It Snowed, there are Bears in Camp

Fresh Snow Cap

I just uploaded several days of Journal (since June 27). I finally found a hot spot that will do more than email.  It is not free, but it works.

July 1, 2012

The day started as like yesterday ended.  It was raining, and not a light shower.  I check the weather, and it is not suppose to get any better.

So I pack the bike and take off into the rain.  After about 20 miles of rain, it lightens up a little and starts to snow with the rain.  I look at the thermometer on the bike and it says 2 C (I think that is like 34 or 35 F).  Anyways it is cold.  I turn the grip heater to high, but it is to hot on the hands and low is to cold, so I keep moving it from high to low and back.  It is hard to see, because the snow sticks to the wet visor.  I slow down to about 50 mph.  It keeps this up the rain with intermittent snow for 120 miles more.

Then it is just low clouds and warms to 4 C.  I decide to stop at a restaurant and get some coffee.  There I talk with some bikers coming from the south, and I decide not put on my winter gear.  After about 20 miles it warms to 8 C.  You can see fresh snow on the mountains.  I know because it wasn’t there when I came though about a week ago.

I stop in Haines Junction at the bakery.  I get a Elk hotdog with a cheese wrap like a pig in a blanket.  I talk to a couple from Australia about our new health care system pros and cons.  They are traveling for 9 months and started in Florida 3 months ago.

I turn toward Haines and the road is in very good shape, it is hard to keep slow around the speed limit.  I have been running on bad roads since entering Canada and the road really keeps you close to the speed limit.  Of course the scenery is terrific. The road is lined with wild flowers like someone planted them.  I run through another pass.  This one is different in looks than the one to Valdez.  The ground is covered in rock that is covered in Lykens .  The temp goes down to 2 C and the wind is about 20mph.

As I drop out of the pass on Haines side, I notice that the trees are much bigger and the ground plants have much larger leaves and more lush.  It reminds me of one of the lost valley movies with the dinosaurs.  It is such a contract.  The temperature changed to 14 C when I dropped off the mountain into the valley.  I saw a some fish wheels, but the salmon are running yet.

I am camping at the Portage Cove Campground in Haines.  It is a tent only campground and suppose to be only for hikers and bicyclist. But the locals said there was no problem with a motorcyclist.  I was warned that there is bears in the area and the campground furnishes a pole with ropes to hang your food so the bears don’t get it.  It is right on the bay and looking across the bay is more mountains.  An eagle is soaring over head as I write this. And I have the ThermaCell going to keep the mosquitoes away from me.

The campground happened to be a celebration point for a bunch of wilderness guides that had just finished the Wilderness First Responder course.  And you wouldn’t expect wilderness guides to stay a motels, so the campground was there home for the last 2 weeks.  We sat around the fire and talked, played Frisbee with the dog and had fun.  The party ended about 11:30 since most had planned trips to kayak or hike or bike or something starting in the morning.  It was a diverse group.  From Canada, Alaska, Japan, Austria and Switzerland.

I had seen a grizzly about 2 blocks from camp.  I was walking and didn’t have my camera with me  There is fresh bear scat in the campground and on the trail from the campground to the beach this morning (July 2).  So the bears were close.  They are mainly grizzlies in this area.

A few More Pictures Here.

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