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Old 07-31-2009, 02:10 AM   #31
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Location: Anchorage, Alaska
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What a ride!

Great write-up and wonderful photos!

Thank you for sharing.

Have fun, Mark H.
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:34 PM   #32
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Day 14: Prince George, BC, to Skihist Provincial Park, BC, via Pavilion, BC ark,+Lytton&hl=en&geocode=%3BFUbqCQMd8bi9-A%3B%3BCQZ_S4-IYL8uFUrS_gIdRubB-CEDd26m7Magcg&mra=pe&mrcr=1&via=1&sll=52.156214,-122.248256&sspn=6.835556,19.709473&ie=UTF8&ll=52.079506,-122.036133&spn=6.847953,19.709473&z=6

Overnight, the rain drummed on our tents, and I groggily braced myself to pick up camp in the pouring rain in the morning. When sunrise came, the rain had passed, and we instead only had to deal with wet tents. I'll take wet tents anyday over picking up camp in the rain. After a wonderful free shower, we were back on the road. We were getting back into ranch country. Folks once again populated the land.

We carried on through Williams Lake,

and as we neared 100 Mile house, I caught up to this guy on (I think) a DR650. He had an ADV sticker on his helmet and was carrying not much gear. Maybe he'll see this report and fill me in on his goings-on that day.

We made it to Clinton for lunch after a coffee stop in McLeese Lake, where Dad had given a rider of an older Harley a liter of fuel. The rider had thought that there was fuel in McLeese Lake, and had put himself in a predicament when he realized there was none. This was the second time the Deerslayer DRZ had come to the rescue for fuel-starved bikes.

Anyway, in Clinton, we stopped at the Cordial Restaurant once more. This time, it was packed, hot, and slightly miserable. I was sick of the long, straight road we'd just come off, had some words with Dad, and was generally an outright bastard for the entire stop.

Since we were so early on our day's plans, I suggested to take the stretch of road over the mountain to Pavilion, which would get us off the beaten track a bit, out of the traffic, and into some nice area. It didn't take much convincing to persuade Dad.

You know you're more remote when the bales turn from round to square.

We stopped at the lake halfway through, dipped our toes in, and had a nice, relaxing moment.

Once we got south of the lake, the road turned to gravel, and we climbed into the mountains,

over rangeland,

and dropped into the next valley.

When we made it back to pavement and the highway that would lead us to Lillooet, I realized that I'd broken my fairing subframe again. It was a Friday afternoon, getting on in the day, and we hoped that we'd be able to find a welder in Lillooet to do a patch job so our more challenging offroading tomorrow could still be a possibility.

It was baking hot, we carried through town, and got to the end of the main road, only to find a machining/welding/fabricating shop. We pulled in, explained our situation, and they got me to pull the ol' KLR into the shade.

I popped off the fairing, and the welder got to work.

Turns out the welder as well as the other guy helping us both ride KTM 525EXCs around the Lillooet area. They were more than happy to help some fellow dualsporters and we shared stories of our trip while they recalled the phenomenal dualsport trails that they had in the area. It was a good time, the welder did an excellent job, and soon enough, we were back on our way. (He charged me less than the minimum shop charge, which I thought was really decent of him.)

We pushed on to Lytton, fueled up, and sought out camping. I was in "let's find camping" mode, while Dad wanted to give a quick call to Mom. For the second time today, I turned into a real jackass, thinking that finding camping was a higher priority. I know this pissed Dad off, and once we got settled at the campsite, we had a long talk.

I don't know what it was exactly, whether it was the intense heat, the day spent riding, or the fact that the trip was almost over, but I came unglued. The tears started flowing, and I just felt horrible about how poorly I'd treated my Dad over the past days. We talked through our trip, my reactions to my Dad's plans, and his experiences with treating his Dad in the same manner as I'd been treating him. Once more, I gained a ton of respect for my father, admiring the restraint he showed towards me rather than chewing me out. In all, this trip taught me a ton about myself, my Dad, and our relationship, and this talk at Skihist will always be remembered. It wasn't a pleasant conversation, but it was necessary.

As Dad made supper for himself, I ended up sleeping for an hour or so. I was fried.

When night came in, we smoked Colts, drank some whiskey, and admired the sunset.

At our campsite, when the sun went down, a couple of these beetle-lookin' things visited us. They were huge, with monstrous antennae. I was a bit disconcerted by them.

In any case, the darkness brought sleep, the sky was clear, and we were promised no precipitation. I left my fly off and drifted away from wakefulness as the stars watched.

Final mileage, July 10th.

It would end tomorrow. We hadn't many miles to go, but we wanted to take the scenic route home. I was just hoping I wouldn't drop the ol' bike and wreck something so close to home.
Two wheels and half a brain. <- BC to ON and back: KLR650 <- Inuvik 09: KLR650 and DRZ chronicle <- 3 months of moto fantasticity
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:02 PM   #33
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Day 15: Lytton, BC, to Agassiz, BC, via Nahatlatch Kookopi Creek FSR

(No map today. Google maps don't show roads where we headed.)

The morning was dry as promised. We cooked up our last road breakfast, packed up our gear, and prepped the bikes one last time before home. I think we were both pretty excited about getting home, although it was sad to think that our epic voyage was at a close. At least we'd go out in style. I hadn't done this route since last summer when I was a fair n00b, and was really interested to see if my skills had developed enough to get me over without dumping my fully loaded bike.

Dad took the lead back to Lytton.

We found a payphone and left one final message: "Momma, we's comin' home!"

We dropped back down by the Fraser and waited for the ferry to make its way across. This ferry is remarkable. No motor whatsoever. It propels itself simply by carrying its way on an angle across the river. Very cool.

After a peaceful ferry ride, we headed south down the west side of the Fraser, along the Nahatlatch powerline route. It gets steep and rocky in sections, and although I stayed upright, it was a bit of a challenge at times. (Of course, nobody takes pictures of the rough stuff.)

The scenery was excellent and it was nice to be able to take our time.

We made it to one fork which I could've sworn would take us over the mountain to Harrison Lake.

I was wrong, but at least it meant more dirt miles.

If you find tall grass, you're not on the right road.

Had another encounter with a grouse. They sure are dumb creatures.

Although this road was nice, it sure was the wrong one.

We'll have to explore it more on another occasion.

Anyway, we got ourselves figgered out, got on the Kookopi Creek FSR, and carried our way over the mountains. The road had the distinct color that we both knew. It was so white, last time we rode it, it looked like snow.

As I crested a rise, I saw ahead of me a deer and her fawn. I slammed on the brakes and popped out the camera, hoping to get a shot before they vanished.

Not terrible, I thought.

Onward and forward we carried, down the other side. It was steep going down as well, and there were plenty of rocks to keep one occupied.

We made it to the bridge, not far off East Harrison FSR. It wasn't far now and the traffic was still nonexistent.

We made it onto East Harrison FSR, and the dust started kicking up. As we neared Cogburn Creek lumber camp, the road was filled with weekend yahoos from the city. I stopped to talk to Dad about what our plans were for lunch, and he said something about the f---ing dust, not wanting to stop anymore, and that we'd just meet at home. What a way to end a trip, encased in city folk, dust, and frustration. We got into Harrison Hot Springs which was overrun with Arts Festival traffic, slunk our way through the madness, and got home lickety split.

It was over.

A touch under 9K Km in 15 days.

We ate our "road lunch" at the kitchen table and spent the afternoon sorting through gear and cleaning bikes.

Our celebratory meal came at supper time where we went to a nice restaurant in town, rehashed our travels over a beer, and enjoyed being clean and off the bikes.

Final mileage, July 11th:

Toldja it was a short day.

There were no plans for the next day. The trip was done. The thinking, the planning, the sleepless nights, and the worrying, were all in the past. The memories were still being processed in a haze of elation and sadness. Heck, it's more than two weeks later and I'm still trying to figure out the entire trip. All's I know is, as with most of these trips, I'm changed in my understanding of who I am, who my Dad is, and, well, really, how small we are in the big scheme of things.

If anything, this trip has only fueled the fire for more trips, more challenges, and perhaps some language barriers to really put me out of my element. I'm also looking for a way to give back a bit more: riding is inherently selfish. For me, it feels wrong to take so much, be it in scenery, experience, or generosity, without giving something back in return. We'll see what comes of that.

I'll probably do a bit more of a summary later. Comments and questions are more than welcome.

Two wheels and half a brain. <- BC to ON and back: KLR650 <- Inuvik 09: KLR650 and DRZ chronicle <- 3 months of moto fantasticity
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Old 07-31-2009, 10:20 PM   #34
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Great trip report.

Thanks for taking us along with you guy.
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Old 08-01-2009, 03:36 AM   #35
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Thumb Great RR

Many thanks for taking the time to get this up for us to read and I enjoyed all of it.

Thumbs up to your Dad as well, you both "done good" getting there and back.

Take care out there and looking forward to your next RR.

"Enough Robert Pirsig-esque philosophizing. My bike didn’t need maintanenece and my Zen was around the next corner. Time to ride." Sly-on-2
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Old 08-01-2009, 06:51 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Hamon
Day 15: Lytton, BC, to Agassiz, BC, via Nahatlatch Kookopi Creek FSR

It was over.
....................All's I know is, as with most of these trips, I'm changed in my understanding of who I am, who my Dad is, and, well, really, how small we are in the big scheme of things.

Epic story!

Thanks so much for taking the time to bring us along I really enjoyed the story and photos.

Props to you for sharing some of the stuff that's not always easy to share. Your Dad sounds like one of the good ones.
You can't talk to these people in fear
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Old 08-03-2009, 03:58 PM   #37
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Location: BC, Canada
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The question of mods/gear has been asked by some folks. I'm going to try to go through everything I've done to the bike and everything I brought with me as well, but it's going to take some doin'.



-Britannia Composites XS Twin fairing: the amount of light and wind protection that this fairing gives are exceptional. For an "adventure touring" bike, this fairing is a good addition, especially if at all riding at night. If there is more "adventure" than "touring" in mind, a person might want to consider either the Phoenix from Britannia Composites, or another fairing. The reason I mention this is because the fairing is attached to the KLR's fairing subframe, which is constructed out of fairly weak tubing. It's not meant for as much flex&wiggle as the XS Twin dishes out on rough roads, and is prone to failure. I think I've had the subframe fail on my bike in the neighborhood of 5 times. It's tough to patch it up when you're welding onto crappy tubing. Would I buy an XS Twin again? I don't know. I might consider the Phoenix or maybe even go to a stock fairing with an upgraded headlight. I just ride too hard for the subframe to put up with. I kinda feel bad when I see the fairing jiggling around, knowing that I'll probably break the fairing subframe again.

-Alaska Leather dualsport sheepskin buttpad: Yes, oh yes, gimme some sheepy lovin'. 90% of the riders we met in Inuvik had some sort of sheep carcass draped over their seat, for good reason. These things work. That was all the seat modification I needed to allow for long days in the saddle. Stock seat and sheepskin = happy arse.

-Acerbis Multiplo handguards: Coupled with heated grips, these keep one's hands comfortable. My Dad had some low-profile handguards on his, and for the brief times I rode his bike, I noticed how much more air was hitting my hands. The guards have saved my levers numerous times, and would be an immediate purchase if I were to do it over.

-3" PVC tool tube: I like it. Not too obtrusive, I left it long enough to use as highway pegs, and it would be a mod I'd do again.

-Happy Trails skid plate: I've put a dent or two into it, so it's doing its job. Definitely helped in the log crossing episode.

-Rear master cylinder guard: I would definitely put it on again, especially for the price (Thanks Greg!)

-Eagle Mike subframe upgrade (drill-through): I didn't have any breakage issues before the upgrade, and I didn't have any with the upgrade either. I would probably do it again just in case, but I'm not sold on the necessity of this mod.


-Caribou Cases: These things kick all kinds of arse everywhere. I love 'em, and would suggest them for any applicable bike. I've dropped the bike, fully loaded, on them on several occasions, and although they've gotten scuffed, the Pelican cases have faired well and the Caribou rack system has not shown any signs of failure other than a bit o' paint flaking and a bit o' rust showing. The racks also aid in crash protection when the cases are off, as discovered in a curb-hopping expedition gone wrong (but that's another story). Would I buy them again? Abso-freaking-lutely

-Wolfman Enduro tank bag: holds: .6L water bottle, half a dozen granola bars, camera with 6 extra AA batteries, a medium sized bottle of sunscreen, a small bottle of bug spray, a small notebook, pen, earplugs, and random receipts. I like the size; it lets me stand and be comfortable standing (other than the odd bump that sends the bag directly into the boys) and it holds enough to make it useful for me. I'd buy it again. Very well built too!

-Fieldsheer Expander Tailbag: Not nearly as well-built as the Wolfman products, but it hasn't failed me yet after about a year's use. It can hold a ton of stuff, especially when expanded, and can fit a helmet for those times that I'd like to pick up a pillion. I'd probably buy it again if I wanted it as a top-case style top bag. I'm considering getting something a bit more compact (Wolfman Wolf Tail) for dualsporting as the Expander is just too big and bulky.

-Drybags: I'm using the Coghlan's bags, which are in fact waterproof. Drybags (including ziplocs) are the motorcyclist's secret weapon.


-Odyssey 545 dry cell battery: I only put it on a week prior to the trip, but so far, it's been super duper. My stock battery started puking, so it was time for a new one, and I figured I might as well go with the best if I want it to work. It's not failed me. (It also helps to ride a lot.)

-Heated grips (Enduro Engineering resistor type as opposed to dual coil Symtec system): I loooooove heated grips. They make my hands happy, and in turn, keep me from cursing the world. This will be the first (other than maybe luggage) addition I would put on ANY bike I purchase in the future. I would like to try out the Smytec ones next round, as I wasn't impressed with the amount of heat these grips offer when it gets really cold and rainy.

-GPS (Garmin 76csx): I'm new when it comes to the GPS thing, but it worked well for what I wanted it for: to keep tracks, to give daily stats, and keep an overall trip odometer. I would buy it again, although I might consider the 60csx just due to the fact that the floating ability isn't really too necessary for me.

-Sidestand safety bypass: this happened after the trip actually. I only bypassed it because it stopped working. Simple enough to do with a good knife (Shameless promo: I hear House of Knives in BC carries good knives) and a Phillips screwdriver. Heck, if you had a multitool, you wouldn't need the other two tools.


-Eagle Mike doohickey & torsion spring: It definitely sounds better than prior to the torsion spring addition, although I wonder if I may be causing premature wear to the chain, since it sure whines after an adjustment. Maybe (like some KLR riders: yes there are some out there like this) I'm just overanalyzing the situation. I'd do it again, solely due to peer pressure, well, maybe that and for "just in case."

-Thermo-bob: It keeps the temperature higher when it's cold out, which I think is probably good for the engine. It doesn't seem to overheat the engine either when it's really hot out and I'm stressing the engine. I think I'd do it again.


-Progressive fork springs: These I find to be a bit stiff. I've got Ricor Intiminators which aren't installed yet, and I'm probably going to be taking some preload off when I do so. Would I buy them again? At this point, I don't think I would; I'd research further. They had a good deal on 'em at Avicious cycle, so, being a KLR rider, I felt obligated to buy them.

-16T front sprocket: I did this soon after I got the bike, and have always stuck with this ratio when I've replaced chain/sprockets. I like it for what I use the bike for, although it gets to be a bear in the woods. I would and will do it again.

-Front tire*: Continental TKC80: I put it on just before the trip, and still have it on the bike after nearly 11K Km. I didn't balance it, which leaves me with a poorly worn tire, being heavier and less worn on one side than the other. It's kind of pogo-sticky now, but still works as a tire. It corners extremely well for a knobby (I've touched pegs unloaded) and handles dirt capably, at least for a 50-50 tire. I'd buy one again, and have a half-worn one in the mail to me now 'cause I like 'em.

-Rear tire*: Mefo Explorer 99: Once again, put on just before the trip. It too is still on the bike. I like the tire, have always had it aired up pretty high, and thought it handled the trip well. I'm not altogether that impressed with the traction offroad with it, but that could be due to high tire pressure as well. Would I buy it again? Probably not. The prices have gone up far too high on these tires, which puts them out of my consideration. They're good tires, just not worth the price these days (IMO).

*Tires: I changed out half-worn tires before the trip and put on new tires so I'd not have to haul tires with me. If I were to do it again, I'd leave the old tires on, wear them out completely on the road up to Whitehorse, and change onto new meat there to tackle the northern roads. There is no reason to waste good new tires on long, straight roads.

That's about it for mods on the bike: you'll note that I've given positive reviews to about everything I put on the bike. This is due to the amount of research and necessity I put into my mods. Very rarely do I buy things on a whim just to put them on the bike. They need to address issues I've had. Because of this, you'll note that I haven't modified:

-Brakes: it stops fine for me. I've never needed more than two fingers in a panic stop, and although I'm sure it would be an improvement over what I have, I've deemed brake improvements to not be a necessity.

-Seat: other than a buttpad, I see no use for a Corbin or other aftermarket seat. If you're considering a seat upgrade, try a sheepskin first. It's a lot cheaper and far more effective. A lot of the riders we talked to had aftermarket seats which didn't do enough good for them, so they went with a buttpad too. Interesting, no?

-Rad protection: this one may bite me in the ass down the road, but I've dropped the bike plenty and haven't crunched anything yet. I am still considering an IMS tank.

-Carb/airbox/exhaust/big bore mods: let's be reasonable here. It's a KLR. If you want performance, you sell your KLR and get something else. I'm happy with my 37 grin-inducing horsepower and will get a different bike if this changes.

So, well, that's my KLR in an overly expanded nutshell. It has a little over 60K Km on it now, still starts up, and runs like a KLR should: lawnmower-like, reliably, terribly, perfectly, sluggishly, deep-down-torquey. I mean, it all depends on who you talk to, right?
Two wheels and half a brain. <- BC to ON and back: KLR650 <- Inuvik 09: KLR650 and DRZ chronicle <- 3 months of moto fantasticity
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:27 AM   #38
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Thanks for sharing your fantastic RR and photos. I've spent the last few hours following the trip and enjoying the scenery. Hope to hit up some of those roads some day soon!
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:11 PM   #39
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Fantastic report, thanks for posting
'09 Buell XB12XT, TL1000S, H1F, M620, CR250R, KX100, XR650R, Cota 315R

Summer 2009 Ride Report
Summer 2008 RR.
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:42 PM   #40
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Great report, enjoyed all facets of it. Props to your Mom and Dad. It's a rare treat to be able do a father and son ride like this.
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:47 PM   #41
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Looks like another successfull adventure Travis and being able to share it with your dad is priceless.
Great RR
The more side roads you stop to explore, the less likely that life will pass you by. ~Robert Brault. 2004 KTM 950 S GO!!!!(Blacked out),03 Beta Rev3, 1973 Rokon Trailbreaker 2x2, 1999 Intruder 1500, 08 Aprilia rxv450, 90 DRBIG 800,79GS850
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:24 PM   #42
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If my POS BMW hadnt shit out a rear bearing at Liard hotsprings we would have seen you 2 on the Dempster and probably several other times. We covered more areas of Alaska because we had more time but the dates were the same. Many similarities too like the campground in Skagway, we werent so nice and just left. I can only put so much efffort into trying to give people my money. The grumpy Bastard in Dease Lake is always that way. I've had 2 different dealings with him.
I liked the parts about you and your Dad not getting along at times. Thats real world stuff and happens to us all.
Great ride report, one day i'll have to get off my ass and contribute.
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Old 06-18-2010, 08:50 AM   #43
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In case you are curious thate creepy looking beetle is called a Spruce Beetle. They are attracted to the chemical that shows up in burnt wood as well as oil. They are in the oilsands by the hundreds depending what site you are one.

They bite...hard.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:15 AM   #44
Burnin' fossil fuels!
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Just read through this. Great report! About 8 years ago, my son and I did the Trans Lab on a couple of old KLR's. It's pretty special from the old man's point of view as well.
“Twenty years from now you may be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.” ~Mark Twain
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:25 AM   #45
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Wish our attempt up North had that blue sky thing!!!!

Your ride report helped us plan our 2014 trip... thanks
Don't blame me for this mess I voted for McCain

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