- Monday, June 27
- Haines, AK to Kluane National Park Reserve, YT
- 205 miles
As enjoyable as our cruise has been, we are suffering from some serious boat fever. We are chomping at the bit to get off the boat and do some serious riding.
The St. Elias Mountains along the Haines Highway are simply spectacular and the scale of this mountain range boggles the mind. The height of its peaks ranges from 15,000 – 19,500 feet.
The weather is perfect, warm and dry, but we soon see a serious rainstorm ahead, our first storm of the trip. We pull over to don the rain gear before we reach it. We cross two passes on the Haines Highway, Chilkat at 3,493 ft. and 3 Guardsmen at 3,215, which are non-events compared to passes on other trips we’ve done. If not for the signs, we’d barely notice them. Little do we know that this is very indicative of Alaskan mountain passes.
We enjoy some fine dining in Haines Junction at a Chinese restaurant when we reach the Alcan Highway. Seems a bit odd to find Chinese food in the Yukon Territory but it’s delicious nonetheless. It’s not until we reach the campsite, many miles West of the restaurant, that we realize that we paid and tipped using US dollars. We must have made that Canadian waiter very happy!
We rustle up an ample supply of Kokanee, our favorite Canadian brew, and head for a campground West of Haines Junction. While motoring around the campground looking for a choice campsite, my ST’s front tire plows into some deep sand while turning around at very low speed and plop, over we go. Pablo is standing by with a camera to record it. I ask you, what are brothers for?
We notice a sign stating that no tent camping is allowed once the bears are on the prowl for berries and salmon but we’re early in the season and ok. As far as skeeters go, they are few in numbers and not packing a punch so we rate the place as 1 on the Skookumchuck Skeeter Scale (SSS).
It’s 1 AM and we’re drinking Kokanees, smoking cigars, and marveling at how light it still is. Sunrise will come at 4:14 AM. We have to ignore it and go to bed anyway. It feels great to be camping in the Yukon!
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