A Vancouver exodus leads us through Whistler, a world renowned ski-town and all-around gorgeous place to some and all. The manboy, however, doesn’t bite and knows what to look for. Quaint little out of the way mountain ski towns shouldn’t have electronic metered parking (it makes them less quaint) and cops tailing you at the posted speed limit of 30 km/h (18 mph) all the way out of town. Whistler, BC: playground of the rich and an all-around unfriendly place. Warning: Do not stop here and keep moving. C’mon, 18 mph?
Continue North and begin anew your brutal slog through the cold and wet. The northcountry is a foreboding place for the motorcycle adventurer and it will take every ounce of courage and strength to see you through. Cold. Wet. Alone.
But look you’re not always by yourself out there in the world. Kind-hearted strangers drift in and out. They offer up their lakefront cabins as shelter on cold and windy nights, hotel rooms to get out of the pounding rain, and campsites to share for commiseration and bear protection. There are others out there now, riding North, and enduring. The occasional passing wave lets you know that they are indeed out there, themselves questioning their motives in sopping wet clothes and boots.
But hey, if you wanna be a player, best to get used to the game. There is no turning back and you must ride your bike ragged to make the North where some respite awaits. Get there and drink up that midnight sun when you see it boy.
Lap it up like a dog while you still can, man.
You’re now in the Yukon.
You’ve made it this far.
A small victory no doubt, but in a small battle in life’s great war.
Regardless, you’ve come a long way.
Know that you’re still here and that you’re out there, in the world.
Just like Papillon clinging to his coconut raft.
I’m still here. Don’t you forget!
Travel Tip: Internet service and cell phone reception is sporadic, terrible, or non-existent in the Canadian Northwest. Campground Services campground in Watson Lake, YT offers free wi-fi and tent sites for $10. Really, a reasonable price in these parts. Listen, things are strange here and people are a mixed bag, especially business folk. They really have you by the balls up here in the middle of nowhere and they know it. Some like to gouge but there are some that pride themselves in being respectable shop keeps. It’s a toss up man. You can usually avoid paying $2 for a package or a Ramen noodles but sometimes you have to buy gas for $7.80 a gallon.
Liard Hotsprings: Magical energy abounds here and a hot tip from the Pilgrims of Pleiades yielded this gem. These are idyllic hotsprings enveloped in a Provincial Park off the Alcan. A long boardwalk will get you from tent city to these piping hot hotsprings. Indeed, they are hot(!) and a perfect point counter-point to the cold misery you have endured thus far. I was adopted by a nice new family here. My new dad and brother took me fishing and I caught my first fish of the trip with my collapsible pen-sized rod, a bull trout. The only fish of the outing no less! Isn’t that something? Feeding the family already!
This couple was travelling from Brazil to Prudhoe Bay. This didn’t speak very good English but we managed to exchange contact info. They even have a website and it appears that they had this to say about your humble adventurer:
“We met several riders on the course, but what caught my attention was a young man who left New York and goes to Alaska on a bike very old and poorly maintained. The tail oil vasa and has paint all spoiled. The boy is shy. We met him three times on the road and he stands alone resting. In the first meeting, when he saw the name in the Celestine Brazil, he came all curious. I have asked in the second stay in New York his home. He handed me the email and said he is facing there will be a pleasure. His site is more or less well, the letter was not readable: