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Old 06-18-2010, 11:56 AM   #1
ricohman OP
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Saskatchewan to Prudhoe Bay, riding north to find some warmth...

I can't believe that we actually leave tomorrow. Five prairie guys from southern Saskatchewan riding to Alaska and up the Dalton Highway to Prudhoe bay. Hopefully!
But his trip actually begins in 1997 so lets go back in time.....

My buddy and I were on bike trip from Saskatchewan to Vancouver Island. It was hot this particular day and we were relaxing in the shade of a gas station enjoying a cool drink.
That's when we saw him.
Riding into the lot on an early 80's Gold Wing festooned with lights and the largest sheepskin I have ever seen (which covered the entire seat and back rest of the wing) on a bike. With the arm rests it looked like a Viking Chieftain's throne. But one thing really stood out as he parked his bike beside our bikes.
Dust.
The bike and rider had a thick coating of dust. Rising from his dusty throne he dismounted the wing and walked over to where we were sitting. Took one look at our shiny Yamaha FJ's and our reasonably clean clothing and said "What's a matter boys, 'fraid of the grids?"
As we raised an eyebrow to this comment the dust-man went on to explain how he had ridden all the way from Moose Jaw Saskatchewan to this point in B.C on nothing but grid roads.
The rest of the trip was fabulous but were couldn't get that rider, his dusty Viking throne or his comments out of our minds. And it's haunted us for nearly 13 years. Were we really scared of the grids? Was he right?
Only one way to prove it. Ride the Dalton. That will show him, whoever he is.

That said, the t-shirts we had made for this ride are self explanatory.





The bikes include a DR650, three KLR650's and my R1150GSA. We are leaving from the Regina area and our route includes Edmonton, Whitehorse, Dawson City, Fairbanks and then Deadhorse. After that it's every man for himself.
We will be camping nearly all of the time and since the weather in Saskatchewan has been very wet, cold and filled with clouds of mosquitoes we should feel right at home in Alaska. Especially when it gets flat beyond Atigun pass.
I will try to get some bike pics up today and then in a couple of weeks a full report.

ricohman screwed with this post 07-21-2010 at 08:25 AM
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:02 PM   #2
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Good Luck

Have a great trip and good luck to ya!

Great T-Shirt by the way

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Old 06-18-2010, 03:45 PM   #3
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Last minute prep on two of the KLR's.

In the spirit of the trip, Rob's dad has a Viking throne



Geralds KLR (Robs dad)



Robs KLR and his home-made engine guard.





These guys are packing extra fuel. I wonder if they know something I don't?



My R1150GSA loaded and waiting to leave.



Scotts DR650 waiting to leave.



I don't have a pic of the 5th riders (Jon) bike yet. Jon has a KLR just like Rob and Geralds because Rob is Jon's brother and Gerald is his dad also!

ricohman screwed with this post 06-18-2010 at 03:52 PM
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Old 06-18-2010, 04:36 PM   #4
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Have a great ride!
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Old 06-18-2010, 05:06 PM   #5
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I agree about going North for warmth. WTF is wrong with this weather?? I'm freezing my axe off in S Alberta, and flooding to boot. Geez, if I didn't fly, I wouldn't know what the sun looked like! Enjoy the trip.
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:43 PM   #6
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All done! 10420 km. Or about 6400 miles.
I have never written a ride report but I am going to start now. I want to show a lot of pics and I hope that's ok.
The others on this ride are welcome to intrude and post whatever pics and tales you want.
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:15 PM   #7
kildala2000
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Hope you had the trip of your life. I know when the north get's in your blood you'll go back again and again. I know I enjoy every trip I've made.
Keep it coming,
Ride Safe,
Rick
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricohman
All done! 10420 km. Or about 6400 miles.
I have never written a ride report but I am going to start now. I want to show a lot of pics and I hope that's ok.
The others on this ride are welcome to intrude and post whatever pics and tales you want.
I really can't believe the trip is actually over. We spent about 18 months planning it and the past 2 weeks living it. I will let my wordsmith travelmate, Ricohman, do the honors with the RR. It will be great to relive the trip. I have lots of stuff still to process in my head.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:22 AM   #9
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June 19th

The day of departure. I didn't sleep much last night but this will be nothing compared to the rest of the trip which would turn into an experiment in sleep deprivation.

I will start introducing the cast of characters.

Myself and my 05' R1150GSA. This bike is my baby and is (was) spotless. It had about 7700 kms (4700 miles) the day we left. Nearly all of the equipment and riding gear is new.
And those new tires are the infamous Shinko 705.


My riding buddy Scott and his much modified DR650.


Rob and his KLR. That's his dad Gerald in the flip up lid.


Jon (seated) and his KLR. Jon was late as he was still packing in the morning.


Gerald and his KLR. I don't have a better before pic.


Gerald's seat is growing by the minute. He grabbed a cushion from the couch before he left and bungeed it to his KLR. That viking rider has nothing on Gerald now.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:38 AM   #10
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Dad and sons enjoying a morning coffee break. It's damn near 10am and Rob hasn't had a grease burger yet. But that problem is soon solved.



First part failure 250km from home. It seems the KLR's vibes destroy the cheap Chinese-made electrical adapters that power the GPS units on the KLR's. A bit of a wait until Rob can buy another to restore power.


Not that it matters. Another 250 km and the power adapter is ruined yet again. Rob finds another Walmart in Lloydminster.

Gerald is smiling at 600 km. Must be the seat. Its starting to rain and this would become a daily thing on this ride.


We rode from Regina to west of Edmonton this day. About 830km. So we started looking for a campground and we eventually found one at Alberta beach. Its crowded and its the last day of school for all the kids. Party time.
They give us one key for the bathroom which has to be locked at all times.
Some beers and canned/dehydrated food was passed around and we settled in for the night.






This is where the sleep loss begins. It stays light until 1am and the fire crackers are keeping me awake. Its not helping that some idiot starts screaming "I am so drunk!" over and over at about 3am. The rest of the crew is snoring loudly. How can they sleep through this?
Then someone starts dry heaving not far from my tent. I finally fall asleep at 4am.

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Old 07-03-2010, 10:03 AM   #11
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June 20th

Rob explains to me the puking sounds I was hearing must have been some weird kind of bird. I didn't know birds vomitted like that...


I choose a North Face Spectrum single wall tent for this trip. I wanted to try the quick set-up for rain and mosquitos.


Almost to BC. Another break and we will soon be in Dawson Creek.
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Old 07-03-2010, 10:14 AM   #12
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The begining of the Alaskan highway. But it gets a bit weird here. As we were taking picks an old SUV loaded with girls screeches by us in the parking lot and throws water balloons. The truck takes off with more yelling and we read the large print on the back.
"Honk if you like titties and beer".
Some dad must be proud of his girls.

Scott posing at the begining of the road north.


Might as well pose myself. This is exactly when the water ballons were hurled at us.


We head up the road and eventually make camp at Charlie lake. Nice campground and more beer. And more dehydrated food for Scott and I. Rob buys some fresh corn and some prunes for his dad.



Might as well show what you got. Nobody around to care anyway.


My rear rear Shinko is holding up fine. I fully expected it to fly apart at any second.


This pic was taken at around 1130pm.

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Old 07-03-2010, 04:01 PM   #13
ricohman OP
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June 21st

The summer solstice.
We get up early and put 350km on without stopping. I just can't seem to sleep with all the snoring coming from the other tents but maybe tonight will be better.
Scott was getting pissed because he had to piss and every gas station I passed left him wonder if I was ever going to stop. We eventually rode into Fort Nelson and had lunch at Boston Pizza. Two large pizzas had no chance.

Pack it up and lets go!


Rob has some mystery fluid draining from his ear. Plug it with some TP and deal with it later.


Nice ride this morning. No rain and the roads are very good.






No need for cutting the ditches here as there are Buffalo everywhere.


Time for lunch at Boston Pizza in Fort Nelson.
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Old 07-03-2010, 04:11 PM   #14
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After lunch its time to press on as far as we can.
The road winds up through Summit lake where they have kindly sprinkled loose gravel and crushed rock all over fresh tar. So the corners are interesting as are the complete white-outs when a large truck goes by.
We eventually make it to the Laird Springs campground. The lady at the gate said it was the best place around to spend the summer solstice. Bad news is there is no beer to be had. Rob takes this news pretty well.

Straight roads in this part.


I've lost the swarm of singles at this point so I take a bit of a break while they are doing some refueling.


Up into the foothills we go. There are signs warning of falling rocks and slides. Pretty country up here.




This stuff looks ready to fall at the next big rain.


Time for another break. Gerald needs a nap by now so he figured this grave marker or artwork would suffice.




Onward to the campground.

ricohman screwed with this post 08-08-2010 at 03:08 PM
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Old 07-03-2010, 04:15 PM   #15
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Summit lake is a neat place. Make a corner to hot and into the drink you go. Scott and I would later ride this road at 0230hrs dodging Moose.....










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