June 13th, 2014 – Juneau, AK to Tok, AK ~530 miles
Finally, a day where we’d spend more than an hour on our motorcycles!
While waiting, we had several people come up to us and chat about bikes. This guy was the coolest – if I remember correctly, him and his wife often go on long motorcycle trips on separate bikes. Though they didn’t look it, they were both over 70, and the wife had just switched to a Honda Goldwing trike. I truly hope I have a similarly long motorcycling career.
Thankfully, this ferry ride was just 3-4 hours, which felt like the blink of an eye compared to our first journey of 35 hours. It’s funny how easily you can take views like this for granted when you’re surrounded by beautiful wilderness.
We spent most of the ride in a common room, falling in and out of sleep while movies played in the background. At one point, someone came into the common room, saying that they had just seen a whale outside. We ran up to the deck, but by the time we got up to the top, we couldn’t see anything. Here Vy tries her best ‘whale-summoning’ dance – it didn’t work.
We went in and out of mini rainstorms. Here you get the back view of my Scorpion EXO R2000, a helmet that was great on this trip despite the fact that it’s supposed to be a “race” helmet. Like I’ve said with the other products I used on this trip, I’ll have a formal review later.
Got some gas, and decided this would be a good time to finally fill up my extra fuel bottles. Unlike my other gear, I won’t be doing a thorough review on this. Want a review? They’re green. They work. They weren’t big enough (but that’s my fault, not the bottle’s)! Done.
And boy, was that sign right. In a 55 minute stretch, we saw: (warning, you’re about to get overloaded with bear pictures)
It’s hard to describe, but there’s at least 5 miles of road between the US and Canadian border crossing stations. Bui and I spent nearly the whole time chatting about how it would work if you lived in the in-between area. Soon we were back in Alaska, but this time we’d actually get to enjoy the state for more than a few miles!
Considering the ferry ride didn’t allow us to get on the road until about noon, I didn’t expect us to be able to make it all the way to Tok by the end of the day. Yet in Beaver Creek we found a payphone and called ahead to Vanessa at Thompson’s Eagle Claw, who was an absolute sweetheart. She threw a “reserved” sign on the ambulance for us (more on that in just a moment), and said she’d let us pay in the morning because we knew we wouldn’t get to her establishment until late at night. I cannot emphasize how fantastic Eagle Claw is. If you’re willing to camp, you must make this a stop on your way up north. Fast forward several miles and we had arrived, ready to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
When I said ambulance, I meant it. Eagle Claw offers some interesting camping areas, but by far the coolest is this Ford Econoline ambulance which has been converted to allow two people to sleep in the back. In very faint writing along the top orange pinstripe it says something like “The Only Ambulance Ride You Will Not Hurt In!”
Bui got dinner started. Though this picture looks like I’m helping with food, my focus was actually on the much more important aspect – beer. It seems that the first bottle of Smoked Porter was not going to make it all the way back to Los Angeles.
Continue on to Day 11
June 14th, 2014 – Tok, AK to Anchorage, AK ~320 miles
Back to Day 9
June 12th, 2014 – Juneau, AK – 0 road miles