The day's agenda.
Tuesdays are typically a long day for me at work, too.
The Cassiar-Stewart Highway is another gem, alternating between mountain lakes and forest tunnel, all bathed in autumn. Today's ride takes the cake so far for the trip, and although there was no galactic cinnamon bun nexus, it will be hard to top.
I was surprised by the amount of traffic: The northern section didn't feel remote -- nothing like the Liard -- and the Iskut to Stewart section is downright bustling, with a massive powerline construction project and some mining activity. The road surface is great, sealcoated on the northern section, and oil-and-gas-country-caliber fresh asphalt from Bell II-ish southward, with only maybe 200 meters of gravel at a sharp switchback; I wouldn't think twice to drive my car on this road, and I see how guys have no trouble riding it on big touring bikes and Harleys.
Today's wildlife count: 4 black bear cubs -- without Mom, so no pics -- and a lone squirrel for Scout.
Rumours Cafe in Dease Lake and the Bell II Heli-Skiing Lodge kept me warm, fed, and re-energized to push onward.
One thing I learned today is that Yukon is not only a territory, but also a time zone. The portion of BC beneath Yukon seems to use it too, and I don't know if it's 10, 11, or 12:00 right now.
The 62 km spur from Hwy. 37 into Stewart was described to me by the Bell II cook as "one of the most scenic drives in BC," and I won't argue. I'll take pictures tomorrow with some morning sun, but it's a windy road through a mountain fantasyland of lakes, waterfalls, glaciers, and whitewater, chasing the Bear River from 1500 ft down to sea level. Stewart seems to be a charming little town, with much to see (feeding grizzlies, the Pacific, the Alaskan ghost town, and glaciers) so I'm planning half a rest day to explore, and shorter mileage tomorrow.
I feel fortunate to have been able to ride four great Canadian highways in four days: The Mackenzie, Liard, Alcan, and Cassiar. The heavyweights -- the Yellowhead and the TCH -- await.
Day total: 634 km, 9h30m
Trip total: 2388 km
Start: Watson Lake, YT. End: Stewart, BC
Soundtrack: Disciplined Breakdown, Peart's "The Garden," OK Computer.