Day 10

August 5,2008 – Day 10:  Watson Lake, YT to Whitehorse, YT – 272.24 miles

Upper Laird River
Upper Laird River

Slept till 7:00am this morning.  Figured since it would be a short day I might as well take my time.  Had a great little breakfast at the Belvedere’s finest cafe and then started packing up the bike for the day’s ride.  It was a beautiful morning, sun shining, light fluffy clouds drifting across a deep blue sky with just the slightest hint of a light breeze, a perfect day for shooting.  I had gone through my equipment the night before and cleaned, charged, and checked everything for operation.  I was ready for the ride to Whitehorse, capital of the Yukon Territories.

Teslin Bridge
Teslin Bridge

First fuel stop of the day was at a place called Liard Hot Springs.  The natural hot springs attract tourist from all over.  After seeing some of them in their spring suits I decided this stop would be for fuel only.  There are photo ops all along this leg of the trip.  Wild life is everywhere and some of the largest and most beautiful lakes also reside along this leg.  The Upper Liard River, Teslin Lake and Marsh Lake are just a few of the beautiful shots captured along this leg.

Small Lake South of Whitehorse
Small Lake South of Whitehorse

I had been in the seat for about two hours when I rounded a bend in the road and there before me stood Teslin Lake.  The lake is long and narrow and the road follows it for several miles.  I stopped to grab a couple of shots of the bridge that crosses this section of the lake and then prepared to cross the bridge to the town of Teslin, my next fuel stop.  As I started across the bridge the bike violently started moving from side to side.  I was not a stranger to this situation as I had crossed a bridge coming into Fort Nelson that caused the same situation. This time however, the movement was much more pronounced.  It would seem many of the bridges up here have steel grate floors.  The size and spacing of the grates varies from bridge to bridge and it depends on the amount of snow and ice a bridge accumulates during the winters.  Well Teslin Bridge must get a hell of a lot of snow in the winters.  The gap between the grates on this bridge has to be 8″.  As the tires roll across the grates on the bridge they jerk the bike back and forth across the lanes and it is almost impossible to change the bike’s path.  Hey, no worries, no oncoming traffic, no problem.  As I was getting fuel at the trading post in Teslin I couldn’t help but look back at the bridge and wonder what I would have done if a car had been crossing from the other direction.  I finished topping off the tank, started up my steed of steel, and took off down the road wondering what else might be in store for me up ahead.

Marsh Lake
Marsh Lake

I finally pulled into the town of Whitehorse around 6:30pm.  It had been a short ride, but a long day.  First order of business, find my hotel.  The Edgewater Hotel is one of the oldest and most historic hotels in Whitehorse.  It sits close to the river and as it turns out has a great little bar/restaurant.  Might as well take care of the second order of business while I’m here.   After dinner and drinks I took a stroll around town and found a little store that sold Cuban cigars.  Bought a couple of cigars and continued my stroll down by the river.  As I sat on a bench beside the river, smoking my just purchased $50 Montecristo #2, turns out Cubans are a little pricey in the Yukon Territories.  I realized I might have had one too many beers with dinner.  I looked around and no one was in the immediate vicinity so I decided to stroll down by the river and get rid of some of this beer that I was packing.  As I stood there, minding my own business, I heard the unmistakable rustle of leaves.  I’d heard that sound before but this time it was louder and closer. I turned to look behind me and came eye to eye with a small to medium sized black bear.  I yelled, he grunted and we both took off in opposite directions, me running and him strolling.  I finished my cigar, sitting on the bench and decided to call it a night, knowing I had all day tomorrow to explore the city.

West Entrance to Whitehorse
West Entrance to Whitehorse

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