Lots of lumps, hardly any flat road and looking at it overall, a downhill stage. That’s 524 in a nutshell. There’s a real easterly flow to the North American leg of Around The World just now and even though the map shows that the route has barely scratched the surface, bit by bit it’s definitely going in the right direction: there’s just the small matter of 213 more stages before the journey arrives in Portugal for the final push back to Paris. Stage 524 just manages to stay on the Yukon side of the border with British Columbia, following the Rancheria River for the whole stage.
The rollout is lumpy and downhill for nine miles with the exception of a hiccup at four miles. The Alaska Highway sits on the northern bank of the river beneath a steep ridge projecting down from the mountains further north. There are more hills across the water, but the river, which is flowing west to east in the direction of travel, manages to nestle in between them.
At six miles, Route 1 passes by Rancheria: it exists as a petrol station, a few huts and a rest area at the side of the highway. The bottom of the lumpy descent is where Alan Creek flows into the Rancheria River at nine miles: a mile further downstream, as the road attempts to remain straightish while the road meanders left and right, Freer Creek feeds in from the south and there are more unnamed streams at twelve miles. As the road clings to the ridge rather than the river, it climbs to twelve miles before descending back down to pass Veronica Lake at fourteen miles on a section that can best be described as “becoming flat with big bumps”.
The rest of the stage carries on in much the same vein and the finish is three miles after the Tootsee River flows into the Rancheria at nineteen miles: the Tootsee is sourced high up in Tootsee Lake thirty miles away over the border in British Columbia.
Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres
Ascent: 587 feet / 179 metres
RGT Magic Road: wLyp2ZomkU8S
Max elevation: 3044 ft
Min elevation: 2845 ft
Total climbing: 589 ft
Total descent: -744 ft
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