Monday, September 05, 2005

 

Whitehorse, The Yukon


I have spent the past 5 days in the town of Whitehorse relaxing and gearing up for the next part of the tour, down through the rest of The Yukon to British Columbia and then back into the states.

Whitehorse, the capital of The Yukon, is a quaint and interesting town. I had no idea that it is as big as it is considering it’s in such a vast part of the country! It’s very metropolitan when compared to a lot of Alaskan towns. With all of its amenities, Whitehorse is more like Anchorage than other places of equal size. While here I have been enjoying staying under a dry roof, and away from bears, in one of the three hostels in town. I did a lot of things to get ready for the next 1,000 miles of isolation: I re-supplied and replaced a few different pieces of camping gear, up-dated the web-site, got a lot of groceries, mapped out the next bit of the tour, wrapped my handle bars with new cork bar wrap, slept with out worry and showered three different times! I didn’t get out and explore as much as I would have liked, but sometimes that’s how it goes. I needed to handle too many things to do any exploring. I did, however, have the good fortune to meet and hang out with a few interesting people and did some much needed socializing.

When I was riding into town I met another rider who was on his way to town; Jean-Francois Bisson, a French-Canadian carpenter from Quebec, now a resident of Whitehorse, who is a bicycle tourist as well. In fact, he has already completed virtually the same trip that I am doing! We hung on several different occasions while I was in town and swapped information about past touring experiences. J.F. was also able to lend some incite about what I can expect while traveling through the rest of The Yukon as well as parts of B.C. Check out his web-site: www.symbiosecafe.ca

And, while at the hostel, I met another Canadian, Ryan Kinna. Ryan, a sled dog handler, tour guide and homesteader, was in town waiting for the next wave of clients to arrive for his last guiding gig of the season. Ryan spends the summer guiding people all over the north—The Yukon and Alaska—and in the winter he lives in a small cabin out in ‘the bush’ and takes care of a team of sled dogs for Hugh Neff, a Yukon Quest and Iddarod dog musher. We hung out and related stories about Alaska and The Yukon over beers while digging the scene in Whitehorse on a couple different occasions before he left to escort his new group of clients into The Yukon.

Well, I suppose that I should get a move on. The air is cool and the sky is threatening rain and I have a lot of miles to cover before the day is over. It may be awhile before the next update. The upcoming stretch of the tour promises to be a long and lonesome one. With the end of the season at hand most places are closing so I’ll write when I can. Alrighty then. Take care everyone and Happy Labor Day, later!