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Alaska Sojourn Part Seven


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Hello all,

Here is another installment of "Alaska Sojourn." I hope you enjoy!


Part Seven, the Alaskan Adventure is winding down

The Alaska Marine Highway system is a wonderful way to tour coastal Alaska, but the ferry doesn’t wait for tardy motorcyclists. Mark and I began planning our trip back down through central Alaska to Haines and the boat. First off, a rest day in Delta Junction and more of Mrs. Uueck’s homemade rhubarb pie. Rested up on pie and the most extensive private collection of videos I’ve ever seen, Mark rode to Palmer with Denise to see her off. She needed to turn in her F650 freshly washed and gassed up to avoid a hefty loss of deposit. Later that night, Mark returned a bit haggard from his 475 mile round trip. Tomorrow we’d set off for Kluane Lake at Destruction Bay.

Kluane Lake is one of those picture-postcard locations, a dazzling expanse of azure set amongst high, snow-capped peaks. The scenery is breathtaking, especially when the weather is clear and the lake turns an intense turquoise green. We stopped at the Bayshore Café for lunch. The BSCafe was the only restaurant on our entire journey where we dined twice. The view off the deck nearly brought tears to our eyes, the service impeccable, the food delicious, and the waitress was hilarious. Imagine our sorrow when we found out from the owner that he would probably close permanently at the end of the summer. He said it was just too hard to make a go of a restaurant business where his nearest supplier was 235 miles away…I wonder if he changed his mind and tried to hang on for another season. I’m sure his place would be a hit – it was the best restaurant we sampled, and we sampled many…

I wanted to take some pictures of Destruction Bay before we left, so while Mark packed up, I wandered around and spoke to the few locals. It seems the Bay is named after an event in 1941. The US Army put up a camp here while working on the Alaska Highway. One night a ferocious wind brewed up off the lake, and destroyed the camp. The Army never rebuilt here, figuring tents would be no match for the prevailing breezes! We stayed the night near Destruction Bay.

The next morning it was down to Haines Junction for fuel, and then onto Haines. We had an appointment to get on the ferry at 9 p.m., and we certainly did not want to be late. Haines Junction is the mosquito capital of the world, in my opinion. It was brutal just being outside without riding gear. Hordes of the little beggars, plus aggressive biting flies seemed to go straight for our nostrils and eyes. It would continue to be like this until we got out of Haines Junction. Though we didn’t see it, there must be lots of standing water nearby. The bugs were incredible. In the evening you could put your hand up to the inside of your tent, leave it there for five minutes and move it. In it’s place would be a “shadow” of mosquitoes, all clinging to the rip-stop nylon…

The ride to Haines from Haines Junction was like no other we’d encountered. It was clear and cold. Geographically very rocky and alpine- looking. Sharp spires of rock rose up on both sides of the mountains, making it seem like we were riding at 10,000 feet through the San Juans in Colorado. It was hard to believe that the pass was only about 3,000 feet! Incredibly sparse, the landscape was a harsh mish-mash of rock, stunted plants, and rocky cliffs, all scoured by a perpetual cold wind that no doubt blew off the ocean, some 60 miles away!

Next, some thoughts on the Ferry, travel in Alaska, and home to Glendora!



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