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2000-08-06 - 19:25:24

After following the Klondike goldrush trail 550km south through the Yukon, we've reached Whitehorse - the capital of the Yukon and largest Canadian city north of 60 degrees.

It's been a mixed week with a fair share of frustrations and highpoints. The first few days out of Dawson were a struggle as Sarina fought to get her rhythm back after a two week break, and I had to adapt to a slower pace after my mad dash up to the arctic. Moderate headwinds frustrated us still further and the skies couldn't decide whether to darken or clear. In fact, the only factor of interest for the first 250km was an explosion of mushrooms and berries of every description along the roadside, and progress was hampered on at least one morning by a need to gorge ourselves on wild raspberries. Another morning, Sarina had to wait an hour as a young black bear scoured through a pile of rubbish and refused to budge from the side of the road.

Around mid-week the skies finally cleared completely and the temperatures soared to 30oC. The last 2 days were particularly scenic as the road weaved past numerous lakes and hillsides covered in fireweed - a local plant with pink/purple flowers.

Strange encounters for the week included a high speed pursuit by a friendly coyote (we decided it was probably after the food in my pannier rather than my leg, but I didn't wait to find out), and a chance rendezvous with Dave and Ursula - a cycling Swiss couple I met in Anchorage who took a slightly different route. We've camped together for the past few nights and it's been great to trade stories and compare notes.

The week also produced the first mechanical problems since leaving Anchorage - the tally now stands at 1 puncture, 1 broken spoke, and 1 broken carrier - not a bad score for 2000+km on each of 2 bikes.

The good news is that Sarina's knees seem to be strengthening, and after a 2 day break in Whitehorse, we're both pretty excited about continuing tomorrow. We'll now join the main Alaska highway and head 400km east to Watson Lake, before taking the lesser travelled Cassiar highway south into British Columbia.

Bumper sticker for the week:

'All generalisations are false'

Total distance cycled: 3335km


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