Whitehorse to Watson Lake – 438kms
One week gone and it was now time to turn back and head south. The means the trip is almost half over. But while discussing the next couple of days after Watson Lake, we decided to try for Stewart tomorrow. But first we had to get back to Watson Lake and check out the famous Signpost Forest! We didn’t stop at it on the way north because of the rain, but the forecast for today was for sunshine and mild temps – perfect for riding!
First we got packed, and took all the bags down to the front desk. Then we had to get the bikes out of the garage. Since the front desk clerk was alone, she had us just go down and do it ourselves. With the bikes back out front, we loaded up the bikes and prepared to go find breakfast.
Since we’d be riding to wherever, I widened the search and we decided on the Ricky’s on the north end of the downtown area. Brekkie was edible but forgettable, and after gassing up the bikes, we headed out.
First stop was the Yukon Motel in Teslin, same place we stopped at on the way north.
We refuelled and had a quick lunch here, where the waitress pissed me off. I went to order a sticky bun a coffee after eating the BLT, and she just blew me off, and went to a few other tables before finally coming back to our table. So I changed my mind on the sticky bun, instead we just got the bill and headed out. The rest of the ride to Watson Lake was pretty nice – weather was nice, traffic was light and we made good time.
Arriving at Watson Lake at about 430pm, we had plenty of time to wander the Signpost Forest – it’s a pretty cool place – check out this link for history and more information.
We wandered the forest for a while, then headed to the Air Force Lodge to check in. Mike suggested that we might want to check with the Visitor Info Centre to get current info on gas stops along the Stewart-Cassiar highway south, so we dropped in there before grabbing some food at Archie’s, which wasn’t as good as the first we stopped there.
Fuel range on the bikes hasn’t really been an issue. Louise’s Tiger will easily get more than 375kms, and the FJR will consistently get well over 400kms. The only reason there was concern on the trip down the Cassiar was that at this time of the year many of the operators close up shop and go hunting! Checking the map that we got from the Visitor Info place, I planned out 4 stops, all with gas – Dease Lake, Iskut, Bell II and Meziadin Junction. It also helped to break up the trip – this would be the longest single day of travel on the whole trip at 648kms.
Back at the hotel, we chatted with Mike some more and met a couple from the Netherlands, riding a Ducati 996 (with racks!) and a Honda NC700. They’d air-freighted their bikes from Amsterdam to Anchorage, the rode up to Prudhoe Bay and were now headed south to Argentina! When they asked where we were headed tomorrow and we replied Stewart at around 650kms; they replied that was so far, too far in one day! Well they had 5 months for their trip – I only have 2 weeks.
We showered up in anticipation of an early start to the day tomorrow and hit the sack.