Day 13: A few minutes in Alaska!

2008-07-21

08h30 to 09h30 Alaska
09h30 Stewart (BC)
18h00 Prince George (BC)
700 km

Up at in 08:30 without the alarm! I decide to make a quick jump in Alaska. Bizarre, it isn’t every day that you can say something like this! Of course, as always, everything turns wet as the rain quickly begins. The village of Hyder (AK) is just 5 minutes From Steward. No customs to enter USA. The place is in disrepair! Nothing to see here except  Salmon Glacier, which, in fact, is in British Columbia but you need tho go thru Alaska to access the only road. I decide to go… The only small problem: 25 km of gravel … Grrr!

Unfortunately, the fog spoils it a little bit but I still can see the beautiful glacier. Very impressive.

After, I returned to my country. This time, I must go through a border post where Canadian customs officers ask me all sorts of unnecessary questions like: do you have a weapon with you, you are in the USA for how long, bought anything? … I quickly reassured them, not AK-47s or grenades and my small boxes are not filled with fashion clothing or expensive wines.

I stop to have breakfast at the bakery in the village, a place that surprises me by the kindness and authenticity of the people who work there. With a full belly (good choise of food!), I’m ready to attack today’s task: an 8 hour drive lost in the center of the province. My aim is more modest today. I am planning to go to Prince George (BC).

The road is nice, I feel that I’m now back in civilization. The villages (often Natives) are more frequent and there is presence on the road! I have to handle the machine a little more aggressively to pass the now frequent slow traffic but with a motorcycle, overtaking is a breeze. Finally an advantage!

The houses and farms now decorate the road, thing I had not seen for many days.

Passing through the small town of Smitthers, I see a Harley Davidson motorcycle retailer. The temptation is too strong, I stop and ask whether it’s possible to change my tires because I still using my off-road ones.

To save a few dollars, I decided to remove the wheel myself. Cost: $ 65. Not so bad! I then headed to the local post office where I sent home a few books and my front tire. (the rear tire is too worn to make it worthwhile to keep).

Wow, in less than an hour, I’m free again! More tires in the back! Difficult to explain the relief and happiness! Consequently, significant increase in driving comfort and, above all, a faster pace on the road!

Around 18:00, I arrive in the beautiful city of Prince George. Or should I say, the ghost town of Prince George! Downtown is literally empty (very few cars and no pedestrians). I quickly book a small room in a motel and I realize my motorcycle need a good wash so I get to that and after, a quick dinner at the Keg (my new favorite travel restaurant…) The city is deserted and nothing else attracts my attention.

2008-07-21-Hyder-(AK)12008-07-21-Hyder-(AK)4


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