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Old 06-24-2007, 09:14 PM   #1
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Finally! AKDuc's Dust 2 Dawson Ride

Well it was just last Fall that I decided to finally get a dualsport bike to do rides like this and hang with my dualsport adventure buds.

This year marks the 15th annual Dust 2 Dawson ride. It's a funfilled gathering every year around Solstice in Dawson, Yukon. It's HIGHLY recommended for anyone venturing into the "Great White North" area!

Advrider JimBlack and I had decided to do the ride together in one shot as opposed to a 2 day trip most others were doing. Ak Leather Barb, her husband Vic, and ak greeff (Ryan) had originally wanted to do it in 2 days but ended up joining us on the long 500+mi 1 day ride from Anchorage to Dawson. Good thing Barb had us getting started at around 7am as it took longer than we thought it would and the Canadian Border is only open 8am to 8pm AK time.

Here we are in front of my place getting ready to head out.

The next few photos don't have Jim or Ryan in them as when we stopped in Eagle River 15mi north of Anchorage they both realized they had forgotten their "papers" for the border crossing and had to go back and get them! While none of us have ever been asked for them it's best to be prepared. The border guards in both directions ended up being very friendly. They had all us riders gather together, looked at our driver's licenses, and waved us through without us even taking our helmets off. Barb asked me if I noticed how the Canadian guard asked me if I was a resident of the US. She said it was because of my dark complexion and features.

Here's Vic headin up the Highway north of Anchorage.

There's a little construction goin on up north and it made for a nice little rest stop. The "lollipop girl" (Canadian term for flag girl) waved us to the front of the line. Here we are are admiring Barb's new Beemer she had just gotten the day before! Barb has a friend paint her helmets a bright orange for increased visibility. And that's KL5A on the far left and his son on the far right. They would get all the way to another construction area north of of Tok before getting a hole in the radiator of one of their bikes and sadly deciding to turn around.

Yay, some dirt! Even if it is only a construction zone. Fun being at the front of a line of traffic.

Headin down into the Caribou Creek Canyon. This is another of the growing number of areas I used to really enjoy on a sportbike BEFORE they straightened the road. Oh well. I've been told about one semi truck a year would fail to negotiate a corner on the old road.

After a quick lunch stop in Tok here we are at our last US gas stop in Chicken, AK before heading across the border into Canada.

Historic Jack Wade Gold Dredge just north of Chicken.

Into Canada. Top of the World Hwy. Jim's beautiful Adventurer and my lovely little KLR with awesome backdrop.

Headin down some fun twisties. That's Barb ahead of me having a great time on her new bike. Sadly, this fun road would prove to be her undoing on the return trip. No, she didn't get hurt but her bike did sustain some damage. She was still able to ride it all the way home.

As one might expect, some SNOW on the Top of the World Hwy.

Waiting for you the bottom of the mountains is the free short little ferry ride across the river to the town of Dawson wich will also conclude this post. I'll start a new one in town. Mark H.

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Old 06-24-2007, 09:19 PM   #2
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Good stuff. Keep it coming.
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Old 06-24-2007, 10:41 PM   #3
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Yay, the beautiful town of Dawson! Many had arrived earlier.

Be forewarned, it seems some hotel reservations are getting more similar to rental car reservations in that even tho you make them, they may not be there when you arrive! It happened to more than a few here. The desk clerk was adamant about there NOT being anything available even tho reservations HAD been made! It even happened to some who were very close with the hotel's owner. After tracking him down some rooms "magically" became available. No harm, no foul. Whew.

Dawson is a very popular tourist destination. Here are some "other" travelers admiring some of the machinery that came to our little gathering. There was quite a variety of bikes that were ridden in from all over. Let me tell you, I admire the guy and the gal that rode those cruisers that are being pointed at too! You'll see a pic later of those two bikes at the top of a dome which required going up a very long, steep, and rough dirt road on the poker run. Very impressive.

Bikes, bikes, and more bikes.

Like me, it was Jim's first D2D. He'd been here a few times before in the winter on organized snowmachine rides from Tok but this was his first summertime visit. And also like me and most others, he also knew MANY attendees from our "small" riding community in AK. I'll end this post here with Jim proudly standing behind his bike (probably talking about HOW MUCH FUN he's been having on it ) and begin again with the poker run.

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Old 06-25-2007, 12:28 AM   #4
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Okey dokey, the poker run. It was a 60+mi loop that took us through some very beautiful scenery up down and around the surrounding mountains. We were having wonderful weather and this was another VERY hot and dusty day! But still, a lot of fun. And oh yeah, this was by far and away THE hottest temperatures any of us Northerners had experienced in a VERY long time!

I almost didn't make the ride as I'd been ailing slightly since leaving Anchorage. The lack of sleep before leaving, probably not hydrating enough (even tho I thought I was), and the irritation caused by a photochromic visor not getting dark enough for the brightness of altitude and massive dust encountered led to my having a bit of a lasting headache. Bummer. Lucky for me, Jim very graciously offered to share his room which proved convenient for me to duck into for short rejuvenating respites during the day. I'm so very very grateful to him.

Anyway, I'd heard about how beautiful the poker run was and decided even tho I wasn't feeling 100%, I really should give it a go. Glad I did. As you might imagine, more incredible scenery. And even tho maps were provided, it was good idea to go with someone with a GPS as there are a LOT of roads from all the mining that's gone on for many many years and continues to this day.

Quite a few made the run. We had a lot of fun jabberin at the top of the domes that offered such impressive unobstructed panoramic views as backdrop. More fun with many friends.

And remember me mentioning the two on the cruisers? Again, the road they had to ride to get up here surely tested their mettle! Even Barb commented about how they should be given some kind of award at the banquet.

Another checkpoint was at the top of a dome behind town. That's Dawson way down yonder in the lower left! And let me tell you, the paved road up this one brought out the sportbike (no, not motard) rider in me! Yeah baby! I even accidentally touched a toe in one of the corners. A fellow rider made a comment about my riding style especially with the TKC knobbies I was runnin. Fun!

There was a final "extra" bonus card offered to those who had a GPS. You should've seen the line of riders following the GPS guys. Bunch of little lost sheep, I tell ya. Of course I don't have one mounted. I just sell them, I don't use them. And Jim does have one on that big fancy Beemer of his so a bunch of us got in line behind him. He and another "leader" said something to the effect of "maybe taking us on a wild goose chase just for fun." But they were kind and took us to this last one tucked away off the side of the road behind some bushes along side the river.

Back into town. A short break before the well renowned banquet. Again, I apologize for no photos as I didn't attend because of aforementioned illness. Shucks. I was bummed. I even found a free ticket earlier that day. I gave it to Jim who hadn't gotten one yet. He was happy.

Following the banquet were the motorcycle games. They included a slow bike race, a 4 cone challenge, a blindfolded ride and stop, and a 4 ball drop into progressively smaller cup competition for the solo riders. Sorry, no photos again because I was a bit "out of it" AND I was a participant! I was really looking forward to these and did fair in a few but .... Maybe it was the pressure of such a boisterous crowd! Oh well, maybe next year. There were also a couple contests for those riding 2-up. In the first, the female pillion had to throw a couple water balloons up at the same time over a pole and catch them. In the next the girls had to try to take a bite out of a suspended hot dog. You can imagine the hilarity!

Then came the passing out of this years D2D stickers at around midnight. Here's JacquelineL who got the 'Traveled the Farthest' award at the banquet. She rode 15,000mi to get to here! And she was headed up the Dempster with some others after this!

And here are some "big players" of D2D. That's Fighter in the bright shirt handing out a sticker to Nosi, aka Brian, in the plaid shirt. Brian was the overall winner of this year's games. Notice the lovely new Garmin Zumo, graciously donated by GlacierCraft Scott, between the two, that Brian had only won only an hour before! It was put on by fellow thumper rider Beezer and crew. And that's my good bud Jim in the lower right. Brian's also a sportbike rider from Anchorage and he'd just gotten his lovely new DR. He also had to be talked into entering the games! Congratulations, Brian! We later met up in Tok on the return trip and he commented on how he'd gotten the DR up to 100mph according to the Zumo. I'll be wrapping up the thread in the next post. See ya.

AKDuc screwed with this post 12-05-2007 at 02:42 AM
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Old 06-25-2007, 02:16 AM   #5
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Alrighty then. Let's wrap up this short little adventure, shall we?

One last town shot that includes our illustrious, lifelong Alaskan, and photochop artist, Tom S. He EVEN has 2 cameras around his neck! Tom has been a longtime fan of Buells and really seems to enjoy using Beemer riders in his most entertaining of photochop creations. He refuses to drink of the Kool Aid. Even this shot seems to capture his lurking about just looking for another opportunity to capture something that might be of great value later on. Go Tom go!

Barb, Jim, and a few others decided they were getting up early in the morning to head back to Anchorage. I decided to join them as I'd enjoyed all their company so much and felt like remaining a part of their little traveling group.

It was another beautiful morning. The cool damp morning air had lingering smoke from far off forest fires creating a slight haze in this photo. The little ferry can only carry a couple of the larger motorhomes, land barges, and a couple smaller vehicles. We were told the line of motorhomes would be VERY long as these people get up REALLY early! Lucky for us motorcyclists, we got to be at the front of the line again. We also went to the front up at the border where the line was even longer!

Here you see a very happy Jim who expressed a certain sadness about this wonderful journey was coming to an end. Later in the day he even mentioned of how he had to bring himself back from wondering where his next trip was going to be in order to better enjoy the beauty of our return trip into Anchorage. You can barely make out the LONG line of those waiting to cross!

The beauty of our day was briefly interrupted when Barb had a slight "get off" on her lovely new bike! She was relatively unscathed and the bike only slightly scraped and broken. Barb is SO into ATGATT, preaching it daily at that she told of how, even as she was sliding across the gravel, all she could think about was the girl seen earlier riding in a t-shirt. For a long time I've called her "the motorcyclist's best friend" up here because she'll do whatever it takes to get a rider into proper gear. Good thing there's more to her business than just selling us sheepskin buttpads and Monkey Butt Powder!

Now just look at Jim's face. He can't even believe, and he stated this a couple times throughout the day, that Barb was seemingly so unaffected by the crash and remained in such high spirits! Tho truth be told, she did ask him for a couple Advil later in the day. I also reminded Jim of how she's been there and done that before. Yikes, poor girl. And that's Barb's main "tire" man and advrider Bones GSXR, aka Doug, helping to make her bike ridable again.

We all stopped at Fast Eddy's again for lunch. Awesome food! Great salad bar! Then when Jim and I were talking to the waitress about how we thought the Bumble Berry pie in Dawson might have been the best we've ever tasted, she said "well we have our own there on the menu called Forest Berry Pie!" Man, was it delicious!

Another longtime Alaskan, the beloved Reverend Don Deitz, pulled in on his KLR while we were there. We also ate with Jeff, on the right, who'd just ridden from Maryland on his 'Wing. Jim, who was born in Fairbanks, and I were both raised in Anchorage and we had to set Jeff straight on how there were more impressive and beautiful sights to be seen by heading south in Alaska rather than north if you're limited by time. Just our opinion of course.

Well, that about wraps it up. Thanks for taking the time to read through all this jibber jabber and looking at all the pretty pictures. It's fun to share with those interested. Now come on up into the Great White North and experience it for yourself. And if you already have, well we'd love to see you again. ESPECIALLY at next year's D2D. Take care, Mark H.

AKDuc screwed with this post 05-02-2014 at 01:53 AM
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Old 06-25-2007, 05:34 AM   #6
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by AKDuc
I almost didn't recognize you without the skeleton suit

What a great trip
Only he that has traveled the road knows where the holes are deep

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Old 06-26-2007, 11:27 PM   #8
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Hey that's my good side! Planing on giving Barb's bike a good once over to see what needs to be repaired/replaced. She did end up with more than a few brusies. Another great report Mark!
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:56 AM   #9
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Very nice report, AKDuc!! The alasks ride reports on this site are the most beautiful and scenic of all. My wife, younger daughter and I will join you at D2D in 2010. That's the year that my daughter graduates, and she's asked that we wait until she has her own bike so that she can ride along rather than being a passenger. I'm a lucky Dad!!
"I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth."

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Old 06-25-2007, 07:20 AM   #10
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Hey Mark...

Great report DOOD!

I felt like I was there as, unfortunately I was not.
I still ride on two wheels but for now without a motor... GALLERY
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Old 06-25-2007, 10:44 AM   #11
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Fun read!!!
Be sure the safest rule is that we should not dare to live in any scene in which we dare not die. ~Lewis Carroll~
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Old 06-25-2007, 11:01 AM   #12
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Great Report Mark,
You should be a journalist! I officially name you the D2D Public relations specialist.

Had a great time! Lets plan another.

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Old 06-26-2007, 02:39 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by jimblack
Great Report Mark,
You should be a journalist! I officially name you the D2D Public relations specialist.
Had a great time! Lets plan another.
Thanks, everyone. You're too kind. And again a special thanks to ^ my good friend Jim who was a life saver for me on this trip.

I'd like to add even a little more to the friendship spin of this thread. And that's the retelling of how Jim and I got reacquainted thanks to advrider. See, Jim and I lived across the street from each other back in the day and our sisters were best buds. I usually say we grew up across the street from one another but Jim has said something to the effect of our still maybe not having grown up yet. Jimmy (yeah, that's what we called him) says he remembers me kickin over my 'ol Maico 400 and also coming over to help him get his his little YZ80 goin. The name of the street is Toklat and for you hockey fans, it's the same street Scotty Gomez grew up on and still uses as a summer residence.

I hadn't seen Jim in many many years and only ran into him once in passing a couple years ago at our local Harley shop. He's still an owner and I'm a frequent visitor.

Then earlier this year I was pleasantly surprised when I got a PM from him here on advrider telling me that he was getting a BMW Adventurer. Too cool. Since then we've done a couple shorter rides together around the area and this was our first longer one.

I know I've told this story before but I always enjoy sharing it again. Besides that, I hadn't included any smiley happy facial shots of us together on this trip! So once again, here's to friends reacquainted.

"Team Toklat!"

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Old 06-25-2007, 11:11 AM   #14
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Hay nice report!!! I can't wait for the others to add their adventures! Looks like it was a great time. I'm really bummed I missed it! Well, there's always next year! See ya, Walt
"Artillery lends dignity to what might otherwise be a vulgar brawl."
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:02 AM   #15
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d2d Dawson hmmm summer version of Tok to Dawson Snowmachine trip

Nice report Mark

I have only a sport street bike and miss the days I owned a dual purpose Honda riding the islands of Japan while stationed in the US NAVY there. I hope to join the Adventure riders soon someday as this sounds and looks like you guys are having way too much fun.

Going to up to Dawson for the snowmachine TOK to Dawson run is a blast as well and really breaks up the long winter nicely.

Vic A. - GreatNorthBusa -
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