Day 3: Fairbanks to Beaver Creek (Yukon)

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Today can be summed up by two words:  "Pavement Break."

After a restful night at the Marriott in downtown Fairbanks, we departed around 10 AM.  We entered the Alaska Highway (2) and headed to Delta Junction--about 100 miles.  This was a great ride.  Flat roads, little traffic and great scenery on both sides.

We had lunch in Delta Junction (Alaska Steak House and Motel)--a real dive from the outside, but pretty nice looking on the inside and pretty good food.  From Delta Junction, we headed to Tok.  The weather turned nasty and the roads began to deterioate quite a bit.  It began a drizzle that includes some sleet and was really miserable. 

Starting about 30 miles from the Canada boarder we ran into heavy road construction and constant rain.  During this stretch the road, if you can call it a road, was basically torn up by construction and often was not much more than gravel or mud separated by stretches of 100 yards or so of pavement.  Mud quickly covered our bikes and our rain suits.  The patches of unpaved road were marked by "Pavement Break" signs, which meant that for the 2 hours that we spent traveling through this section we were constantly haunted by those 2 words.

Lost during this part of the trip was potentially some really great scenery.  Traveling through some small mountains, around curves, near lakes and valleys of pine trees would typically be a great ride.  However, when you're covered in mud, can't see the tops of the mountains due to the storm clouds, and constantly looking at the road to make sure that you don't run through a huge pot hole (or slide off the road), you aren't able to enjoy the scenery too much.

We went through customs at the Canadian border with very little delay.  We were joking that the road conditions in Alaska were a plot by the Alaskan Tourism Board to keep people from leaving the state and going into Canada.  But, we soon realized that the conditions in Canada weren't a whole lot better.  Although mostly paved, the roads were riddled with pot holes, dips, and other fun obstacles to keep our eyes firmly glued to the road approaching.  We stopped at the Westmark hotel in Beaver Creek.  We got there about 8pm.

During check in we learned that this hotel is owned by one of the cruise lines and had a regular musical at their dinner theatre depicting the development of the Alaska Highway. 

We were too late for dinner, but were able to get tickets to the show.  I must say, I don't think I have seen Josh and Jared enjoy anything more fully.  You will see their comments later in this document.

...OK, I'll leave Kelly's comments on the show above and then just put my comments here.  The show wasn't necessarily bad for what it was:  a small town tourist attraction for people in their late 60s and on featuring songs about the Alaskan Highway's construction and folk figures of the Yukon/Beaver Creek.  That being said, none of us were the target audience for this show (ok, maybe Kelly and his Abba/Mama Mia loving self would have truly enjoyed the show if Josh and I (Jared) had not been making fun of it) and it definately wasn't worth the $15 we paid to see it. Our experience at the show can be summed up by the first words spoken as we left the show: "So, [Kelly], should we kick your a$$ now, or wait until you're asleep?"  But, I'm sure the bus loads of blue-haired women thought it was great and will sing their praises of the great show they watched...

After the show, we headed to the bar to pick up some dinner.  The bar was the only place in the hotel that had a TV (note that this hotel has no TVs or phones in their rooms).  Kelly and Josh turned in for the night, while Jared stayed around for a bit longer to visit with the hotel staff.  The staff were celebrating the end of the season, and were helpful in providing information on upcoming stops and road conditions. 

I think it's awesome that Kelly is exposing y'all to some "culture" up there! :)  Sounds like the show was something "else". So, Jared, you making friends at the bar after your family goes to bed? Totally typical--that's my hubby. :) I like the energy drink picture as well. Post some more pics! :)

Miss when you get the chance. I got the number for the hotel, but couldn't get connected. :(  Be safe and watch out for those wild animals! 




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