Camping in the wilderness

Instead of pedaling the busier Alaska Highway, we choose to cycle along the Cassiar Highway through the wilderness. The Cassiar Highway is much more remote and because of that, there are not too many places or towns along the way to stock up supplies. That means we will have to carry plenty of food over long distances. After Whitehorse and just before Watson Lake we turn right and join finally the Cassiar Highway.We rewarded with a gorgeous green forest. The solitude and tranquility we enjoy to the fullest. It is almost no traffic on this road and we are for hours the only ones. The road leads trough a breathtaking landscape. We surrounded by a beautiful nature and wildlife. Along the way, countless idyllic camping spots in the woods, right next to crystal clear creeks, rivers and lakes invite us, to stop for a night, pitch the tent and jump into the stream to take a refreshing bath. What a release for our tired muscles! We believe, to camp in the wilderness it is just freedom.Alaska and the Yukon are a paradise and perfect for camping. Then in this part of the world is almost nothing is fenced. In the countryside, just a small part of the land is private owned. Everybody can set up camps almost wherever he likes. No one bothers, because the locals love the outdoors too. It is the perfect place to fish, kayaking or canoeing, or just goes for a walk in the mostly untouched nature. Even in the winter, they locals like to be outside for activities. They do snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or visiting the “Iditarod”, the world famous dog sled race, which leads over 1000 miles, from Anchorage to Nome.After a few days of strenuous cycling in seclusion, we reach the small village of Dease Lake, the first sign of civilization since a week. The neat village has a small hotel, an RV park, a school and a well-stocked grocery store, gasoline station and just next to it a Laundromat with Bistro. In this pretty town, we will have a short rest and stay for a day, or two. We do need to stock up our food supplies and we have to do some laundry. After a couple of days in the remote wilderness, it would be great to have a hot shower and wash finally our greasy hair. After our shopping in the local grocery store, we check the local RV Park. Unfortunately, we can’t pitch our tent here. The unfriendly owner does not accepting bikers, or hikers tenting on his campground. What a welcome!At the Laundry, they offer hot showers, but they charge 7 Dollars per person. That’s definitely too much for us, so it looks like we have to take another bath in the icy cold river nearby. Not far from the village, in a forest glade, we discover a ramshackle little house, just next to the river. It seems it has been uninhabited since a long time. Indians must have lived here, because the shed next to it, was a long time ago, used to smoke the freshly caught salmon. We pitch our tent and establish our home. Afterwards we are collecting firewood to start a campfire. It must feel like back then, when the first pioneers came to this wild and abandoned place and built their huts next to the river in order to nourish from fishing and hunting. When we sit around the bonfire, we feel once more very happy and dropped back to the old days. The next morning we pack up our dirty laundry and head back to the village. The laundry is always an interesting place to meet new people and have a chat. I meet Craig, an older men, how spent almost his whole life in this remote part of the world. He tells me exciting stories about his family, the gold rush and the life in the Yukon back then. Like many thousands others, in 1920, Craig’s parents left the United States during the great gold rush, to try their luck in the north of Canada. Of course, most of them did not found any gold, and life was hard at this time, so they were forced to pursue another work. Craig has seven children, how are living in different places all over the world.He was three times married and survived all his wives. Craig’s interesting life is similar to other stories, as we have heard from people, who spent their completely live in Alaska and the Yukon. Some of them are quite interesting characters! In the laundry, we also meet the Swiss couple Eveline and Hans. We have much in common. They rented a camper van and explore all over Canada. Spontaneously, Eveline and Hans invite us for diner. It is the only Restaurant in the village and it is surprisingly tasteful furnished. We laugh a lot and the food is delicious! Indeed, it is a very entertaining evening.When we say goodbye to our new friends, it is almost dark. On the way back to our little Shack by the river, we do not talk. It is a kind of magic, to cycle in this complete silent through the obscure forest. You can get, that great feeling, only far away from the civilization. We look up to the sky and can see millions of stars.

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