DAY 125

July 17, 1999

My Gawd, that was the worst storm I’ve seen on this trip. I woke up to a strong, howling wind, that blew my tent on its side and rolled me over in my sleeping bag. I quickly threw my panniers into my tent to help weigh it down and staked it down, fighting against the wind. It was starting to rain so I hurriedly put the rainfly on and crawled back inside. The wind kept testing the integrity of my tent. I could feel it sneaking under the tent floor and flexing the aluminum tent poles.

While drinking a cup of coffee in the café’, the smaller of the two Germans came in for hot chocolate. To my surprise, he sat down at the table with me and attempted conversation with me in broken English. After about 30 minutes of talking, I realized that these guys are alright after all. The reason they had left the other campground was because the camp host had come around to collect the camping fees and they always free camp. Of course, it won’t be as much fun now since these guys aren’t the cold, mean, Germans everybody thinks them to be. I was glad to have this conversation and actually saw this guy smile.

The Germans left at 11:00am and I left at noon.

  • 1:30pm – 14.68 miles
  • Headwinds and hills!! Lots of hills!! Someone said it was pretty flat from Whitehorse to Dawson City. But, as I’ve learned many times since entering Canada, Canadians have a very different definition for flat!
  • 1:45pm
  • I caught up to the Germans to see them loading their bikes in the back of a pick-up truck, catching a ride the rest of the way to Dawson City. The hills were too much for them, especially for the big German that is plagued with knee problems. I was also offered a ride, and yes it was tempting, but I have to do this under my own power no matter what. I’ve been continuing to have knee problems especially with my right knee now. It has occurred to me that it might be due to my slight leg length discrepancy, from that old mountain bike accident.
  • 3:00pm
  • Took a 5 minute break, I’m getting tired…feels like nappy time :-)
  • 6:00pm
  • Another quick break as I look across the vast Yukon wilderness from a high peak.
  • 7:00pm – Stopped at a store at the junction for the Dempster highway. I ate a sandwich and drank a Coke while standing outside by my bike. Soon a large van pulled up and a bunch of 13-14 year olds pile out and surround me. They had just finished a canoe trip and were headed home to Dawson City.
  • 9:00pm – I arrived in Dawson City, wooo hoo!! They had evacuated tent city since the bear attack and many of the tenters were in the schoolyard. I visited the pubs around town looking for some of the people I’d met previously. There was an outdoor Rave just beyond the edge of town. As I approached the Rave I hear, "Hey, it’s the cycle dude". The young kids I’d encountered a couple of hours ago approached me. One of them, Doyle, said "Man don’t go there, it’s lame". I figured it was still too early and thought I’d return around 2 or 3am to see what it’s like then.

As I walked back through town, I was approached by a group of people shouting something to me. I turned to see the group I’d met at Stewarts Crossing walking up to me. We chatted a few minutes and next thing I knew, Barney (the Scot) was buying me a beer in the "Pit". I spent the evening with Barney and Anna (the Australian girl), drinking beer and sharing stories. Anna grew up on a sheep farm in western Australia. By the end of the night I found myself trading addresses with some kewl people I’ve encountered on my journey. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention Barney was wearing a kilt, true to his Scottish heritage, and getting a lot of attention. Hmmm, maybe I should have wore my bike clothes. :-)

It was very late, or early, in the AM as I walked back to my tent. As I passed one tent I heard a female voice, "The ground is sucking the warmth from my body and I have a rock up my ass", followed by laughter.

Today - 58.75 miles
Total -  5962 miles
Avg. Speed -11.0mph

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