I’ve never been so moved by natural scenery in my life, but as I followed the road to Beaver Creek with the massive Southwestern Yukon Mountain Range that creates the border for the massive Kluane National Park.
Less than an hour outside Haines Junction I climbed a long hill and when I reached the top the sun beamed down columns of light through the light grey clouds that hung tight to the mountain peaks and lit up the stage of Kluane Lake. I had to lock up the tires, pull to the side of the road and gape in wonder. The shining shafts of light streamed through the clouds and created patches of deep dark blue like a fresh coat of paint, shiny, wet and awe inspiring on the surface of this serene lake.
Named the UNESCO Heritage List in 1979, Kluane National Park in Yukon Territory Canada along with its adjacent neighbor in the United States, the Wrangell-St. Elias National Monument are recognized for the spectacular natural ecosystem, unique vegetation and wild animal population including the largest single concentration of Dall Sheep, grizzly bears and the largest non-polar icefield sitting proudly among the world’s most spectacular glaciers.
I tried to capture this scene through the lens of my camera, but nothing could capture the feeling rushing through my body as I sat on my silent motorcycle at the top of this hill watching mother nature light up the most amazing natural stage I’ve ever seen. Soon I was shuddering in excitement as the peak of Mt. Logan, Canada’s largest mountain towered above me amid a mass of snow-capped peaks.
I slowly putted around the lake being careful to pilot my bike around the cliffs that dropped steeply into the lake. As I moved toward the northern part of the lake and with the glaciers to my back I was greeted by the eastern mountains of this park glowing in the sun as it peaked out from behind the ominous clouds.
There are no roads into this massive wilderness park, but not only does the Alaskan Highway wind its way around the park, but next week I will ride along the southern perimeter of this park as I make my way to Haines to take the ferry to Prince Rupert.
I rode my way through the Northeastern wilderness area of Kluane and thanks to longer Yukon days managed to roll into the tiny, tiny settlement of White River Crossing just after 11pm as the last of the sunlight hid its face.
“Could I buy a beer,” I asked wandering through the dark gift shop. I was sure I woke the woman, but when I guy needs to sleep, he needs to sleep. She showed me the showers, laundry and finally my meek cabin which had two beds, extra blankets a small refrigerator but no bathroom.
“Nope. Sorry we have no restaurant and don’t sell beer. Where you coming from?”
“Wow. That’s a long ride.”
As I performed the nightly ritual of unpacking the necessities for the evening the bike the woman returned with a cold can of Budweiser in her hand.
“Here,” she said as she handed me the frosty can, “this one’s on me.”
Never was a can of Budweiser so tasty.
Watson Lake, YT to White River Crossing, YT
Moving Average: 55.9 mph
Maximum Speed: 81.1 mph
Moving Time: 9:26:53
Miles Traveled: 528.2