Teslin to Swan Lake
Rancheria to Junction 37

September 12th, 2014

What happened…

Andrew writes: We woke up the first time at 1am, so that Amanda could check on the Northern Lights. No joy in Mudville on that front.

There were cars pulling into the rest stop on and off all night, and even with my ear plugs in, I slept restlessly. Yet when the alarm went off at 7am for us to wake up and pack, I was ready to go! Steve and Pam had promised us piping hot coffee and breakfast, and boy, did they ever deliver! There was even some warm sunlight for dessert.

It was about 9am by the time we got started, and we spent the morning climbing. We found out at lunchtime why – we spent out lunch hour at the top of the continental divide. This was our fourth time crossing the divide on this trip.

Drop a leaf into the Rancheria River to the east and it would float to the Liard River near Watson Lake, continue to the Mackenzie River in the Northwest Territories and eventually reach the Beaufort Sea (Arctic Ocean); a long journey of 4,200 kilometres (2,650 miles) for our waterlogged leaf.

Drop a leaf into the Swift River to the west and the current would take it to Teslin Lake and the Teslin River. The Teslin flows northwest to the Yukon River which cuts across northern Alaska enroute to the Bering Sea (Pacific Ocean); a journey of 3,680 kilometres (2,300 miles).

At lunch, Amanda let me know that her legs were feeling a bit tired from the last few days of pushing, so we decided to make it an early day after only 50km. We reached Rancheria, Yukon, which has a hotel, gas station and campground. While it stung a little bit to shell out $10 for the camping spot, the friendly staff offered up a hotel room for us to have a hot shower. There was also free WiFi in the lounge, and we got to play catch up, watch some TV, and enjoy burgers and beer.

I had really hoped that Junyoung would catch up with us at Rancheria, and that we could all set out together tomorrow. Hopefully we can see each other again before the Watson Lake junction 100km away.

Amanda writes: Waking up to a warm breakfast in a warm place with friendly folk is the way to go. Steve and Pam were really such a pleasure to chat with last night and this morning. If everyday could start with such comfort, it would be very nice.

Riding was a bit harder today and my legs really were sore as Andrew said. I really pushed yesterday to try and pick up the pace as I feel badly about how much slower I ride than Andrew. Pushing as hard as I did was rewarding yesterday but perhaps not worth it; I was spent.

Andrew was very accommodating with my suggestion that perhaps we not do 90K and instead keep it shorter. We stopped at the all the sights and even went for a little hike into one of the visitor areas. This is the way I envisioned our trip. Not pushing too hard, enjoying the countryside and only riding as far as is comfortable. I do realize that because of the cold and snow coming that we do need to move a little faster, but I really hope we enjoy more days like today. And it’s the little things. Not having to think about how long we are stopping, enjoying the scenery, not thinking about our speed and instead just thinking about taking our time setting up camp. Being able to relax after arriving instead of rushing to cook because we’re hungry and reading a book, writing blog posts and just enjoying. Here’s hoping there are more days like this ahead.

Rancheria was such a pleasant surprise with it’s nice food, friendly staff, shower and a TV with a baseball game on. When we first pulled up and Andrew whipped out the iPhone to see if there was wifi I had mixed emotions. He was so determined to get online that he wasn’t even off his bike and searching the web. Maybe it’s because of our last experience of us getting internet access after a few days off the grid that had me on edge. After we set up our tent and campsite we headed back toward the lodge to have a shower, dinner and go online. As we were walking toward the lodge I told Andrew how he changes when he gets online access. It just comes over him and I can see the wheels turning. Don’t’ get me wrong I like being online too, but somehow I get nervous because our nights and time together is so different when we do have access. I’ve been enjoying time offline with him and based on our previous recent events I’m nervous about it. I went to bed not sure how to articulate it to him and hope that I can share it with him in the coming days. I know that internet access is our connection to the rest of the world and I’ll need to start trusting again … hopefully sooner than later.

Today’s Photographs

Teslin to Swan Lake
Rancheria to Junction 37