Wednesday, August 5, 2009 (Day 10)
It has been a beautiful day. We only caught may be 30 minutes of rain, and the rest of the time was cool.
We left Whitehorse, and rode on the Alaska Hwy until Haines Junction, and then headed south. That is the south-western part of Yukon.
At the Shell station there, it was run by an oriental looking couple. The man, about 55 years old, was the cashier, and the woman looked at the old 13” TV on some program like Big Long Gold serial soap opera. I made conversation. There were so surprised that I am Chinese. They said they have never seen a Chinese motorcyclist in that area in years. The closest that they came to were some Japanese motorcyclists. The man was from Hong Kong. The wife was from Taiwan. They were retired! They just operate the gas station for a few months in the summer and then go to their children in Toronto.
Going south we then cut through the north-western part of B.C., Going further south, we entered Alaska. Now we were again on the third time zone of our trip. The section from Haines Junction to the US border was great. We were riding up and down the mountains, going from snow peaks to meadow valleys. We had 360 degrees of mountain ranges surrounding us, some with glaziers and ice packs. Spectacular. The sky was partly cloudy. The sunlight peeks through the clouds with beams of light projecting to the ground.
See attached photo. If you can name the purple flowers, you win the botany prize of the month!
In Haines, Alaska, it is also famous for its huge
population of American bald eagles. They are majestic in their flights and their hunts. We were watching the seagulls getting in their ways, and wondering how long they are going to live.
Haines is a fishing town in a fjord. It is not a tourist place. The only
importance is that the US State Ferries load from here. We are surprised to see a small cruise ship, Holland America Statadam, docked in port. The bigger cruise ships, such as Princess, dock on the other side of the fjord in Skagway, which we visited last year on the Rhapsody cruise.
The lady rider, Judy, got a screw in her rear tire. She had an appointment with the tire mechanic in town for tomorrow morning at 7 am. The only problem was that the automobile tire people didn’t have the tools to install or uninstall bike tires.
We were supposed to load onto the ferry at 12 noon tomorrow. The receptionist told us that the ferry was likely to be 3 hours late. That meant we had more time to hang around this town. Some riders were thrilled. Bruce, who was born in Euclelet, was dying to get out of little towns. I was in Ladner for 36 years, and not interested in looking at their little token museums, etc.
Once again, dinner was terrible, and we had to wait for over 1.5 hours to get our food. I was told that the ferry food was even worse for the next 2 days. Well, we can live on beer only.
I had to add more engine oil today during the trip. No problem. I had done it many times before. One lone rider on a BMW stopped and offered help. He was from USA, somewhere down south. He was 75 years old. Over all, I am very happy with the BMW RT. I am glad I made the trade up.