June 11, 2011

    Another interesting day.  After I finished screwing around with the computer last night trying to get this blog posted it was still light enough to walk around at 1:00am local time without a flashlight.  Guess we must be getting closer to the arctic circle where the sun won't set at all.
    We left at the crack of dawn .... well not exactly as dawn starts at about 4:00am.  In any case, it was 39 deg F and guess what? My electrics (vest and gloves) wouldn't work.  This happened two days ago and since they started working after we'd exhaustively tested everything, I attributed it to 99 being a B.... .  This time however no matter what we did - nothing worked.  Needless to say it was a chilly ride to Whitehorse.  Went to the Honda dealer and bought a tire but they wouldn't put it on as they were "busy".  As Charles would say they weren't real user friendly.  Also they had no replacement electric clothing.  We next hit Yukon Harley Davidson and the reception was entirely different.  These people actually like bikes and are interested in you and how you're doing.  The manager(?) partner(?) Dick Wild managed to diagnose the problem with the electrics (dirty plugs) and also fixed the footpeg and made a cap for the chain oiler all in just a few minutes.  Then wished us well - no charge!  WOW!!  I contributed to their coffee fund.  If anyone needs service to a bike in Whitehorse, I cannot recommend them enough.  Great folks.  While we were there Charles did a valve adjustment on the Old Girl as one had tightened up.  She now runs much better.
    So we left Whitehorse with me once again warm and snuggy.  The scenery was spectacular and I got some photos when it wasn't raining. Of course the next thing was that it started to rain and continued on and off for the rest of the day except for about the last 50 miles into Tok Alaska.

Rain clouds coming in over the mountains.

The infamous steel grate bridge at Teslin.  These things are a motorcyclists' nightmare.  It feels like you're riding on marbles and will dump it at any moment.  This is one of the world's longest.  Great fun - not.  99 did a fine dance over this one.
      On the way (the Canadian side) the Alcan highway is deteriorating drastically and we rode for over 50 miles in absolutely atrocious road conditions.  Large pot holes, cracks, dips deep enough that 99 actually became airborne once when I swerved to miss one and hit another that was hard to see.  The rest was either washboard mud or pea gravel. Very tiring to drive.  When we passed the border into Alaska however the road instantly became perfect.  Newly paved and without even a ripple.  Needless to say we slightly exceeded their 55 MPH limit (only by a little) to make Tok in time to check in and eat supper before the restaurants closed.  We gained another hour to now be 4 hours behind Eastern time. Alaska has it's own time. Tok is pronounced like "toke" in case you're interested.
   Charles' friend Kenny once again tracked us by the Spot and phoned us within 10 minutes of our arrival.  I think he does it just to see if it's possible.
After today the bikes are attaining the fine patina of the far northern traveller. IE: they're dirty in the extreme. It appears to be a status symbol. 99 thinks it's make-up!
  Tomorrow we depart for the beginning of the Dalton Highway and hope to end at Coldfoot so as to be ready for the long dirt section to the Arctic Ocean.  Decided to run with the existing tire and carry the new one even though the existing one is also wearing at a rapid rate.
Spare tire mounted in the only place left.  99 the packhorse!
We may or may not have internet or telephone service for the next few days so you'll have to rely on the "Spot Fink" as Charles has taken to calling it since it "finks" us out as to location to everyone.
   Goodnight from metropolitan Tok.
P.S. I can't believe no one emailed us with a comment on yesterdays photo. ??  Big grin - I can say this as Charles is already "sawing wood".
PPS I forgot to mention that a check of the weather in Deadhorse is forecast to be above freezing in the daytime for the nest week.  Things are looking up.

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