2015 Yukon or Bust: motorcycles, start your engines

Toad River, Alaska Hwy

 

                      The "moose" at Tatogga Lodge, Cassiar Hwy

The summer of 2015 has pretty much slipped away, even here on the west coast, which was one of the driest and hottest on record in like, 100 years. We are now getting wet, but still just barely. Weather aside, and weather is never really aside when you ride a motorcycle, it was an outstanding summer. First off, I lived through it, and secondly, my wife rode with me, on her new DL650 Vstrom, as we traversed 7000 kms into northern BC, Yukon, and Alberta (see maps below). I should say "we" lived through it. Having lived in Whitehorse Yukon Territory for many years, in a previous life, we've driven both the Alaska and Cassiar Hwy, in summer and winter. Far more than most people on this planet ever will. Only over the last few years however, have I been seeing these roads from the seat of a motorcycle. How strange it is that only after I started to recover, somewhat, from my bacterial infection in 2012, that I began to log miles on my bike like I never have before. Yes, a slightly altered riding style, more measured, not so much going hard all day. More like, 3 to 5 hours a day and then rest, usually in a hotel, BnB, or amonst unsuspecting relatives.

I've always packed camping gear on the bike over the last few trips, but have rarely used it. The resurrecting, and not long after, the dimantlement of said tent, can be a tiring process. I know this sounds a bit much, but I'm just stating a fact. As I am currently enduring chronic fatigue, whatever energy I have is better spent on activities that are more rewarding, like sex and riding. Just saying. We were discussing camping with another couple in Banff Alberta, and when I told them we don't really use our tent, one of them says, "Is it just for show?" Holy shit. Biting my toungue until it bled, I replied, "No, it's really plan B, in case rooms are hard to come by." They dragged their gravitationally challenged bodies onto the back of their shiny Harley and putted away. I more or less enjoy chatting with fellow riders...some more, and some less. Fook me. Probably will still pack a tent next time, it IS a good plan B.

We hit a bit of hardcore, cold rain this year, and that makes not putting up the thin, lingerie like, krappy tire tent, an even easier decision. Hotels can bite the pocket book but I get a much better rest, critical when your heart can pop into a-fib from stress. I must add, hotels do not always offer sanctuary. We've been in some rooms where they were drafty and noisy, or noisy and drafty. And hearing the couple next door get to know each other through some toilet paper walls is a special event, like getting your foreskin clippped when you're 7 years old ... uhhh, not that I know what that's like.

What a great way to brand my wife's brain into the realization, that riding the Cassiar Hwy in rain that is going sideways, with a temperature hovering around freezing (wind chill accounted) for several hours, is exactly where she needs to be at this time in her life. The great thing was how she embraced the adventure. Sweet. There were some cold, wet days, that tested our metal.

"Aye, thar be gas stations and lodging on that thar Cassiar road, but they be a spell apart." On that particular day, the very same day she smote 3 birds with one bike, we rolled into Tatogga lodge an hour before they closed, procured a room in their newly constructed hotel, and even got to put on the feed bags. Also had our picture taken with the moose that that fills up a portion of the eatery. My lips were blue as we pulled in, barely able to speak into my Sena headset in a understandable language. My wife was wearing summer gloves with no heated handlebars. I know, your thinking, WTF? She's your sweety, put some goldang handwarmers on, and in hind sight, I wish I had. It was one of the few things that we didn't put on. I think because we had not only recently bought the bike, but had put on appoximatly $1500 more in farkels, perhaps puttng our budget into deficit. And no whining from her, what a trooper. I did notice later that evening that most of her was still warm and soft.

When I was driving a heavy wrecker, back in my truck driving days, I would, on occasion, tow a truck that was piloted by a husband and wife team. Team driving with anyone, of any gender or species for an extended period of time, can be a true test of ones sanity, and the relationship. Once again she proved to me that she is a keeper, as she has done so for more than 30 years. I am a lucky guy. Perhaps not lucky enough to win the lottery, yet, but lucky just the same. Actually, I sort of did win a lottery, just the grand prize was life, not cash!

This is a few of pics of some of our route. This route gave us the opportunity to do the Stewart Cassiar and Alaska Highway. If you're going to go to, or through Whitehorse, we highly recommend that you drive both roads. Why wouldn't you? That last photo on the right is at Liard River Lodge hot springs. Stop. Really, it's a great way to soak off some dust and butt bruises.

Williams Lake Tourist info ...         ... is one of the nicest             Eat to live ... road warrior lunch  Cassiar Hwy fire kill

That'll be todays spew on our first week of the four. I'm slowly posting pictures on my photo page. Slowly, as we have thousands to sort. We had the Drift camera set up on the back of my wife's bike, on either the 30 or 60 second time lapse, and over the month, that really piled up the pics. Most are just okay, but some really gave us a nice picture from a different perspective. I am becoming a believer of mutiple cameras, although it does mean some serious editing. Sadly though, the Drift, drifted off her bike while we were doing 100 kms an hour, drifting deep into the Banff National Park bush, never to be seen again. Au revoir!

A few of the pictures from the Drift Ghost HD, using time lapse, RIP ...