Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day 5 Dawson Creek to Watson Lake

This morning I got up and ate some breakfast at the hotel before heading out.  I felt well rested and ready to take on the day.  I gathered my gear and headed outside to find it was raining very hard.  I knew I was going to get wet, so I loaded the bike and headed off.  The goal for today was to reach Watson Lake.

Today was a very challenging day, it rained hard all day.  I rode through more thick fog and drove through some very remote areas.  Today I went through an area where I did not see another vehicle in about 4 hours.  I did see a ton of wildlife though, check the counts at the end of the post.

I did have a little excitement today.  I was riding north on the Alaska Highway and had planned to stop for gas at a small town called Sikanni Chief, but when I got there the gas station had closed (permanently).  The next available gas was not until Fort Nelson.  This was not good as I only had about a quarter tank left.  I pressed on.  About 32 miles away from Fort Nelson my fuel light came on.  I grew concerned and eventually ran out of gas 4 feet from the pump.  I actually was not too concerned though as I do have some spare gas with me just in case.  In fact, I had to put about a cup of gas in the tank so I could pull the bike up to the pump (it was uphill and the Wing weighs in at just over 1000 pounds so I would not have been able to push it).

I came across three construction zones today.  At one, I had to wait 40 minutes as they were clearing a mud slide that had occurred due to all the rain.  That was OK because I had a wonderful conversation with the flag guy.  He gave me all kinds of information about upcoming towns; where to get gas, where to eat, etc..

I did not take many pictures today due to all the rain, but there are a few below.  I did have a ton of time to think about things a little.  Two things floated to the top:

1.  How lucky am I?  I am the luckiest guy alive.  I have a wonderful wife who is always there for me, supporting me in everything I do no matter what it is.  She puts up with me day in and day out and never complains.  I lover her so much that at times it really hurts, I miss her so much.  Thoughts of her consumed most of my day.  I have three great kids who are growing up into respectable adults.  I am so proud of them.  I have a wonderful and supporting family who have been emailing me, praying for me, and following me along.  I have great friends, you know I counted today the number of friends who told me they would be available to help my family out while I was gone.  Any guess as to the number?  24.  Wow, that's a lot of people.  It was certainly more than I had thought until I counted it out.  There are several more friends who have been supporting me in many other ways.  I have had five total strangers (they are now friends) from the motorcycling community reach out to me to help me with this trip, one even spent two full Saturdays with me getting the bike ready.  I never really realized how lucky I truly am.  

2.  I don't consider myself to be a negative person, but I know that I do tend to complain a lot.  I decided I would try to take a different approach going forward.  For example, today I learned that my low gas light worked and just how many miles I could ride before I was out of gas.  Or rather than complaining that my waterproof boots are not fully waterproof, I learned that I should have trusted my instinct a little more and put my over boots on.

Even with all the rain and fog today, it was a good ride.  Here are some photos from today.

Starting mileage 94167 (478 miles traveled on day 4).  I also forgot to take a picture of my ending mileage for today, so I will post that tomorrow.

Heavy rain was the theme for the day.  I was warm and dry except for my feet which got wet.  Always listen to that small voice in your head, if I had my feet would not have gotten wet.

The long road ahead

At one point it was raining so hard that water was actually coming up through the gauges

The Wing is quite dirty, but I believe it is a badge of honor.

This is a photo I snapped at Toad River.  The mountains are absolutely magnificent here.
Tomorrow's goal is to reach Destruction Bay for the night, then press on to Fairbanks, and hopefully the Arctic Circle by Saturday.

Bear count:  7 (all within about a 4 mile stretch)
Buffalo count:  12
Moose count:  3
Big Horned Sheep count:  3 (they were on the road in my lane, I had to wait for them to move)


  1. Simply awesome, Ed. Jealous that you are seeing so much, especially going through the Yukon and into Alaska.

  2. Ed! You are a rock star diarist/blogger! Den & I are following along. He's got your GPS coords loaded into Google Earth and is "watching" the road & terrain with you. Nothing like a few dozen wing people to make a traveler feel part of the herd, yes? Love the wildlife counts; and yes, the muddy bike IS a badge of honor. So very proud and jealous of you. Lots of love & luck, Mollie