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Old 07-17-2013, 05:48 PM   #76
Squirreltoe
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Nothing wrong with this ride. I'm impressed with the endurance. I am crunched for time too, but this helps understand the reality of heading on a long trip with limited hours. Nice work.
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:49 PM   #77
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Yep, Taylor/Top of the World highway to Dawson is one of my favorite Alaskan roads.
Rode it in March for the Trek Over the Top ride on the sled and again in June for D2D.
Its fantastic both times of year. Definitely worth adding to a trip north.
My wife and I ride together everywhere and she understands I like to zoom off
by myself now and then. (I suspect she likes the "alone time" too.)
Its become a normal part of the ride.
SM
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:33 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirreltoe View Post
Nothing wrong with this ride. I'm impressed with the endurance. I am crunched for time too, but this helps understand the reality of heading on a long trip with limited hours. Nice work.
Thanks, I'm trying to describe it as I experienced it. I'm a early riser, so getting on the road early is easy.. Then I just don't stop much. Ha. I really wished I would have got back into motorcycling a lot earlier in life. I waited til the last one could drive, before I bought a bike. Then the evolution really kicked in when I found this website. I'm blessed with a wife that says, if you really want to do this, (ride to Alaska and back) go for it. It'd be interesting to see how many hours I've spent in "Ride Reports" over the last five or six years.. Ha
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:40 AM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solarmoose View Post
Yep, Taylor/Top of the World highway to Dawson is one of my favorite Alaskan roads.
Rode it in March for the Trek Over the Top ride on the sled and again in June for D2D.
Its fantastic both times of year. Definitely worth adding to a trip north.
My wife and I ride together everywhere and she understands I like to zoom off
by myself now and then. (I suspect she likes the "alone time" too.)
Its become a normal part of the ride.
SM
I wish I could have gone all the way up to eagle. I also suspect that the Dempster would have been a better choice than the Dalton, for pure enjoyment. Now I have to go back. Another two weeker? Maybe..
I'm getting ready to post the ride from Dawson City down thru Watson Lake, I took the Campbell (4) down.. It's not on my favorite list.. It was just really wash boarded in places. Not bad, but it takes some enjoyment out..

I'd ride the Top of the World twice a year if I had the chance.. . Maybe even 4 or 5 times..
Thanks for following along.
Jeff
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:42 AM   #80
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John, Dan, Don, Andy, Stuart, Bill, all comments appreciated. Thanks for taking a look.

I just learned how to do a screen shot (Andy) I haven't figured out yet how to quote more than one post in a post..

Jeff
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:57 AM   #81
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Day 10 Dawson City, YT to Boya Lake Park on the Cassiar. (via the Campbell Highway) 650 miles (approx.)
I got up early and went all day.. The route is in RED

I got up early, fired up the stove (in the room..) made my mountain house bacon and eggs, and, of course, my starbucks, cleaned up, gassed up, and hit the road..
Early morning south of Dawson City

The day started off pretty easy.. Nice black top,
This was a bridge under construction. They had a stop light set up. I sat there for a fairly long time, before I got the green light. Never saw another soul. I was thinking, Jeff, you are like a trained mouse. The light is red, so I sat there until it turned green. Nobody around for miles and miles..


So, in a huge act of defiance, I took a picture form the bridge..

Hey, I wasn't really alone.. The sun came out, and this guy showed up.

Then this:

Turned to this: (which is ok in my book.)

I crossed over this river. It wasn't even identified, at least I didn't see a sign. It occurred to me at the time, that this might be a regular tourist stop down in Missouri.. It was beautiful.

I was back on the blacktop again.. Zero traffic, so I took some pics.

I got down to Pelly junction, needed to make a decision. Take the Campbell Highway over to Watson Lake, or drop down to the Alaska Highway, and basically backtrack from a few days ago, to catch the Cassiar. Hmm, The Campbell has gravel, that's a plus.. Hmm, my (our) original track was the Campbell, I should stay on track.. I took it, and it started out great.

It was such a great ride, I blew right by the gas stop, at the junction..
Just kept flying on down the road..


There were some great views along the way.


I stopped at Finlayson Lake for snacks.. The mosquitoes were unbelievable.. I had to keep walking, to stay ahead of the mob, just to get a bite of cliff bar..



I passed a helicopter landing zone?? First one of those I've run across..

Then two things happened.. I saw a sign with the distance to WatsonLake.. My gas was telling me I didn't have enough, and I passed a zinc mine, and the road turned to sh@t!!!
There were several spots like this..

There were a few bears hanging around them.. I don't know if they come out to roll in the dust, or just wait for some dumba$$ to ride along on a big fat pig, and dump it right there.. "dinner is served."
You can see my track through there, not too straight. A good rider would lift the front end, give it some throttle and fly thru.. I was on the pegs, leaning back, but it still felt like I had zero control..
This guy was drooling over the prospect of a good pile up..

The parts that weren't deep talc, were wash-boarded severely. I was in every track, shoulder, ridge, I tried every speed from flying to crawling, the washboard was relentless. I didn't get a pic. Trying to stay loose on the bars, but I found myself using a death grip most of the time.. If there's a easy way to ride really deep, severe washboard, somebody tell me.. I did have relatively new Wilbur shocks, I think they helped.. Plus my range on gas was getting down to zero.. I started to coast down hills.. I ran into a couple driving the other way.. I asked if the road improved, and if there was any fuel ahead.. He told me 75 klicks to gas, and the road would get better soon.. I converted klicks to miles and just crossed my fingers.
I did make it to Watson Lake, the road smoothed out, I saw a few more bears, all was good. Didn't have any trouble keeping awake.. Not a bit.
I went over to the Cassiar, and headed south. Made it to Boya Lake Provincial Park (missed a lake side campsite by a few minutes..)
Set up camp, ran off the mosquitoes, had a nice dinner, put my feet up, got out my bear spray (keeping Momma happy) and called it a night..

Oh, one other thing.. As I was eating dinner I checked out my rear tire.. I may have a bit to worry about after all, but after the silt patches, and almost running out of gas, nothing was bothering me.

Tomorrow.. The Cassier is fantastic.. Momma bear and cubs, Hyder, a great campsite, a scare with the bike.. What "does" it sound like when your final drive is blowing up???
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:57 AM   #82
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I was really hoping you wouldn't mention the "F" word (Final drive)
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:35 AM   #83
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I was really hoping you wouldn't mention the "F" word (Final drive)
It was a sick feeling.. Let me tell ya.

When we going to see the Terra??
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:37 AM   #84
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Day 11 Boya Lake to Burns Lake, BC (660 mi.)
I guess 650 miles is about average for me .. The last few days turned out that way.. I added some miles to my (our) proposed route. I couldn't see getting that close to Hyder, and not stopping in. (see track below.)

Believe me.. I would have liked to have spent a lot more time in this area. (same as yesterday, and the day before.. Ha)
The Cassiar Highway was, for me, the way to go north.. The Alaska Highway is nice. It's got it's history etc., but the Cassiar is just more of what I prefer. Mountains, wildlife, and rivers..
Before I left Boya Lake Campground, I rode down to the lakeside campsites. This is the one I'd try to get next time. It was open when I left.

I could see hanging out for a day or two there.

Then it was back to the road..

It's really not that hard to ride 600 miles when this is what you are riding through..
Around the next bend I ran into these guys.. When I first saw them, the momma was right on the shoulder and the two cubs were behind her. They were pretty small cubs. I stopped right in front of her, and she lowered her head and looked right at me.. I'm not a bear whisperer, but the message seemed pretty clear. "move on.." So I pulled up a little, Kept it in gear, used the rear brake to steady me, and took the shot right handed. Took too long, the poor pic is the result. She was right in front of me at first, but I didn't get the pic.

Still, I rode away thinking this is the coolest thing, I can't believe I just saw that. Up close..
I celebrated with a breakfast out.. Got the special in Jade City.. Also found out it was Canada Day! What a start to a great day.

Another fun bridge..

I was trying to get a picture of this view:

When this guy strolled out in front of me.. Only time I could get the camera ready quick enough:

I stopped for this guy.

And these guys..

Then I quit taking pictures of bears.. I just didn't worry about the picture, and enjoyed the encounter a bit more.
Meanwhile, the views and the traffic were exactly what I was looking for.

It's even a nice place for a maintenance facility.

I had to decide.. Take the time and go over to Hyder, or stay on track towards Burns Lake. Ha, are you kidding? This close to Hyder, and miss it? The drive over is very cool. If I'd have missed this I would still be kicking myself..


I've never seen a glacier before.. I didn't realize how blue they were.
I went into Hyder, and rode out onto the wooden pier in the middle of the bay.. Probably the 10 millionth bike to go out there. But, I liked it.

Went by the Glacier Inn.. Decided not to get Hyderized. A little early for me for 150 proof.

No guts, no glory.. I know.
Moving a fair amount of timber out through the bay.

Then I got in a big hurry. Another place I could have hung around for a day or so.. Next time..
I made a bit of a mistake here. The line for gas was pretty long. I was in a hurry. I blew it off and headed back over the pass to get back on 37. I needed to be heading south. Well, when I got to the junction with 37, the gas station that Garmin was telling me was there, wasn't there.. Crap! not again.. Well, it was there. I actually remembered it from BigDog's trip. It's just an above ground tank, unmanned, and unmarked.. I thought it was for a private company, but sure enough it took my credit card. (after it took me through a safety tutorial, on how to pump gas, and gave me a code number.) Whew, I never would have made it to the next gas stop south. I was thinking I had to go back to Stewart..

When I got down to the Skenna River. I was doing great. I actually had seen a few other cars and bikes.. In fact when I was going up the hill heading out of the town, I was passing a few big trucks. Right after I went from 5th to 6th, I heard this metal on metal grinding sound, and felt a terrible rumble coming from the rear of the bike..
"This is it, I'm so screwed.." I pulled over immediately to minimize damage.. Turned it around and coasted back down the hill towards town to survey the damage.. I coasted all the way to a park on the edge of town. Got off the bike and checked out the final drive.. Nothing.. No oil pouring out, no looseness, or movement when I tried to move the rear tire. Hmmm. No transmission oil dripping. No hot spots, or bulges. Ha.. Oil level is fine.. After a few minutes I started it up, and let out the clutch. Nothing unusual. I rode around the parking lot a few times.. Sat there, and finally said, what the heck. Might as well see how far it'll go. I babied it for a while. Afraid to get on it very hard. I made it to Burns Lake! No problems. And it ran fine another 3,000 miles.. I guess I didn't get it all the way into 6th.. I really don't know. It's been fine ever since.. Whew..
I found the best campsite yet near Burns Lake. As I came into town, there was a place in town, and a sign about camping to the north.. Some park. I hate being in town. Near traffic, and train tracks..
I went up to Kager Lake Campground, and Mountain Biking Park..

Here's where I camped:

Here's where you SHOULD camp.. It was right across from my spot. You can see the parking pad. However, you could ride down to it..

You can see the tent pad on the right.. If you go, check out the lakeside spots.. There were two other people in the entire place..
One was Don. He stays there in the summer while he works down in Burns Lake. He used to be a fishing guide up along the start of the Cassier.

If you go up that way, stop in and visit. Don's got some great stories, and a warm fire burning. In the lower part of the pic, you can see his dog. She's very old, I suspect she may not be with us much longer..

I had mountain house for dinner, and slept like a baby..
The next morning the loons on the lake were calling. I could wake up to that every morning.
Tomorrow, I get back on the Icefield Parkway, we had missed it going up, and I wanted to see the Canadian Rockies. They don't disappoint..
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:42 AM   #85
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I went to Alaska with my friends in '06 . We rode together all the time cloer to home and did lots of things together. Alaska is a long way and people have different rythems and methods. Mostly it was great , parts sucked.

The next long ride and the others since have been solo.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:54 AM   #86
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Great Pic's and Narrative!

I have been following along and ready for more...
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:05 PM   #87
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Nice RR! Late to the party, but an iron butt through the Dalton is unbelievably amazing. Hats off to you!
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:46 PM   #88
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Nice work on the RR. I damn near ran down the Cassiar (I do love that road) and would have been on the road the same time as you, probably... As for the group thing - hope it all works out. That said, I wouldn't trade my solo trip for anything... Looking forward to the rest.
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Old 07-21-2013, 05:10 AM   #89
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Taking the weekend off. Sorry
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Old 07-22-2013, 04:25 PM   #90
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Day 11 Burns Lake, BC to Canmore, Alberta (light day, 572 miles) Route in RED..

Broke camp fairly early. Don was out front of his RV and waved me up..
He had made oatmeal cinnamon pancakes, and had some extras! Same as I'd had earlier in Alaska at Coldfoot Camp! Ha, he's a good guy. Gave me a book to read along with his email address. Don, if you find this RR chime in. Hopefully somebody reads this and stops in at Burns Lake to visit.
This was the second morning in a row that the loons calling had woke me up.. I tried to get a picture of one, but I can't tell. Looks more like a duck. I was sharing the moment with a few mosquito buddies.

It was a bit wet, but not too bad. I'd miss the clouds and cooler temp later in the day.. For the rest of the trip, for that matter. I'd got the maps and GPS (Montana) out the night before, and changed my routes. I was originally going to go down to Washington State and head east from there. We missed the Canadian Rockies coming up, and I'd heard too many good things about them, so I headed east from Burns Lake. Don had told me I was through with the wilderness if I went that way. I'd be seeing people again.. I guess I am anti-social..

For a while the traffic wasn't too bad, and I could see mountains in the distance.. It's nice riding up there. I did see a few bikes heading northwest. Guys just getting started. It did make me a bit sad to be on the return leg.


By the time I reached Jasper National Park, it was getting pretty tough to be feeling too sorry for myself.

The heat was melting the snow cap off fast.. So the water was up, and moving.


I had to get the bike in one.. (By the way, I was starting to forget about the transmission/final drive noise I'd heard the day before..)

Lots of waterfalls along the way.

I lucked out up at the top. There's some construction going on, and I pulled in just as the automated light turned red.. I kept going..
The temp had really dropped near the top, what a relief. As soon as I started back down, it warmed back up. It was upper 80s by the time I got back down to Bow Lake.. I thought I'd just see how cold the river was..

Holy Crap!! That water is cold! Still felt good to have numb feet for about an hour. I didn't have the guts to stick my head in. But I did cool off..

The peaks out there are pretty impressive.


I made it into Banff, tried to find a cheaper place to stay.. Banff reminds me a bit of Aspen. Not many cheap hotels. It was close to 90 degrees, I'd been camping the last two nights, so I decided to splurge a bit..
But not in Banff, I'm to tight.. So I went on down to Canmore. Canmore reminds me more of Crested Butte, more my style. I also found a $80 a night room.. Went into town had a giant greasy cheeseburger at The Grizzly Paw Brewing Co.. The beer was cold, and the timing was perfect. I was about done eating, and on my 2nd beer before I remembered to take a pic.

I slept like a baby..
It was my last night in Canada.. Tomorrow I argue with the GPS, and head for Bozeman, MT. The heat picks up..
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