You can take this title litteraly, but also figuratively. As our road goes up and down, so goes our morale.
As we set of from Tok, leaving our new friends Michiel and Chiara behind, we start our way down the Alaskan highway. This is going to be a long one, as we see milemark 1310, knowing that it counts down, we wonder "how far does this highway go?". For us, it goes to Whitehorse first, after that we'll see.
Excited to start traveling in Canada and seeing what it has to offer. Our first up in morale. We ride longer days to make a little more progress. While camping at the Lakeview campground (which was free by the way, SCORE!) we meet Mike and Cindy from Wisconsin. They tell us about these hotsprings in Laird which sounded really great! We're definitely having a rest day there! Too bad they're still 800km away though.
The next day we cross the border into Canada. A few kilometers past the customs lays Beaver Creek. Since it was a hot day and we'd already cycled 80km, we figured to stop for a bottle of Sprite and an ice cream. While being connected to the wifi there, Jesse gets some bad news. It turned out his grandfather passed away. So we unexpectedly stayed in Beaver Creek to contact family and gather our thoughts. Our first down in morale.
The next day we continue, that's what grandpa would've wanted. We make our way along the Alaskan highway, which goes up and down quiet often. We are under the impression it goes a little more up than down, but that could just be in our heads. Despite being a "highway" it is very scenic! It goes through a wide valley with mountains on both sides, the trees aren't too big yet (because of the higher latitude) so you have a very beautifull overview most of the time.
We don't really plan that far ahead. Mostly we look at our map and find a camp spot within reasonable distance. But as our legs are getting more used to cycling, so are our minds. We find that bike touring gets almost addictive. You start to do more, because you're enjoying it more. That even brings you to a point that you almost feel guilty when you ride a little less. Another up in our morale.
The downside of this up, is that fatigue slowly starts to seep into our legs and into our heads. After a particularly big day of 127km (with unholy amounts of headwind) to get to a nice lakeside wildcamp spot, we both are dead. We put up our tent, cook some dinner, try to swim but the water was too cold and go to sleep. The next day, the morale is low again. We start to realize that we are burning ourselves out.
So when we get to Whitehorse, we definitely earned a rest day (or two). We will have cycled for almost two weeks without a rest day... Maybe it's the excitement from starting such a big adventure that made us push it a little bit. But right now we realize that this isn't really sustainable. So we're planning on taking it a little slower, enjoying the road a little more (not that we haven't so far!), take more regular rest days and try to keep the morale up more often. There are definitely going to be some more downs along the way, there's no denying that. But that's OK, sometimes you have to feel a little down so you so you can appreciate the up more.
In loving memory of "Opa"
"Why do we need math?
Because it puts us on a narrow path.
Even though it sometimes makes you swell up in wrath.
Math just causes you stress,
But thats not the case.
It's a workers base,
Math is in every place.
Math doesn't have a realistic face,
But when it is used,
It leaves a remarkable trace!"
- Ettie Christian-Bowling