It was a strange feeling to leave Whitehorse, after an amazing week spent visiting friends, resting, eating too much and getting things more or less organized in case I am not back for a long time.
The week was busy but it couldn’t have been nicer. It was heart warming to see so many friends and to feel how much they support me and encourage me to keep going. I am definitely not alone on this trip!I also met a few tour cyclists, and that really made me want to get back on the road, even if I was enjoying my time in one of the places that I call home. It was getting hard to not take advantage of so many warm or hot days with north winds, which is pretty unusual in Whitehorse. But they were also great days to sit outside and have dinner with friends. Still, I have a very long way to go before I don’t need to worry about winter coming, so I had to eventually get going.
So after one more coffee with Rick who so generously let me to stay in his camper while I was in Whitehorse, I drove to another friend’s place, where I parked my minivan and got back on my bike.
It felt very slow at first, after a week of effortlessly driving a vehicle, but Laf was clearly in better shape after a good tune-up. I wish I could have said the same thing… I felt heavy and out of shape, but I decided to blame it on the smoke that has been around for almost two weeks now. Forest fires in the Kluane area are apparently pretty intense, I am glad I went through there before they started.
I stopped at friends’ place for the night. They live next to a small lake that was perfectly refreshing without being too cold and I took full advantage of it. I was tired, even if it was not a very long day. I might need a day or two to get back into the rhythm. Today and the next day or so were/will be also pretty short, as I am enjoying other friends’ hospitality on the way.
It’s an interesting transition, and its hard to fully integrate that I am (at least trying) on my way to South America as I am still in familiar grounds, riding on roads that I rode several times before, always dreaming about this trip, but now its no longer a ‘practice’, it is the real thing!
As I started my ride this morning, I came across a message that a friend had left for me on the road… It was one more reminder that I am leaving great people, but that each day will also be full of surprises. This is an adventure, after all!
And already I met nice people who waved, stopped to ask me if I needed anything, gave me juice and granola bars and offered water. I even ate half a cinnamon bun at Johnson’s Crossing after I overheard a conversation between a friendly motorcyclist and the waitress. He was wondering if she would give the uneaten half bun to a dog. She replied that they used to have pigs who would eat the leftovers. I volunteered to take care of it…
It’s too bad the scenery is not as great as it should be because of the haze, but I enjoyed thinking about the numerous times I drove on this road to go train my dogs on the Canol Road years ago… It feels like a different life! Or at least a different chapter.
And how about the knees? Well, more or less the same. I was hoping the rest in Whitehorse would heal them for good. Not really. It remains manageable for now, short days will definitely be the way to go, and I will have to learn to not worry about it too much and just enjoy every day of riding as a gift. And it is.