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Old 09-13-2013, 09:28 PM   #1
dreamtour OP
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: NH
Oddometer: 96
New Hampshire To The Arctic Ocean, Alaska - June 2013

Its my turn to contribute to this forum which has been great source of information.
Start with planning, I’m going solo, so when it comes to adventure riding I keep planning to minimum. I like to go day by day and make my route as I go along. I wanted to reach the Arctic Ocean, enjoy the journey, scenery and the freedom on two wheels. Three weeks is all I have got from work and home.
I reserved the following:
1. Hotel in Deadhorse
2. Arctic ocean shuttle
3. Tires and oil change in Fairbanks at Adventure Cycles
4. Shipping the bike from Seattle back to NH
5. Flight back from Seattle to NH
The rest is optional.
In terms of safety, I have a SPOT messenger, a satellite phone and Medjet insurance in case of emergency and air evacuation is required. Start with packing, I tried to pack light. Easy say than done. It is important to have good gear that last and sustain few trips. I bought heated jacket and gloves four days before the departure date. I checked the weather in Prudhoe Bay, AK and it was snowing the last week of May. I'll not be able to ride long hours at sub 30F. I ordered the equipment from Ravzilla. I got the jacket but it was too short on the arms. I have two days left... I called Ravzilla and they shipped me another jacket right away.... Great service, can't say enough about them. The jacket/glove were a necessity after the Atigan pass.
Max BMW in NH has been servicing the bike since I bought it back in 2007. Outstanding service. I told Joe the service manager to check the bike for my 10k trip. Joe called and mention the rear bearing need to be replaced...better now than later. Thanks Joe. The bike went through the trip and except two front light bulbs it was flawless. Preparation pics








Friday 5/31 – Left home in NH and start riding west, I had few calls at work to finish my assignments and it was really hot day. I stayd at a campsite in upstate NY near Buffalo, I was tired. Few fellows in the campground invited me to their site for fire at night but I was too tired and wanted to be up early up to catch up on some miles. My intention was to be in AB Canada in three days riding from NH. I set up my tent, which took me longer than I thought. My secret for good night sleeping in the tent is the LUXURY LITE COT.... this is one if my best investment for outdoor equipment. After 15 hours on a saddle I sleep in comfort.







Saturday - 6/1 – I woke up early at 6:00. The fellows were up walking their dogs and come to say goodbye. Great people, super nice. I passed NY, PA, OH. I made few stops. On one of the stops, another rider fully loaded just stopped beside me. Sean from Long Island, NY. Sean is a retired detective and he headed to GNP, MT. We started chatting and we decided to tag along and ride together for the day. Sean left Long Island today and wanted to complete the Ironbutt 1000 miles required for the day. We rode pretty fast past IN, IL (avoiding Chicago) and Wisconsin. We rode through few thunderstorms some were heavy.




Yours








Sean wanted to complete his 1000 miles and I called the night. We separated our ways and wishes best to each other. It was late at night; I try to avoid riding at night for several obvious reasons. In addition my front light bulb indication light come on the dashboard. Meaning no headlight only high beam. I had one spare with me and decided to do it in the AM. I found motel 8 near by, and as I parked the bike I started to chat with a fellow who unload his truck. We start exchanging some information and he recommended to ride through rt 14 north. Nice twisty road through the farmland. The hay is growing and I would love riding in this part of the country. I love the information from the locals, its accurate and reliable. As I parked the bike and discovered that my new Ceebaileys wind wings broke. I installed them just before the trip and after day 2 they broke. I wasn't happy but there is nothing like JB weld and duct tape....I fixed the wings that night so the glue will dry overnight, and also replaced the bulb. Few days later I call CeeBaileys and they sent me new set of wind wings at no charge. Great service!





Sunday. 6/2 - In the morning I loaded the bike and met the fellow from last night. I told him I'm going through rt 14 as he recommended. He was happy.
The road was really nice and twisty going through farmland America. It was beautiful scenery, twisty road, crossing some small towns, super nice. Back on the highway toward MN, it was cold morning. I stopped in a rest area and prepared a good coffee I had carried with me. A lady come with her dog and wondered if I rode from NH, we were chatting for 30 min or so and share some family stories, she was really nice and inspired. I continue toward ND and the wind picked up, it was very windy. I couldn't believe how many dead deer were on the side road, really scary. I stopped at Fargo and had a good steak for dinner. It was already late and I decided to continue for another 100 miles or so, it started to get dark and I've seen many deer crossing the road. I stopped in a rest area to put my heated jacket and a truck driver come up to me and told me that the road is not good for night riding, too many deer. I thanked him and continued to the next town Valley City and called the night.












Monday 6/3 - This has been one of the longest day in miles, probably around 1030. Riding in ND was amazing, long stretches, windy, green fields, immense. At some sections the wind really strong, it was hard, the bike has tall windshield, which doesn't help. I rode through small towns, hard working farmers, cultivating the land, impressive. I crossed the border into Canada, declared my bear spray, headed to Saskatchewan Canada. I made it to Alberta and passed Calgary at night toward Red Deer. Total miles for the day, 1030. Long day.












Tuesday 6/4. – It was a slow day to Jasper, AB, the view is spectacular, this is a great change from the highways I was riding in the last three days. I started to enjoy my time, the scenery, plenty of wildlife. I sew black bears, brown bear or Grizzly, elks, deer and goats. Jasper is a beautiful small town, cafes, bakeries, food and outdoor stores are in the center of town. I arrived at 6pm to the visitor center and asked about the operation hours at the hot springs in the area. The agent said that the Miette hot spring is about 40KM away, which is about 25 miles. They close at 10PM so I have time for a deep. Back on the bike, going up hill the last 11 miles. As I'm going through one of the hairpin I see on the slope maybe about 10 feet from the road a black bear sow and a cub. I stopped; didn’t want to scare them. I honk but they couldn't care less. I decided to move on slowly, no time to stop for picture. I went to the hot springs. It was great, relaxing, hot, quite, life at its best. After two hours of relaxation and cleanser I decided its time to look for a place to sleep. I stopped at one of the campground. It was empty, I settled in one of the site. Later the ranger come to collect the fees and told me that there are four bears seen in the camp. He asked me to be caution. I wasn't sure if it is smart to be isolated in the campground, however, I decided to follow the basic rules. No food or toiletries in the tent. All stored in a bear canister I brought with me. I put the container about 100 yards away and went to sleep. I was very tired and exhausted. In the morning I was up at 7am ready to go in no time. I discovered this about 6 feet from my tent.







Scenery pics:
























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Old 09-15-2013, 08:36 PM   #2
dreamtour OP
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Wed 6/5. - Early morning start going north, today should be a long ride. I have been doing better with packing/unpacking at this point. I repack some items in the saddlebags instead of the top box. I started to feel that the trip has officially started, the scenery, wildlife, isolated areas, untouched land, not that many people on the road, it becomes more and more remote and secluded. I love it. The tunes in the headset, the wind , the sun, the smell, I feel connected to nature…freedom. It's hard to explain but really great feeling. I can’t wait to see more as I move north. Life is good.
I see a large bear on the side of the road, than a family of Bison still sleeping, and more bears, many more. Apparently the bears are feeding from roots at this time of the year, in July the berries season will start and they'll be more inland. It has been rainy all the way this morning and I use the heated jacket and gloves.. Its a life saver, comfortable and warm. I stopped at Prince George for early dinner/ late lunch at the burger joint. One of the things I'm picky about is coffee. I love espresso coffee. Outside the burger joint I've notice second cup. I went to the store to order a coffee and I see a Ducati coming and park beside me. While I order my triple shot espresso the guy with the Ducati and I already in the midst of discussion. We decided to sit outside and have a coffee. Terry is a local resident in PG and a biker in heart. We talked about trips, bikes, kids and family. It was great discussion and Terry gave few good tips on the area. Thanks Terry. I headed north skipped Dawson Creek into rt 29 to Fort St Johns. Long ride today. I decided to stop for the night at the Moberly Lake. This time I'm the only guy in the facility. The ranger came to take the fees and we chat for a while. I told the ranger that I wanted to go to Liars hot springs tomorrow and he says its two days trip. Too long for one day on a bike…I must admit, the bike is extremely comfortable, 10 hrs on a saddle is no worries.
Again put the bear canister away and went to sleep. The campground has no running water so shower is out of the question today. Maybe tomorrow.

















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Old 09-23-2013, 11:14 PM   #3
dreamtour OP
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6/6/13-
I made it to Liard hot springs, it was amazing ride, from the Rockies to the Prairies . Nice day on the saddle, weather was great. Long stretch for one day but it was spectacular. I setup my tent and went to the naturally located hot springs. Relaxing after long day on the saddle.
Only downsize, no running water for a shower. The water from the springs has light smell plus three days of no showers... Maybe tomorrow.

During the ride through the long stretches I stopped the bike in the middle of the road to take pictures and watch the wildlife. It was quiet, calm, relaxing. While riding there is enough time to think about everything in life, the mind takes me to many places. The mix of nature, man and a machine is what so special. Every once in a while I'm standing up on the pegs to stretch my legs and my body, the wind blowing in my face and its great feeling. The road has gravel sections; some have signs before to warn the drivers some don't. In a day or two I'll reach the top of the world HWY, the first gravel road in this trip. I can't wait. I haven't seen much of adventure riders on the road yet. I was hoping to see lots of bikes but this is not the case yet. It is early June, maybe too early in the season. I met today a couple from Florida, and a couple from New Zealand that are going to Alaska.































6/7/13- In the AM I left the Liard hot spring, I had a breakfast at the lodge, I asked the lady for the internet access code but she refused…She says nope....only for guests…Okay…
I rode all the way to Whitehorse, Yukon. I stopped at Watson Lake, nice little town. I visited the signs post forest at the visitor center. The lady at the visitor was nice and she recommended to go to Whitehorse via emerald lake. I had good lunch at Kathy’s kitchen, I shared a table with people from Minnesota. They were on the way south from Alaska.
Emerald lake is beautiful, magnificent and peaceful. I arrived at WH late afternoon. I stayed at the hotel for change. I had hot shower and did the laundry.
I was very tired, skipped dinner, anyways all stores closed at 9pm. The sun never set in this part of the world at this time of the year. The drive in Yukon reminded me the tundra while riding in James Bay road in the east. My tires need to be changed, they start cracking and the profile is low. I'll replace them in Fairbanks.






































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Old 09-28-2013, 07:44 PM   #4
dreamtour OP
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6/8/13 - Heading to Dawson City in Yukon. The road is pretty. On one of the sections I've noticed a bald eagle standing and watching the lake. I stopped and took some pictures. I arrived at Dawson City early afternoon.
The town is preserved, beautiful houses and buildings. While walking in town, a group of men and women dressed like in the gold rush time were taking pictures. It was very colorful, the CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corporation ) was there filming for Canada day. I ate at the goat restaurant some Greek food.
The entire time it rained in Yukon with some sunshine breaks. I haven’t seen bikes in Dawson City, this is strange or too early in the season.
































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Old 10-06-2013, 06:40 PM   #5
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6/9/13- Sunday – I’m Hheading to Fairbanks today via the Top Of The World Highway. I stopped to fill the gas in Dawson City at 7:00AM. The lady at the gas station was chatting with few locals on the growing bears population in the area, everyone was sharing his latest bear encounter. Very close community.
I crossed the river with the ferry, once on the other side of the river, the gravel started after few miles. The gravel road had many potholes but it’s packed. It was dry for the most part. The road is twisty, curvy with many ups and downs. Outstanding view, rivers, snow, trees, mountains, valleys, blue sky, sunny... Just beautiful. The feeling on paved road and gravel is different. There are other factors while riding on gravel that makes it more fun and adventurous. After about two hours on the gravel, I arrived at the border crossing into Alaska, finally. On the American side the gravel continues. I arrived at Chicken, I stopped to refuel and ordered Fish and Chips, it was great and tasty. Time wise I'm doing good, I told Dan from Adventure Cycleworks that I should be at 6pm at his house to change tires and oil. I ordered the tires in advanced.
I stopped at Tok and the Delta junction. At the Delta junction I had triple Expresso , yeh....and met outside another local rider on a Harley, Randy, very nice man who shared some of his experience in this part of the world. We chatted for 30min and exchanged info and I continued to Fairbanks.
At Fairbanks, I checked for a camping spot for the night, than refuel and headed to Dan’s house. Dan work is meticulous, clean and neat. Great work habits. New shoes were installed in 45 min.
Ok, back to planning, the weather is great in Fairbanks but forecast is rain and snow north of Coldfoot which is half way between Prudhoe Bay and Fairbanks. I thought either I go north to the Arctic Ocean or south to Anchorage and Seward. I had the urge to go to the Arctic Ocean but I wasn't sure on the weather. I called the hotel in Prodhoe Bay and the lady said it is rainy, a bit snowy but looks good for the next few days. I decided to go north. I said goodbye to Dan and told him I'll be back in two days to change the oil.

Back to the campsite, …plenty of mosquitos.....terrible, I’m trying to setup the tent but I guess I may need head-net this time.
Ok, time to sleep. I'm exhausted.

























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Old 10-06-2013, 07:06 PM   #6
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6/10/13 – Monday, I’m heading to Coldfoot 220 miles north of Fairbanks. Coldfoot is the only way to refuel before the Arctic Ocean. I'm still debating about the weather and decided to make the final call at the end of the day. The road to Coldfoot is Alaska 2 and 11. For some reason I took route 6.... I guess this is what happens when the GPS is used only as a reference. Believe it or not but the GPS I have with me doesn’t have the maps for the trip. The card has the maps for NH/VT and MA. I use real paper maps for the whole trip. I had the GPS to indicate speed and confluence points. There was a sign says circle and for some reason I went that direction. After one hour of riding I figured something is not right. I stopped, look at the map and sure enough I'm off path. Went back to Fairbanks refuel and took Alaska 2. I reached the Dalton Highway which is gravel road all the way up the Arctic Ocean. The road is packed and good, not too bad. It's sunny day, warm…lovely. I see a moose on the left side, down shifting, slow down, clear, go. After about 50 miles the road started to be wet, not bad still good traction, I'm standing on the pegs, enjoy the moment. After a while the road become slippery and muddy, now it's a bit of a challenge. I slowed down and the road goes uphill and downhill, pretty nice. I made it all the way to the Hotspot which it is a burger joint, 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle or 120 miles south of Coldfoot. The burger is HUGE and JUICY. The lady at the Hotspot told me NOT to go the Arctic Ocean because of the weather tomorrow. She told me once you are over the pass its winter time and not safe. I paid and thanked the lady and continue to the Arctic Circle. I met few people from Ohio, we chatted for a while and took some pictures. I continued to Coldfoot while they went back to Fairbanks. At Coldfoot I refuel and asked about the weather at the visitor center. The man says tomorrow it will be rain and snow. The lady said a bit of rain. I decided to make the call in the AM. It was already 8pm, I was tired. A room in Coldfoot camp is $200/night I decided to camp tonight. I rode to Marion campground. I was the only one in the facility. I put $8 in the envelope and setup the tent.
I decided to wake up at 3AM and start riding north.








































































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Old 10-22-2013, 09:12 PM   #7
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6/11/13. Tuesday, I woke up at 2:45AM, started packing and made some coffee to warm up. The nights are cold; the sleeping bag is perfect, warm and cozy. I started to ride north but its cold. My temp indicator on the dash starts flashing, meaning the ambient temperature is almost freezing. The ground is usually few more degrees warmer than the air so I wasn't worry about it but I was really cold. I stopped and put the heated jacket and gloves and added a pair of pant & socks. I put the temperature on high for the heated jacket and the gloves......phew... much better. I can feel my fingers now. I continued few miles until it started to rain, the road is slippery but riding is manageable, I ride in decent pace. As I approach the Atigan pass I've noticed the weather changed to snow, sleet and mud. As I climbed the pass the view is changing, the mountains are almost all covered with snow. It's beautiful, in front of me is the Arctic, flat brown vegetation, at the back spruce trees, forest. I continue down hill when I notice on the dash the temp and the low oil level indicators are illuminated. I have extra oil with me but I’ll fill it in Deadhorse. The ride down the pass was horrible, windy, gusty, snowy, cold and the most frightening muddy as hell. At this point I see that the rain is constant so I'm riding at the very right of the gravel side at steady speed. As I'm riding I can see from far some movement on the horizon to the eastern side. I stopped the bike took the camera and look with the 300mm lens. Sure enough, a herd of Caribous… beautiful scene. I waited for a while in the rain, happy to see this wildlife and they start coming toward me. Yeh,,, this is cool. Way cool.
I waited about 15-30 mins, snap few pics and continued. The road continues to be slippery but I used to it by now. As I’m riding I see on the horizon white SUV on the road, kind in the middle of the road in the downhill direction. Kind of strange I thought. As I got close to the car, which is in the middle of the road, I've notice a man sleeping in the driver seat and the car has flat on the front left side. I stopped and asked if he needs help but he didn't speak English. Another guy woke up from the back seat and I asked if they ok and I informed them they have a flat tire. Both men went out of the car, one is Dutch the other from Denver. They told me they rented the SUV and do not know how to change the wheel. I offered to help; we got the manual to see how to release the spare wheel. In 30 min they were ready to go. We exchange information, few pictures and bye bye we go our ways. I finally arrived at Deadhorse, tired, exhausted, muddy, dirty, starving but happy. I went to the Deadhorse camp to register, and got some food as well. The Arctic Ocean tour is scheduled for 4PM. I'm tired, really tired. The Arctic Ocean is still frozen so no swimming… We saw a fox chasing a mouse and than we stopped at the Arctic shore for some pictures. The Arctic Ocean was cover with ice…. I was back at the room at 4:45pm, I was out cold for the night…






































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Old 10-23-2013, 05:37 AM   #8
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Nice ride..and great pics.
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:11 PM   #9
dreamtour OP
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Thank you CT-KTM!
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:20 PM   #10
dreamtour OP
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6/12/13- Wednesday. I was up at 3AM, added the oil and the indicator on the dash is gone. Dressed up warm and headed south. Weather should be great today, dry and warm. Yeh...
I fast rode the 440 miles gravel road….great condition, gravel is dry packed and no mud to be found . I stopped at 6am, prepared coffee at the side of the road and continued to the Atigan pass. On the gravel the ABS is disabled so the braking is much better, before Coldfoot a Cow (female moose) jumped into the road, I swerved quickly without breaking. I was terrifying… She could have turn back to the side she came from but likely she continued. It was a close call. I wasn't riding fast but on the gravel the breaking distance is much longer than paved. Phew...
I stopped at the hotspot again for a burger and told the lady I should have listen to her…. We laughed. On the way to Fairbanks, I saw a wolf on the side of the road. He was frighten, beautiful fur, light purple color. I continued to Dan's house to change the oil. Dan first washed the bike for good 20 minutes, than we washed my suit and the boots from the dust and the mud. He changed the oil and we said goodbye. I come back to the campground at 11pm, setup the tent with my “friends” the mosquitos and crushed for the night. One comment on my gear, I use the KLIM jacket and pants, there are waterproof gear so no need for rain gear. In addition the adventure boots are 100% waterproof. The gear kept me dry entire trip through snow, rain, and mud.






































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Old 10-28-2013, 06:28 AM   #11
Mcgee
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Great trip and pic’s. Your narrative was nice also, I felt I was there with you. Just curious, what tires did you put on in Fairbanks? I have the same bike and would like to do that trip also. Thank you!
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:34 AM   #12
dreamtour OP
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Thank You. I used the Heidenau K60 for the entire trip.
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:18 PM   #13
dreamtour OP
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6/13/13 Thursday -
I woke up late….I got a txt with bad news, my friend’s wife passed away battling cancer at young age, they have three kids. I also spoke with one of my colleague who assists his dad through some medical issues. It wasn't good morning. Everyone has its own struggle in life. It's tough. I felt I'm back to reality. I called my friend and passed my condolences.

Today, I'm taking it easy. I decided to go to Valdez and skip the campers rush hours to Anchorage/Seward. Valdez is a small town probably about 400 miles south of Fairbanks. I called couple of places to check if they have kayak for rental or tour to the Columbia glacier. None was available. I decided to continue to Valdez and call again later the day. Sure enough, there was space available at Pangaea Adventure. Sounds great.
On the way to Valdez I had another close call with a moose (Cow) and a calve. This time, they jumped from the side of the road and crossed it. I slammed on the front brakes and the bike stopped, as it should... Phew....
I arrived in Valdez late afternoon, bought some groceries, refuel and found an inn to sleep.

The trip will commence next day at 8AM.




























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Old 10-30-2013, 03:53 PM   #14
Comrade Art
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Enjoying your report and pics. Were you using Sidi Adventure boots?
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:01 PM   #15
Wdwrkr
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Great ride report. I'm looking forward to the rest of it. I'm just down the road in Nantucket. We should get together for a ride and coffee. I'd like to pic your mind as I'm planning a two up trip along a similar route
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