Short Stories
Entry No. 6 June 22, 2004

The Best Road Yet
About 390 Miles Along

Heading from Burwash Landing, Yukon to the Kluane Lake...
I've always thought of earth tones as the dark greens, sages, khakis and browns. After today, however, I've realized that I need to consider the fuchsia/violets of Alaska's Fireweed and Canada's Wild Sweet Peas that line the meandering road as it wraps around the aqua marine Kluane Lake, a creation of the Kaskawulsh glacier that runs into the Slims River and uses the Kluane as a reservoir for its melted, glaciated ice.

As we started at Burwash Landing and passed through Destruction Bay, we met a lot of construction on the roads. Some roads were merely un-smooth while others were gnarly gravel and pebbles. I went slow, especially after meeting the old wise German biker, Conrad, who had no doubt that my tires would be flat before the end of the day. I really wanted to prove him wrong so I took my time and after a grueling 9 kms (about 6 miles), I rode on with a WOOO and a HOOOO and a grin. Stephan was in disbelief and Tamara laughed. My contentment soon turned to awe as we began our ride around the lake. We stopped at Cottonwood campground along a pebbly beach part of the lake to hang out for a bit.

After having dipped my feet into Snag Creek just a day before, I was not keen on trying this lake, for we heard from Conrad it was even colder and I didn't want another flashback of the ice baths for a sprained ankle in the training room after lacrosse practice. Today, I was so hot, and before I was able to talk myself into or out of going in, I just stumbled over the pebbles, bike shorts and all, and fell into the freezing aquamarine ice bath. I yelled and shook and jumped out as fast as I jumped in and this time, Stephan was laughing and Tamara started to contemplate doing the same. The views immediately in our sights were gorgeous but we could not see too far due to the raging forest fires to the west that we had passed. As we left Cottonwood and continued around the lake, past the mouth of the glacier and around the other side, I knew I would have to return to this gorgeous place again to see the beauty of both near and far. I only hoped that I would then share it with a husband, boyfriend, sibling, relative, friend, or maybe a few new found friends as I did today with Stephan and Tamara.

A Beautiful Day!

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