Top of the World

I was looking forward to riding the Top of the World Highway today to Dawson City, Yukon.

After a day of thinking yesterday in Tok, one of my resolutions was to take more photos and video. It is hard for me to do since I enjoy riding so much. It is just hard to stop. And to get really good photos I would need to set things up, taking even more time. Anyways, I envisioned stopping at various points along the Top of the World Highway and setting things up with me riding etc.


The first stop was the town of Chicken at the start of the Highway. I had read a lot about this little town. It was a regularly stop for people to get stickers, “I got laid in Chicken,” and to take cheesy photos behind wooden chicken cut outs.

Perhaps because it was early in the morning and dreary out that I just didn’t see the attraction. But that is me. I did get a photo though.


Fog, Cloud, Freezing Rain

As I climbed up the Top of the World Highway I entered cloud and rarely left it. Sometimes I vcould barely see in front of me. Other times I encountered freezing rain pellets. My plans for great pictures were dashed. I did get these though during the cloud breaks.


The road itself wasn’t very good. The rain made it muddy. And there were a lot of potholes.

Dawson City

Eventually I descended out of the cloud and Dawson City appeared. Very cool. To get to the city I had to get on a small ferry to cross the Yukon River. The river was running fast and I was fascinated to see how the ferry was going to navigate it. The river carried it downstream and then it had to turn around and power its way upstream to the earthen dock.


I rode on and the ferry powered its way upstream to the other side.



I was in Dawson City.The first thing I needed to do is get some coffee. I was freezing. I found Riverwest Bistro.


After I warmed up I went to the hotel I booked.

The Bunkhouse

The Bunkhouse is the cheapest place in Dawson City that I could find. At $85 Can, you get a small, but clean, room with a bed. There are shared toilets and showers. The building itself is really cool, just like a lot of the buildings in Dawson City. I love the veranda!


Walking Around Dawson City

I had arrived early in Dawson City. After I had warmed up and checked in to The Bunkhouse, I decided to get something to eat. Trip Advisor said Klondike Kates was the place to eat. So off I went.



Waiting in Tok Alaska

I am stuck in Tok, Alsaka, for two reasons. First, it is suppose to pour rain all day. And second, because I was planning on going to Dawson City, but it is the Dawson City Music Festival this weekend, and every hotel and campground is booked solid.

Goodbye Brent

Brent and I have been riding together for I think ten days now. We accomplished something major together. We conquered the Dalton Highway and made it to the most northernly point in the western hemisphere that you can reach by a vehicle. While be both could have done it alone, it was much safer and cheaper to do it together. Plus, it was nice to have someone to share the momentous occasion with.

Today was the day for us to part company. I am going south the way he came up, and he is going south the way I came up. I am sure our paths will cross one day again. We are both planning on entering Mexico together at about the same time.

Off he goes.



It wasn’t long after that the predicted rain fell.


I waited as long as I could at the hotel and then went to Fast Eddies restaurant to wait out the rain. The rain won.

Some gas, air in the tires, and some riding around finally outlasted the rain. What should I do now? Go back to the hotel at $89 US or camp for $27 US? I had definitely overspent this month and so camping was tempting. On the other hand, it was suppose to continue to rain and so hoteling it was tempting. Money won!


I prepared for the rain by bringing out my multipurpose tarp.



Went to bed and still no rain. I heard a few drops during the night but that was it. Great decision Brian!

Route for July 24, 2016, Staying in Tok


Matanuska Glacier

The highlight of today’s ride from Anchorage to Tok, Alaska, was the Matanuska Glacier and Jeannies Java.

Brent and I were up early as usual to make our escape from Anchorage while the weather was good – also known as cloudy. Both of us like to ride for a hour before having breakfast. This really works well in populated regions. But here in Alaska you could be in the middle of no where. A hour into our ride we hit two cafes. Both were not open until 9. We would have to wait an hour. We were told the next place to stop to eat was 100 miles away. It looked like we would be going hungry for awhile!

We forgot all about food when we arrived at the Matanuska Glacier. The Glacier is 27 miles long and you can see the end of it from the road. It is something you can’t stop staring at.


After our stop we continued our search for food. Not much further up the road we ran into a great place to eat and we didn’t have to go 100 miles to get to it either.


Jeannies Java

When we got to the Tok Cutoff we stopped off for a snack at Jeannies Java.


Now it just so happens that both Brent and I are big fans of Oisin Hughes. He has an awesome video series on YouTube of his motorcycle travels around the world. And Oisin Hughes stopped here too! See the resemblance 🙂




Our final destination was Tok, Alaska. Tok is a funny place in that there is nothing here. What it is though is the crossroads for travelers coming to Alaska. As a result there are lots of places to stay for the night to continue your journey the next day. Brent had stayed at a newly opened hotel on the way up for only $89 US for no matter how many beds. The only issue is that there was no TV and the only Wi-Fi was in the lobby. So for only $45 US for the night this was a bargain for me in Alaska. Splitting the costs was one of the advantages of riding with a partner.



This was to be the last day for Brent and I to be riding together.

Mission Sunglasses Completed

Despite being wet, I slept in until 8:30 am in Tok. The campers next to me were also motorcyclists from Vancouver. As motorcyclist do, we talked for awhile until it was time for us to go.

First it was to the campground office to let them know I had crashed the campground was there and to pay my bill.

Then it was on to Fast Freddies. Yup, they had my sunglasses! YAY!

At that point I just wanted to get to the point I planned on being at today. That was to be at Starbucks working on journals and a YouTube video. So I headed back to Fairbanks right away. I was beginning to hate that road ha ha ha.

It took longer than I thought. And it was hot. And I was tired. And I didn’t have a place to stay for the night.


I tried to find a Starbucks in Fairbanks, but they were all the ones inside Safeways. I hate those. Hey Starbucks, put a special designation on those so I know it is really a fake Starbucks with zero atmosphere. Finally, I asked a Safeway Starbucks Barista where a “real” Starbucks was at. She gave me directions to one inside Barnes and Noble. Ok, those generally aren’t too bad. By the time I got there I had had enough and decided to treat myself to a hotel to clean up.
Fairbanks Hotel.

Bridgewater Hotel

Hotels in Fairbanks are very expensive. I took the most inexpensive one on Expedia – The Bridgewater Hotel. I left for it right away. It turned out to be quite nice and located in downtown Fairbanks.
When I got my room I dumped everything out to dry out and clean.


After a shower, I went to Big Daddys for some ribs and a beer. Wow …. Now life is good!


My route for July 12, 2016



I left early from Tok to get to Trails End BMW in Fairbanks to get more off road tires put on my motorcycle suitable to get me to the Arctic Ocean. I got there at just about 11 am. They recommended Heidenau, K60 Scout tires. Done. Trails End BMW is a funny place in that it serviced Harley Davidson, Victory, Honda, and BMW.



The Wait

It was a nice day out and everyone needing servicing sat on picnic table outside. It was actually a lot of fun. People were there from New York, Michigan, North Dakota and Alaska. There was the usual good natured ribbing between the Harley and BMW riders. And the talking about trips and equipment. I could have been working on my blogs or figuring out my Go Pro, but this kind of camaraderie between motorcyclist is just too much fun. And does the solo travelers heart good.

The hours passed.


One particular person stood out, my man Enrique! Enrique is a 45 year old Spaniard living in Brooklyn, New York. He spent the last 5 months traveling around the US on his BMW. He had just come back from Prudhoe Bay where he dropped his bike, putting a crack in the crash bar. Besides being the life of the tables, he was also very authentic. During the hours that passed we had a chance to talk together about life on the road as a solo male traveler and especially as a traveler up north. Our thoughts and feeling were so similar. As he said, “it is nice to know that others have the same feelings as you do.” It was. Thanks for the talk my friend.

More hours passed.


At one point I wanted to put my prescription sunglasses on. I couldn’t find them. I thought where I might have put them. It hit me. I took them off in the restaurant in Tok! Crap! I used the phone to call and sure enough they were there. I debated what I should do. Tok is an almost 3 hour ride from Fairbanks. I guess I would have to go there tomorrow instead of taking the day off from riding.

By 6:30 pm my bike was finally ready!

From this:


To this:



Hotels are expensive in Fairbanks. I had booked a cheaper hostel at the same price as camping. My experience at the Takhini Hostel was awesome. I should have known they aren’t all like that. I arrived at an older white small house and greeted by a college aged guy who showed me around. He was nice. However, the house, in my view, was crammed with bunk beds. I was shown to an upper bunk bed in the basement in a small room with 2 bunk beds. The house reeked of stir fry. After climbing up on the bunk I knew I couldn’t do this. My claustrophobia kicked in with the upper bunk, cramped room, and the smell. I felt trapped. I needed freedom 🙂 I should have taken pictures. Still learning to do that.

I made the decision to leave and go to Tok to get my glasses.

Back to Tok

Back on the bike I felt freedom riding in the warm summer evening in the sun. Although I didn’t really think things out very well. By this time it was 9 pm. By the time I got to the restaurant it would likely be closed.

The sun set at about 11:30 pm. However, it still wasn’t really dark. A hour later the sun started to rise! By this time it was now raining. When I got to the restaurant it was of course closed. I was wet and cold. I wanted a hotel. They were all closed. I decided to go back to the campsite I was at and set up tent in the rain. I crawled into my tent wet. Regardless, it was still better than that hostel. I was free.

My Route for July 11, 2016. Back and Forth!


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