The top of the world highway was a real treat. Dirt roads, incredible vistas and the odd moment of complete isolation. It was a moment for us both to remember for a long time. One of the most memorable aspects has to be the end of the highway when we descended towards Dawson City, Yukon. The descent was rough gravel and with tired eyes it took a lot of concentration. The reward for the concentration was our first ferry ride. The Dawson City ferry is a free 24hr 7 days a week operation that essentially connects the Highway over the Yukon river. Tom gingerly rode the bike up the slippy steel ramp onto the ferry deck and breathed a sigh of relief. For he had not dropped it! The Yukon is sparsely populated and covers 482,000 km2 which is more than the twice the total size of the UK .
Dawson City resembles an old Gold rush town with saloon doors on the bars and boardwalks instead of pavements. Our first real civilization since Anchorage and we were keen to explore, and with the sun shining there was not a moment to loose. We were directed to a campsite on the banks of the river that was to be our home for the night. Only issue being, it was back over the other side of the river. With camp set it was time to hit the town. Tourist information were great at helping to point us to the right places and were even dressed in period costume.
Our first stop was to ‘Sour Toe Joe’s’ this saloon bar had bags of character. Lorna particularly enjoyed the pianist who played Elton John and various other favourites. While we drank our well-earned local ales, we got chatting to a guy who had been on the road since 2004. He was keen to show us some of the other party spots but with a big day planned it was time to call it a night, a decision out of character for both of us!
The next morning we ran around the town before packing up and heading down the road for our longest day yet. With better weather and Lorna’s iPod blasting out the tunes we continued past our target of Whitehorse (after a compulsory Wi-Fi fix at McDonalds) to Johnson’s crossing, 411 miles completed.
After a quick meal on the stove it was time for bed.
Our target for the next day was Sign Post Forest, recommended by Jim and Jenny.
Keen to continue with our mile munching, we then covered 319 miles before halting our progress to enjoy a dip in some natural thermal springs. After relaxing for a couple of hours the rains returned with vengeance and continued to follow us forcing us to take refuge in a motel in Fort Nelson. A night off from camping was a welcome rest bite as we scoffed burgers at Dan’s bar and had a well-earned rest in a comfy bed. Tom even found time to wash our bike while Lorna washed her hair.
We left Fort Nelson feeling rejuvenated however, our luck did not last as the weather deteriorated into heavy storms. After our previous night of over indulgence we decided to try a spot of wild camping at the side of the road to save the pennies.
After such an early night we were up and out on the road to the Rockies and please… please… please… some sun shine!