Saturday, July 7, 2007

Alaska Caper - Day 25

June 28, 2007
Posted by: Dick Wilson

Start: Whitehorse, YT
Destination: Watson Lake, YT
Miles traveled: 280

Life has its little hiccups. One of ours came today. The battery in Steve’s bike, only 1½ years old, died abruptly last night without warning. The local Harley-Davison dealer kindly took him around to various locations in hopes of finding a suitable replacement which would fit into the confined space on his bike. It turns out his battery is long and skinny, and there were no replacements which would come anywhere near fitting. We both went to bed unsure of what we were going to do, hoping to check other cycle shops in the morning. There were not many additional options in Whitehorse, which is a small town, although they do have a reasonably well- stocked Wal-Mart. This morning Steve and I concluded that great minds think alike, as during the night we had both thought of strapping an appropriate 12-volt battery to the luggage rack of his bike, running wires forward to the battery compartment to "wire him for sound." Steve put his Yankee ingenuity to work, acquiring a battery cable and tie-down straps. By noon he had a strong battery perched on the back of his bike. We concluded that all it needed now was appropriate housing. Perhaps when he returns home, he could build a bird house in which his battery could ride. It might even be a better alternative than purchasing a battery specifically designed for his bike.

We were then off to Watson Lake. Except for a little heavy dew, the ride was uneventful. We are now out of the spectacular mountain country. The road travels through predominantly evergreen forests and occasionally past lakes which are wonderfully clear with deep blue water. The rivers localized here no longer have a glacial influence, being either milky in color or somewhat muddy from the excessive spring run off. They too run through heavily forested regions. I was thinking–wouldn’t it be great to canoe down one of these rivers and fish on the way. The only challenge would be dealing with the Yukon "provincial bird," the mosquito, which seems more prevalent here than in Alaska, undoubtedly related to the standing water which is everywhere.

We checked into the Air Force Lodge. This has no military background, but the walls are covered with neat photos of WWII aircraft. This was of particular appeal to Steve who, as you know, is a retired Navy Aviator. Tomorrow we hit the Cassiar Highway and will be leaving the Yukon for British Columbia.

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