Monday, August 2, 2010

Haines Aug 2

The second leg would be from Tok to Haines where I would board the ferryboat. It was a total of over 700 miles. Saturday and Sunday were drive days and Monday I would board the boat at 8:00 pm. This would give me wiggle room if I had any problems. The road to Haines would include two border crossings,and passing through Destruction Bay. This area was some of the coldest and rainiest of my trip up. In addition to the weather, the 50 miles of roads after the Canada border crossing were really bad. Actually, this part of the road was the worst on the trip.

The border crossing was super easy the lady was really chatty and nice. Shortly after I left the border crossing I notice a bike riding along behind me. He pulled up next to me and motioned that I had a problem with my rear pack. We pulled over. and stuck up a conversation. We talked for about an hour, a long the road in the middle of nowhere. His name was David Klingensmith. He was also from Illinois. We continue riding together and stopped in Destruction Bay and had lunch together. David is programming consultant that develops database apps. We really hit it off. It always surprises me how open people are if they are out of their element. Most of the people I have met on this trip I would have never talked to. It blows me away every time it happens.

David had been traveling for 6 weeks solo and was cutting his trip short to help his wife with some pet problems. So we split ways at Haines Junction. I was on the edge of town and noticed a sign that said, "Next gas stop 120 miles". I looked at my gas gauge and immediately turned around to top off my tank. Thank god I did! The road to Haines is one of the emptiest roads I have ever seen. It is beautiful but it is totally void of people. About 90 miles into the trip, I top a hill and found six wild horses just walking down the road. I of course stop to take pictures. The first thing I thought was that I need to call someone and let them know that these horses got out. I drove and drove and drove, no houses. I finally got to the border crossing and mentioned the horses. They informed me "Those are wild horse sir". O yeah, boy I am glad I didn’t report all those buffalo in Yellowstone.

Once over the border the canyon walls seemed to shoot straight up. It was 34 miles into Haines from the border and it was awesome. If I had it to do again I would do the trip in reverse. I drove into town and found a great campground right on the shoreline. I pulled in and talked to the manager. This has to be one of the nicest ladies I have met since I started the trip. I actually was able to pitch my tent on the shoreline for fifteen dollars. NOW THAT IS VERY REASONABLE FOR ALASKA. While setting up camp I met a Ray and Holly who were bike trailer camping. They were from New York and were having bike problems to the max. He told me that it was only running on one cylinder. He believed that he had snapped the connecting rod to the cylinder. Ray was really worked up about his bike. I felt his pain. Traveling on a motorcycle is hard work and stressful. A major engine problem is what all bikers fear during a long journey. The point of the trip is to see and enjoy new areas not to be pre-occupied with mechanical problems. I was relieved to be in Haines myself.

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