Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Marty and Pat

October 8th, 2011

Marty and Pat

Our third encounter. Just as I was about to enter a supermarket in Prince Rupert, they emerging. I’d originally met them back on the Haines Road, in Canada’s Yukon Province, a week or so back. Their large RV – recreational vehicle – parked in a small lay-by. I’d pulled in for a short break, conscious I’d still a fair way to go to make my ferry the next day.

There’d been a brief exchange of pleasantries. Marty and Pat. They had a daughter living in Guildford. And they’d lived in England themselves for a while. But no let up in the rain, so I’d headed off before I got too cold, and they took shelter in their RV. Also heading for Haines, but told there was no space left on the ferry south.

Next day onboard the M/V Matanuska I’d been caught by surprise. "Was I the cyclist we’d met?" asked Marty, for by now I’d showered and changed into more orthodox clothing. "Yes" I replied, adding I always sought to scrub up and use deodorant when amongst people. And, despite advice to the contrary, they’d managed to secure a place on the ferry. Heading south to spend a few days around the small port of Wrangell.

obpostlogo

Share

Slip and proceed

October 5th, 2011

Slip and proceed from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Ken sails away from Haines, south along Alaska’s Inner Passage.. Apologies now for the humour. It just never gets any better..

obpostlogo

Share

Southbound from Haines

October 5th, 2011

InnerPassage (1)

Ferry made with at least twenty minutes to spare. I’d have arrived a bit earlier but had taken a short detour into downtown Haines to find a working ATM. Hadn’t encountered a single one during my travels in Canada. The few that did exist were either empty, offline or just refused my card. The only consolation being the wide acceptance of US dollars, but this had almost depleted my small stash.

I needed more cash otherwise I’d be surviving at sea on cold porridge. But the one ATM in Haines I could find had just be refilled and, the teller explained, wouldn’t be available for a while. Quickly explaining I’d a ferry to catch, could she dispense me funds from the till? She could, and she did, but with such a methodical slowness I could barely contain my frustrations. Glacial.

But now I was at last onboard. Trusty steed secured down on the car deck. Luggage stowed in the cabin. A sign in the shower asked passengers – and crew – to refrain from using the facilities in harbour. Just a small holding tank. Pondered this briefly, then decided the exertions of the previous couple of days justified an exception.

The ship would take me south along Alaska’s Inner Passage – or Inside, I could never quite remember – a relatively sheltered coastal route along fjords and amongst a multitude of islands. Strong tidal streams and treacherous waters. Forty hours or so and I’d be back into British Columbia, but now a thousand miles or so closer to Vancouver on Canada’s west coast. But it would still leave a further thousand to ride to reach the city, and the short hop over the border to Seattle.

Wrangell (2)

A few stops en route. Juneau, Alaska’s capital. Petersburg, Wrangell and the charmingly named Ketchikan. Finally Prince Rupert in the early hours. Deep joy.

obpostlogo

Share

Haines Road

October 3rd, 2011

I’d planned to take the ferry south from Skagway. Why, Rick had asked whilst I’d being staying in his cabin near Haines Junction? Haines was closer, and the next port of call for the ship. And I was a bit pressed for time. So I’d decided to take the Haines Road due south and ride for Haines. About one hundred and fifty miles. Day and a half to get there.

HainesRoad (2)

A steady climb out of Haines Junction. Flatter sections around Kathleen Lake, past Klukshu First Nation village. And then lengthy uphills, insidious rather than steep, past Million Dollars Falls. Over the southern boundary of the Yukon into Canada’s British Columbia Province.

HainesRoad (3)

Next the Chilkat Pass, highest point on the road at over three and a half thousand feet, on beyond the Three Guardsmen mastiff, its tallest peak more than six thousand feet. Then the descent to the US border and a return to Alaska. Fifty or so miles into Haines, a further five to the ferry terminal.

The plan was simplicity itself. Push as far as I could on the first day, as close to the US border as possible. Wild camp before I lost the light. Rise early. Into Alaska, find the roadhouse I’d been told about and refuel with a decent breakfast. Then press on to the ferry.

obpostlogo

Share
James Crickmere and WordPress
Terms & Conditions of Use | Copyright © 2009-2020 Ken Roberts