AK Highway Roller Coaster Part 1 Skagway, AK to Ft Nelson, BC

The ride from Skagway, AK to Dawson Creek, BC, the start of the AK Highway, and south through Jasper and Banff National Park has been challenging, rewarding, beautiful and ugly.  The first part from Skagway to Ft Nelson was exciting, and with the exception of some dusty roads and hot temperatures, a wonderful stretch of riding.  
From Skagway I rode up the Klondike Highway over White Pass back into Canada. Above is the lookout near the top of White Pass on the Klondike Highway.  Lots of tourists and buses driving up from Skagway giving me beeps and hand gestures of encouragement on my way up. 


BC Coast and Southeast AK

Getting into Canada took longer than I expected.  I thought the customs folks would just look at my passport.  Instead the process took 30-45 mins and involved questioning, a background check, and proof that I had enough money to get back out of the country. Maybe a lot of cyclists stay and never leave.

Remember Sharon, Matthew, and Ella from Joshua Tree National Park?  They live in Delta, BC just south of Vancouver and welcomed me to their home.  I ended up staying for several days and they showed me a great time with hiking, a tour of the city, hovercrafting, bonfire party, many delicious meals including an excellent sushi dinner, and an opportunity to get my bike ready for the remote riding ahead.  I found a new pair of Schwalbe Marathon tires that have been treating me well since.  If all goes well I will run into them again in Glacier National Park in August. 

Out for an easy walk in the woods with the Glades in Squamish at Stawamus Chief Park. Squamish is north of Vancouver toward Whilster.  It is a very athletic and outdoorsy community.  Despite the bad weather there were dozens of others on the trail. 



After all that sunshine in the OR Cascades I was due for some wet riding.  From Portland I rode along the north side of the Columbia River to Carson, where I headed into the mountains, along the east side of Mt St. Helens through the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and then Mt Rainier National Park.  This leg was very wet, sometimes cold, and a lot of climbing.  Unfortunately the weather did not provide views of either of the peaks.  On the plus side, no shortage of good drinking water or free places to camp.

The ride over the Columbia River from Portland into Washington via the I-205 bike path.  Riding sandwiched between two lanes of freeway traffic is very unpleasant, but at least there is a way to get across the bridge without a car.