal count today - one moose, one porcupine, a bear - we think it was a young grizzly bear because of the golden color of its coat, one prairie dog, one chipmunk and one unidentified animal that was black and white and maybe about the size of a terrier dog.  Maybe a big skunk?  Maybe a badger?  I dunno.

One very interesting tidbit - riding along we saw a bird in the middle of the road.  Probably some type of quail.  Didn't move, didn't budge.  Eric rode by and the bird didn't flinch.  As I rode by I saw a baby bird about the size of a large walnut being tossed by the turbulence of Eric's bike. Eric never saw the baby but was surprised the big bird didn't move.  The baby seemed to recover from his tumble and Mom was just standing still, waiting for her baby to get to her.  I'm so glad we didn't run them over!!!!

As to weather, for the most part we had a pleasant day.  Started out with sun and had an occasional rain shower but none lasted for any great length of time.  Chilly, glad I have the right gear to stay comfortable.

Parts of the ride today were long and long.  Not really boring because the scenery was spectacular, but long.  This gave me plenty of time to plan our potential new home, complete down to the landscaping, firepit, dock, grill, decking and interior decorating.  It kept me occupied as my XM radio was spotty.  I'm easily amused :-)

So that's the report for today.  It was a good day.  Tomorrow we'll reach Dawson City where we'll stay two nights.  I'm really excited to meet all kinds of new folks.  And, I'll keep you all updated with tomorrow's blog.

Cheers till then.

Cletha (Carmacks, Yukon, Canada, Northern Hemisphere, 3rd Rock from the Sun)


  1. Keep it up U 2. Today we leave for Poison with Melchild who stayed with us last night. 35 degrees no problem. Harkey versus his new FJR - well that's another matter.

    1. Ohhh, so sorry we're missing Poison. Say Hi to everyone and you all have a great time!

  2. Following and enjoying....back to lurking.

  3. I remember that grate bridge well from last yr; they were welding on it when we came back so down to 1 lane. I'm glad it was dry both times!

  4. I don't like open grate bridges either... especially not when it rains! But you did it - look ahead, nice and loose. When I was reading the part about the snot road I was holding my breath and suddenly I realized that I was so in to it that I actually for a moment thought it was me doing the riding! Glad you made it through. Love your writing style Cletha! Keep it up and I hope it warms up for you girl. Happy travels!

    1. Hahaha, thanks Minna. Yeah, the snotballs - Gack!

  5. Nice ride. Watch the snow, it sounds like the Taylor got lightly coated. Make sure you have a couple of Black Death at Klondike Kates! If ur headed to Anchorage and need a place to rest your heads, and a garage to figure out why his fuse keeps blowing, your more them welcome to crash at our place. Message me in Facebook. Judy Kesler.

    1. Thanks Judy. I'll keep that in mind should the need arise. Not too sure about the Black Death though :-)

  6. Them Chickens were "Ptarmigans"..... The Alaska State Bird.... It's funny how stupid they are!!!!

    1. Thanks for the enlightenment Rex. I just hope the baby was okay and they got across the road

  7. Take the drive up to the big bench on the hill overlooking Dawson City, it's worth the ride. Great photo op!

  8. I love the sign post forest! And I could feel your pucker during the mud/snot...keep up the great posts! Living vicariously through your trip. :-)

  9. Been reading your blog and watching your progress via Spotwalla - along with Mike's. It's official now, SWMBO has recommended I undertake the same adventure when I retire. :-)

    Wonder if I should mention needing another bike for the trip. Hate to get the RT all snotted up.

    Wishing you two all the luck you need & all the fun you want.