It is getting late here in Gran Prairie we lost another hour, so we are now 2 hours ahead of Alaska time. I can’t believe we have already gone so far! Today we started off in Fort Nelson, in some intense rain, with wind blowing it sideways. Despite the rain, everyone seemed to be in good spirits. We were all ready for the next adventure! Howard Hunt had some Cake music blasting in the lobby from his phone, because we act like we own the place, and Glen Marunde was running around getting everyone pumped for the day. It was probably quite the spectacle from an outsiders perspective. A running joke from my last trip down for the 105th anniversary party, is to yell “Let’s get this freak show on the road.” This is primarily because in 2008 I was traveling with my dad, Paul Ramage and a customer Mike. When we would stop for gas, food etc Paul was always the last one to be ready and on his bike. So, being impatient I would always yell “Let’s get this freak show on the road!” We named our group the “AlCan Freak Show” from that point forward.
That being said, you will never guess who we were all waiting on this morning in the rain….We all had our gear on and bikes running and Paul hadn’t even put his leathers on yet! We all get a good chuckle and wait for a few minutes while he tried to rush getting his gear on. We finally hit the road, and had about 100 miles of rain. The first part of the ride we were still in the mountains, but we eventually wound our way to the plains. The entire ride today felt like we were outrunning the storm. Every time we would stop it wouldn’t be raining but it would start up by the time we were leaving. We had our second flat tire of the trip today. Lee Graybill traveling with his daughter Sherri pulled into the gas station and realized why his bike was handling so badly!
His tire was almost completely flat. The group had a lot of different ideas and opinions on what Lee should do, but after using our handy HD air pump and re-inflating his tire he decided to hit the road and see how far he could make it.
It was a very slow leak, so it might hold through to Fort St. John. Howard, Sherri and Lee rode in the back of the group so they wouldn’t hold up the rest of the riders if they needed to stop for more air or a tow truck.
We continued on our trek and made it to Dawson Creek where the mile marker 0 of the Alaska Highway. If you are ever bored you should check out the history of how this road was built! It is pretty impressive how much they accomplished in such a short time. We got our picture by the mile marker and a nice local even stopped her car to jump out and take a photo of all of us together. The mile marker is int he middle of a 4 way intersection!
We ate a late lunch at The White Spot, which is also where we ate in 2008 when we rode through. The food was great and we even had some entertainment when Barry recited a Robert Service poem, the cremation of Sam McGee.
I grew up listening to him perfect his recital of these poems, it was fun to have a trip down memory lane. We got back on the road and much to our surprise, Sherri, Lee and Howard were right behind us! Lee made it all the way to the HD dealer in Grand Prairie with a nail in his tire! This is not recommended, but when you are on the AlCan sometimes you only have the choice to take the risk! They will be getting him taken care of first thing in the morning. They even had a little reception for us with some food and gift bags! It was much appreciated after a cold day of riding.
Tomorrow we will be riding to Red Deer (although there may be a few that brave the confusing traffic of Edmonton, the majority of us are avoiding it!)
Checking your progress daily…. where and when is the party for your group in Milwaukee?
I bet Barry was glad to find a cheaper place for a beer than Watson Lake.