Firstly, thanks to Shelley and Neil for my 1000 mile coffee at the Tim Hortons in Whitehorse. The chocolate and raspberry truffle doughnut didn’t last for long enough to be in the photo!
As you can see, my skier-esq tan lines are coming as long nicely. Shame I’ve not actually been skiing. I stayed over at the very friendly Beez Kneez hostel:
And had an excellent meal at the Klondike Rib and Salmon restaurant, with more fruit pie – I really must be well ahead on my 5-a-day!
Thanks also to Sylvio at the Triniti Tech shop for letting me use one of their laptops to back up the 7500 photos taken so far! I had a scan through some of the ones from the second day – it seems like an age ago now.
Whitehorse is a really relaxed place – big enough to have everything you’d need, but small enough to wander around. There was an impressive number of ladies riding bikes – well outnumbering the men! I caught up on washing, cash, photos, food, route planning, blog, charging, with some walking around to give my legs half a day off from the cycling. The haircut and swim will have to wait for another town.
The climb out of Whitehorse wasn’t as bad as I’d expected, and good as Whitehorse was, it was really great to be back on the road.
It was also about 5pm – a very late start, but I wanted to do 50km so I could get to Teslin (the end of stage 2) by the end of the next day. After an hour I passed a sign advertising a restaurant with free WiFi. I thought that if I called in there, it would save me time on cooking so I could ride more / get to sleep earlier. And with internet messaging now my only way of getting in touch with Sue (Travel SIM card not working with local mobile network, my international calling card no longer recharging from my credit cards, and a call from a payphone quoted at “$44 for the first minute”) I could make use of that too. After ordering my meal I asked for the password for the WiFi network, and was directed to a sign that said there was “no WiFi because this was a restaurant where people should be talking, not surfing”. I pointed out that I was on my own, but only got a “that’s the rule” response. I could see why the restaurant was almost empty. The food was OK, and I left feeling slightly cheated, mentally wording a letter of complaint to the Whitehorse Authorities at the same time as being frustrated at not making more of a point at the time. I decided that the best way of dealing with this was to channel my energy into adding some extra distance. But by 60km, the headwind and the rapidly cooling evening were taking their toll. Looking out for a good place to camp I passed signs for a B&B. I thought this was an attractive option – if they were full I should be able to camp in a corner of their yard. I found the B&B down a wooded lane overlooking a lake, but there was no sign of life. I found a neighbour who was in, and he said that the B&B owners were out for the evening. His name was Craig, and I asked him if it would be possible for me to camp in a corner of his yard, say behind one of the out houses? After a short chat, he very generously offered me his spare bed. I was somewhat taken back by this offer, but it seemed to be genuine and I was happy to accepted it. After I got settled in and had a shower, we spend the rest of the evening some Molson Canadian chatting about my trip, life in the Yukon, Scotland (where his family was from) and his old dog Molly.
After a good nights sleep and some perfectly poached eggs, we swapped contact details, and I was on my way, feeling privileged to have received such generous hospitality. Had I not been annoyed about the restaurant, none of this would have happened. This trip was filling up with very unexpected sequences of events leading to very memorable outcomes with very kind people.
June 10th – 120km (75 miles) to Whitehorse – capital of the Yukon. Got my earliest start yet – 9am! Another very sunny day, but going well and managed to cover 80km by 1pm. Last 2 hours after lunch stop felt slow, but got to the hostel by 4pm.
So another good day, and with 1758km in 22 days, that’s 79.9 km per day – a whisker away from the magic 80km/50miles per day (inc rest days)!
June 11th – 60km to the lane with the B&B. Late start at 16:30, rode for am hour, stopped for dinner, then rode for another 2 hours. Not a big day, but enough to make tomorrows ride to Teslin realistic.