Ascent 206m, descent 231m, total distance: 74.6 km
Déjà vu all over again…..we are out of water – so change up on brekkie to preserve the ability to have COFFEE. Cereal and toast….but lots of coffee. Nonetheless spirits were high, the music was going, with call sign Ginger (a.k.a. Dave) providing Karaoke music – one particular song, with all of us singing and providing hints, took an eternity (about 3:45s which is, of course, an eternity for Play That Tune) for Farid to get it was Elton John.
We had tremendous Northern lights last night, Dale came banging on CC to wake up Suneet and I. Incredible. I repositioned my sleeping bag just to watch them for an hour as they danced across the sky. I mean I already need 85 hrs to recover, what’s another hour?
The start of the day was amazing, we literally ate up the road in a team peloton. We saw a moose (Dave thinks bear, not sure but they seem different animals to me?) crossing with Dave saying why did the moose cross the road…..to get away from the wolverine (not something you want to think about on a bike). Mostly flat with these V shaped descent/ascent when rivers or creeks came across the path of the road.
We passed km’s of tundra, the road elevated 8-10 feet above to protect the permafrost. Stunted fir trees with bottle brush tops, small birch and poplar yellow contrasting with the red ground cover. We could see our breath, and all the small ponds had glass frozen tops reflecting the surrounding cover. Spectacular.
And then the road changed, loose chunky gravel, signs everywhere with dust warnings, fishtailing rear tires, speed dropping, NO pelotoning….(holy moly that would have been a recipe for disaster). Eat my dust, literally and figuratively. Thankfully no crashes. Finally the road became more hard packed and we started to pick up speed towards camp.
We are at a territorial campsite by a small river – replenishing water and Farid is making risotto – mushroom with white wine, Gran Padano and Reggiano cheese!
Addendum: post an amazing dinner, with hot fudge sauce over vanilla ice cream for dessert (WOW), we spent the evening in front of a campfire. Dave regaled us with stories – the best was one from this trip was when he kept hoping for a flat while climbing Wright pass in white out conditions, with his hands flying he showed us how he tried super hard to make his tire have a flat so we’d have to come back to get him…..