|Luckily there was this picnic shelter with a potbellied stove,
tables, and fully screened to keep the bugs out. This is
actually pretty luxurious - why hadn't we thought of this
before? Probably because the rangers are likely to wake you up
and make you move out in the middle of the night, but hey -
desperate times call for desperate measures.
|And what's this? We woke
up to find yet another flat
tire! By my count, this
makes four flats so far.
Are we done yet? Haven't
we paid our dues? To
make matters worse, we
had used up all our CO2
cartridges on the last flat.
We had a backup plan - a
hose that screws in to your
spark plug hole so your
engine acts as a air
compressor. It does the job,
but it takes a LOT of work
to get at our spark plugs.
Well, better get started.
|...And just look how excited
Mike is about it! Boy, by that
long face, you'd think HE was
the one doing all the work!
More than the work, the dirt
road was very draining and we
were ready to be back on the
pavement. (Or, as I was
singing, "On A Road Again")
We were about half way to our
spark plugs when, from across
the camp, we heard the tell-tale
droning of an air compressor.
We're saved! They let us borrow
it, and it cut our labor in half.
That cigarette lighter charger
we installed in Mike's bike
really came in handy today!!
A few more sticky strips and a
quick fill, and we were heading
for the highway.
|Alas, the excitement did
not last. We were less
than a third of the way to
pavement when Mike
caught up and asked how
his rear looked. I said
"Flat". He clarified that
he meant his rear tire, but
unfortunately the answer
was still "flat." Upon
inspection we found that
my rear tire had also gone
flat again, bringing us to
a total of six flats.
|We started work to remove the spark plugs, and we found that we didn't have all the
tools we needed to get at them. (Now before you give me a hard time, we had the right
SIZE tools, but the bolts were too tight for the tools we had to loosen them.) A few
people stopped to help and a tour bus gave us some extra box lunches they had, but no
one had the tools we needed. It took quite a while before someone stopped by that had
a compressor. Now it was a race against the clock to reach pavement before we were
stranded for the night. Where we averaged 25mph on the way up, we averaged over
50mph on the way out. It was do or die time, and we had run out of options. We
were flatter than flat and running on the rims by the time we eventually reached the
Klondike Lodge, but our day's adventures were only beginning...
|Good News! When we reached the campground, it was completely
full. On a Tuesday. At 1:30am. The same campground that
was completely empty the previous Friday. The next campground
is 80 miles south, so that's not an option. Now Day Five of the
Dempster was off to a bad start, that much was true, but if you
had told me that my day would end sleeping in the trunk of a
car in Fairbanks, Alaska, I still would have called you nuts.
Boy, would I have been eating my words...