ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-01-2010, 01:01 PM   #1
Alcan Rider OP
Frozen Fossil
 
Alcan Rider's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2003
Location: Just over the rear wheel
Oddometer: 3,884
HayDee Is No Longer A Virgin -

- after going all the way with Beamertwin. All the way to Prudhoe Bay, that is. And in the process, changing her status from novice to pro. The little pipsqueak er..., gal can ride.

Reminiscent of a bumble bee mating ritual, with the queen flying ever higher, followed by a group of suitors, HayDuchessLives (HayDee) rode ever northward, leaving the males behind as they dropped along the way. First there was AKCharlie, in retribution, perhaps, for his unending ridicule of HayDee's lovely (I ain't taking no chances on the same thing happening to me) DR. Then yer humble scribe turned back about 60 miles from Deadhorse to get more photos at my own leisurely pace. That left Beamertwin, who had zoomed on ahead to see about getting something at the hardware store in Deadhorse to rid his KLR of an electrical gremlin. Thus it came about that HayDee, a Haul Road virgin at the beginning of this trip, rid herself of that ignominius status and joined Beamertwin at the north end of the Haul Road, laying to rest any doubts as to the ability of herself and her DR being up to the task.

Let it be pointed out, however, that as of this moment we only have the word of HayDee and Beamertwin that she actually arrived in Deadhorse. Photographic proof has yet to be presented. But we are confident that will be forthcoming once HayDee returns to her computer.

While the other three rode up the Parks Hwy from Anchorage, this rider enjoyed scenic Isabel Pass with its superior rugged terrain, as evidenced by this shot with Gulkana Glacier in the background -


The weather for the weekend was fantastic, even a bit too warm. The only downside was the amount of smoke from wildfires all across the Interior. The unseasonably hot, dry weather has its negative aspects too. This smoke was from a fire miles to the west of Delta Junction -


But the condition of the Haul Road was the best this rider has ever seen, and contributed to this trip being far from the difficult, hazard-ridden trek it can be at times.

And now, based on the philosophy that he who lies first gets to tell the biggest whoppers, we begin a narrative of this trip, with the laggards having to defend themselves after getting back home. Any pretense that what follows is an unbiased recounting of facts is hereby abandoned and it becomes a matter of every man (or woman) for him/her self.

Meeting at the UAF campus within a few minutes of each other, we got checked in and then HayDee, Beamertwin, and I headed to downtown Fairbanks to the Fudge Pot to pick out something to satisfy anticipated hankering for something sugary and delectable. The other two made the mistake of letting this old codger lead, so we took the scenic route. Intentional, of course, in order to expose HayDee to a little more of Fairbanks. After spending half an hour or so tasting, picking and choosing, and far too much $$, we proceeded to a get-together hosted by Solarmoose and his better half. Thanks to this humble scribe's unerring sense of direction (glad I'm getting to tell this story first) we rode directly to the site - with only one U-turn en route.

There was a good assemblage of riders, with the usual lies, tire-kicking, and admiration of one another's well-farkled steeds. Solarmoose had an enviable collection of two-wheeled vehicles and paraphernalia on display, which we all spent time admiring.








Nothing like having a broad selection of Norton gas tanks - one for every day of the week plus spares.


And how about a couple of spare tires for every bike in the stable, with a few left over -


Thankfully, mosquitoes were busy elsewhere and the group was able to spend a lot of time outside, enjoying sumptuous hamburgers and other goodies along with the summer sunshine and warmth.


All too soon we had to leave and prepare for an early departure Saturday morning. Not that we were traveling all that far, but a good night's sleep was hoped for prior to Sunday's round trip from Wiseman to Deadhorse and back. The four of us took our leave and returned to our rooms at the UAF dorms - where we found it was too hot to get to sleep. Fairbanks, Alaska in May, fercryinoutloud!
__________________
"I am in the prime of senility." Ben Franklin
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
Haul Road Primer

Alcan Rider screwed with this post 06-02-2010 at 10:17 AM
Alcan Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2010, 07:28 PM   #2
ColininKodiak
(not in Kodiak)
 
ColininKodiak's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Tampa Bay Florida
Oddometer: 713


I tried to tell Charlie his sprocket looked a little aged, but he apparently didn't agree. Oh well, glad to see HayDee made it. Wish I could have tagged along. The Beemer made it another 1400 miles after leaving your place without any issues. I almost finished the big loop 4 days later, riding the parks to Cantwell and did a little bit of the west end of the Denali. That tire we put on looks worse than the one we took off now.
__________________
2002 BMW R1150GS Garage Queen
ColininKodiak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2010, 07:43 PM   #3
GB
Mod Squad
 
GB's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto, ON
Oddometer: 55,861

__________________
ADV decals, patches & flag? Here
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2010, 11:49 PM   #4
HayDuchessLives
Loquita
 
HayDuchessLives's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Anchorage
Oddometer: 1,142
Aiyeeeeeee!!!!

Jack - you Goofy Geezer - now I'm embarrassed and will have to head for the hills to hide out for a while.
HayDuchessLives is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2010, 11:53 PM   #5
HayDuchessLives
Loquita
 
HayDuchessLives's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Anchorage
Oddometer: 1,142
P.S. It's a good thing you live so far out of town or I'd be opening up a can of outraged female Whoop Ass on you! And sneaking Tabasco sauce and Ex-Lax into your coffee, since I didn't do that during our fun road trip.
HayDuchessLives is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2010, 12:06 AM   #6
Alcan Rider OP
Frozen Fossil
 
Alcan Rider's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2003
Location: Just over the rear wheel
Oddometer: 3,884
A 7:00 AM departure from Fairbanks Saturday morning had us out at Hilltop Services for breakfast and back on the road northbound by 8:20. With the weather dry and sunny, the temperature rose quickly. The 65-odd miles from Hilltop to the beginning of the Dalton Hwy include some nice tight curves along with ups and downs, along with good, smooth asphalt most of the way, to provide some really great motorcycling. We all enjoyed those miles.

The miles from Mile 0 and the Yukon River were pretty much just sit there, twist that, and it seemed no time at all before we pulled in at the BLM Visitor Center just across the bridge.


HayDee couldn't pass up the chance to dip her feet in the Yukon, although I explained to her that it required peeing in the Yukon to qualify as a real sourdough. Fortunately for the family-friendly nature of this forum she deferred that act to some later date.



Is it any wonder it took three of us guys to keep an eye on this woman and keep her out of trouble?



An obliging hostess got this group photo before we took off across the road for gas.


A yard full of heavy equipment below the Yukon bridge hints at some serious construction about to
take place in the area.




Then HayDee, AKCharlie, and Beamertwin topped off their tanks as a precaution for getting the rest of the way to Coldfoot. Having 10.8 gallons useable aboard removed the necessity of doing the same for the writer's KLR. And away we go again (and yes, she did put her helmet on before we headed out onto the the highway) -


Wanting a photo or two of the bikes descending the south side of Roller Coaster Hill, the writer hurried on ahead to get in position. Photos do not do this hill justice, but seeing the bikes as small specks down toward the bottom helps to illustrate the distance from top to bottom.






Since there was no real need to hurry to Wiseman, a few more stops were planned en route to Coldfoot. First was a viewpoint off Mile 86.6, where a gravel pit high above the highway affords a viewover hundreds of square miles to the south and east.


A few miles farther brought us to the Finger Mountain Wayside. The view back over some of the
miles we had just conquered -


And the ADV salute, assisted by the natural formation in the background -




The next stop was Kanuti River, where once again HayDee had to dabble in the water -



HayDee's sharp eye spotted the potential for this photo, so she gets any credit due it -


Ten more miles and we were at the Arctic Circle sign, where HayDee posed with her "Not Ugly" DR, and with
Beamertwin and AKCharlie (who were not above having a little fun in the background) -



And then, once again, the trek northward continued - until we reached Gobbler's Knob -


The view from the Knob revealed twin columns of smoke from distant fires apparently sparked by lightning a day or so earlier -


The sprawling Pump Station #5 complex in the Jim River valley far below -


The last stop before Coldfoot was Grayling Lake, always a pretty place nestled between the mountains and the highway -


And then it was a final stop at the Interagency Visitor Center in Coldfoot to admire the displays before riding on up to Wiseman where we had accommodations reserved. Sorry to not have any photos from inside the Visitors Center - maybe next time.
__________________
"I am in the prime of senility." Ben Franklin
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
Haul Road Primer
Alcan Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2010, 12:09 AM   #7
Alcan Rider OP
Frozen Fossil
 
Alcan Rider's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2003
Location: Just over the rear wheel
Oddometer: 3,884
Quote:
Originally Posted by HayDuchessLives
Jack - you Goofy Geezer - now I'm embarrassed and will have to head for the hills to hide out for a while.
You? Embarrassed?

Take a look at the photos I've posted since your post.












__________________
"I am in the prime of senility." Ben Franklin
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
Haul Road Primer
Alcan Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2010, 02:05 AM   #8
Mileater
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Mileater's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Oddometer: 379
Thumb Ok!

Jack, it is nice to see you heading up another RR on your favourite piece of turf.

Along for the ride

Cheers
Allan
__________________
"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
Mileater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2010, 06:25 AM   #9
waltwhitman
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2010
Oddometer: 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcan Rider
The weather for the weekend was fantastic, even a bit too warm. The only downside was the amount of smoke from wildfires all across the Interior. The unseasonably hot, dry weather has its negative aspects too. This smoke was from a fire miles to the west of Delta Junction -
incredible
waltwhitman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2010, 01:28 PM   #10
HayDuchessLives
Loquita
 
HayDuchessLives's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Anchorage
Oddometer: 1,142
Thank you!

I would like to thank AlcanRider, Beamertwin and AKCharlie for allowing me to go with them on this extraordinary, challenging adventure, riding through the remote, stunning Alaskan wilderness. I guess they helped me lose my Haul Road “virginity,” according to Jack's ride report. Yikes – it took three of them – no wonder I was so exhausted when I got home.

We were blessed with fun camaraderie and great weather and road conditions, except for the last 25-30 miles going into (and out of) Deadhorse, which was pure misery and I wasn’t sure I would make it. But I persevered and am proud of myself and my trusty DR. I LOVE MY DR!!!

I’m a fairly new rider, buying my bike and learning to ride in the spring of 2008, and I feel fortunate that these experienced riders were such outstanding mentors and willingly shared tips and advice with me. They were good about slowing down their pace, allowing me to push myself and improve my riding skills and increase my confidence in my bike and myself while still “riding within my comfort zone.” It's sure fun hauling ass down the dirt roads at 65-70 mph - going up and down hills - enjoying the ADV Rider version of a rollercoaster! I’m happily continuing my journey to become a more-competent rider and a better riding partner while balancing all my other outdoor activities. I hope I can ride with these guys again someday and share more laughter and awesome rides out in the scenic backcountry. I'll bring more blueberry-banana bread - for sure.

My good-looking (not-ugly) DR and I totally enjoy riding on dirt and getting muddy and are looking forward to future exciting adventures. I think I was born to be an ADV Rider – I just didn’t discover that until I was at a time in my life when I could become one. YEEHAW!!!

Happy trails!

HayDuchessLives is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2010, 09:13 PM   #11
beemer boy
Oh no, he's gone Asian
 
beemer boy's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Chiang Mai , Thailand
Oddometer: 869
Great to see pictures of the northern part of Alaska. I spent all my time in in the bush of western Alaska, so never got up that way. Great looking 1981 CBX, makes me regret selling mine....... Peeing in the Yukon represents only one third of tasks required to become a real Alaskan.
Thanks again for the report !!
__________________
If you can't pick it up by yourself, it is not an adventure bike.
beemer boy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2010, 10:08 PM   #12
ColininKodiak
(not in Kodiak)
 
ColininKodiak's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Tampa Bay Florida
Oddometer: 713
Oh man SOOO jealous I couldn't make it. Jack how did the Conti Attacks hold up on the trip? I'm still bummed I couldn't extend my leave another few days to tag along, maybe some other time. Looks like you guys had an amazing time.
__________________
2002 BMW R1150GS Garage Queen
ColininKodiak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2010, 10:57 PM   #13
Alcan Rider OP
Frozen Fossil
 
Alcan Rider's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2003
Location: Just over the rear wheel
Oddometer: 3,884
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColininKodiak
Oh man SOOO jealous I couldn't make it. Jack how did the Conti Attacks hold up on the trip?
Pretty impressive for a 90/10 tire. On pavement and gravel they were every bit as good as TKC80's. On mud they were not confidence inspiring, but at the same time they never let go either. The scariest part of the whole trip was climbing the south side of Roller Coaster Hill on the way back. That's at least a 12% grade, and at the bottom I think it must be 15% or steeper. It had just been watered and graded so it was mud all the way from bottom to top. I really expected to spin out and have to push the bike to the top. But in 3rd gear at 35 mph it just kept on going without even a hint of spinning. Haven't measured the tread depth since I got back, but I don't think I'll be taking them to D2D - probably slip a pair of TKC80's on for that - or maybe Tourances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColininKodiak
I'm still bummed I couldn't extend my leave another few days to tag along, maybe some other time. Looks like you guys had an amazing time.
It was a great time! Weather was excellent, road was in top shape (for the Haul Road), and company was the best. Wish you could have been there with us. Maybe next year - or this fall.
__________________
"I am in the prime of senility." Ben Franklin
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
Haul Road Primer
Alcan Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2010, 12:01 AM   #14
ColininKodiak
(not in Kodiak)
 
ColininKodiak's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Tampa Bay Florida
Oddometer: 713
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcan Rider
- or this fall.
Keep me posted. I'm thinking of taking some more leave just before our Kodiak shindig, maybe ride down to the rock with you guys.
__________________
2002 BMW R1150GS Garage Queen
ColininKodiak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2010, 01:05 AM   #15
Alcan Rider OP
Frozen Fossil
 
Alcan Rider's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2003
Location: Just over the rear wheel
Oddometer: 3,884
Since we were a bit ahead of schedule arriving in Coldfoot, we first went to the Visitors Center where the group decided we would ride on up to Wiseman and get checked into our lodging, then return for dinner at Coldfoot. After dinner, while the rest returned to Wiseman, this old codger rode over to the Visitors Center to watch that night's movie on, of all things, mosquitoes! But just remember - it pays to know your enemy.

Arriving back at the cabin later that evening, HayDee made a cryptic remark to the effect that there were still two bikes capable of traveling on. Going inside, I heard the news. AKCharlie's KLR was not going any farther north. The teeth on his rear sprocket were bent over like blades of grass in a strong wind. With no spare parts anywhere within a day's ride, the prognosis was not good. Several ideas were tossed around, but none with any real hope of saving the trip. At one point, it was suggested - jokingly - that Charlie could ride "bitch" behind HayDee. Charlie mulled that one over for approximately 1.3 nanoseconds before rejecting it as not entirely what he had in mind. His actual response was somewhat more emphatic.

Finally giving in to the inevitable, it was decided that while the three of us with bikes in sound operating condition would head north the next morning, Charlie would nurse his ailing KLR back to Coldfoot and try to find an obliging trucker to haul it down to Fairbanks, where he could find parts to get it back to riding condition. It should be noted here that for weeks prior to this trip, Charlie had been telling HayDee that he would be bringing a tow rope to make sure her DR would be able to make it up to Prudhoe Bay. If HayDee had brought a tow rope, you would get to see a photo of a grinning HayDee on a DR pulling a KLR, with a sullen AKCharlie aboard. But alas, no tow rope so no photo.

Thus it was that at a little before 7:00 AM Sunday morning we three rode back out to the Dalton Hwy and turned northward. Having cooled off during the early morning hours, it was a chilly 55° when we pulled out. Not too many miles north this rider pulled over and put on warmer gloves. In the shadow of Sukukpak Mt the temperature dropped on down to 43° briefly. Just a few miles beyond, the other two also stopped to add layers.


In the sunlight, however, the temperature was steadily rising, and by the time we climbed up to Chandalar Shelf at Mile 236 it was beginning to feel good again. Going over the top of Atigun Pass was a non-event on this trip, with blue sky in every direction. Farther north, just beyond Atigun Gorge, where the river of that name turns east to join the Sag river, the Galbraith Lake airstrip was backdropped by almost totally snow-free hills -


Slope Mountain's distinctive silhouette made a perfect backdrop for the pipeline and this small tundra stream.


By this time Beamertwin and HayDee were miles ahead of this rider, as the photo opportunities were too good to pass up. Hurrying to catch up, at Mile 354 I flagged HayDee down and told her I wouldn't be going all the way to Deadhorse. With a dozen or so trips to that point already, there was nothing I really needed to go there for, and the KLR had plenty of gas for the return to Coldfoot, so I would be turning back to spend more time shooting photos. Having watched HayDee handle her bike with expertise through all the conditions so far, there was no doubt that she could handle the rest of the miles by herself quite capably.

With an extra two or three hours to use on the way back, it was now time to look for things to photograph. One of the features of riding to Prudhoe Bay in the early spring is the sighting of hundreds of thousands of waterfowl getting ready to nest, all across the tundra. While they would have been even denser on the Arctic Coastal Plain, here in the foothills they were also present in fair numbers, and in wide varieties -










When I had turned around farther north, the sight of clouds forming over the Brooks Range mountains created a certain feeling of urgency, and drawing closer to the mountains showed the clouds to be getting thicker, and not looking too friendly. This photo of Oil Spill Hill illustrates the change from blue sky to gray, and the gray vegetation and gravel road surface seem to mirror the sky's lack of color -


At the same time, some of the clouds created interesting shadows in the hazy atmosphere below them, as the next two photos illustrate -




Having been asked about the campground at Galbraith Lake, a trip back there to get some photos of the facilities was planned for this trip earlier, with these photos the result: A small outhouse -


Two picnic tables -


And a bear-proof food locker -


The view to the northeast from the campground, with the Haul Road and pipeline visible over Galbraith Lake -


On the way north, while zipping along the highway, just a quick glimpse of a partially collapsed pingo let me know that it was time to slow down and get photos. So that became a must-do stop on the way south. Not far from the Galbraith Lake turn-off, with a multitude of footprints providing evidence that others had spotted it and were likewise intrigued. For those not familiar the term, here it is from Wikipedia: "A pingo, also called a hydrolaccolith, is a mound of earth-covered ice found in the Arctic and subarctic that can reach up to 70 metres (230 ft) in height and up to 600 m (2,000 ft) in diameter. The term originated as the Inuvialuktun word for a small hill. A pingo is a periglacial landform, which is defined as a nonglacial landform or process linked to colder climates. They are essentially formed by ground ice which develops during the winter months as temperatures fall.

The following eleven photos are of the pingo. For an idea of the size of this feature, it was about 4 feet higher than the surrounding tundra, and the layer of ice is about a foot and a half thick.






















And then it was time to get up and over Atigun Pass before the weather turned wet and nasty. On the south side of the pass, while streams were flowing with meltwater from snowfields higher up, thick ice from the winter's buildup was still a long way from disappearing despite the warm weather. This is in the bed of the West Fork of the North Fork of the Chandalar River, near the DOT Chandalar Station -






Rain was obviously falling in the Dietrich River valley up ahead -


But once away from the pass, blue skies once again came into view -


With more ice to melt from streambeds -


__________________
"I am in the prime of senility." Ben Franklin
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
Haul Road Primer

Alcan Rider screwed with this post 06-08-2010 at 12:58 AM
Alcan Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 02:52 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014