Watson Lake, Yukon to Bell 2 Lodge, BC 307 miles
This morning I woke up around 6am and saw a beautiful sunrise, but decided it was too early to get up so I went back to sleep. Sarah and I got up and moving a little after 7am and saw that Dewey had warned “Kathy” that we all would be there for breakfast at 8:30am. Kathy’s was about a block away so after getting ready we rounded up Barry and Jim and headed over there just after 8am. I was still feeling a bit sick so I opted for some plain oatmeal. Eventually the whole group, well most of them showed up and we all enjoyed some food and the poor waitress kept up by herself ragged.
From breakfast we headed back to the hotel and got all the shit loaded on the bikes and as usual, our group was the last to leave. We had to backtrack from Watson to the exit for 37 aka Cassiar Hwy and we needed gas. The first lot we pulled into was the wrong place as they did not have regular gas, but I saw one just up the road so we all filled up. While we were sitting in the parking lot, Sarah asked who was leading…we wanted to go fast, so I led from the parking lot. I knew the Cassiar wasn’t too far from Watson Lake so I assumed in the lead it would be obvious. I saw the sign, but when I saw the road I thought for sure it was a driveway…so I passed it. I turned us all around and Jim took off down the highway and Barry headed to the gas station so Sarah and I sat on the side of the road waiting. Jim finally came back, Barry thought he needed more gas because his gauge wasn’t working, so we waited for him to “refill.” I took the lead again when we left and I was happily surprised by the Cassiar.
Cleanest trip down we’ve ever had so far…
The Cassiar and all of its glory for the first 200 miles has no center line and no shoulder! It was a great road and we all were bombing along taking up the whole road except for when a random vehicle was going the opposite direction. Basically, we rode hard until we caught up with the rest of the group and they pulled into a pull off. I almost blasted by but wasn’t sure why everyone stopped so I followed suit. We pulled into the rest area and it had only been about 40 miles from Watson Lake so as we sat here Sarah and I immediately decided we should just roll out in front of the group and ride our own ride. We threatened to leave Barry and Jim but they got their shit on quickly and we headed out. It was nice to be in front and haul some ass.
We stopped at Dease Lake for gas, so we hung for a minute and the whole group ended up accumulating there. We got some photos and I told Dewey if there were any scenic pullouts to pull over so we could get photos for the blog. Little did we know we wouldn’t have signal for at least 2 days so good luck with photos getting on the blog! After about 10 minutes on the road, Dewey pulled over and we got a photo. The whole group looked annoyed at our antics so I yelled “It’s for the Blog!!” as if that would make it better…well I guess we all want our 10 minutes of fame so they will make it on the blog.
From there a bunch of the pack left quickly while I was still queuing up my audio book (yes I am listening to a book while I ride while there is no signal for my pandora) and putting on my gloves. We got in behind about half the group. The Cassiar is full of hills and curves which makes it so much more fun than the Alcan! There were a few butt puckering moments where I would be hauling ass then would come up on shitty gravel at the top of a hill. It was interesting and kept us o our toes. Eventually, Julie and the first part of the pack pulled off at a rest stop. I initially signaled to turn off with them, but then I changed my mind and re-signaled with my hand to keep going. Unfortunately, Jim didn’t see my second signal so we lost him and Sarah, Barry and I took off like bats out of hell and hauled ass for the next 100 miles..ish.
When we got closer to Bell 2 I saw Dewey pulled off to take a poto but I decided it was too smokey to stop so I waved as I rode by. We had a few gravel patches but nothing like a little challenge to keep it fun. As we approached Bell 2 I saw a sign for a point of interest, so I pulled over. Barry and Sarah were unimpressed with my Telegraph stop, but at the end of the day it is part of the history of this road. So that is that. We made it to the Bell 2 Lodge, I confirmed they had alcohol and we hung in the sun until the restaurant opened. We all enjoyed some food and then afterwards I brought my bottle of wine out to sit in the grass jamming to Sarah’s music while I wrote this blog. Everyone else got in the hot tub…which is where I am going…to be continued tomorrow….