By Alyssum Cohen
So far this trip every day has been a celebration. We’re seeing many new places, meeting new people and finding surprises around each new corner. We joke and entertain ourselves with games like waving in unison to trucks and RV’s that pass us along the way or by writing rhymes to honor the bees and creatures that travel our route with us. At the junction to the Cassiar hwy from the Alaska Hwy we decided to follow our curiosity for the less traveled Cassiar Hwy south. We stocked up on food in Watson Lake then were on our way.
Right away we enjoyed open road without paint markings, where we could ride as though the road was one huge bike path. While we rode this section we celebrated three special events in a row – Canadian independence day (Candada Day), U.S. independence day (4th of July), and crossing our 2000 mile marker.
On July 1st, Canada day we found ourselves riding through some of the few unpaved sections left of the Cassiar hwy. It was some of the coldest weather we’ve experienced so far on the trip while the mountains surrounding us were getting a fresh powder coating of snow, we descended some steep gravel roadways to cross the river valleys, but otherwise the highway is in better condition than its reputation of rough unpaved road. As we rode we searched for people we might be able to celebrate Canada day with, but didn’t run into a soul. Around mid day we reached the small town of Iskut where we needed to stock up for the final five days of the Cassiar hwy and the longest stretch without services. At the small grocery store in Iskut we pooled our creativity to stock up on food that would keep us interested, provide us with enough calories and that we could still fit in our bags. That night we celebrated Canada day with Egg-drop soup and “oreos” we made ourselves.
4th of July wasn’t the same without stars, stripes, fireworks and barbecue. We didn’t run into any firework stands, instead we celebrated along the road with a few sightings of black bears munching the shrubs along the road, views of coastal mountains and lunch by the lake. Every bear we saw was happily feasting away on the plants, when they noticed us they backed calmly back into the forest.
The next day we hit our 2000 mile marker for the trip. The sun came out, we saw more bears and celebrated with a relaxing lunch in a field of daisies.