Briefly, in 2006 I bicycled from El Cerrito north and got as far as Kelowna, in southern BC. I had a scare that there was something wrong with my breathing and I went home and had a million tests done at UCSF Med Center. It turned out to be a false alarm.
This year I started out from Kelowna on June 6. I rode from Kelowna to the Cariboo Highway and followed it to Prince George. There I turned onto the Yellowhead and rode toward Prince Rupert as far Kitwanga and the Cassiar Highway which I followed to the Alaska Highway. That ended at Delta Junction and became the Richardson which I followed to Fairbanks.
Yesterday I got as far as mile 74 of the Dalton (after the Steese and Elliot Highways) when the top tube broke all the way through, just behind the head tube. I hitch-hiked about two hundred miles back to Fairbanks in a big rig to buy a new bicycle.
The lodging was all motels until I ran into a Swiss student named Florent Prisse at 100 Mile House on the Cariboo. He has less money so we have been camping, mostly bush camping, most of the time. We have been traveling together for about two months now.
There were constant mosquitoes and black flies and intermittent rain in BC. In Alaska, until yesterday, there had been constant rain and intermittent mosquitoes and black flies. Only the Kluane Country in the Yukon was both reasonably dry and only moderate buggy. And magically beautiful. Superlatively beautiful. Indescribably beautiful.
The Dalton has its moments but it is mainly a ball-buster. It is largely unpaved, frequently washboarded and potholed, until yesterday constantly raining, cold, and windy. Worse than everything else, it is an endless series of steep long hills. If we finish the Dalton, by no means a certainty, we will have earned whatever bragging rights go with it. I am told the Brooks Range has outstanding scenery if it is not fogged in.