Day 18 (July 17): An Unusual Couple

Destruction Bay is somewhere between Tok, Alaska and Whitehorse, Yukon. It’s a very small community with lots of unpopulated land before and after.

I just finished packing up and as I was jumping back on my bike I noticed behind me a beautiful Moto Guzzi motorcycle. A very unusual location to see one. I would never expect to see a fine café racer style bike anywhere but in the major metropolitan areas. They are designed and marketed for short rides (from one café to another) and also for good looks.

A few days later I saw the same bike hundreds of kilometers further, close to Watson Lake at a gas station.  As I parked my bike by the pump, the owner of the Moto Guzzi said “if you want premium you need to go to Watson Lake”. That’s how I met Claire and her friends.

When I finally made it to my hotel in Dease Lake I unpacked and stepped out in the lobby and Claire and her friends were there too. Today I am in Smithers – they are in Smithers too.

This is the unbelievable part. Not only that Claire took her café racer on a multi-week trip to Alaska and the Yukon, she took it on the Dempster Highway (the one that goes to Inuvik) – one of the most technical off road rides in North America.


And what made it even more adventurous was she had a flat tire on the Dempster. Not punctured but with a completely unrepairable cut. A good Samaritan with a pickup truck stopped and loaded her bike and took them to Dawson City. Look at the attitude while this was happening.


Many people would feel super upset and depressed – but she is still smiling! She also did the Salmon Glacier off-road ride on the same bike yesterday.

Claire is an executive chef and the owner of a business in Vancouver – She was a personal chef to Al Pacino during the filming of Insomnia in 2001 in Stuart, BC.

Her bike’s name is Stella. Stella is a 2004 Moto Guzzi, ev California.  She greets Stella every morning with freshly picked wild flowers and regularly talks to her.

I have to admit the irony of the situation.  Here on the Alaskan and Yukon roads you see lots of adventure bikes such as BMW, KTM, V-Strom, etc. Usually loaded with tens of pounds of gear and technology – think me 🙂 And, on the another side, Claire and Sella are having as much fun, if not more, with only two side bags. Great attitude!

This is not the last adventure for Claire. After this she has two more things on her mind:

1) Hiking from Desolation sound to Powell River – including four nights camping (and she is not a camper).

2) Three weeks in Sicily in October to pick olives and make olive oil.

This is all part of her reaching an important milestone in her life.

Happy travels to both of you!


2 thoughts on “Day 18 (July 17): An Unusual Couple

  1. Great article..Claire is my younger sister. Her spice for life and zest for adventure has taken her all around the world and through all of her experiences she has accomplished so much and I am so proud of her 🙂


  2. Hey Z!

    Mike and I have been reading the rest of your adventures, we met Claire and her friends as well. Once at Buckshot Betty’s, they sat behind us at the cafe and we talked for awhile and once in the way from Fairbanks to Anchorage although that time it was just her friends as Claire’s bike was at the shop….hmmm must have been about that time that she got a flat.

    Hope all is well, we have some pics of you on the boat tying your bike down and one of you stopped on the road in front of us coming out of Haines taking a pic of a bear on the side of the road.😊.

    Was great meeting you and love reading your adventure!

    Mike & Kimberly


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