July 3, 1999
|Well, good thing Patrick had his rain-fly on.
It poured down rain around midnight last night. So that meant extra time this morning to
dry off our tents. For breakfast I just ate 2 Powerbars and we were pedaling by 8:30am.
Within a few miles we encountered the stone sheep that live on Stone Mountain. They were
everywhere and were always on the road. Continuing on, the ride was easy since we were
leaving the highest elevation of the Alaska Highway, and we had a tailwind. After about 20
miles, I stopped to take a pee at a bridge that crossed a river. When I was stepping back
over the guardrail, I hit my left knee so hard it started bleeding. Crap! That hurt! I
couldnt ride for a while and when I did it hurt to push with my left leg. My right
leg had to do most of the work. Then, to add insult to injury, it began pouring down rain.
Well, I thought, at least the cold rain will be good for my injured knee.
After riding 30 minutes in the rain, I found Patrick waiting inside the café at Toad River Lodge. The rain continued off and on for quite a while so we decided to go ahead and eat something. I got a chicken sandwich and coffee. We were there for about an hour and a half before it was clear enough, and we thought it was through raining, to continue. Patrick soon lost me as I pedaled mostly with my right leg.
I think my odometer read about 50 miles when the climbing began and the headwinds got strong. The climbing got worse as I pedaled at 3.5mph for 5 miles up a steep pass. Maybe this climb wasnt so bad, but the headwinds and my left knee made it one of my worst climbs ever.
When I arrived at Double G Services, (gas, store, café, camping) Patrick was sitting outside on a bench. He was not in the best of moods and cussed that hill and the headwinds. Patrick said he got off and just walked up the hill instead of taking a break. Well, at least I wasnt the only one hating that last bit of riding. Patrick is really wanting to quit now and he said that the scenery isnt all that great. Instead of riding to Alaska, he said he will quit at Whitehorse. Then he said he may just quit here since this was also a Greyhound bus stop. The Provincial Park was still a few miles down the road and was pretty much like the last one. It cost $12.00 for a tent site with nothing. Here they charge $12.84 for a tent site with hot showers. For 42 cents each, we decided it would be worth it to have a shower.
For dinner, Patrick cooked some rice with a little olive oil in it, added a bit of garlic that he sautéed in olive oil, some spices, and a can of tuna that we bought back at the Rocky Mountain Lodge for $3.00. The guy there said that there were no other places to buy groceries at Muncho Lake. He lied to us to make the sale. The problem here are the prices: $4.95 for a can of tuna, $3.50 for a bottle of Arizona Ice Tea, and $4.00 for a 2 liter bottle of Coke. Everything is way too expensive.
By 8pm there were too many mosquitoes hovering around us despite our efforts at building a big fire to keep them away. We even found a bunch of wood that was coated in black stuff sort of like the stuff on railroad ties, creosote I think they call it. It made a lot of black smoke and for a while it eliminated most of them, but then they started coming back even more. By this time, Patrick was joking me about the fact that I looked like a black man .covered in soot that the fire was putting out. It covered everything, even our tents. Soon, we both had to make a dash for our tents to escape those little vampires. I went to sleep with a compression wrap on my now swollen, left knee.
Today - 65.42 miles