As we woke up in Whitehorse the next day, the race was on to find the replacement components for the two broken chargers. How were we going to get these components shipped out to the depths of Yukon territory? Or would there be a chance to get the components in Whitehorse itself? The day commenced by calling every single electrics shop in the vicinity. The hope of buying them in Whitehorse itself disappeared pretty quickly as we realised that the components weren’t so easy to get hold of.
Soon we started calling shops much further afield even all the way to Vancouver (1600 miles away), but still could not find a shop with the component in stock. We realised that the only option was to get it shipped out from a trusted source back in the UK. But where do we get it shipped to? Whitehorse is the largest town within 3 days driving – should we wait there for it or try and get as many miles done with one only charger? In the end we compromised by getting the parts sent to a place 750 miles down the road, and all agreed it was best to get as many miles towards Vancouver done as possible.
Day 8 did not feel like a particularly productive day and the team were itching to get back on the road. However, one positive outcome of the day was the arrival of a biker called Greg. Greg offered to join the team between Whitehorse and Seattle and it’s great to have him with us. His versatility on the motorbike allows Claudio to capture some great shots, and also gives us an extra vehicle in which to whizz into town now and again for food supplies! So, welcome Greg!
In order for us to get as far south as possible on one charger, we needed an early start to day 9. A few hours sleep for the driving members of the team and we were up at 3am ready to roll south. Clear skies beckoned as we hit the road at the break of dawn. The SRZero was out in front with Claudio zipping around on the back of Greg’s motorbike getting all the right angles for the video footage. We were headed towards Watson Lake which was 273miles (438km) away. Watson Lake is situated at the junction between the continuation of the Alaskan Highway and the Stewart-Cassiar Highway. It was actually the first time we had the choice between two roads since the beginning of the trip in Alaska.
Even though we had many more exciting things going through our minds, certain factions of the team could not resist the Germany v Spain World Cup semi final which was on later that morning. So we set a firm pace into the morning sunrise.
A breakfast stop came at the little community of Teslin situated around the cast iron bridge over Teslin Lake. This provided an awesome environment for some more filming and photography. Claudio even spotted the first grizzly bear of the day down at the lakeshore. Not only the mountains and the vast forests, but especially the huge waterways of the Yukon and Mackenzie Rivers and their countless tributaries have been a highlight in the scenic driving we have done down from Alaska. Teslin Lake was another one of these beautiful waterways stretched so long it is almost a river.
On we convoyed towards Watson Lake when suddenly someone in the motorhome spotted a black furry ball moving around in the undergrowth just 25m away beside the road. In fact nearly all the highways have a border region beside the road which is cleared of trees – sometimes only a few metres wide, and other times up to 20m. This is consistent along the thousands of miles of road in this very vast and remote part of the world, and serves only one purpose; to make sure drivers aren’t surprised by wildlife jumping out onto the road! So out we jumped to take a closer look. It was exciting to get so close to a bear in the wild – nothing separating the bear from yourselves apart from 20m of grass. It hung around for a while making its way slowly along the edge of the forest, and after giving us a couple of interesting looks, the bear thought there would be tastier food elsewhere and decided to move on back into the bush.
But it was not long until we spotted another bear next to the road, this time a much larger grizzly! As we were driving at the time, we had just enough time to take some photos from the vehicle before it lumbered out of sight. But nevertheless, you truly got the feeling that you were out in pure untouched wilderness.
We arrived at our destination in the late morning, just in time to catch Spain’s winning goal against Germany. Despite half the team’s disappointment, we played our own not-so-friendly game of England vs. Germany…