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  1. #1
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    Cycling for a Cause – Alaska to Panama

    As many of you do not know, this summer I will be biking from Alaska to Panama, a distance of well over 12,000 kilometers. The primary reason I am doing it is to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, others reason include that I may possibly crazy and that I think it sounds really damn cool.

    I am currently in Alaska, about 130 miles away from Anchorage. I will be keeping you guys updated with cool stories and well as great pictures from my trip. You can also check out my website at www.CyclingForACause.com, where I’ll be posting even more photos. If you’re feeling extra generous you can even donate something

    Either way, I’d appreciate it if you let your co-workers/friends/family know about this so I can spread the word.

    Thanks guys, and wish me luck!

    Btw, if anyone lives along the route I plan to take, let me know, I’ll drop by!)
    120 Days, 12000 Kilometers, 2 Wheels - Alaska to Panama for Charity - www.CyclingForACause.com

  2. #2
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    Day 1 - A Day Riddled With Mishaps - 126.19 km
    The day begins simply enough. Last night I took a cab to a friends house in Anchorage (who I actually just met thanks to CouchSurfing). I am still not sure how I ended up paying $25 to drive a distance of about 3 miles... No matter. Meghan and her house guests were great people, as pretty much all couch surfers are! I awake and finish assembling what is left of my bicycle, then disaster strikes. Well, not really, but it was not exactly the best thing that could have happened. In preparing my bicycle for the plane I had to turn the handlebars, remove the front wheel, as well as unscrew both pedals. The handlebar and wheel were trivial, as was one pedal. When I got to the other I realized that the thread was stripped and I could not screw the pedal in! Needless to say, what this meant was that I had to pay a visit to the nearest bicycle shop, which happened to be about four miles away. Let me tell you, riding four miles with one pedal and a bike loaded with gear is NOT fun. I sincerely hope it never happens to you. But wait, that's not all! On the way to the bike shop, my handlebar bag mounts begin to loosen and fall on my wheel. I miraculously arrive at the bike shop which at the time seemed like an oasis. I was luckily saved by a skilled mechanic with both problems. Now in good spirits, I grab a quick lunch as well as a few supplies then hit the road! Today I manage to make it all the way to Chickaloon Alaska. Had a minor fall due to a small shoulder with a tight drop off, luckily wasn't going too fast. Magnificent views, although otherwise a fairly uneventful ride. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing...

    FOR PICTURES BE SURE TO VISIT MY WEBSITE
    120 Days, 12000 Kilometers, 2 Wheels - Alaska to Panama for Charity - www.CyclingForACause.com

  3. #3
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    Day 2 - Hills, Wind, and Freezing Cold - 90.18 km
    Today it was absolutely freezing, I'm not sure how much more plainly to word it. I guess I am heading into higher elevations as I now see snow much more often, especially along the road way. The views are much nicer here, but I guess the cost is my comfort (my fingers are still thawing out). Eventually I ended up wearing not only all my regular cold gear, but as well put on my rain jacket, which conveniently doubles as a wind jacket. The cold would have been good enough, but no. Today's road was filled with a never ending series of ups and downs. The stretches of down are great, expect for two facts. The first being that going 55 km/h downhill makes you even colder, the second being that eventually you have to climb back up. All in all it was a fairly painful day. Oh, I also forgot to mention that I'm sore all over. I figure that eventually I'll just grow used to it.

    Oh, also saw Alpacas/Lamas today (I can never tell the difference). I figure that's kind of cool since they seemed very out of place.
    120 Days, 12000 Kilometers, 2 Wheels - Alaska to Panama for Charity - www.CyclingForACause.com

  4. #4
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Ride safe, Muttsta! I'll be watching (as soon as I get back from the UP of Michigan!)
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

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  5. #5
    A long distance Newbie wiles9's Avatar
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    Yeah nice trip, safe ride, have fun!!! Ill be reading when i can!!

  6. #6
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttsta
    Day 2 - Hills, Wind, and Freezing Cold - 90.18 km
    Today it was absolutely freezing,
    Well the good news is by the time you hit Baja & mainland Mexico it will be cooking and you won't have to worry about anymore coldness...

    Good luck on the trip.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  7. #7
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    Well, I'll take cooking over freezing any day
    And by then I can send home some of this weight costly weather gear
    By the way, I love wifi hotspots

    Day 3 - A Day Full Of Surprises - 94.05 km
    Today was a day that was quite simply full of surprises. In the morning when I woke up, I was kind of cold. I look outside, blink a few times, then shake my head in disbelief. It seems that over night I was snowed in! There were about 2 or 3 inches of snow surrounding my tent. After seeing this, I decided to go to sleep for another few hours, hoping that it would warm up. Luckily it did, so then I went to breakfast. When I asked the locals about this snowfall in May, they laughed at me and told me they get snow all the way into June!

    But wait, it gets better! In the morning I suited up in all my rain gear expecting the worst. For the next two hours I didn't see a flake of snow or drop of rain. After those two hours I was pretty hot and decided to take that rain gear off. As my luck would have it, about five minutes later it began to start raining, meaning I had to rush to get all that stuff back on again! For the next while I was absolutely drenched (luckily only my rain gear and not me!) and freezing cold.

    In the middle of what seemed to be nothingness I saw a godsend, it was a liquor store. I of course hurried inside where it was warm. Now this is where it gets really interesting. As I'm not 21 I of course can't buy alcohol in the United States, so I grab some junk food and head to the counter. The guy asks me for ID. I respond with a blank look and say "Huh? I'm just buying chips?" According to some new Alaskan law you have to be 21 to buy ANYTHING in a liquor store. Needless to say, I was denied buying a bag of chips. I never thought that would happen, unless it was my mom who would be the one saying no.

    Anyway, I am currently in some town called Glenallen, Alaska. I think that I'm probably going to camp out here tonight since there is nothing for the next 120 miles. I talked to a trapper today who cautioned me against black bears. He said at this time of year they are especially dangerous, and if you meet one, you can basically kiss your behind goodbye.

    CHECK MY WEBSITE FOR PICTURES
    120 Days, 12000 Kilometers, 2 Wheels - Alaska to Panama for Charity - www.CyclingForACause.com

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttsta
    Today was a day that was quite simply full of surprises. In the morning when I woke up, I was kind of cold. I look outside, blink a few times, then shake my head in disbelief. It seems that over night I was snowed in! There were about 2 or 3 inches of snow surrounding my tent. After seeing this, I decided to go to sleep for another few hours, hoping that it would warm up. Luckily it did, so then I went to breakfast. When I asked the locals about this snowfall in May, they laughed at me and told me they get snow all the way into June!
    Nevermind Alaska, it snowed here in Central Alberta yesterday.

    And if your route takes you through the Canadian Rockies, expect snow every month of the year. It might not happen ... but over the years, I have seen seen snow in every month of the year there.

  9. #9
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    According to some new Alaskan law you have to be 21 to buy ANYTHING in a liquor store.
    I heard also that you're not even allowed in the stores unless you're with someone over 21....it's a little rediculous.

    good luck on your trip!

  10. #10
    Biscuit Boy Cosmoline's Avatar
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    I live in Anchorage. Yes, the liquor laws are absurd. We have a lot of drunks here. You must be on the Glenn Highway. Believe it or not you're in crowded civilization compared with where you'll be headed later. Further north it will be colder and you'll face countless miles of even more remote wilderness. Moose, griz, caribou, but no towns or settlements for long long stretches. It gets really sparse when you cross into Canada. Take care!

    PS--if you get stranded out there and have to approach a cabin or isolated trailer make damn sure to yell "HELLO THE CABIN" multiple times. Try to get permission before crossing into private property. Don't just go barging into the area or you'll risk getting shot or having dogs on you. Some folks are really nice. Others aren't. And believe me nobody will find the body, so be careful. You are in the true frontier now, the raggedy edge of the known verse. Once you leave the highway you're off the radar.
    Last edited by Cosmoline; 05-06-07 at 01:49 AM.
    ''On a bicycle you're not insulated. You're in contact with the landscape and all manner of people you'd never meet if you were in a car. A fat man on a bicycle is nobody's enemy.''

    Tom Vernon.

  11. #11
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    At your rate you should make it to Liard Hot Springs hopefully before the end of the week, assuming you're going down the Al-Can(Alaskan/Canadian Highway). You'll be happy to stop there and relax in the pools for a bit because from there you have a long climb ahead of you as you charge in to the area known as "Mountain Top". I hitchhiked through there about this time last year and there was about 3 feet of snow on the ground in the mountain top area.

    When I was there, the employees at the hotel outside the hotsprings were very friendly, they didn't even mind that my friend and I slept in their changing room because it was raining like crazy at the lower elevation! Before getting there we got stuck in traffic durring a blizzard waiting for the plow trucks to come through and clear the road! Good luck and be safe!
    Last edited by OmlessWanderer; 05-06-07 at 04:04 AM.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the tips guys, so far things are pretty good!

    Day 4 - Better weather and less hills - 127.10 km
    Yesterday evening I decided to camp out behind a post office right in the middle of town. I figured no one would really mind since it was already late Saturday, and well, post offices are always closed on Sundays. I guess I was right since I didn't get a knock from an officer at night. When I awoke I was once again cold. The last night it rained, and in the morning the left over droplets froze on my tent. Check my pictures to see the aftermath.

    The weather up here is pretty crazy. In the morning you're absolutely freezing because the temperature drops below 0 degrees at night, but at midday you have to start taking off layers because you feel as if the sun is roasting you. Then once again you have to dress up in all your rain gear because you'll either get a few sprinkles or because it's so windy that it makes you cold again.

    Today overall was a much better day, I only got about ten minutes of light rain. The road also had fewer hills than the day before, which was a real relief. From what the locals tell me though, the next two or three days down into Canada should be tough.

    I also happened to cross paths with the strangest character today. He calls himself "Al Tokey". He says that he originally comes from Toronto, but that now he's been living in Alaska for over thirty years. He rides his bike from town to town, but the locals all know him so they give him lifts occasionally. He said that up here he actually mines for gold. Another thing I found absolutely crazy is that he wears eleven pairs of pants and seventeen shirts! I kid you not; check out my pictures if you must see it for your own eyes. He really does need them since he rides his bike in the winter as well. Even I'm not that crazy! He told me that back in 2002 he made the front page of the Anchorage news, being nicknamed the "Lance Armstrong of the North".

    CHECK MY WEBSITE FOR PICTURES
    120 Days, 12000 Kilometers, 2 Wheels - Alaska to Panama for Charity - www.CyclingForACause.com

  13. #13
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    Day 5 - Rain, rain, go away! - 101.54 km
    When I woke up today it started to rain, it pretty much stayed that way throughout the day, occasionally with some pauses. Definitely not the greatest weather to be biking in let me tell you! Was otherwise a fairly uneventful day until I settled down for the night at a campground here in Tok, Alaska.

    Let me tell you, tonight I feel as if I'm in the lap of luxury! The campground where I'm staying has showers, laundry, as well as wireless internet. I haven't felt so clean in days! Now here's the best part, I'm the only one here! It's not tourist season yet, so there is no one up here. In about three weeks time it should be completely full however.

    The owners here at 'SourDough Campground' are very friendly people. They even made me burgers fresh off the BBQ! I found out from them that in the winter temperatures here have reached -70 degrees Fahrenheit, and that’s without including the wind! In the summer however, it can get all the way up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, talk about a big difference! I also found out that unfortunately at this time of year I won’t be seeing the northern lights as it is too light outside even at night.

    No worries, I'll just have to come back another time! As for now, I'm off to bed. I hope to make it close to the Canadian border tomorrow. Farewell Alaska!

    CHECK MY WEBSITE FOR PICTURES
    120 Days, 12000 Kilometers, 2 Wheels - Alaska to Panama for Charity - www.CyclingForACause.com

  14. #14
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    Day 6 - Back Home, Yet Not - 149.76 km
    Last evening in Tok someone told me there was no way I was going to make it to the border tomorrow, so I just had to prove them wrong. As I type this I am sitting in my tent on the Alaska-Yukon border, well, I'm about 15 feet away from the actual dividing line... on the Canadian side of course! That also means I'm actually in another time zone.

    I haven't passed through customs yet, and it's not because I smuggled myself across on the bottom of a truck. The US customs is about a half mile past the border on the US side, whereas the Canadian customs is about 20 miles away from here!

    All in all the road from Tok to here was quite dull, and well, there wasn't much on it. I counted three gas stations and a handful of houses from time to time. The road condition was pretty bad in some parts. When I told the locals that they laughed at me and said the worst is yet to come in Yukon. I just can't wait to find out... (note my enthusiasm)

    The weather once again did not fail to disappoint. Today I got both hailed on and rained on. I must say that the hail wasn't the most pleasant feeling, especially when it hits your face when your going 30 kph, actually, it kind of stings. But me being the sadistic cyclist that I am, I did not stop and kept riding right through it. After all, minutes are miles!

    CHECK MY WEBSITE FOR PICTURES
    120 Days, 12000 Kilometers, 2 Wheels - Alaska to Panama for Charity - www.CyclingForACause.com

  15. #15
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    Day 7 – Dodging Landmines in No Mans’ Land – 146.56 km
    As I type this I am sitting in my tent at a rest stop, I have no idea where I am. May I also point out that my tent is sitting about fifteen feet away from a sign that explicitly states no camping or overnight parking. Am I a rebel without a cause? Perhaps. But then again, there has been absolutely nothing for the last 120 kilometers.

    After I left the town of Beaver Creek this afternoon I have traveled through what seems to be a desolate land. I believe I counted three gas stations, all of which where either abandoned or closer. I also counted three campgrounds, which were likewise closed.

    May I also point out that the road from Beaver Creek was interesting to say the least. If I had to compare it to something, I would say it was a lot like Swiss cheese, where the holes in the cheese are the potholes in the road. Today I basically felt as if I were riding in a minefield, for I well knew that should I accidentally hit one of those potholes I would probably injure myself as well as my bicycle rim, and then I’d basically be screwed.

    On a positive note, I officially crossed through Canadian customs and got a nice warm Canadian welcome. I am officially heading to sleep after a long and tiring day of cycling. Hopefully I don’t get an early wakeup call from a Mountie due to my blatant disregard of posted signs.
    120 Days, 12000 Kilometers, 2 Wheels - Alaska to Panama for Charity - www.CyclingForACause.com

  16. #16
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    Day 8 – Oh The Horror! – 98.00 km
    I severely underestimated today’s road. It was not extremely hilly nor did it involve rain. However, it did involve wind. Oh what a wind it was! It was quite possibly the most severe headwind known to man, beast, or cyclist. May I also inform you that it was not a on and off kind of thing, but it was non-stop, all day long. You know it’s getting pretty bad when you have troubles going downhill in your lowest gear. It turns out that the large lake located next to this stretch of road seems to provide that effect.

    The winds had taken such a toll on me that when I arrived at the restaurant in Burwash Landing I swear I could have eaten a horse. Unfortunately since they were all out of those I had to settle for hot chocolate, salad, veal culets, poutine, and finally cherry pie with vanilla ice cream.

    On another note I met a couple cycling down to Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Unfortunately since they are not going as fast as I need to go in order to reach Panama in time, I won’t be able to join along with them.

    Finally, it is interesting to note that just because something says ‘Closed’ in the Yukon, doesn’t mean that it exactly is. Today as I rolled on by a closed campground I decided to knock on the door of the office and see if anyone was around. Sure enough someone was home, and they were more than willing to let me camp for free (which is where I am right now as I type this). They even offered me firewood had I wanted some!
    120 Days, 12000 Kilometers, 2 Wheels - Alaska to Panama for Charity - www.CyclingForACause.com

  17. #17
    Junior Member in difficulty's Avatar
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    Good luck Muttsta, you are gutsy guy. I'll be watching/reading your posts. If you come anywhere within 100 miles of Modesto, CA., I'd be glad to come out and meet you. Shoot some photographs for the local paper, and maybe ride along for a stretch. If you happen to come through Modesto I can offer a hard floor and hot meal. Fare well my friend.

  18. #18
    Senior Member eliktronik's Avatar
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    Awesome trip reports, man. You're putting in some serious mileage. Good luck!

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    Day 9 – The Sun Lives Again! – 163.27 km
    Today was simply a great day for cycling. In the morning I started off near that dreadful lake I so thoroughly mentioned yesterday, so for about half an hour I still got some nasty head winds. Right after that I hit a 12 km stretch of rough gravel road. Let me tell you, not fun to bike on, and even less fun when trucks kick up a lot of dust in your face.

    After that it was smooth sailing. The roads were not excessively hilly and the winds did not hinder me. I made it to Haines Junction at about 3:30 PM. I had the biggest craving for Chinese food, and as luck would have it there was a Chinese place in town. Unfortunately the food wasn’t that great. My meal that was supposed to be spicy was quite bland. None the less, a success either way, although I still have a craving for Chinese!

    In Haines Junction I also stumbled upon a general store. When I entered that place I swear it was as if a shining beacon of light beckoned me in. Unlike the severely under stocked gas station stores that I was used to, this was an actual store with a very good selection and good prices. The gas station shops along the way like to inflate their prices a lot. Needless to say I got a little overexcited and stocked up on way too much food, I actually had trouble packing it all into my bag later. I mean, I even bought a whole loaf of bread!

    Past Haines Junction a nice fellow also stopped while driving to give me a few tips on routes amongst other things. He directed me to the aboriginal town of Champagne, and along a short cut of sorts. Let me tell you, if you simply removed the cars in that town it would look like you stepped back into the 1600s.

    Today I finally also saw my first true wild beasts of the north. I saw a porcupine as well as a moose today. Unfortunately both quickly ran away when I tried to pet them. Do you think I’m crazy? I didn’t really try to pet them, but they both did run away.

    Since I managed to catch up on the mileage today I only have about 80 km or so to Whitehorse tomorrow where I will be staying with someone I met from CouchSurfing. Should be a nice and relaxing day, I think I’ve earned it!


    Day 10 – The Road to Whitehorse – 76.30 km
    What? Only 76 km you ask? Officially, yes. Unofficially I cycled about 140 km today. The 76 km that I am counting is part of my route, all the rest is simply detours. I biked all around the town of Whitehorse, took a major detour to the Takhini Hot Springs, and even took a short bike ride to a party.

    The road into Whitehorse itself was fairly straight forward and uneventful. I decided to drop my bags off at Charles’ place, who I met through CouchSurfing. Once I unloaded my bags and rode my bike with nothing strapped onto it, I felt as if the ball and chain had been removed from my foot. I could pedal faster and easier, what a relief! I also visited today what is possibly one of the best inventions of the Western world, Chinese buffet. I tell you, that place alone made my day!

    After bicycling around the city of Whitehorse, I then had the bright idea of bicycling 28 km to a place called Takhini Hot Springs. It wasn’t the most phenomenal hot springs I’ve seen in my life, simply a large hot tub, although it was refreshing none the less.

    The road back from Takhini Hot Springs to Whitehorse was not as simple. I was hit with fairly rough winds, but I made it to Whitehorse none the less. I thought I would have some free time in Whitehorse, but nope. Charles invited me to a party, and I’m not one to turn that down! So we of course hopped on our bikes and off we went! It turns out there is a large community of Quebecers here in Whitehorse, and everyone at this party happened to fall into that group. A great and fun crowd of people, although I did have to brush up on my French a little bit!

    CHECK MY WEBSITE FOR PICTURES
    120 Days, 12000 Kilometers, 2 Wheels - Alaska to Panama for Charity - www.CyclingForACause.com

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    Day 11 – Sweet Home Alabama – 110.66 km
    To me Whitehorse might as well have been New York City. It had everything and anything that one could want. This morning I felt right at home when I saw the welcoming neon lights that read “Tim Hortons”. Never has soup and sandwich with hot chocolate tasted so good.

    Today in Whitehorse I talked to a motorcyclist who had come up the Cassiar highway, which is what I’ll be on in about four days time. He kindly informed me that he had seen eight bears in one day while on that highway. Needless to say, I immediately went to Canadian Tire to purchase a can of bear spray. It was quite the rip off at $44.99 per can, but a wise investment none the less. I mean, I could take one, maybe two bears on, but definitely not eight!

    On my way out of Whitehorse I saw a sign to the famous Miles Canyon. I decided I could not pass up an opportunity to see it when so close. The next sign informed me it was 4.5 km to the right, easy enough I thought. Oh my dear readers, how wrong I was! That 4.5 km involved the most grueling and painful hill climbs I have ever endured in my life. I tell you, just looking at these hills was enough to make a grown man cry. Pain and suffering aside, the canyon itself was quite nice and well worth visiting.

    Currently between Jake’s Corner and Johnsons Crossing at some closed campground. Although the barrier was down, I could still squeeze by using my bicycle. There’s envelopes which state you must put $12 in an envelope, stick it in a box, and put the stub on your rear view mirror of your car. Since the place is technically closed, and since I don’t have a car, I think I’ll just accidentally forget about all that. My memory is deteriorating, I am getting old after all!
    120 Days, 12000 Kilometers, 2 Wheels - Alaska to Panama for Charity - www.CyclingForACause.com

  21. #21
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttsta
    Day 11 – Sweet Home Alabama – 110.66 km

    Today in Whitehorse I talked to a motorcyclist who had come up the Cassiar highway, which is what I’ll be on in about four days time. He kindly informed me that he had seen eight bears in one day while on that highway. Needless to say, I immediately went to Canadian Tire to purchase a can of bear spray. It was quite the rip off at $44.99 per can, but a wise investment none the less. I mean, I could take one, maybe two bears on, but definitely not eight!
    Hey just a tip. If you run into 8 bears at once you won't have enough bear spray to hit them all. So just spray yourself real good and lie down. Then pray they don't like spicy food....
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  22. #22
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    Day 12 – What’s That Big Black Cudly Thing? - 120.85 km
    I will be the first to admit that today was quite a dull day. At Johnsons Crossing I tried a “World Famous Cinnamon Bun”. It really wasn’t the greatest cinnamon bun in the world. I’d much rather have one from Cinnabon any day.

    Right after Johnsons Crossing there was some bridge work being done, and traffic was stopped. I ended up chatting with the traffic controller for about 20 minutes. She told me that so far the spring has been much colder than usual. Another cool thing she told me is that in the winter, the temperature had to reach negative 55 degrees Celsius before they didn’t have to go to school. Ouch! Looks like we have it easy in Ontario!

    On my way to Teslin I saw my first black bear of the trip. Upon seeing me he simply ran off into the woods. He really wasn’t that big, I could have probably taken him on. On a serious note I hope all my bear encounters end in this way!

    I arrived in the village of Teslin at about 3:30 PM; a quaint, but nice, little town of about 300 people. Here I did some souvenir shopping, visited the post office, and then sat in a restaurant for about two hours. No, I wasn’t eating for two hours, but this is usually the only way I am able to charge up my iPod, laptop, phone, camera, as well as access the internet.

    Am currently camped (probably illegally again) at some rest stop beyond Teslin. I am actually in the province of British Columbia since this road dips into the province for about 50 kilometers or so.

    Day 13 – Roads and Bikes Both Under Construction – 105.40 km
    Today’s day started off really, really rough. The first 40 kilometers of the day really took their toll on me. Not only was I tired because I stayed up a little late the night before catching up on missed episodes of ABC’s hit show “Lost”, but I was hit by stronger than usual headwinds. I tell you my dear readers, if there is one thing worse than a steep hill, it’s going up that steep hill against a tail wind. I also happened to pass through a stretch of road that was under construction and thus gravel. What mad it really messy was that they had just sprayed water onto the surface to keep the dust down. Sure, no dust, but on the other hand I got all muddy!

    After suffering through 40 kilometers I decided to take a lunch break near a stream, where I made a gourmet meal of tortellini and whole wheat bread. Soon after I hit the road again I saw six deer by the side of the road. They were unfortunately scared off by a car, otherwise I would have gotten a picture. That seems to happen a lot to me.

    Following that I hit some construction, which is very common in the Yukon. However, this time they wouldn’t let me through on my bicycle! I’m not surprised, the road was all torn up and I would have probably killed myself trying to get across. Needless to say my bicycle went in the back of a pickup truck and I got a ride across the construction zone.

    Soon after this I realized that I had experienced my first mechanical failure of the trip. It seemed that my water bottle cage had become detached on one side, and by the time I got to camp, on both sides. No worries, nothing a few zip ties couldn’t fix! The more unfortunate mechanical failure was of my rear view mirror, which snapped when I laid my bike down wrong. It looks like I’ll have to stick to looking over my shoulder!

    Another thing I saw today that I thought was neat was a bald eagle. Although I’m not positive, I’m pretty sure it’s not that easy to see them in the wild. I saw this one actually swoop down and catch a fish in the lake. What happened after was actually quite comical. Since there is a layer of ice covering the lake, the eagle actually was stuck and had trouble getting out. At one point he just laid his wings out flat on the ice and looked like he passed out from exhaustion. Eventually he did get out and flew off, with the fish of course.
    120 Days, 12000 Kilometers, 2 Wheels - Alaska to Panama for Charity - www.CyclingForACause.com

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by vik
    Hey just a tip. If you run into 8 bears at once you won't have enough bear spray to hit them all. So just spray yourself real good and lie down. Then pray they don't like spicy food....
    Lol, I'll keep it in mind if it happens
    Thanks
    120 Days, 12000 Kilometers, 2 Wheels - Alaska to Panama for Charity - www.CyclingForACause.com

  24. #24
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    Day 14 – Welcome to British Columbia – 109.56 km
    I have learned that dinner meals work equally fine for breakfast as well as lunch. Today for breakfast I made myself mashed potatoes, lightly seasoned with chicken something, along with my favorite combine with everything food, bread. What can I say, I would love to make eggs with sausage and bacon, but that’s kind of hard to carry around, and every bear within a 100 km radius would probably sniff me out!

    After breakfast I covered a distance of roughly 80 kilometers before I hit the junction of highways 1 and 37. Before that spot, there was absolutely nothing. I spent a few hours here in order to eat, update all my loyal readers, send a few messages to people, as well as upload some new pictures.

    I tell you, there is an absolutely amazing café at this junction. I received a beast of a burger with cheese, bacon, mushrooms, mustard, relish, mayonnaise and who knows what else. I mean, it was seriously twice as tall as it was wide! That was followed up by the largest cinnamon bun I have ever seen in my life, which was equally delicious. There is a picture of it included in my photos with my business card next to it for size reference purposes.

    I am currently next to highway 37 in British Columbia, more commonly known as the Cassiar, roughly 30 kilometers past that junction. I should note that as I turned onto this road there was a sign which said “Check Your Gas – Next Gas 254 km”. In other words, there’s not going to be much on this road for awhile
    .
    As for my first impressions of the Cassiar, well, you know those creepy roads in horror movies that people turn onto while everyone in the audience yells “No!”? Well, it actually reminds me a lot of that. Additionally, it’s quite the rollercoaster ride. The downs are quite fun, but the ups are another story since you have to climb them manually.

    Unfortunately the last kilometers of the day involved me getting rained on. It didn’t look like it was going to stop anytime soon and it was getting dark, so I ended up setting my tent up in the rain for the first time of the trip. Definitely not a fun task as you have to essentially set up your tent in reverse. As luck would have it, it stopped to rain about 20 minutes later and it hasn’t rained a drop since. That’s Murphy’s Law for you!

    These next 700 kilometers or so of road should be the most desolate, challenging, and dangerous with respect to wildlife that I should encounter on my whole trip. Wish me luck, and don’t be surprised if updates don’t come daily, there’s not much out here!

    Day 15 – Rough Day With A Relaxing End – 141.20 km
    I will admit that today was a really rough day, and it wasn’t because I covered more mileage than I usually do. The first 80 kilometers of the day, which took me from 10:30AM till 5:30 PM were simply excruciatingly painful. I would have thought that heading south I can worry less about headwinds. But oh my dear readers, how wrong I was! Today I battled some of the fiercest headwinds that I have ever experienced. I would explain in more detail, but the mere reflection of them makes me cringe.

    The next 60 kilometers took me a mere two and a half hours. The winds had mostly died down and the road was either flat or downhill with very few climbs. I saw an advertisement for a campground that would have ended my day at kilometer 127, however they were unfortunately sold and closed. I continued on fourteen more kilometers to another campground, where I am right now. Along the way I also saw a fox as well as a moose, both didn’t seem to mind my presence the slightest bit.

    When I initially asked for a cabin at this site, they told me one could be had for $45. I told them that my poor college student pockets couldn’t afford such a hefty fee, and thus took a campsite instead for $15. Of course, me being so charming and likable, after some sweet talking I managed to eventually get a cabin for a mere $25. Inside my cabin can be found a table, two chairs, a kitchenette, a light, and two beds. Most importantly, it’s warm! I made myself another gourmet meal of some instant food from a packet along with some bread of course. I tell you, those instant foods taste really good when you mix some of them together. What more could I ask for? I have to give myself a pat on the back for being able to organize this one!
    120 Days, 12000 Kilometers, 2 Wheels - Alaska to Panama for Charity - www.CyclingForACause.com

  25. #25
    Senior Member adrianlatrace's Avatar
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    Wow, great journal so far. What college do you go to? Are you at one of the UofA branches? If you're coming through Chicago, you're more than welcome to couchsurf for a day or two.

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