Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lakes and Teleportation, July 28-29

July 27: We started off the day in fine fashion with couscous and olive oil; we had let the couscous hydrate overnight in a peanut butter jar.  The morning fog quickly cleared up and the valley we biked through was nice, but it was tough to focus on that because of a stiff headwind.  Some lollipops helped; an RV pulled alongside us as we were riding and gave us two of them!  It's the little things that make each day unique and special.  
We made it to Burwash Landing, our first town, in good time, the headwind notwithstanding.  There isn't much there except a museum, which we thoroughly enjoyed.  The exhibits were well done and had interesting facts on native animals and people.  Did you know that moose can reach submerged vegetation up to 20 feet below the surface of a pond?  I didn't.  
A few miles up the road we came to Destruction Bay, which is so vividly named for a windstorm that came through and destroyed the town some years ago.  It's not really a town, just one motel with a little gas station, store, and restaurant.  We had been crossing our fingers that they would have chips, salsa, bread, and peanut butter, and they did!  We spent a few hours eating a satisfyingly large lunch of chips and salsa with cheese, and PB&J sandwiches, and using the Wi-Fi to update the blog and check email.  On our way out, we ran into Berel and Chris, the Germans we had met the day before.
 We talked for a bit then headed out, promising to keep an eye out for them when we found a good campsite.  Unfortunately, it seems we went farther than they did, because we haven't seen them again.  We couldn't seem to stop riding; the wind stopped blowing, and the road, winding around the west shore of giant, turquoise Lake Kluane, was incredibly scenic.

 We ended up camping right on the shore, where we made a fire with some driftwood and used it to heat up water for beans and mashed potatoes, as well as to warm ourselves after going for a very quick swim in the frigid lake.  Then, to top it all off, we enjoyed chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter, all warm and melty from the fire. What a wonderful day!

July 28: The same headwind from yesterday did not let up, so the miles came slowly.  We were apprehensive of the highest point on the highway, but we stopped at one point and figured out that we were actually at that highest point!  A long downhill lay ahead, but the rain clouds were threatening.  We donned our rain gear and headed downhill.  And what a downhill!  It lasted over six miles, and though we froze during it because of the cold rain and wind, when we reached the bottom the sun was out, flowers lined the road, which had become smoothly paved, and the headwind had turned into a tailwind!  It was as if we had teleported.  We were flabbergasted, happily surprised.  We spent the next few hours in Haines Junction eating pizza, shopping for food for the next few days, and talking with two cyclists, Gabriella and Joelle, from Quebec.  
They enjoyed their pizza too!  Off to Whitehorse- we will be there in two days and will hopefully take a day there to rest and recuperate.

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