I left Aklavik at 7:30am, nobody could tell me how long the road is, few people said about 180-200km.
The reason the road was cleared was the Fort McPherson Jamboree, a spring celebration festival. It starts today so I am hoping to be there for the last two days. The road was plowed but there was still a significant snow cover which ensured that I wasn't going too fast.
There were some flurries but that was nothing compared to what I faced on my first day.
It was about 2pm that I saw the first car go by. 6hours with no traffic, this is a bad road to get stuck on.
Then I got to the point where Aklavik's and McPherson's snow plows met. Lets just say that the road from this point was absolutely horrible.
Not only was it hard to go straight line because of the snow, but the ice under made sure to spin you out of control and made you go from side to side.
I see a guy shoveling out his car from the snow. He was the one who got stuck during the snowstorm (day 1). He looks familiar.
That's the ferry captain who invited me for coffee and shared his lunch with me while I was hitch hiking back last year.
Wow. It's a small world here.
Charlie Oscar got hit by some wind and his car stuck here. Luckily somebody with a snowmobile came to get him out of the storms.
I could have camped and done this in two days but honestly, I won't be able to sleep at night knowing this road awaits me tomorrow. I had to keep going. Barely breaking 10km/h, constantly having to stop and walk my bike to a better spot and even the good sections required significant effort.
"Do you have some water?"
"No, but I got pop." -the third car I met today, after Charlie.
He poured it into my thermos and drove off. I later found this by the road.
It's sad that so many people disrespect the environment. I will never understand people who do this, but if the guy who threw it reads this: "HEY. I know how you look like!"
But one man's trash is another man's treasure. I needed to change my stove since my first one was made poorly.
Even though I got the wonderful new that the Salvation Army Missions is interested in my adventure as a fundraising platform for disadvantaged kids in central and south america, I really considered fundraising for Fort McPherson so they can buy a new snow plow.
But there was something about doing this, I dont know what. There was something about riding into the setting sun and the wide open horizon, the ice (well, snow) road and the absurdity of it all.
I was here on a bicycle. Bring it on.
Just when I could see the townlights I took out my phone and called Paul. He is the town's priest and I met him last year, I will be able to sleep at the church. It was 11pm and I told him I will be there in an hour just before the call cut off.
The road was a bit better but I was exhausted. Aside from two breaks and stopping to shovel snow I haven't rested today.
Few times I stopped and closed my eyes. "Man, I need rest."
Only 4 cars passed me by today (3 more which were only local traffic). It was a long lonely day.
I see some cabins by the river shore. Somebody yells out at me, I pause. Then I yell back "Hello"
Man, there is some big smoke coming out of that cabin, he must have a big warm fire.
That's not smoke. Its the northern lights.
And then I saw another kind of lights. Street lights. I was at fort McPherson. 157 kilometers, 17 hours. I've made it!
It's time for some well deserved rest. I will take the next two days to explore Fort McPherson and visit the local spring festival.
Hit play below to listen to some local singers while you read along (sorry I put the wrong cover photo on it)
First, there was the 600C skidoo race, the big one is tomorrow
Where do you live? Big city?
I dare you to go out and say "Hello" to a stranger on the street.
Would they look at you as if you are crazy? Run away? Take out a pepper spray?
Up here its different. As you already know I am bad with names, but this lady and her family live in McPherson, they moved to bigger cities for few years but always came back here.
The thing that keeps them here is the Freedom.
Then I visited the music show, there were some great songs being played but I apologize for the poor quality.
I missed the dog sled race and few other events but I made it to the open skidoo race.
"I know you, you biked here last summer, I gave you a ride"
Johnny gave me a ride last year when I was hitching back. It's a small world up here.
I met Derek, who unfortunately blew a belt and was out of the race.
He did have a GoPro mount on his helmet and I took advantage of the opportunity.
"Oh yeah, gotta turn it on," I almost forgot.
I missed the race start talking to Johnny and the race finish while meeting Derek. It didn't matter.
Then it was my turn to go on a ride. Paul took me out with his skidoo.
Riding on the back was probably the fastest I have moved on land, scary stuff.
Paul runs the local church and also has adopted 9 homeless children. It's amazing to see the work of people like him and how it makes a difference in the lives of kids.
Right now there is a heatwave, with daily highs of near 0*C. That means bears will be walking about, pretty hungry!
As for me, I will be biking about up the mountains to Yukon. The next town with cellphone service is a mere 600km away.
So far I've met most of the people I encountered last year, I wonder if this holds true for the bears.