Last night, July 29, we ended up staying in Haines Junction to hang out with Berel and Chris, our German friends who rolled into the bakery just as we were about to leave. Gabriella and Joelle went off to camp, and us and the guys camped in a different spot. The girls somehow found the only spot in town that had a no camping sign and put their tent right next to it, and we shook our heads. We had a great time talking and laughing with Berel and Chris late into the night, and it was too bad that today we had to say goodbye. Next time in Germany!
Though Haines Junction does not have a grocery store, it does have a community pool with public swim from 7:30-9 every morning, so Tam and I woke up early and went to check that out. For $4, we were able to swim in the pool and take hot showers! Again, it's the little things. The subsequent ride was cold and wet; it had rained all night and all morning and continued to rain while we rode. I would look down at my odometer and find that I had only traveled a tenth of a mile since I last checked. One of those days. We stopped about 20 miles in at the truck stop in Otter Falls, where we warmed up and had a nice lunch with Uschi and Christoph, two really thoughtful German folks who spend their summers here in Canada. They do kayak touring and are on the road driving for a few weeks to check out some of the more northern lakes. They generously paid for our pancakes before we had a chance to pay, and the stimulating, spiritual conversation gave us food for thought for many miles down the road (and will continue to ruminate). If you're reading this, thanks guys!
A bit after Otter Falls, it stopped raining and we made good time. Around 7:30, we camped by a side road near a big patch of small but sweet wild strawberries (!), and as we were eating dinner, another cyclist rolled up. Max, from Salt Lake City, was planning on taking the side road a few kilometers to the campground, but we convinced him to stay and hang out with us.