Back to the wilderness

After leaving Teslin, the Alaska highway leaves the Yukon and goes into British Columbia. In the past two weeks since the Dalton Highway there has been some sort of shop or cafe every 20-30 miles or so. Maybe in a small village, or at a river crossing, or at a junction. Today was the first day with just road, road and more road.
And a bear! My first encounter – even if it was 50m away. This is the only photo I got, and the bear is just a tiny black smudge to the right of the road on the bend.

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I tried to get some video, but by the time I’d set the camera up (there was a lot of fumbling with the excitement and trepidation!), it was gone.

If that wasn’t enough excitement, I got my first sighting of a wolf! One evening last week I heard a distant wolf howl. Now, I don’t have a thing about wolfs – I watched The Grey without having nightmares afterwards – but when that howl was joined by other distant howls, it really made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up! (The track on that moneysupermarket ad will never be the same again!) The wolf I saw today was just crossing the road ahead of me. I initially saw it just as it was leaving the road and thought: “another bear? But it was too low and long, bit like a dog-NO THAT’S A WOLF!”. It looked back as my brakes squealed (no, really, it was the brakes!). It went behind a tree, and I set my camera up to capture some video – but I think it was too far away to be seen clearly.

As well as being more remote, the landscape was changing. Rather than being in a valley looking up at adjacent mountains, or seeing snow capped hills in the distance, the road was up “in” the hills, all be it lower more rounded ones with only the occasional patch of snow  (bit like the Trossachs, but with RVs instead of tour busses!). It looked like I was now up in the northern foothills of the Rockies!

Some pics to give you a flavour of the landscape:

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Cycling Details:

June 13th – 105km to Swift River. A late start after unsuccessfully trying to get a new international calling card set up. I did the first 80km in 4.5 hours (inc stops) – good going, but the next 25km was slower despite the tailwind. I was hoping to get to Continental Divide, but the legs didn’t have the extra 15km & I was tired (I went on to sleep for best part of 11 hours that night!)

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