Yukon yo! Are there bears? Are there mountain men? Women? Yeti? Will I get cell phone coverage to post to Instagram at the top of the trail? Who knows? I live in wistful ignorance. I am unashamedly “cheechako”, as the locals might call me, never having spent time north of 60 in Canada.
Another adventure beckons – the top of Canada has been calling for many years, but mostly I have shunned its soft, windy voice in favour of other destinations.
It still could be the bears.
Well, whatever, now I’m trained to avoid being lunch Yukon is front and center – both a great use of Aeroplan points – the cash money airfare is horrendous – and August, the month of long days is the perfect time in my schedule to bust out of Montreal for a few days. Or a week.
It won’t be the furthest point north for me, but it will be pretty close to the latitudes we hit in Iceland a few years back.
Compared to an outdoors mecca like Iceland, I expect it will be much less developed in terms of bike-tourism in the Yukon. I understand this is changing and, as I learned, the city recently spend some good money to build and systematize the trails in and around Whitehorse.
So I checked into it:
This blog gets my blood pumping!
After researching, I came to the conclusion that there really isn’t much in the way of infrastructure, in fact it’s hard to find any great pictures of the scene. However, in terms of raw trail vibes it’s got a lot to offer.
I have a feeling my hard tail will be half fun/half misery and that the mosquitos will love my lycra, but I am what I am – and unless someone can comp me a dual suspension for the adventure – I’ll be going with what I have and love.
I think it would be a shame to get there solo, but where do I find ride buddies to hit it with me? Is there a trail board somewhere for ride sharing – would be cool. Failing that maybe some of the N Shore crew is up for a ride to the north. We’ll see 🙂
Anyway, the area looks great, lots of fire road climbing and lots of killer single track descending. I would love to be able to spend 3-4 days there and carve up a good 4-5 hour session each day. If I can get some cheap accommodation should be a great way to blow 500 bucks on a bike trip. Hell, I might camp were it not for bears in the area. Or mountain men. Or women. Or Yeti.
I read that “the abundance of free food growing in the forest is intriguing, like low-bush cranberries, huge, fat blueberries and the mushrooms! I want to pick” is pretty tempting too.
It’s kind of my “Into the Wild” fantasy without the nasty bus or the bad mushrooms. What is it that draws the soul away from the city, the urban security and all of the rest of it.
It’s a shameless draw from a great book, but I’ll quote it anyway since it sums up the spirit, if not the game plan of the North for me:
“No, man. Alaska, Alaska. I’m gonna be all the way out there, all the way fucking out there. Just on my own. You know, no fucking watch, no map, no axe, no nothing. No nothing. Just be out there. Just be out there in it. You know, big mountains, rivers, sky, game. Just be out there in it, you know? In the wild.”