Friday, July 31, 2009 (Day 5)
It was a beautiful day.
We heard all these road construction reports and were so scared of the loose gravels and construction delays etc. It turned out to be a bit rough but very manageable. The weather was great, alternating between sunshine and overcast, ranging from 15C to 22C.
It was also a shorter ride, only 435 Km. We arrived at Whitehorse, Yukon by 2:00-2:30 pm. We would have wanted to relax and hit the town on a Friday night, but the support van hadn’t arrived yet at 3:45 pm. I was still in my riding gear with no change of clothing. (Margaret would be proud of me as I am discarding old undies and T-shirts along the way instead of doing laundry. Ha Ha.)
The support van arrived about 2 hours later because the trailer wiring had a problem, and Randal had to go to some “garage” and begged for repair. It wasn’t a big job, but you know in Yukon, nobody is in a hurry, especially on a Friday afternoon. Anyway, it felt so much better with a shower and civilian clothing.
The more current statistics put the population of Yukon at 33,000, and 24,500 of them are in Whitehorse. (And I was told there are 16 dentists, so the competition is fierce.)
Dr. Ron Pearson, my classmate from UBC, practised in Whitehorse for 35 years. He has children and grandchildren here. He picked me up at 5 pm after his workday, took me to visit his present clinic, as well as his previous 3 clinics that he sold to his associates. He gave me a grand tour of Whitehorse, and also a tour-guide’s version of the history of this place. The grand tour of Whitehorse lasted 35 minutes. It was very interesting. He is going to take me for a ride to his cabin at the lake on Day 9 when I am alone in Whitehorse.
We were all resting and waiting for the “party” at around 7 pm.
Something trivia: only Bell provides cell signals here.
The GPS is great. On highways, there are limited choices to get to Whitehorse. But once in Whitehorse, boy oh boy, the GPS comes in handy to find the hotel. This “High Country Inn” used to be a YMCA spot 35 years ago. It was run down and bankrupted, and assumed by CMHC….etc, now renovated and become one of the convention centre type of events in “downtown” Whitehorse. HeeHee. It is old and bare essentials.
I had a funny incident today.
I was following a car pulling a boat on the highway for many Km at posted speed, and then I sped up to pass it. By the time I managed to almost passing it, I was already on double solid yellow lines, and I was going 140kph. There was no other traffic. At the most embarrassing moment when I was at the same level with that car and speeding and on double solid yellow lines, I saw that the car was a RCMP vehicle. What could I do but waving the left hand at them? Ha Ha.
The nine riders have kind of sorted into categories:
Bruno, the local Whitehorse guy, and John Valk, like to ride fast. They both were caught doing 140kph at 90kph area, and were ticketed.
Robert D, likes to get started early, and pausing at interesting areas and taking photos, and falling behind, and catching up and leap-frogging again.
Dan, the Chinese electrical engineer, likes to get up late, and putter along at a consistent speed of about 10 kph over speed limit on his VFR and always arrives on time. He doesn’t care if he rides solo or with some other people.
Klaus and Judy, the 65+ years old couple like to ride on their own agenda. They are very polite if you ride with them, but Judy drives me nuts. (Judy is from Manitoba.)
Dr. Michael Whitfield, the paediatrician, must be from the lowlands of Scotland, tries to be funny all the time and he likes to ride behind me because he said that he liked the speed that I ride.
Bruce, originally from Euclelet, BC, is very secretive. He was the birthday boy 3 days ago. He said he would ride with you, and somewhere along the way, he would decide to take off and disappeared, or he would stay behind and disappeared.
I, made it known to them that I will ride with everyone of them, one of those days. Actually, I rather enjoy riding alone. But, I suppose, for safety sake, I should have a riding buddy.
My friend, Ron, took me to a salmon hatchery, with ladders…..etc, to learn that the salmons swim all the way from the tip of Alaska, upstream of several thousand feet of elevation, through the entire state of Alaska, and spawn near Whitehorse of Yukon.
Just came back from a wonderful dinner from the best restaurant in Whitehorse, Giorgio’s, an Italian restaurant, costing about $50 per person for food and drink.
The sun is still shining very brightly at 9:45pm. I wonder when it is going to go down.