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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Brian & Deya met in Vancouver Canada. After a few years together we were married and made choices. One was not to have children the other was not to take life for granted. The rest is yet to come.

July 12, 2010

Is it the place or the people?

So after leaving Tok we headed into Anchorage. The road improved most dramatically and became twisty and fun. We followed the GPS North to Willow where we came to our friend Chuck’s place, aka Charles and his wife Georgina, who live on some lake front acres where Chuck used to park his float plane. I won’t bore you with the details of our ride right now so I can get straight to the good stuff. Chuck!

We had the honour and the pleasure to stay in Chuck’s lovely home and eat great food. We got treated like VIPs and toured around Southern Alaska. I just want to thank Charles and his lovely wife Georgina again for taking care of us and for spending their time with us. Chuck was our tour guide through some amazing spots in the Yukon and Alaska that we would not have likely seen alone. He is a champion rider and a man’s-man, having only started riding after 60 years of age.

He is a friend and a good example of the adventurous spirit. On more than one occasion I think Chuck inspired the envy of younger men (younger than Chuck) including myself with his skilful handling of that fully loaded 1200GS. Balderdash on those folks that say their too old, Chuck was putting me to shame. I can only hope (and I think Deya does too) that I have the balls to drive wildly into the fray of mud, dirt and slop like some kind of half nuts test pilot, who knows something but he won’t tell, only to pile in then pick that big bike up with all the gear still attached, jump on and ride out of the goo like it wasn’t nothing, at that age. Chuck’s a great riding partner, keeps a good pace and looks for the options. He knows how to find a good camp site, a mean road, get beer chilled and a tight cup of coffee. Keep the dream alive Chuck, we hope to see you down South in a couple of years!

After deciding that we were not going to go to Dead Horse our host came up with a plan. First one was a day trip through Hatcher Pass, this was amazing as the weather was good and didn’t need any gear. This is a must see for anyone able to get there. Pictures don’t do it justice and my Contour video cam stopped working. After a good nights sleep we then headed North to the Denali Highway where we spent a night at higher elevation. It was beautiful and the weather was not bad. At least 50% of the time we had rain or heavy clouds so we took less photos than we might otherwise wanted to. Deya and I have become very proficient in setting up and breaking camp in the rain.

We headed back to Tok for another night at the Thompson’s Eagle Claw Motorcycle Park, which is the right place to stay if you’re on a motorcycle then we headed out in the morning rain to run the Top of the World Highway back into Canada. It was good but tiring and Deya had almost enough before we got to the border. We headed to Carmacks then East to the ‘Yukon’s Best Kept Secret’, so I can’t tell you where we stayed. The next day we headed out and stopped by Ross River for a Canada day parade where Chuck was given honourary Canadian status by the local natives, almost ran out of gas and then headed South along the Canol Road, another fabulous road worth going back to. We camped by the river and enjoyed our last camp together as a team. The next day was a short ride to Johnson’s Junction where we said our goodbyes. We miss our buddy still. Now headed East to Watson Lake in the rain, stopping for a nap in a sunny spot by the river some where, Deya commented that the country up here is epic, it would be hard place to live, it’s big and amazing at every turn.

After a month without a day off both Deya and I are feeling a little worn out. Sleeping in the rain, spot washing and trying to survive on a meagre budget is tough and draining. We’re going to have to slow our pace if we’re going to survive otherwise we might end up breaking down. One thing I do know for sure, as much as I love the rain, the rain doesn’t help and is very taxing. Getting time to write on these blogs has been tough too, just surviving to the next day seems to take up a lot of time and we don’t always have the resources available to make it happen. I’m hoping to get to some more companies for our research but just staying dry and keeping the stink off is a huge effort. Another thing I discovered is that there is no shortage of good people around and that those with a bit of adventure in their bones make for good company.

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