This is the story of a wee trip I made this summer. Ostensibly it's a trip up the Dempster to Inuvik, then to D2D (although I then went on to Vancouver Island), and because it isn't exactly an original trip I wasn't going to do a RR, but as Hecktoglider mentioned in his recent report we all get so much out of this site that it's only fair to put something back in. So here goes (and you can blame Hecko if this is a lousy ride report!)
In all likelihood it's going to take a while to do this report 'cos I took so many pics and made so many notes...not only that but I'm fairly busy in general right now but I'll make a special effort to do this in as short a time as I can.
So, I spent the winter working on the bike in my buddy Larry's shop. Many evenings we spent there with him working on his plane (he's building one from scratch) and me working on the bike until we'd drunk so much beer that we had stop work and just continue drinking for the rest of the evening. It was fun. He has a wonderfully equipped shop, and a big beer fridge. Perfect. Once the bike was ready and the snow and ice had gone from the roads I got the bike out and put it in my living room for a few weeks until the off.
The off came on May 31st, when I left Fort Smith, Northwest Territories (which is where I'd been living for the previous 2 years) and rode the 300 kms to Hay River, NWT. It was a shitty ride, with a strong cold wind, and rain. I'd bought an electric vest and put it on just a couple of hours out of my door. And the bike began acting up - I'd be cruising at 100 km/h when suddenly it would start to cough and splutter as though it had ran out of gas. I'd let off the throttle for a second or two, change down if neccessary, wind the throttle open again and the bike would take off as if nothing had ever happened. Although this problem persisted for the entire trip, it came and went in stages and I never have been able to find out the source of the problem. I do have an idea, though - I just can't be arsed to look into it.
I spent the weekend in Hay River with my friends Ash and Steve. We went to Lobsterfest and had a riot, staying up far too late and drinking far too much, which are generally ingredients for a good time. Plus I'd never eaten a whole lobster before - usually I find the shells pretty hard on my teeth. They ribbed me mercilessly for having an electric vest but man, it saved my butt on more than one occasion, turning a thoroughly unpleasant ride into a moderately comfortable one.
I didn't take many pics until I'd left the NWT because to me it's nothing new - I've lived there for 7 years - but I did snap a couple of the ice retreating on Great Slave Lake.
On the Monday morning I set out on what I considered to be the real beginning of the trip, in perfect conditions. My next destination was Fort Simpson, NWT, where Larry was teaching a course that week but I would have had to go there anyway for gas. The highways up there look like this:
and you can go for a long way without seeing...well, anything at all. Having gassed up before I left Hay River, I topped up at Enterprise 40 km up the road, and even took a 25ish km detour into Kakisa to do the same again. I knew that the one stop along the 'Simpson Highway' no longer had gas, and had I not gone into Kakisa I'd have had to use my spare gas before reaching Simpson.
Although I'd planned on making Simpson that night, I was tired and, quite frankly, bored - the roads in that part of the world aren't very scenic once you've travelled them over and over again, on bikes, in cars and big rigs as I have. So I stopped in for the night at the Sombe Ke campground.