Departing Watson Lake at 7:00 A.M., we rode northwest on the beautiful Alaska Highway. With Mike leading the way, Terry and I followed. Within minutes we encountered rain, cold steady rain. Light at first then heavier as the day progressed.
Cold, wet and foggy, we were having a great time. I do not think the temperature ever rose above 45 degrees F. And on top of that the Goose began to run poorly, very poorly. Soon I was running on only one cylinder. Finding a safe place to stop, Mike led the way into a service stop right at the Continental Divide. While there, we all put on warmer clothes and I decided to put a new spark plug into the cylinder that was not functioning. With the new plug, the bike ran perfectly---for forty miles, then I was once again running on only one cylinder. The next seventy miles was the same, occasionally running fine and often sputtering on only one cylinder.
By 2:00 P.M., we arrived in Whitehorse, the largest town in the Yukon. And I began a search for a place selling spark plugs that would fit the R100GSPD. The last place we visited had two, so tomorrow's plan is to fill up with fresh premium gas and start out for Tok, Alaska. Hopefully the bike will run O.K. If not I will once again change plugs to see if that helps. After all, I am almost 700 miles to the next city large enough to have a motorcycle repair shop.
Tonight I took some time to do some laundry and while in the laundromat, I met a young man who had moved here from Vancouver. Dylan Graves, 18 years old, is beginning his career here in Whitehorse. Currently working at NAPA Auto Parts, Dylan plans to train to be a mechanic. I can let him begin by having him repair the Goose. Dylan is one of many fine Canadians who have made me feel so welcome.
Tomorrow's ride is a bit of a concern to us. The weather will be cold and rainy. We have conflicting reports on the condition of the road. The most likely is that there are a number of stretches where the road has frost heaves from the constant freezing and thawing. Also, I am told that there is a significant stretch where construction is taking place and the road bed has over one foot of fresh gravel. And on top of that, I am concerned if my bike will even make it over the first mountain! What the heck, this is an adventure, not a pleasure ride.