Just a quick note, I fell a bit behind on postings and have a bit of a backlog. I will probably post once every few days for the next week or so and then get into a habit of a weekly update. Sorry for the short term blitzkrieg.
A bit high from the hospitality and excitement of Whitehorse, we were excited to be back on the road. We had almost forgotten the persistent headwind that we had been fighting and it did not let up. Somehow the wind has a tendency to chip away at your attitude. With hills, you always know that it will end at some point and you will get a break while gravity does the work. Wind can blow for days and even weeks. We had been out for close to a month and really only had the wind at our backs two or three times. We started to take our frustrations out on each other a bit and it made for a long day.
We stopped at a spot called Jake’s Corner. It is the kind of place that would have a sign out front advertising its world famous burger or ice cream topped cinnamon roll or something like that, but in reality there was nothing that this place would ever be famous for. We sat inside under flickering fluorescents and ate day old baked goods and fries. For some reason nobody plays music in Yukon restaurants so all you ever hear is the sizzle and scraping of a flat top grill and the banter of the cooks.
It began to rain outside. The hard day had taken its toll on us and we weren’t saying a word. Just sitting there, staring at the void, hoping for sunshine or a hot tub. Then three early twenty something men rode up. Big smiles and dirt and grease all over them. They had started in Colorado and were heading for Anchorage.
“Oh man do we smell, you guys want a hug?”
They had also been battling a headwind from the other direction. Which meant that our luck was about to change. We chatted for a few, but were eager to get the wind at our backs. We gave the smelliest one with a gas station mustache a hug and left. It had taken us over six hours to do fifty or sixty kilometers up to that point. We rode for another hour out of Jakes and easily did another 25 with the wind behind us.
We made it to a government campground that night and spent the next evening at Teslin Lake. From there we pushed to Swan Lake. We didn’t have the energy to make it to the next campground so we found a sheltered spot off the road to set our tent up. We went about a kilometer to a rest stop to cook, use the bathrooms and stash our food. A German couple came up to chat and gave us a bit of fruit. They were traveling with a truck and camper and we chatted a bit about how we sometimes fantasize about an RV.
After they left, Soph said, “This is one of those nights where I just wish I could sit and have a glass of wine.” A few minutes later a man appeared from a van and said “Looks like you’ve had a long day,” and offered us two beers. We sat and watched the lake for a bit and then went back to our little nook off the road.
The next day we had a true tail wind and road almost 100 kilometers just over 4 hours to Rancheria Lodge.