Today I passed over some barren and hilly ground on a difficult pedal out of Alaska and into the Yukon.
The easiest part of the day was the first 5 miles. It was cool and flat and windless. I passed over the massive Tanana River, basically a moving cup of coffee with a lot of cream in it.
Later in the morning the hills and the heat kicked in. It wasn’t just hot by Alaska standards. It was hot! I ran out of water several times, the creeks I passed by were too stagnant to risk it, even with my water filter. A little store half way gave me some suspect water, which I filtered. Then I hung on til the US Customs Station, where I filled up after drinking copious amounts of the stuff. Of course not only the heat crushed me but roughly 50 hills where I pedaled in the lowest or next-to-lowest gear.
Late in the day I entered the Yukon and my pace became snail-like as the Alaska Highway turned to chip seal. At least I had the road all to myself and looked for every smoother spot all the way to the little town of Beaver Creek. As I write swarms of mosquitos hover outside my tent, thirsty as I was today, but for a different kind of liquid! A large truck has decided to park next to my tent, the drive seemingly oblivious to his very large noise-making diesel engine. Time to brave the bugs and find a new campsite!
As a bird lover, I would remiss if I didn’t mention a rare site in my life, one of the high notes of the day. Just as a crested a hill a peregrine falcon started squawking at me. This is a place where the Alaska Highway cuts through two rock outcroppings. Just 30 feet above me were two falcon chicks, they looked close to fledging size. This is one of those sites most, if not all, motorists would surely miss.