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A little snag...

posted Jul 22, 2009, 1:37 PM by Paul Gareau
This is just another quick update. I really will write up a report of our trip so far, I promise. So... we were back in Dawson in time for the music festival, and our planned single rest day turned into two for Chris and three for me. (A beautiful young bicycle tourist named Elisabeth asked me to stay, and I was too weak to say no.. :) ). 

The plan was that I'd do a double day or hitch a ride to catch Chris in Stewart Crossing, so I started riding and only made it half way due to a nasty headwind and bad road surface (55 miles took 5.5 hours, Ugh). I hitched the rest of the way the next morning, and got there by 10AM, which was before the time Chris would have left by. When I got there someone asked "Are you Paul?" and handed me a note from Chris saying he had a mechanical problem and had hitched to Whitehorse to have it fixed. The two options that came to mind were for me to keep riding and make Chris wait in Whitehorse, or keep hitching the rest of the way myself. I didn't want Chris to wait for me, so I managed to catch a ride with an interesting gold/diamond prospector all the way to Whitehorse, where I got on the internet and found an email from Chris saying he had replaced the part and hitched back up to Pelly Crossing, where I would have been that night if I had kept riding. I told him to stay there and that I'd hitch back up so we could do the route as planned, but after thumbing for a ride for three hours last night and five hours this morning, I gave up and sent him another email saying to just meet me back in Whitehorse.

It's a pretty frustrating situation for us both, and having only intermittent communication isn't helping. It will be good to meet up again in Whitehorse and continue on our route south from here. Unfortunately, we'll miss about 200 miles worth of riding, but I have already seen part of it by bike and car in 2006, (and all of it by car yesterday) and Chris has seen it three times hitching already during this trip alone. Also, there is a pretty insane headwind that we'd be fighting against the whole time, and I don't think either of us will miss that.

I need to comment on how frustrating hitching has been in Whitehorse - I've never had this much trouble anywhere else in Yukon. I tried hitching from the city entrance last night and had a few people stop, but none were going far enough. Today, I picked a spot at the last gas station on the way out of town where I waited for two hours without a single person stopping. I thought a sign might help, so I went into the gas station to ask for a marker, and made a sign with the name of the next two big towns north of here. The woman there says no one EVER stops for hitchhikers there, and that I should go farther up the road to the junction. I did that, and waited there about three more hours. I had my sign, I tried waving a $20 at people, and in a desperate attempt to make people pity me, I added "HOURS" to my sign, followed by hash marks of the number of hours I'd been waiting. Once I got to eight, it was time to give up.

That's it for now. Stay tuned.

Paul
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