Across Continents

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Cabin fever – the next morning

October 2nd, 2011

Cabin fever – the next morning from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Next morning, nausea having passed, Ken admires the view from Rick’s cabin. And a much nicer outhouse than you’d usually find in China.. Near Haines Junction, in Canada’s Yukon Province.

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Cabin fever – arrival at last

October 1st, 2011

Cabin fever – arrival at last from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Mike and Ken finally make it to Rick’s cabin, near Haines Junction in Canada’s Yukon Province.

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Improving prospects

October 1st, 2011

He’d a plot somewhere in the bush but didn’t say where. And equally coy about just how much he made from it, other than to admit it was a good living, day-to-day operations leased to a small gold mining company. Dale struck me as careful with his money, every penny hard-earned, and if he was a bit more flush these days, he deserved it.

I’d met him by chance. Ever worsening nausea had forced me to abandon riding the final thirty or so miles that day with Mike. And Dale had been the first passing pick-up driver I’d put my thumb out for. He’d carried out a short distance, screeched to a halt, and then reversed back up the empty highway.

We’d soon got trusty steed Emma stowed in the back of the pick-up and were on our way to Rick’s cabin. I’d directions but he didn’t need them. Knew Rick well. Ordinarily Mike and I would have just stopped and wild camped, catching up on the mileage the next day. But we’d arranged to stay with Rick, close to the small Yukon town of Haines Junction, and didn’t have a telephone number to call and let him know what’d happened. Worried that if we didn’t arrive, there’d be search parties. So, one way or the other, we had to get there.

Mike was keen to press on as he felt fine. I’d agreed. After all, I was used to travelling solo, and if I found myself feeling much worse, I’d all the kit to go safely to ground. Tent up, get into my sleeping bag. Besides, I was pretty confident I’d be able to get a lift. And, if not, Mike promised to return with Rick and come and find me. We soon passed Mike on the highway, slowing down as we overtook so I could let him know I was safe.

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Struggling along the lake

October 1st, 2011

Escaped the relentless headwinds of the last fifty miles or so we might have, but I was less than appreciative. Felt increasingly nauseous since leaving Destruction Bay, and there’d been a brief foray into the woods with a toilet roll. And bear spray – didn’t want – quite literally – to get caught with my trousers down. Hardly a fitting epitaph for a headstone.

It’d been hard going from last night’s wild camp into the small settlement of Burwash Landing, on the shores of Kluane Lake. Not more than fifteen or so miles, progress had been slow. Mike had finished the last of his rations the previous evening, and I had precious little water left. We’d agreed that whatever the other had could be shared, but in practice, we’d just pressed on.

We’d found the cafe in Burwash without difficulty. Little more there. And, delighted they’d take cards as we’d still not been able to get hold of Canadian dollars, we’d both taken the larger of the breakfast options on the menu. The Hikers Special. And frequent coffee top-ups. Got the flask replenished with more for later, and our water bottles filled.

Destruction Bay, the next and only remaining settlement on the lake shores, was a mere ten miles away, but it had taken well over an hour to reach it, constantly buffeted by remorseless headwinds. A brief coffee stop at the Talbot Motor Inn stretched a little. Replenishing rations and admiring the quaint 80s perms that appeared to be popular in these parts.

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Next morning

October 1st, 2011

Next morning from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Next morning, Ken surveys the wild camp site in Canada’s Yukon Province. Still no bears….

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Off the Yukon Highway

September 30th, 2011

Off the Yukon highway from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Mike and Ken wild camp in bear country in Canada’s Yukon Province. At the end of a very long day, some eighty five miles in the bag. Marvel at Mike’s efforts at flambe cooking, and Ken’s need for a Steadicam, or at least a tripod…

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We want… a creperie

September 30th, 2011

"Deux crepes chocolat sil vous plait" I’d said in quite appalling school boy French. Later adding, as Mike and I departed, "Les crepes. Tres bien!". However surprised he might have been with my grasp of foreign languages, that’d probably been overshadowed by our plain amazement at finding a genuine French crêperie in the midst of Canada’s Yukon Province. Makes Alaska look crowded.

We’d mistakenly assumed the friendly couple running it were French Canadians. But no, there were from France. Quite what had inspired them to wake up one day and announce "We want… a crêperie" – in the remote Yukon, at least twenty miles or so from the nearest house – had alluded us. My conversational French not quite up to this. And jolly nice crepes they were.

[With especial thanks to "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" for inspiring this post’s title – the piece where the Knights that say "Ni" demand a shrubbery..]

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When being chased….

September 30th, 2011

WhiteRiver (4)

You have been warned.. At White River, thirty miles south of Beaver Creek in Canada’s Yukon Province.

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Coffee and cakes

September 30th, 2011

WhiteRiver (7)

We’d asked for just coffee but got complimentary cakes as well. Left from dinner last night, explained Amanda. She was originally from the north of England, but had grown up in Ireland and had a soft Irish accent. I was curious as to how she’d ended up running a campground in Canada’s Yukon Province. She’d found the place whilst on holiday, she explained. Had fallen in love with it.

I thought her quite charming, welcoming. An absolute delight to chat with. It was a shame to leave and return to the road, but necessary none the less. In truth, I’d been intrigued about stopping there. One hardened ride, a chiseled chap called Craig, had encouraged us to stop by. Others were absolute in their conviction that the owners hated cyclists. I’d very much doubted this.

So we’d popped in. "Your reputation proceeds you!" I’d said jovially. If Mike had winced at this, I’d not noticed as he was behind me. Discovering, a bit later, that if you do go around insisting that the provision of free drinking water is your human right, chances are, you won’t get such a warm welcome. Which seemed to go quite a long way to explaining the very differing views on stopping there.

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White River

September 30th, 2011

White River from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Mike and Ken reach the White River, one of many Yukon river tributaries, about thirty miles inside Canada’s Yukon Province. Stopping a short distance later at White River RV – recreational vehicle – park for coffee and cake with owner Amanda.

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