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Old 10-10-2008, 04:40 PM   #76
motomac
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Obviously, your border weather must have been much better than mine. The wind was blowing so hard going north, I was leaning right in left hand turns and just as vicious going south leaning left turning right. That is scary enough on pavement, but doubly so when on gravel. It didn't rain, but there was a huge thunderhead hanging just west of the road. I'm on the road in NC so I'll post a picture when I get home.
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:35 PM   #77
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More Inuvik

That evening a group of about 5 youngsters from Europe were camping in the same campground. They were nice kids, although Hecktoglider spoke to them more than I did, but there was one thing that really stood out. These kids were probably around 22, 23, and a couple of the girls weren’t exactly hard to look at. Somewhere along the line they’d had a 50-something yr old from southern California attach himself to their group, and this guy simply wouldn’t shut up. Kari and I were setting up our stuff beside them and pretty much keeping to ourselves, but I couldn’t help but listen to this guy, who – it seemed – knew everything there was to know about everything under the sun. He wasn’t overtly arrogant, but any subject any of these girls began to speak about, he was the world expert. And he wouldn’t shut up, the others could hardly get a word in edgeways. I still don’t know whether or not he was hitting on any of the girls, but I did begin to wonder about going over there and seeing whether anyone needed ‘rescuing’. I didn’t, but, later when they’d all gone somewhere and been away about an hour I happened to go to the laundry room, and there he was, still yapping away to one of the girls, who by this time I felt truly sorry for.
His name was Peter and he seemed harmless enough, just very, very annoying. The following day all the youngsters had gone and Peter was there alone. This time Kari and I got to talking to him, and found out that he was making his third attempt to walk to Paulatuk, NWT from heaven knows where. He’d failed before due to running out of food, but had left various stashes along the route and with the help of all the extra he’d bought with him, was hoping to make it this time. Any community in the north that you mentioned, no matter how small or remote, he’d tell anything you wanted to know about it – he just knew it all. Sachs Harbour? Oh yeah, when I….. Wha’ Ti? Well, I knew this guy…. Yeah, whatever. The dude lives in Southern California, and when I happened to mention that I was from Yellowknife, all he said was, “oh”. Me thinks he didn’t want to be called on his bullshit banter, but I dunno. I guarantee that if I’d asked him about Yellowknife, pretending to know nothing, he’d have prattled on for several minutes. Strange guy. I didn’t dislike him, I just think he was full of shit.

That night I slept much more soundly, and was well rested the following day, appreciating the decision we’d made to stay the extra 24 hrs. I met several local bikers that day: George, Dave (ADV username ve8nc) and Leonard. Also ran into RVinGS’R, also known as Bill from (Florida and) Montana. Mid afternoon Dave from Juneau rode up; can’t remember what his username was then, but now he’s known as JuneauDave. Get your mind around that one if you can! I had already spoken to my friend Eli about getting together for a wiener roast at our campground that evening, and Eli was going to bring a couple of friends along. I also invited all the bikers I’d met that, wherever they were from, and we spent some time in the afternoon preparing for that (had to chill the Champagne, ready the caviar for hors d’oeuvres etc) .
In the middle of the afternoon, 13 seniors showed up…on bicycles! They’re a posse of hardcore (push) bikers from all over N.America, and had taken 14 days to bicycle the Dempster, which I know I couldn’t do in a million years and I’m only 37. They were all between 55 and 77 yrs old. Very, very impressive and also extremely good people. I felt a little awkward going around telling them that there was going to be a ‘party’ in the campground that evening, but we were very quiet and they were very cool. Everyone was happy. It wasn’t too late that we all said our goodbyes- Kari, Dave and I planned on leaving mid morning the following day.

Perhaps I should have saved this one for the 'Yellowknife Ice Trucking' thread.



This guy was just sitting on the mud on the side of the river. Looked as though it hadn't seen service in many years.







L-R: RVinGS'R, Myself, Hecktoglider, JuneauDave

Weiner roast



Seniors cyclists at the campground



Eli and JuneauDave



Hecktoglider and Phil (friend of Eli's)



The can on the left is mine, dented from when I dropped the bike on the way up here. On the right is Heckto's, I think also dented from a bike-dropping incident, but I can't remember details.


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Old 10-12-2008, 10:59 PM   #78
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What gorgeous country. And an adventure!

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Old 10-13-2008, 06:45 AM   #79
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I've been wondering about that boat on the side of the river ever since watching the second season of Ice Road Truckers.

Nice RR Squonker....keep it comin....
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:39 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motomac
Obviously, your border weather must have been much better than mine. The wind was blowing so hard going north, I was leaning right in left hand turns and just as vicious going south leaning left turning right. That is scary enough on pavement, but doubly so when on gravel. It didn't rain, but there was a huge thunderhead hanging just west of the road. I'm on the road in NC so I'll post a picture when I get home.
Hey bud, I'd forgotten about the wind. It sounds as though you had it worse than us, but I do remember having to lean the wrong way in turns a few times to stay upright, and as you say, on gravel that ain't much fun! Looking forward to seeing your pics. Cheers.
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:43 AM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klay
What gorgeous country. And an adventure!

Thanks Klay, there's plenty more gorgeous country to come as I make my way down to southern B.C. Stay tuned!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary
I've been wondering about that boat on the side of the river ever since watching the second season of Ice Road Truckers.

Nice RR Squonker....keep it comin....
Cool that you get to see the boat in the show, too. I'm not going to be in one place long enough until January to make it worth my while ordering the second series on DVD, and by the time it comes I'll be back on the ice roads myself, so this coming (real life) season will be over before I get to watch last (TV land) season's antics. No biggie.

Thanks for the kind words! I'd love to be able to spend more time on the writing aspect of this report...kinda busy right now, though.
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:34 PM   #82
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Here's the little weather cell that greeted me to the border!!! And when noone is with you it is even a bit more intimidating!!!
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Old 10-13-2008, 08:38 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motomac
Here's the little weather cell that greeted me to the border!!! And when noone is with you it is even a bit more intimidating!!!
Yeah, I can see that being rather scary! We didn't have it that bad - might have been windy but the skies were pure blue...beautiful weather (heading north, anyway).





So the next morning, a Monday June 16th, JuneauDave, Hecktoglider and I left. While we were packing up in the morning I wanted to put a little more air in a tire and, it being maybe only 7.30am or so, I asked one of the senior cyclists if they'd mind if I fired up my bike for a minute or two. He said that a few of them were still asleep, so would I mind waiting? No problem - I carried on with my packing, and about 5 minutes later the same guy came back and said that I could probably go ahead now. I did so, and 10 minutes after I'd finished one of the other cyclists who had overheard me ask told me that it was ok to do go ahead now. I told him I'd already done it, and he was very surprised that he hadn't heard the bike - I think he was expecting the full on HD roar.

Me somewhere along the route


As I've already mentioned, the road on the northen half of the Dempster is deep gravel, and this particular day they seemed to be doing a great deal of work on it. There were three places where the crews were out with their graders, and these were particularly tough. Dave and I both had a lot of trouble, whereas Kari seemed to be completely unaffected by it all. At one point just outside Inuvik there were belly-dumps putting more gravel on the road, and each time they dumped a load there'd be a massive cloud of dust that you couldn't see through, and riding in that was a little hairy to say the least. One of them decided to dump when it was alongside Dave, and he said all he saw was a dust cloud with boulders flying out of it at him - yikes! There was another spot where they were grading on a hill, and not only was the gravel thick, it was also very wet. Dave was ahead of me and I had purposely slowed right down as we approached because there was a works vehicle on the hill going very slowly, and ideally I wanted to be able to wait until it had gone from the hill, or at least keep moving at a decent speed. I still had to stop half way up when I just ran out of steam, and as I'm sitting there mentally preparing myself to start off again, a guy is waving me on like he can't for the life of him see a problem. Dave had it even worse - they'd told him to go up right behind the works truck, and it had been moving slowly enough to make his climb particularly unenjoyable. There was another section where Dave and I were both struggling to keep the bikes upright and Kari rode past with one hand on his bars, using the other to take our photos!



JuneauDave on one of the ferry crossings








I wrote in my journal that it hadn't taken us long to get back to Eagle Plains, but it hadn't been a very enjoyable ride just because of the road conditions. I also noted that the bugs at Eagle Plains that night were particularly bad.

On the way we'd taken a slight detour on one of the ferry crossings, and gone to investigate Tsiighetchic, a very pretty (but very small) community. For those of you that have trouble with first nations languages, Tsiighetchic is pronounced, 'Tsiighetchic'








Ok ok, it's pronounced, phonetically, sig-arh-chick
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:55 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squonker
Yeah, I can see that being rather scary! We didn't have it that bad - might have been windy but the skies were pure blue...beautiful weather (heading north, anyway).





So the next morning, a Monday June 16th, JuneauDave, Hecktoglider and I left. While we were packing up in the morning I wanted to put a little more air in a tire and, it being maybe only 7.30am or so, I asked one of the senior cyclists if they'd mind if I fired up my bike for a minute or two. He said that a few of them were still asleep, so would I mind waiting? No problem - I carried on with my packing, and about 5 minutes later the same guy came back and said that I could probably go ahead now. I did so, and 10 minutes after I'd finished one of the other cyclists who had overheard me ask told me that it was ok to do go ahead now. I told him I'd already done it, and he was very surprised that he hadn't heard the bike - I think he was expecting the full on HD roar.

Me somewhere along the route


As I've already mentioned, the road on the northen half of the Dempster is deep gravel, and this particular day they seemed to be doing a great deal of work on it. There were three places where the crews were out with their graders, and these were particularly tough. Dave and I both had a lot of trouble, whereas Kari seemed to be completely unaffected by it all. At one point just outside Inuvik there were belly-dumps putting more gravel on the road, and each time they dumped a load there'd be a massive cloud of dust that you couldn't see through, and riding in that was a little hairy to say the least. One of them decided to dump when it was alongside Dave, and he said all he saw was a dust cloud with boulders flying out of it at him - yikes! There was another spot where they were grading on a hill, and not only was the gravel thick, it was also very wet. Dave was ahead of me and I had purposely slowed right down as we approached because there was a works vehicle on the hill going very slowly, and ideally I wanted to be able to wait until it had gone from the hill, or at least keep moving at a decent speed. I still had to stop half way up when I just ran out of steam, and as I'm sitting there mentally preparing myself to start off again, a guy is waving me on like he can't for the life of him see a problem. Dave had it even worse - they'd told him to go up right behind the works truck, and it had been moving slowly enough to make his climb particularly unenjoyable. There was another section where Dave and I were both struggling to keep the bikes upright and Kari rode past with one hand on his bars, using the other to take our photos!



JuneauDave on one of the ferry crossings








I wrote in my journal that it hadn't taken us long to get back to Eagle Plains, but it hadn't been a very enjoyable ride just because of the road conditions. I also noted that the bugs at Eagle Plains that night were particularly bad.

On the way we'd taken a slight detour on one of the ferry crossings, and gone to investigate Tsiighetchic, a very pretty (but very small) community. For those of you that have trouble with first nations languages, Tsiighetchic is pronounced, 'Tsiighetchic'








Ok ok, it's pronounced, phonetically, sig-arh-chick
Great Thread! All the photo's take me back to all of the adventures that I have had in the north. I see the 3-way ferry is still looking good. I actually did work in the water treatment plant in Tsiigehtchic, the hospital in Inuvik, and the RCMP station in Dawson city. The dempster is an interesting road, great when dry but a bit#$ when its raining. Was there any good times to be had at the Trapper in Inuvik? I think that's what the old watering hole was called. Anyway keep up the great thread.

Moose!
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:57 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by moosesp
Great Thread! All the photo's take me back to all of the adventures that I have had in the north. I see the 3-way ferry is still looking good. I actually did work in the water treatment plant in Tsiigehtchic, the hospital in Inuvik, and the RCMP station in Dawson city. The dempster is an interesting road, great when dry but a bit#$ when its raining. Was there any good times to be had at the Trapper in Inuvik? I think that's what the old watering hole was called. Anyway keep up the great thread.

Moose!
Thanks Moosesp! You're clearly a man who knows his way around the north...

Heckto and I did go to a bar in Inuvik, but I'm not sure what it was called. There was a great band playing - the bass player was kinda shy and had his thing turned way down, also a very timid singer, but the lead singer/lead guitar guy and the drummer were great, very strong. Thanks for posting! I hope this brings back some happy memories!

Here are Heckto (Monkey Man) and Dave at Eagle Plains


I forgot to tell a short story about when the three of us had stopped at the NWT/Yukon border on the way south. Heckto noticed my VFS (Very Functional Stick - see earlier post) and the conversation went something like this:

Heckto: Yours is much bigger than mine
Me: I heard that
Heckto gives me a sideways glance
Heckto: And yours is much thicker, too - mine's just a thin one
Me: I heard that too
Heckto: Fuck off!





Also, just as Heckto and I had passed the rig on its roof in the ditch only a couple of hours after it had happened, the three of us came back up on it just as they had finished righting it.





More Dempster shots









Here's a great shot of JuneauDave


I think this is the NWT/Yukon border
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:44 AM   #86
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[quote=Mercenary]I've been wondering about that boat on the side of the river ever since watching the second season of Ice Road Truckers.

GSI Mariner was a siesmic "gun" boat in the late 70's -she was caught down the river per se and didn't make the dry dock ice ripped her guts out, she was pulled on shore, pumped dry and left on the shore as you see her -- a testament to " don't f-k with the arctic, it bites back".
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:53 AM   #87
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Laugh

Cool...getting to the good stuff now...!!!

(Good stuff as in I make my appearance in this RR )
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:48 AM   #88
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[quote=darrel632]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary
I've been wondering about that boat on the side of the river ever since watching the second season of Ice Road Truckers.

GSI Mariner was a siesmic "gun" boat in the late 70's -she was caught down the river per se and didn't make the dry dock ice ripped her guts out, she was pulled on shore, pumped dry and left on the shore as you see her -- a testament to " don't f-k with the arctic, it bites back".
Thanks darrel632 - good to know!
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Old 10-14-2008, 12:03 PM   #89
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Cool...getting to the good stuff now...!!!

(Good stuff as in I make my appearance in this RR )
Ooh lordy, I'd been putting it off for as long as possible but yes he's right, legendary fuckengruver himself Spicy McHaggis is indeed about to brighten up this sorry thread just by his virtue of being in it . Until now all has been peaceful and smooth - all we need is for someone to throw a wrench, or a Ural GearUp, into the works! Enter Spicy....





Yep, since we'd begun our journey south, Dave had been saying that he knew Spicy and that we were expecting to meet him coming the other way at some stage on our return journey. How would we know it was him? Well, we did see a fair number of bikes heading north (didn't manage to get any ADV usernames, though), but to date we'd seen not one single Ural with a hack. That would be our clue that a certain Mr. McHaggis was in the vicinity (that and the hordes of screaming females running after him wanting a ride in the side car ). But we hadn't run across him yet, and in the meantime...

...I had arranged to meet some Columbian friends of mine here in a secluded sot. They flew in to collect some packages of white powder I'd been carrying for them...they never told me what it was all about but I'm sure it was entirely innocent...

When I asked them to pose in this photo they suddenly pointed their machine guns at me and said some very unfriendly things. Oh, my dear Columbian friends - always so temperamental .





I also forgot to post these pics of the upside truck having been transported to Eagle Plains.








I think it looked far worse while it was upside down, but it must have been pretty scary. As a sideline, I just found out this morning that a guy I drove the ice roads with four seasons ago rolled his truck in Alberta on his way back to Yellowknife last week. Apparently word is that no-one knows how he survived - the seat he was sitting in was destroyed - yet Ronnie himself is unhurt. I haven't spoken to him or seen the truck yet, but I'll call him later in the week.

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Old 10-14-2008, 02:42 PM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squonker
Hey brunstei! I think I know who you are - one of a group of about 5 riders from the lower mainland (or southern BC, anyway) right? You guys got to Bell 11 late and rented a cabin 'cos the bugs were so bad at the tent spots? I think I took down your username, if not your email address, but I haven't opened my notebook since I finished the trip, which would explain my lack of contact...

How was your trip? Man, that Cassiar's a great highway huh? LOTS of Dempster pics to come over the next few days, believe me.

Thanks for posting!
That's me - you can see my RR (complete with a picture of you @ Bell II, through the swarms of bugs!) at http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=355559
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