After two blissful days in Haines Junction it was once again time to hit the road. With Whitehorse only 150 km away we were dreaming of fast food, karaoke and bicycle repair shops.
Admittedly, our first day back on the road was uneventful. We stopped for some watermelon, ditched our iPods to cycle side by side deep in conversation. We sampled some wild strawberries along the side of the road and discovered ample amounts of bear scat. While no bears where sighted I did spot a tan coloured animal moving gingerly through the brush as we neared our destination “Irene’s Place” located in Mendenhall River Subdivision 8o km north of Whitehorse. Our friend Janet from Fairbanks, who happened upon Irene’s Place while on a cycling trip earlier in the season, said that we had to check it out! A house turned restaurant/bar in the middle of a local subdivision, Irene and her family offer wonderful hospitality to cyclists and travellers alike. Upon our arrival Irene’s husband escorted us to their heated garage where we enjoyed a very peaceful night’s sleep without having to unpack our tent. The next morning Irene cooked us up a wonderful breakfast at a reasonable price.
We waved goodbye to Irene and her daughter and started towards Whitehorse, only 80 km to go! Once Again , it was a fairly uneventful day. During one of our breaks Brian discovered a family of grouse peeping through the bushes and tried to get a few good shots of them. It turns out that grouse can camouflage themselves very well, but I’ve posted the photos regardless. As we neared the city traffic got much worse and my ears began to ring. I hadn’t eaten in a few hours and the return to civilization was making me grumpy. If Brian didn’t feed me soon I would turn into the “Dragon Lady!” On side note, I think all cities should be cyclist friendly like Victoria! Sidewalks?? Really, I have to cycle on the sidewalk?? What’s that all about? We cycled down two mile hill and fast food was in sight! Since Brian and I had been dreaming of fast food for weeks our first stop was MacDonalds. Yes! I ordered a big mac meal and SUPERSIZED it! It was amazing!!!
I forgot to mention that Brian had been texting back and forth with Pam, his “second mom” since we had reached the city limits. Pam had just finished work and met us at MacDonalds just as we were polishing off our burgers and said “We were going to have burgers at home you know…” We apologized and assured Pam that we would eat burgers at her house too! And we did 😀 Dinner at Pam’s was delicious! I had been craving BBQ for weeks! We enjoyed a quiet evening in the company Pam, her husband Mike, son Rick and her beautiful puppy dog MJ. We were so comfortable at Pam’s house that she couldn’t get rid of us! We spent the next few days reading, watching movies, and frequenting the local karaoke bar the Boiler Room. On day two I visited the Takhini Hot Springs with Mike and Rick. While Brian opted to sleep in I felt that a soak in the hotsprings would do my hangover some good. What can I say…we had been to karaoke the night before and I had one to many pints of Yukon Gold. While in Whitehorse we also stopped into Cadence, a local bike shop, to get Brian’s back wheel fixed. The owner fixed the broken spoke, straightened the wheel and even sanded down the chipped edges of the rim. Since Brian’s back tire was now completely bald we replaced his Continental touring tire with a Schwalbe Marathon touring tire. Looking back we probably should have replaced Brian’s front tire as well. As I am writing this from Continental Divide, 391 km south of Whitehorse Brian’s front tire is ripped along the rim and we’ve suffered two flats since leaving Whitehorse a week ago.