Sorry! The Yukon Is Closed. Please Come Again!Dan | August 14, 2008
When we woke up, Bob and Kathy invited us in again for coffee, and soon afterwards we were off. Earlier I mentioned that they had given us soup, and that this was crucial. Well today, we discovered that all of the services we were planning on utilizing were shut down. I’m not talking like one or two places. I mean like 10-15 places on this long lonely stretch of highway were completely closed. We must have passed about 8 cafe’s on this day without a single sign of human life other than the abandoned buildings. We met a german tourist going the other direction who essentially told us as much, and that we would have to prepare for several days of eating out of our bags.
We totally should have gotten way more food at Haines Junction! We started rationing our pop-tarts, and measuring out half-spoonfuls of peanut butter to hopefully last all the way to our next grocery store several days down the road in Tok. At this point, the next cafe was in Beaver Creek, near the end of the next day. (We would later find that this one was closed too). One of the closed places along the way was this creepy abandoned “Moose Turd” yard, which are apparently wooden sculptures that are made of a type of wood that looks like it has tumors. We walked up to the workshop, which looked like something out of the movie Seven, and found its ceiling to be covered with post-it notes of people who had stopped by.
What’s more, there were these extremely creepy sculptures which certainly were bizarre and even more scary in the context of an abandoned place.
On the up side, the weather was actually sunny, and we had a nice tailwind carrying us past all these closed down places. We finished the 83 mile day off at another primitive campground, the Lake Creek Government Camp, complete with murky, chunk-filled water. If we didn’t have Giardiasis by now, we must have guts o’ steel. After talking to some locals, it becomes apparent the reason for all the closings. Electricity out in the wilderness costs as much as 75 cents/kWhr. With the decrease in RV traffic, the substantial cost of operation has forced most of these businesses to close, much to the chagrin of these two hungry cyclists.
Either way, it was a pretty good day of riding, and we are one day closer to finishing!