Watson Lake to the Bear Paw Inn

We spent some time in Watson Lake getting as much local information about the roads as we could. We wanted to take the Cassiar highway to Prince Rupert rather than the Alcan if it was in good enough condition. Everybody we talked to said it was in pretty good shape. We later decided they meant pretty good for 4 wheel drive trucks, not motorcycles.

There was one stretch that was farther than we could go on a tank of gas unless a caf/gas stop called Bell ll Crossing was open. Our copy of Milepost told us we could not expect to find even a farm or a ranch along the way for emergency gas. That time of year things were starting to close down for winter and there was no phone at Bell ll. We finally found someone that had come through that way and said it was open so we decided to go.

We left the next morning hoping to get to the Bear Paw Inn near Iskut at a reasonable hour. It was just under 200 miles so we figured if we averaged even 40 mile per hour we would be there in 5 hours. It took us over 8.

A few miles after turning off the Alcan the Cassiar deteriorated to broken pavement with potholes. Not just a pothole here and there but so close together there was no way to go around them. That turned out to be the good part. In another few miles it became a mushy kind of gravel. It had rained the night before and our tires were sinking in 3 or 4 inches in some places. Every once in awhile a huge gravel truck would go tearing by throwing mud and gravel all over the place. We were lucky to average 25 mph.

When we arrived at the Bear Paw Inn we were covered with mud from head to toe. The owner told us where to put the bike and walked away shaking his head. Twenty minute later Betty and I showed up in the dining room all cleaned up and looking for our cocktails. It took him awhile to recognize us, especially Betty who looked like she had just stepped out of a limo.

....Looking at the road ahead over my shoulder.

....Betty, muddy but unbowed....Ready for cocktails at the Bear Paw