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July 19, 2010

4

Extending the Detour

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For a change I actually went to exactly where I’d planned to the next day and the few following.  The flat tire 20 minutes into my departure from Atlin did slow me down some though.  Luckily it was an easy fix and it was comforting knowing that the family from Edmonton I’d hung out with the previous night wasn’t far behind in case I had trouble.  They pulled over in a hurry when they saw me, but I was all set by then.

I'm in Alaska!

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I'm in Alaska!

 

Back on the road I sped over to Carcross, named for Caribou crossing not cars, and ended up catching back up to the them.  I was just mentioning to the mom of their group that I hadn’t been in many stores, but needed to find a birthday gift for my mom.  Right then one of the girls in their group started on about a pair of slippers in the store.  Perfect, thanks for the idea.  After a few phone calls I had mom’s size and shopping done.

The visitor’s center there found out that the next ferry from Skagway to Haines wasn’t until 7am, but I had to get my ticket by 5pm tonight or be there at 5am to do it before.  That was an easy decision and off I went.

The drive from Carcross to Skagway is my favorite of the trip so far.  No major twisties to have fun with on the bike on just uniquely beautiful scenery.  I’ve seen mountains and rivers and all combinations of the two, or so I thought.  Here rock islands weave across the river each with its own little zen garden on it.  I bet I made 10 stops on the 60 mile drive.  Still, I didn’t get a good picture of it as I couldn’t find a good overlook of it to capture what was going on.  Just take the drive if you’re here even if all you do is turn around and head right back to Whitehorse.

Gorgeous Scenery from Carcross to Alaska

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Gorgeous Scenery from Carcross to Alaska

 

Naturally it started raining in the middle of the night so I had to pack up a wet tent at 5am and head to the ferry.  I wanted to enjoy the view from the boat, but sleep caught up with me first and we couldn’t have gone more than 20 miles before pulling into Haines on the other side of the bay an hour later.

Bald Eagles in Haines

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Bald Eagles in Haines

 

Right away I saw 3 bald eagles at the landing and drove there to try for a picture.  By the time I got there it was now 6, but they flew away I soon as I stopped.  No big loss I found out as bald eagles are all over the area and in the thousands in the fall.  They also have a river where salmon are starting to spawn and bears that fish in the river, but I was never able to catch that.

I did have my closest grizzly encounter of the trip as one ran across the road in front of me the first evening and stopped on the far side of the road.  I was able to get into the turnout and get a few pictures of that one including its wet footprints on the road.  Think this is as close as I want to get.

Grizzly Again

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Grizzly Again

 

The lady at the visitors center in Carcross had also given my the “secret info” on where to camp so I was a bit out of town, but staying right on the ocean with Paradise Cove all to myself.  There were sea otters in the cove at one time and 3 blad eagles there at low tide my last morning looking to see what got left behind with the tide.

On the other side of the cove were two glaciers, one going down to the ocean the other ending on a cliff face with a stunning waterfall of glacial melt below it.  Amazing!  There can’t be too many places in the world with views like that.

Glaciers (with Waterfall on Right)

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Glaciers (with Waterfall on Right)

 

My other big outing was a hike through the forest and along the ocean front to Seduction Point.  What a great name!  I’ve been to three Inspiration Points along the way and skipped it the 4th time just because of the name.  All of the

Feels Jurassic In Places

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Feels Jurassic In Places

 

plants are loving the sunlight and moisture and growing as much as they can.  Walking through areas of the forest it felt like dinosaurs were going to be around the next bend, not bears.

One area of the walk did have numerous bear beds right along the trail.  I never heard or saw any movement, but I was hurried through there.  I didn’t actually make it all the way to Seduction Point as the walks along the boulders on the ocean front zapped the energy from my legs and I didn’t want to push the knee too far.  A little odd since I’m actually at sea level now instead of over a mile up.

I’m thinking about changing plans again to go from here to Dawson City for their annual music festival.  This is the big one in the area so it won’t be skipped for a year.  It will add on another 500 miles before I can change my tire and be on some gravel road.  If all goes well it will be worth it for the fun and if not there should be a good story or two to share….

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ben
    Jul 19 2010

    Incredible pictures!! I’ve been following you’re blog since you were on Sidestand Up. Your trip is inspiring. I just started riding at 42 and already have a cross country itch. Reading your efforts doesn’t help. 😉

    Stay safe. Keep the pics coming.

    Ben

    Reply
    • Jul 19 2010

      Thanks for coming by Ben. The trip lately has been more about getting place to place than taking pictures. Still there are plenty of sights here to choose from. Good luck avoiding the itch, I know mine wouldn’t go away. Once you start it’s hard to go back 🙂

      Reply
  2. Jul 19 2010

    Congrats on getting to Alaska! The photos are already stunning that you posted this week – I have family up there and remember summers in Alaska still rivaling some of the other amazing places I’ve been since then 🙂

    Reply
    • Jul 20 2010

      Thanks Shannon. Somehow arriving still came on we quick since I cut down to the peninsula. Whatever it’s still part of the state and I made it!

      Reply

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