Author: John Reuter
My Final Thoughts On The Alaskan Highway
As my last 300 miles on the Alaskan Highway came to an end it gave me time to think about what I had just done. Getting to the highway was tough enough and almost called it quits 2 days before I got there. The long road was getting to me and Alaska just seemed further and further away, but I pulled it together and got there to the “0”mile marker in Canada and had just 1400 more miles to go to reach Alaska. Starting out on the road I always stopped for gas because you didnt know how far the next gas station was but I learned as I went. As far as eating goes, there are no fast food anything on that road except in Whitehorse. So every gas station had a little diner with its own personality, friendly owners that will help you with anything they can and travelers who want to here your story and share theirs. I was such a rookie on this road learning as I went, there were no riders coming back since I was one of the first riders going up, some stations didnt even have gas yet because the season didnt really start till this week. So I had no one to talk to about what I was in for, I kinda liked it like that anyway. The scenery was breath taking, without trying to sound gay but OMG you had to see what Ive seen, the smells, the open air, the wild life running free. Yeah it was that good. The bumps in the road at the end were bad but I got through, I think if Alaska had an NHL team that would be the nicest road on the planet but why should the Canadians care, the americans are the only ones to use it. Coming back on the Alaskan Highway I felt like a veteran running into bikers on the way up and telling them my story on the road and what to look out for and good places to eat, it was fun watching them just as I felt a few days earlier. Coming back down I noticed the longer lines for gas and all the motorhomes and trailers making there way up, Im so glad I missed that. The highway does have its dangers without a doubt, you must respect it and its history, I saw 2 flipped over cars within 3 miles of each other, I pulled over both times to see if anyone was in the cars but were already gone, probably driving too fast and avoided some animal, 2o miles down the road I saw a bear ripped in half and was reminded of the very long and fast driving truckers on this road. I am so happy I did this highway, my parents did it when they lived here in the 50’s an my 2 brothers were born here and I heard all the stories growing up. I knew one day I would get up here but I figured after I retired or something. This is something I will never forget and Im happy I got to do this while I still could. With that out of the way I still have a long journey home and the weather is just not liking me.
DAY 16 – 7319 miles so far
Today my destination will be The Icefields Parkway in Jasper and Banff National Parks, should hope to get there by mid-afternoon.
Got down to Dawsons Creek and checked the weather for the two parks and found out its snowing there. Heading down to Edmonton now.
Great 15th day
The day started out very cold and stayed that way for quite a few hours, pulled in for coffee and met 2 bikers from Philly that left the same day I did and they went to Missoula too to have new tires put on just like I did, funny world but they were heading north to Alaska, they said they were riding slow and got hit with that snow storm that I missed, anyway we talked and I warned them of the road after Distruction Bay. From there I started riding and the weather was getting warmer for a change and thats when I saw that bear from that pic I posted. I saw something black playing in the flowers so I pulled over and there was this cute young looking bear so I took some pics of him, he then got up and started looking at me. He started to walk slowly towards me so I put the camera away so I wouldnt stardle him, he came within 3 feet of me sniffing his nose in the air and then walked away and crossed the road into the woods. That was the coolest thing ever, I felt like the bear whisperer,lol. So I took off and stopped for something to eat and ran into some more nice people, every where I go people just want to chat, its great. Later on the skies started turning dark so I put my rain gear back on and sure enough the heavens opened up, now on a bike you just cant sit it out like your on Long Island , you have to ride it out till it ends, anyway its raining hard and these hairpin turns in the mountians have you squeezing the hell out of the grips hoping you dont slide off the edge because there are no guard rails on this highway. So I come around this turn and up ahead I think I see a horse, as I get closer I realize its one huge moose standing on the side of the road, mind you my visor is hard to see through with all the rain and Im praying that the moose doesnt move, well as Im within maybe 100 feet he turns around and runs into the forest, I had no idea they were that fast. I wish he would have stayed still so I could have at least taken his picture. Well the skies cleared and the clouds where settling from the mountains as you can see in that one pic so I pulled into Fort Henry for the night and to dry all my stuff. What a great day.
DAY 15 – 6719 Miles
Left Tok yesterday to head back into Canada on the Alaskan Highway. Again the 200 miles was insane with roads all messed up but I made it thru almost wiping out once, the people in the car behind didnt know how I stayed on the bike. I made some videos but this blog will not let me upload them. Settled in to a town called Johnsons Crossing. I want to head down to Prince George today on route 37 but a fire has the road shut down for several days now, I hope it is open when I get there, I just dont want to take the same roads.