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Old 08-19-2010, 08:44 AM   #1
YukonTracker OP
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Cool2 Yukon-Alaska Beer & Tire Patch Ride

Yukon-Alaska Beer & Tire Patch Ride

So here it is. Finally we are able to line up a couple of days of riding. Yukon and Alaska are wonderful places to live, but if you want to go anywhere it means covering some serious distances. Not an easy task to break yourself free from the short, busy summer season to go riding. Certainly not if you have to line it up with riding buddies. Discovery Day long weekend gives us annually a small window of opportunity to sneak away for a couple of days together to refuel and find the inner boy (thanks honey!).

Thursday August 12, Jeff arrives at my house with a new tire bungeed on to his C50. Yeah, we'd better change that out before hitting the TOW.

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Around 6:30PM we have fresh rubber on her and Jeff and I head out together to destination Carmacks on the Klondike hwy. Jim will meet up with us in Carmacks since he will travel via the Campbell hwy. Around the Fox Lake area, the road has some nice curvy sections but ther than scenery the pave it self is too good to be eventful. We stop at the Breaburn Lodge for a cofee and Fuel up at the Tatchun Centre in Carmacks where Jim shows up at the moment we we pulling out to go to the campground.

We stay at the Coal mine campground. A neat place which I passed many times in previous years. Right allong the river and all amenities on site.

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We wake up with splendid clear skies and head "down town" for brekkie at the Gold Panner restaurant. On our way to Dawson we are! A mandatory stop at the Five Finger Rapids.

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The day turns into a scorcher (well for up here..). A quick stop at the Pelly Crossing gas station/convenience store. No need for fuel until Dawson though.

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YukonTracker screwed with this post 08-24-2010 at 11:41 PM
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:45 AM   #2
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Continued...

We arrive in Dawson sweaty and thirsty, so first things first: find the liquor store. After that topping off for the next day. There will be a "clinic" at the gas station. "Jim... come over! They were expecting you"!

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Next is finding a spot to crash for THE NIGHT. Yep, in capital letters because Dawson city is the Las Vegas of the north. Behind the facade of the somewhat overdone tourist theatre of long gone days, a wicked place for wicked people hides in the dawn of the days to drag you down for a joy ride. Better watch out and stay on top sonny!

The hostel/campground accross the river, we were told, was a nice place to stay. Certainly doable now the ferry (free of charge) runs 24/7.

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When we arrive the proprietor is napping, but we obviously awoke him with our rumbling two wheelers. Although we had to run around the grounds a couple of times before we succeeded in getting him on his feet.

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At that point we were about floating in our gear and I was desperate for a shower. Me: "Do you have showers"? Owner: "We have something better than a shower". Me: "a tub"?. Owner: trust me... its better". All right lets get on with it. We rented a cabin. No fooling around with tents in this heat.

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About the shower, he was damn right. A nice cabin with a woodstove/water heater. Although it was quite the workout having to cut your own firewood to get it going, the combo steam room/ bath house left me feeling not only clean, but also incredably refreshed. Simply mix te hot water with cold (fed from the Yukon River) to a temperature to your liking and pour it over you. So simple, yet so effective and pleasurable.

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After, we had a couple of beers and headed into town and had some beers here and there before we had an excellent meal at the "Drunken Goat" Greek restaurant. Jeff and Jim did the Sour toe thing and I graciously declined. Who in the right mind? I can think of better things to suck on than a preserved toe thats being suckled on by hundreds of tourists:mrgreen: The rest of the long night was... let's say allot of fun.

The proprietor of the campground had told us that the Top of The World hwy was partly under construction due to wash outs and that there would be two convoys a day. Damn, that meant eather getting up wicked early (considering the anticipated numbing night to come) or catching the second convoy. Which would mess up our ride plan big time. We also had the small problem that Jim had no passport because he did not receive it back yet after having to sent it in for renewal. So we even considered just staying in Dawson all weekend.... but that consideration did not last too long.

Get your butt out of bed Jeff, we are all packed up already! The morning after... Not always a pleasant sight.

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Jim: "Dammit! can you give me a hand?! I can't hold'r". Me: "yeah sure... hang on buddy.... click... I'll be right over!

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Clouds were rolling in while I took a last shot at Dawson from the campground.

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We've done TOW before, although from the other end. Conditions on these dirt roads, like on the Dempster and the likes, can change dramatically fast with bad weather. You always have to be prepared for the nasty. And with the increasing cloudiness, it looked like we were in for it.

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The further we got on, the better it became fortunately.

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Jim brought every document he could find in order to pursuade the border agent to let him into Alaska. After some games of puppy eyes from us and dominating from the agent, he was let through. He must have been in the "system" as a good kid. A negative would have sucked big time, because the alternative was to turn around or to just let Jim turn around. We would have choosen the first option of course. And returning to Dawson wasn't bad in itself, but we were not sure if we would survive two more nights in Sodom and Gomorrah.

In the mean time the weather turned hot again which made for extreme dusty conditions and we made it in time for the first convoy from Boundary to Chicken. It was a butt sqeezing ride on marbles and we admitted all to have lost it almost a couple of times in corner at the speeds we were doing. While in line, an RV pulls up. An American guy jumps out to have a little chat and invites us to toast a bagle in the RV. Mmm.. bagel with cream cheese. That was very welcome. We skipped breakfast that morning.

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When time came to start the convoy we were invited by the road crew to ride up to the front. One would be toast riding behind cagers in these dusty conditions and heat. Thanks guys!

In front was a bearded guy on a.... scooter!!! Blubber... that looks suspiciously like ... could it be? Osama, is that you?? We were told you're hiding in the Afghan/Pakistan Tora Bora mountain regions. They got it all wrong!! He's right here in mountains of the Alaskan US of A in cognito as a die hard adventurer.

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Of course I asked him if I could take his picture. I figured that I could finance my adventure lust for days to come with the rewards I would strike up and have free beer for life. Huhyeah!

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!
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:46 AM   #3
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Continued...

Well, at Chicken he took off his helmet. Turned out it was only Pete Waterman from Washington who traveled 7000 miles on a scooter for charity. Check out his charity project site here: http://scootforcharity.com/

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We would run into him a couple of times later. We had some chicken in Chicken and a pop and we were good to pop along.

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"So where are we going"? "Fairbanks or Valdez"? "Fairbanks sound like fun"!? But then......

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Jim just had a new tire fitted. Turned out they screwed up the belt, which in turn caused a flat tube. Its all good! He asked me to bring him up a spare tube. In with the new tube and a sturdy patch of Duct Tape to salve the wound. It was scorching hot and it set us back time wise though.

Later we caught up with Pete again after he overtook us on his scooter and we had a beer together.

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Arriving in Tok, we got the picture. Tok it would be for the night.... its all good! Valdez nor Fairbanks were viable options at this point. Had pizza at Fast Eddy and later Pete delighted us again with his company when he arrived at the establishment.

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Hey, it doesn't look smart drinking luke warm beer, but I am a warrior ya know?

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Damn... that's not even too bad!

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We were the only ones at the campground so more warm shower water for us! The mosquitos were vicious though. But ain't nothing a beer can't fix.... if you have sigars handy that is. Thanks Jim!

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Later that night two guys and a woman showed up in a Polaris Ranger. They invited us to go "campground hopping" with them. That must be the favorite passing time in Tok! They were friendly, persistant and highly stoned with one guy trying to hug us and the other smirking and drooling. Bad news. With respect: piss off. We went to the bar instead. Also a sad affair. So we purchased some beers and had a blast around the campfire and laughed the night away.

Next morning brekkie at Fast Eddy and on our way to the home land.

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A nice day again with some road construction around the border area but not too bad. You'ld think we must have done something right when the Gods are so kind to us so far. Heck, they even let Jim back into Canada, so we figured that we could make it to Haines if we would wing it with Godspeed on our side.

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Between the border and Burwash Landing the pave is in horrible condition. It is bronco riding all the way. I take the Dempster or whatever over that stretch, no kidding. The frost heaves are plentiful, deep and tore up huge sections of pavement. Consequently slowing us down, beating up our bodies and bikes. It sure was to much for Jim's wounded rear tire. Excessive flexing of the tire because of the frost heaves caused the tape, which held for a long time on semi normal road conditions, to let go giving the revealing belt wires a free game.

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Okay, there goes Haines......

Jim: "Hey RJ you said you would bring tools so we wouldn't all have to carry the same shit"? "Do you have tire foam"? Me: "Do I look like the Canadian Tire on wheels"? "Hang on I'll take a look around in my bags". "Well I'll be damned".

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In with the foam and some extra air. And again it was all good!

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It lasted about an hour and a half. We took it off again then and we patched up the old tube.

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This time we put some mean tire patches on the revealing threads though. The road got better and we were able to make up for some lost time.

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We made it to Haines.... Junction that is, at 9PM and had a good grub at the local Chinese restaurant. After, we went to Jeff's place and had a couple of beers while watching the movie "Wild Hogs". That should give us enough inspiration for our future trips! Huhyeah!
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:55 AM   #4
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Nice write up and great pics!!
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:25 AM   #5
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Thanks for the kind words Darth Peach. Gotta do some riding to catch up to your standards! Boy, you take this whole damn thing too serious What amazing ride reports you came up with.
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YukonTracker


Awesome shot!!
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:37 AM   #7
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Great post, wonderfully done.

Good pics!
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:00 PM   #8
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y'all are just too much jelly for one biscuit.

Very nice rr!
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