Alaska was short and sweet for us as we ventured forth towards the Canadian border. We had 450 miles to cover and decided to stop off at Tok on the way. Now this suggests that there were a lot of places to choose from but no, not in Alaska. The 330 miles to Tok from Anchorage consisted of trees, mountains, rivers and glaciers, oh and more trees. Over the distance we passed through just six settlements, that would not even be classed as hamlets back home. The journey itself started in the same way as our arrival to Alaska had- in the cold, and in the rain. Undeterred , we woke early and said goodbye to our hosts, who had kindly woken with us, at 6am to make us breakfast and to give us a gift to accompany us on our travels. (Meet Arnold the Alaskan Moose).
Once on the road, we continued on Highway 1 for the duration of the trip (no route planning required!). The temperature dropped considerably lower than we had expected and Lorna fully embraced her heated jacket and gloves. Pushing on towards Sough Dough campsite in Tok we saw glaciers and vast landscapes nothing like either of us have ever seen before. We also experienced potholes and gravel for the first time too- arriving in Tok mentally exhausted as well as physically.
Sough Dough campsite was a site that Tom had read about before we arrived and we were keen to stay there and partake in the pancake tossing contest that is held every evening. So, at 7pm we arrived and introduced ourselves along with several other travellers passing through. Most of which were all post 60 years of age and were towing 40ft trailers or RVs bigger than the largest lorries you will ever see on the M6! Anyway, would you believe it, we won the contest thanks to some expert tossing by Lorna! The prize- free breakfast, which we both gladly shared in the morning.
Next morning we said goodbye to the campsite squirrel and headed to the Taylor highway (otherwise known as the Top of the World Highway). The road conditions were testing but again the views did not fail to impress us both. First stop along the highway was the village of Chicken (around 6 buildings in total!). This was a great opportunity to take some photos and for Tom to drop the bike for the first time. Just to compound his embarrassment, a group of German tourists ran to his aid and helped put the bike back up onto its wheels. Worth noting at this stage that you will hear a lot about Tom dropping the bike, as it is a past -time of his that he seems to enjoy! Fortunately for us, the 1200 GS is designed to be dropped and has lots of protection to prevent damage. We soon found out later that same day that we can both pick the bike up, unaided and without having to unload it, which is a bonus!
After Chicken there was 120miles of mostly dirt leading us to Dawson City in Canada. We arrived at the most Northerly US/Canadian border post (population 3) and had our passports stamped – WELCOME TO CANADA!