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July 12th: 180 km: Smoky Sky!

(Rob) . Today was a long day of riding to get into the capital city of the Yukon, Whitehorse. It’s a small town on the Yukon River. I wouldn’t say it’s the prettiest town, but then again, the whole sky is covered in a thick smoke from the fires and kind of makes everything look a bit ugly. In some instances I feel that I’m in a giant city with smog. Visibility is only a few miles. If there are mountains around, I sure can’t see them.

This morning we saw the coolest two riders heading in our direction. One was probably a 50 year old German lady whom I talked to some in her native language. The other was a Japanese fellow who didn’t speak much English at all. Joseph talked to him a bit in what little Japanese that he knows. Apparently he is going just about as far as us, but doing the whole thing in sandals and flat pedals. His bike looks completely Jerry-rigged. I suppose he has ridden all over the world like that too! On his hands he wears wool gloves with the fingers cut off. His clothes are long-sleeved, baggy and very ragged. He wears no helmet, just a beat up twisted hat on his head making him look more like a city bum than a cyclist.

(Joseph) We’ve heard stories for the past week and a half, from the strangers at all the little towns, about a Japanese man and a German women cycling up the Cassiar and Alaskan Hwy. At first they were a week ahead, then 3 days, 1 day, then finally 10 km. We met them today at breakfast they were aged and very energetic, speaking very little English and getting along like little children happily fitting the square, triangle, and circle shapes into the respective holes. Just a little trail and error and there little communicative missions wear a success. They road however, like champs, with inspirational enthusiasm for life. Rob and I finally parted ways with these enjoyable folks and took advantage of the smoother road and made a hundred a ten mile to Whitehorse, a quaint little capital snuggling the Yukon River.

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