Riding the Alaska Highway - Things to know

15 Days | 935.15mi | Riding time: 84h 18min | 32578 kcal | 33516 vertical feet the-alaska-highway-description-road-conditions

After our recovery in Fairbanks from the extreme conditions on the Dalton Highway, we started with a new shock and new motivation on the Alaska Highway. The Alaska Highway goes along Dawson Creek, Northwest-Territories xxx mi to Delta Junction, Alaska approximately 100mi south of Fairbanks. Before we had to ride via the Richardson Highway to Delta, which was very busy with traffic and not really nice to ride on a bicycle. But it was flat - we almost forgot, how that feels. On the way to Delta we passed by in the famous Santa Clause House in North Pole with the intense statue of Santa directly in front. Here they have Christmas year-round, pretty crazy! After Delta the Alaska Highway started, where it first stay for many miles flat and straight (exactly straight, or how we would say in German “straight like a candle”). The traffic disappeared soon but beyond Tok the hills were back. In Tok we went to the Golden Bear Motel, since we were really wet after two days of raining. And this should not have been the last rain for us! After five days we reached the border to Yukon, Canada and crossed it in Beaver Creek.the-alaska-highway-description-road-conditions In Beaver Creek the sunny weather was gone and around this time it got already really cold (around freezing). What was way more exhausting for us on the Alaska Highway was the frequent headwind. In sum we had most of the time strong headwind, we only can remember two days of tailwind or no wind. This is a challenge for fitness, endurance and also the relationship! The other challenge is the motivation: A landscape, which does not change for about 900mi! Most of the time, we rode though hilly landscapes with many trees. We reached the capital of Yukon, Whitehorse, after 10 days. After Haines Junction we rode the 100mi through in one day and reached this town first after dusk. One of the days with tailwind helped us on that!the-alaska-highway-description-road-conditions On the way to Haines Junction finally the first bear encounter. An upcoming car driver warned us of a grizzly bear just on the shoulder of the road about one mile ahead of us. We did a quick preparation of the GoPros and the Nikon, put the bear sprays in the hands with removed safety bars and continued the ride. After a short time we saw the bear next to the road on our side, eating berries. We stopped and crossed the road to gain more safety distance to the animal with continuous observing the animal. Soon the bear had also seen us and stood up on his back legs to get a better view of the ongoing. The blood almost froze in our veins, as we saw how tall this animal is. Soon the bear found more interest in his berries than in us and continued his meal in the bushes. Since the tailwind had changed to headwind before we somehow need to get past the bear.the-alaska-highway-description-road-conditionsOtherwise we would spray us directly in the face, since the cloud of the can would come back with the wind. We decided to wait for two approaching cars, which we saw farther away. These two vehicles stopped directly between us and the grizzly. That gave us some more safety and we continued the ride on the other side of the road. After we passed, we stopped again to take some good pictures with safety distance. Against all thoughts, the bear was not attracted through the cars or us in any form and just continued eating his berries. There was not any aggressively sign of the bear. After a while he just crossed the road behind a pick-up truck and disappeared in the forest. What an incredible experience! In Whitehorse we allowed us a little rest after this adventures day. We walked through the town, visited a museum and had a cold beer and a burger in the restaurant named “Gold Rush”. The oldest house in Whitehorse was built around 1900 and still exists.the-alaska-highway-description-road-conditions We continued on the last part of the Alaskan Highway, to Watson Lake. We reached this town after five days in the well-known landscape of many trees. Just short before Watson Lake we stayed at the governmental campground named after that lake, which is actually at the Watson Lake, on which we arrived after 100mi again in the dark. A couple from Saskatchewan invited us for self-brewed wine and we could build up our tent on their site and could therefore save some money. Suring the night we have never seen so in our life than there, it was just amazing how clear it gets up here.the-alaska-highway-description-road-conditions In Watson Lake itself, the biggest attraction is the „sign post forest“, a large forest of trees with signs of towns, car license plates and all other kinds of signs from all over the world. 1942 the U.S. army G.I. Carl K. Lindley posted here a sign pointing towards his home town with the amount of miles to get there because he felt homesick up in this area. People from all over the world have done the same since then and so there are now more than 72.000 signs posted already. How the original town signs from e.g. München (engl. Munich) and Aachen come there and where they miss now?! Now the Steward-Cassiar-Highway and British Columbia awaits us. We are excited to blog abput this new chapter as well!the-alaska-highway-description-road-conditions