July 31 – Saying Farewell to Alaska

This morning, we awoke to a light rain pitter-pattering on our roof.  We got underway early to begin our return 66 miles back over the challenging, and often jaw-jarring Taylor Highway

in and out of clouds engulfing the higher elevations

before reaching the intersection with the Alaska Highway.  Just before getting there, we saw another long-distance biker headed up to Chicken.

Knowing the roads they have covered and those they have facing them, we are simply amazed at the shape they are in and their determination!

Turning east, we drove the eighty miles eastward toward the Yukon border; passing some old, abandon homesteads

as well as a number of scenic landscapes which, unfortunately, due in part to the overcast weather, don’t show as well in photos as they were in reality.

turning east on the Alaska Highway for the eighty mile drive to the Yukon border.

Heading into Canada, you cross the international border some 20 miles before actually clearing Canadian customs in Beaver Creek.  However, that stretch of road proved to be in the worst condition of any we’ve driven … and we’ve seen plenty of rig-shaking, frost-heaved and washed out roads on this trip.

On the bright side, however, the scenery, particularly as we began to get inexorably closer to the Canadian Rockies, was breath-taking.   In addition we love the mountains, the hundreds of roadside lakes and ponds

especially when inhabited with trumpeter swans.

Shortly after arriving at our campground, we learned that one of fellow travelers, Bill Irvine, had broken his driveshaft going through a frost heave dip on the Taylor Highway earlier that morning.  His large motor home was sitting on a hill on a two-lane road and it could not be towed until Tuesday.

This evening, we had dinner at the Beaver Creek Rendezvous, after which we enjoyed the music of their after-dinner show.  The two lead singers

had incredible voices and treated us to a range of songs … from wartime 1940s big band to music written for the Yukon and its wilderness. We did get a chance to meet them.

To everyone in our group’s surprise and pleasure, Bill and his wife, Carol,

and their traveling companions, Carol’s sister, Sue and her husband, Chick,

had driven to Beaver Creek for the evening.  Chick and Sue will be traveling with us, while Bill and Carol will be returning to Alaska to oversee the “rescue” and repair of their motor home.  He remains cautiously optimistic they will be able to rejoin us before we break-up in Prince George, British Columbia on August 10th.  We’ve got our fingers crossed for them!

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