Across Continents

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Roadhouse breakfast


There are several reasons to stop at the Thirty Three Mile Roadhouse, a short distance along the Haines Road over the US border in Alaska. Their magnifient breakfasts are one. The other is Gabriela. Warm smile. Greeted me enthusiastically as I wandered into the small cafe.


An elderly chap sat in the corner. Baseball cap, tinted glasses. Couple of bikers, in their sixties, their heavy leathers showing little signs of wear. I took a window seat, contemplating the menu and sipping the hot coffee I’d been given. Which, I enquired, was the largest option? Explaining I’d not had an evening meal the previous day, and had already covered thirty or so miles by nine. I was hungry.

Order placed, I contemplated the road ahead. Thirty three miles to Haines. But then, I discovered from a road sign a little way back, a further five to the ferry port. Thirty eight. Average ten miles an hour if no headwind. Should be fairly flat. Call it four hours. Check in by two. Just after nine now. Needed to be back on the road before ten. Then focused riding.

33MileRoadhouse (2)

Breakfast arrived. Hot cakes, bacon, mini-burgers, eggs, toast, hash browns. More coffee. And, yes, Gabriela explained, she could fill my flask for later. Did I want more to eat? I hesitated briefly. Extra toast would be good. Once underway they’d be no time for stopping if I was to make the sailing.

The day had at least started better than the previous had ended. Still a bit mystified as to who the men in the pick-ups were that had come close to stumbling on my camp. They’d not returned, or at least if they had, I’d not heard them. An innocent episode, or, so close to the border, a small fragment in a wider intelligence jigsaw? But I’d not been able to get the plates, even less a description of the individuals.


I’d risen at dawn, struck camp and headed for the border. Soon rising out of the thick mist. Discovering I’d spent the night a little short of a decent sized lake beneath the Three Guardsmen mastiff. A few brief climbs but mostly long, sweeping downhills. Soon back below the treeline.

Reassured by Canadian Customs that there was no requirement for an exit stamp in my passport, a further quarter of a mile to the US border post. Greeted by a friendly guard. Purpose of my visit he asked? Sat astride my trusty steed, I explained I was cycling around the world, North America my fourth continent. Cursory check of my documents and I was on my way. Time to find breakfast.



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