Monday, January 21, 2013

Day 14 - Skagway and 4th of July - Part 2

In my last post I was in the old town of Dyea and now it was time to "Deiyáa" out of here.  You see, in Tlingit language, "Deiyáa" means "to pack" and it was time for me to pack and head out, back to Whitehorse.
The Tlingit language is spoken by the Tlingit people of Southeast Alaska and Western Canada.

I ride alongside the river on Dyea road as I make my way back towards Skagway and stop when I see a raft coming down the river full of people.  This is something I have never done but would love to do.  I really want to go down the Colorado river in a raft, maybe a future destination on my bike.  I stop and wait for them to go by and wave at them as they wave back.  It seems like a lot of fun but I would prefer a little rougher waters.

The road is gravel but it's well packed and not a problem.  This is the view back to where I came from.
Not a car or person in sight.

I get to Skagway, hang a left and leave town without even stopping.  Pretty soon I'm climbing back up the Klondike Highway back to Yukon and Canada.  I pass the US border, no need to stop, and continue climbing towards the Canadian customs.  I had passed a waterfall on the way to Skagway but this time I decide to stop and take a few pictures.

View from across the waterfall

The climb up the Klondike Highway

I continue, entering Canada a few miles down the road, no issues this time, the usual questions from a nice Canadian lady and I'm on my way.

As I come down from the pass, once again I had to stop in this beautiful and extra terrestrial looking area.  It's such an exquisite terrain, it was cold and foggy but I was mesmerized and had to hangout by the area for a while.  I park the bike and take a walk on the rocky terrain.

These pictures give you an idea of the vastness of this area and the beauty of the terrain.

One thing I had noticed earlier on the way to Skagway were these little piles of rocks on the landscape.  This time I decided to investigate.  As I look around I start seeing them everywhere.  I guess people have been building these for a long time, they were everywhere.

Some of them were really creative, little towers made of rocks

I decide to make my own.  It was easy to find the rocks, they are everywhere, all different sizes and shapes. I build my little tower and then sit there contemplating about this wonderful place, a moment to reflect on my trip so far.

I promised my wife I would return with her but I wonder if I will ever be back.  Life takes so many turns, one never knows what tomorrow will bring.  I take one last glance as I head out to burn this picture in my mind.

As I head back the weather seems to be opening up, the sky ever so slightly more blue.  I take a few pictures as I ride on this beautiful road and continue at a slower pace, one of the few times I was not in a hurry to get back.

I pull off the beautiful Klondike Highway when I see a little road leading to a clearing by the lake.  I stop by the edge of the water, look around, there's no one anywhere to be seen, I don't even get off the bike, take the picture and get back to the road.  I didn't have my camping equipment with me, if something happened I would be in trouble, no one would see me from the road.  Not that any cars were going by in any case.

A few miles down, the road climbs about 150 or more above the lake and offers a beautiful view.  I stop to take a few pictures and then notice the edge of the road falls down to the water at a 75 or 80 degree angle.

I zoomed in on a tree at the bottom of the ravine for this picture, it was much further away than it looks.  I proceeded to pickup rocks and throw them at the water.  I get a few really big one's and roll them off the edge, I got it on video.  What these photos don't show is how windy it was, the wind must have been at least 40 to 50 mph.  I will eventually make a video from this day.

A few more miles down the road and I arrive at this location I had passed on the way to Skagway.  The place consists of concrete structures that appear to be bunkers.  The concrete walls are very thick, some structures have no windows and steel beams stick out of crumbled walls.  I didn't see any signs about the location, I still have no idea what these structures were used for.

This place was pretty big as you can see from these pictures, it must have housed something important.

After about half an hour exploring the different structures and not seeing a single car going by, I return to my bike, take one last glance at the beautiful view and then head out.

I stop again at the location I had stopped earlier in the morning to take a few more pictures and to enjoy the scenery, now that the weather was much nicer and with a little more blue in the sky. 

Carcross, originally known as Caribou Crossing, is a little town in the Territory of Yukon and is home to the Carcross/Tagish First Nation.  As of the 2011 census it had a population of 289.  Wiki
I pull in and head to the beach area.  Who would have thought they would have a beach area on the lake? I wonder how many "beach" days they have this far north.  I think the water would be a little too cold for me.

Beautiful little log home with a magnificent view out the back.

I then head a few blocks to the only store I had seen in town but it was already closed.  It was obviously late in the day, even though it appears it's mid afternoon.  The sun doesn't set until late at night.

The General Store is right in front of the train station line that runs from Skagway to Whitehorse.  The little Duchess engine parked in front was built in 1878.

There wasn't much else to see, I get back on the bike and return to Whitehorse making one more stop at Emerald Lake.  It had been one beautiful riding day.  Skagway was a very nice destination to visit and the Dyea area, part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park, offered the perfect place to get back with nature.

Tomorrow will be the last day in Whitehorse and the group will be attending the barbecue hosted by Yukon Yamaha.  Then on to Alaska, I can't wait to continue my trek north.


  1. The road to/from Dyea brings back memories. I camped there and it rained the whole night and into the next morning. Finally, I had to tear down camp and pack it on the bike in the pouring rain. Not fun. Here are some of my pics:

    1. Just read your blog, yea, same lines at the border, same places in town, nothing has changed since you were there :-)
      I didn't see the bacon flavored toothpicks though :-)

  2. George - fabulous photos. The stones you found are most likely inukshuk and were letting you know you were somewhere special ... You've built your own inukshuk now to help you find the path back :)

    1. Thank you. That is great, I did not know, just read the wiki about the inukshuk. I got back so I guess it worked :-)

  3. I think next year may be the "stay local" for bike trips thanks in no small part to your posts. Usually it's blast through Canada to get to points further south. I haven't been to Skagway in almost 30 years. There's a lot more pavement now but it looks about the same. Keep the posts coming...

    1. You have great areas to travel in Alaska, I'm sure I didn't even see 1% of what's out there. There are so many gravel roads, for some you might need an adventure bike though ;-)

  4. Such beautiful pictures. When are you putting together your photo book?

    I think he is making us all want to ride to ALaska Richard........

    1. Thank you Brandy, I have been posting the latest ones on Instagram as well which then end up on Facebook. For Instagram they have to be squared though, so they don't have as much impact.
      My instagram account is
      By the way, you could definitely go to Alaska on your bike.

  5. Fantastic Post! Love The Photos!

    1. Thanks Lonestar. Somehow your comment was in spam and I never noticed.

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  7. Gorgeous pictures. What an epic ride! One day I would love to do a ride like that, but right now life is too busy. What type of camera are you using?

    1. Thank you Dar.
      Somehow your comment was in spam too and I never noticed. I had my Canon T3i with me and a small Sony camera I carry all the time around my neck.