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Old 05-14-2008, 11:46 AM   #1
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The Haul Road was beautiful... well, for the Haul Road it really wasn't too bad. A lot of watering and grading going on at the south end, the "paved" portion north of the Yukon was in typically terrible shape, with lots of spring breakup breaking up, and around Galbraith Lake to Pump 3 it was rougher than a cob. But still, it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

The temperatures were nice and warm for the first half of May... until just past Galbraith. It was still 43F until I climbed into a heavy bank of cloud/fog when the temp plummeted to 26F in less than a mile and kept dropping until it got to 18F with a stiff northerly breeze behind it. I drove through that for about 25 miles and it never lessened. Sometimes visibility was down to under 100 yards. Since I was up there to get photographs, and it is pretty difficult to shoot a picture of something you can't even see, the decision was made to turn around at about 297 Mile and head south again. It had dropped to 17F before I got into the Atigun Valley where the sun was still shining down onto the mountains.

Met two riders northbound in the stretch of new pavement around 40 Mile, taking advantage of the smooth blacktop (as we all do ) after some 30 miles of narrow gravel road. And while traffic was backed up at 56.5 of the Elliott waiting for wreckers to get a Lynden semi upright and out of the ditch, I met two more riders - on F650GS's, I think - who thought they might be able to make it to Deadhorse. But the way they had those bikes loaded down, and the fact that they had yet to get a firsthand look at the wet road around 11 mile (that had truckers commenting on how slippery it was), I have my doubts that they will go much past the Arctic Circle. Weather for the last 80 miles into Deadhorse has been basically a howling blizzard with strong winds and drifting snow. Highs have been around 25 with lows around 5 above.

But in a couple of weeks...

Oh yeah... in case anyone may have thought I lost my marbles and rode up there... Okay, I have lost my marbles, but that happened long ago - I emptied out one of my vans, built a bunk against the side, and towed the KLR up there on a snowmachine trailer. Unloaded it next to the Wiseman turnoff and played on the Haul Road for a bit. Still have a little tweaking to do on the suspension before it can be pronounced "Haul Road Ready", but it's coming closer. I'm here to tell you - the Haul Road is a lot more fun on a bike than in a van!
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:16 PM   #2
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Hey no Haul Road winter trip is complete without pics. I will help you out.
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:18 PM   #3
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:14 PM   #4
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Blowing 15 and we had about 6" of fresh snow this morning in dead horse.

Glad i flew home!!
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKBMW
Blowing 15 and we had about 6" of fresh snow this morning in dead horse.

Glad i flew home!!
Pissing fookin' rain all day here in Juneau.

Wish I was somewhere else!!!
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Spicy McHaggis
Pissing fookin' rain all day here in Juneau.

Wish I was somewhere else!!!
Yup, might as well sell that TW and get out of Dodge. 39 degrees this morning in the Valley and blowing like hell all day. AAAARRRRRGGGGGGG
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spicy McHaggis
Wish I was somewhere else!!!
Reminds me of the bathroom witticism I was reading at Coldfoot - "I sit here wishing I was where I was when I was wishing I was here".

Careful what you wish for.
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:23 PM   #8
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At least my day was better than this driver's -


Driver was unhurt. Looked like a very low speed drop off and roll over, like the truck decided to take a nap.
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Old 05-15-2008, 02:16 AM   #9
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That doesn't look good on a resume.
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:58 AM   #10
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I road the Dalton last year and it was the most fun I have had on the BMW yet! I can't wait to hit it this year.. Sure am have a time getting the Calcium crap off my pipes. Any ideas out there.
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by AKBMW
Sure am have a time getting the Calcium crap off my pipes. Any ideas out there.
Just add another coat over that one. It'll be easy -
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:20 PM   #12
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Thumbs down

Driver was probably talking on the cell phone... or maybe he took a nap...or maybe he was swerving at a moto???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcan Rider
At least my day was better than this driver's -


Driver was unhurt. Looked like a very low speed drop off and roll over, like the truck decided to take a nap.
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcan Rider
Reminds me of the bathroom witticism I was reading at Coldfoot - "I sit here wishing I was where I was when I was wishing I was here".

Careful what you wish for.
Unfortunately for me, Uncle Sam tells me where I'm gonna live...every 2-4 years...
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:31 PM   #14
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Haul Road

I know what you mean about the mud up there. I took a ride up the arctic circle this past sunday (May11) and everything was pretty smooth on the way up. On the way back south however, the road crews must have hired a fire service plane to drop 1000000 gallons of water on the road for about 8 miles. Didnt drop her once though, knock knock. Memorial day weekend Me and some friends will be riding to Deadhorse. Your free to join us if you wish. Laters
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:29 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Squoose
I know what you mean about the mud up there. I took a ride up the arctic circle this past sunday (May11) and everything was pretty smooth on the way up. On the way back south however, the road crews must have hired a fire service plane to drop 1000000 gallons of water on the road for about 8 miles. Didnt drop her once though, knock knock. Memorial day weekend Me and some friends will be riding to Deadhorse. Your free to join us if you wish. Laters
Must have just missed you. I was fueling up at the Fred Meyer off the Steese at 1:30 PM on Sunday. Bet we passed along the Elliott - I met several riders in that stretch.

Talked to a driver of one of those DOT tankers - they're working 6 - 11's and 1 - 9 every week, week on, week off, with alternating crews. He said last year they averaged around 13 hours a day though, and with the work they have to do this year it will be more of the same. Shouldn't be any DOT crews on the road after about 8:30 PM, but it takes a while for that mud to dry up. They'll be redoing a lot of the high float from Mile 90 up to Coldfoot, and putting high float on top of the D1 up around Galbraith Lake. Sounds like quite a bit of construction will be going on this summer.

Going to try to get up to Deadhorse over the Memorial Day weekend, but don't have any idea yet which bike, or what sort of schedule I'll be on. Like to see if the old Suzuki has one more trip in it - that would make it 4 for that one. Not bad for a 1982 street bike.
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I'm so old I remember when the gallons rose faster than the dollars on gas pumps.
The Lure of the Dalton, The Lure of the Dempster, Haul Road Chronicles, My Evening Rides, Alaska Primer
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