Despite the altitude the night was indeed mild, probably somewhere around freezing, and I get an early start. The road through the forest remains incredibly bumpy and also very muddy. Klaus and I get properly mudded up on the fast downhills into Forest Lake Estates. It must have been in the Chilcotins in Canada the last time that happened. I must admit I like the look of Klaus being all muddy [he might not]. When I reach Forest Lake Estates which I hoped to be a village, everything is closed. It's more like a place with holiday houses and well, it seems not to be the season to have holidays here. The general store reads "See you again in April". It's a problem. I can't wait until April...


I planned to fill up water here in order to continue off-road through the forest for another 1.5 days. With the remaining water it's not possible. Natural water sources will be either dried out or frozen. With no other town close by to get water, I am a bit desperate for a few minutes. Long story short I have to reroute to pass a town called Young later today. In my memory that's the first time I ever had to do that. For a bit I am a bit bummed out about that because it cuts down on my off-road time [that I didn't had all that much here in the Lower 48]. However, I met somebody a few days ago that actually recommend taking the road I am now going to take to be very scenic. I also like the weather forecast for Young, 5 degrees at night. At least, after a few miles on the highway I turn into the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest again on a dirt road. Early on I pass the magical 10.000km mark. It's not all that magical to me since kilometers matter less and less to me [I even forgot to take a photo at 9000km, when I checked in again I was already at 9400km]. Still a great miles stone that I stop for to appreciate it and especially show my respect to Klaus. Apart from some minor issues he handled it extremely well [I think I did okay, too]. For the number crunshers: 10.000km with 88.944m of elevation gain, roughly one third off road, riden during 572 hours in the saddle. 4 flat tires, one new set of brake pads, two new shifting cables, one brake and hub service. I rode 92 active riding days and took 47 days off [The4-week delay in Canada obviously played a big role] So I guess I am still taking it quite easy :) One thing that shows wear and tear by now, though, is my rear tire. Already a few days ago I spotted a slash and the rocky adventure through the forest the last two days didn't help much. Rushing down the 700m drop on the downhill towards Young now, I am constantly praying that the rear tire doesn't blow up... It doesn't. But just like Klaus really wants to tell me, that he prefers off-road I get a proper flat tire after the first two kilometers after I reach pavement again. There isn't much sealant in the tube left so it doesn't seal well. Somehow I manage to get another 5km done with a half flat before the tire and tube completely deny their service. Since it is about to get dark and there are only 3km left to Young where I hope to have some light so fix the tire or find any other solution, I push Klaus. What an in-glorious 10.000km milestone day, I reckon... But the rear wheel did very well and I only let it come so far because I do carry a spare tire [I just decided already weeks ago to role with it until I get my next flat tire, I squeezed out at least another 1500km out of the fairly run down tire] When I enter Young it is already pitch black and the folks here not seem to see any need for street lights. The general store is closed already. There is no cell-service so I can't even figure out where to go. Luckily a nice woman stops and directs me to the small library where they have public wifi. I manage to get a room in the motel of the town. It's an easy way out, I know. Also, coming from a motel just two nights ago, I am a bit histant for a mere of two seconds before I acknowledge: This is stupid. I am not on a "who is the toughest" challenge. I take the easy way out. Karen [the woman at the hotel] gives me a nice discount and after she showed me my room asks whether I want something to drink. "Water, Coke,..." -- "Ah no than..." -- "... beer?" -- "Ahm, yeah I think I'd take a beer!" A minute later she is back with two Dos Equis [Mexican beer] on her expense. I guess one for me one for Klaus. Cheers! While sipping on my beer I pimp up Klaus with my spare tire and a new tube. Both are not quite as puncture proof like my initial set-up but it should work fine for a few thousand kilometers [I actually ordered a new tire for Klaus for Christmas, but the shop blocked my account due to "suspicious activity"]. "Christmas came early for you Klaus, huh? But why haven't you touched your beer yet? Alright, no problem! I got that for you! Cheers again on 10.000km since we set out on the shores of the Arctic Ocean and judged by the beer Mexico is calling now. Good job! Cheers on the next 10k"