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Old 10-20-2010, 03:09 AM   #31
MTrider16 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKiwi
This was the day I was interested in for logistical planning and your report is very helpful. Excellent post and an an excellent trip. Kook forward tot her est of it.
I have one more day for the Dalton. RUOK had a different experience than I did and I would be interested to hear his comments.

Well everyone, I'm off for a week or so, hopefully I can continue posting when I get back.

David
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:26 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTrider16
I have one more day for the Dalton. RUOK had a different experience than I did and I would be interested to hear his comments.

Well everyone, I'm off for a week or so, hopefully I can continue posting when I get back.

David
My best advice about the Dalton is not to stress too much about it and just enjoy the ride. It's a well maintained road, but the weather and road surface change a lot, you need to have at least a 240mile fuel range ( I packed 2 gallons and had to use 1 ) The Milepost book has a section on the Dalton that's pretty helpful. Plus there's tons of good intel in other Alaskan ride reports.
It took me around 13 hours going up, encountering a lot of rain and mud from Wiseman on, and just under 12 hrs coming back, it was sunny and nice but stopping for construction. Despite the little bit of weather I encountered I personally really enjoyed the ride to Deadhorse and back, it was epic in my book. The Alcan however tried to take me out
Anyway that's my .02 worth, hi-jack over.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:18 PM   #33
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Thanks for posting your RR. I have started my research for next's years ride to Fairbanks from Oregon. Fuel stops is one of my concerns and the tip to stop at the info center is a great one. I did the Loneliest Hwy in America and distance to the next town (station) became an issue. I think if the town is listed on a mileage sign it should have fuel.

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Old 10-22-2010, 04:27 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orbiker
I did the Loneliest Hwy in America and distance to the next town (station) became an issue.
I rode Hwy 50 in 2008, carried a 1 gal container and had no trouble.
In 2010 I rode to Alaska and had way more cause to be nervous - especially through the Yukon Territories.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orbiker
I think if the town is listed on a mileage sign it should have fuel.
often not the case
I came across many service stations that were abandoned, out of fuel, closed because it was after 6pm and/or because it was a Sunday. I learned that just because there's an indicator on the highway sign or AAA map does not mean there's fuel available.

I agree with ROUK that there's better/more accurate information available here.

(spelling edit)

ks7877 screwed with this post 10-22-2010 at 04:36 PM
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:24 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTrider16


This pig in a section of pipe, I wished I had measured the diameter of the pipe while I was there.
It's 48".

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTrider16


I think this picture is right outside the turn out for the Arctic Circle sign.
Actually, it was taken from about Mile 155, five miles north of Grayling Lake. That is the highway, and the pipeline next to it, climbing the rather steep grade above the South Fork of the Koyukuk River on the far hillside.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MTrider16
Again the open landscape is always out there challenging your feeling of significance. As you can see, some of the road is paved; about 30% is my guess.
Good guess. It's about 30.7%.

Good report! Great bunch of photos and captioning.
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:15 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcan Rider
Actually, it was taken from about Mile 155, five miles north of Grayling Lake. That is the highway, and the pipeline next to it, climbing the rather steep grade above the South Fork of the Koyukuk River on the far hillside.
Thanks for the corrections and information Alcan Rider.

Also RUOK and KS7877 have good comments also.

I avoided problems with gas on the Alcan by using the mileage chart that I got at Dawson City. They crossed off a couple of stops that they said were closed. Also, I just tried to make it to the larger stops which had more services and were about 100-150 miles apart.

Good luck on the planning Orbiker, its a worthwhile trip.

David
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:29 PM   #37
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Saturday August 14, 2010 – Day 9 – “Prudhoe Bay”

I got up and ate breakfast at the cafeteria. Today the tour would take me out to the ocean, and after that I wanted to get to Fairbanks yet tonight. Since the tour started at 8:00, I wanted to be packed, fueled and ready to go when it finished. It took a little looking but I found the gas pump at the NANA yard.

A tidbit of information, NANA is a service company founded and backed by the native tribes in the area. Seems like a reasonable way to invest the money from the oil royalties.

Here I’m parked at the Arctic Caribou Inn where the tour starts after a brief propaganda video by the oil companies. This is the oil companies chance to tell their story, if you want environmentalist’s point of view you’ll have to visit Sierra Club or some other place.

Ralph and Stephane were here already so I parked by their bikes and went in to look them up. It was fun to talk with them as they worked with a Mullin Trucking Company in Calgary, specializing in oversized loads. They said that they were stopped yesterday and given a warning ticket for speeding, so they didn’t catch up with me after Coldfoot.




After the video, we loaded up onto a bus and were taken out to the field. We went past some of the service company’s yards in Deadhorse. Here are some of the Rolligon’s that you may have seen on Ice Road Truckers.




Once we were past the security checkpoint we went past another work camp for this part of the field.



The well sites were interesting for me to see. The oil is brought up under its own pressure, so pump jacks are not needed. One site will have multiple wells, the small shacks, and the oil is treated at the central building at the site. There are several lines leaving the well site going to the pipeline terminal, and other services.

I was impressed with the oil field, it was cleaner than the ones I’m used to seeing here in eastern Montana.




The water and natural gas removed by the treatment onsite are injected back into the field to maintain the positive pressure on the oil. Some natural gas is siphoned off and burned by the generators that supply electricity for the field.

Directional drilling is the norm here, in fact they have one rig parked out on an island, and it is drilling a hole 2 miles down and 8 miles out into the ocean.





The drift wood probably comes from the Mackenzie River a few miles down the coast.




The Arctic Ocean!!!!!



Yep, I was there too.

I need to take a moment and explain the hat. It’s a “Call Before You Dig” giveaway from work and I want to thank my co-workers that were cheering me on as I made this trip.




So the tour ended at 10:30 and I was finally on the road at 10:45. Yikes!! I was going to make a push and try to get to Fairbanks tonight.

I did have to stop and take a picture of the caribou racks that were harvested on the North Slope. It was archery only.




I only took pictures when I was stopped. Here are some from a construction zone.




They are paving more of the road. I waited 30 minutes for the pilot car.




My front suspension has a problem; I’m only using 4” of the 10” stroke.

I arrived in Fairbanks at 10:00 pm, just in time for the Taco Bell lobby close. I had to go through the drive through, which was a bit of a challenge. lol

Stats for Day 9: 498 miles, 12.6 gallons of fuel, 9.75 hours







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Old 10-26-2010, 05:47 PM   #38
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What?? No pics of you swimming in the saltwater??

I am digging this report. Good job!
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:00 PM   #39
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Quote:
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You have such a way with words.



"Morning came early; just like it usually does"

"holding my breath so I don’t cause a ripple in the water"

"Eureka was having a quilt show and was snuggled up with over 400 blankets"
ah shucks. Thanks Gwen.

siyeh, no polar bear club for me, I had to ride 500 miles after the tour.

Anyway, back to the report.

David
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:15 PM   #40
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Sunday August 15, 2010 – Day 10 – “Denali”

Today is the “turn around day”. After messing around here in this beautiful north country I’m turning around and starting the trek home. As I got in late last night I end up sleeping in a little, plus I need to get some laundry done. A quick stop at a car wash ends up in a chance meeting with another F800GS rider. He has a 2010 model and found some neat tires that I hope to try. Its 11:15 am and I’m finally packed up and heading south from Fairbanks toward Denali.

Leaving the forest fire smoke around Fairbanks it is a clear day and I’m enjoying the sunshine. The road has some nice views of the forested valleys.



As I get closer to the park, the mountains are getting larger and more rugged. I stopped for gas and see a rider on a CBR with full gear. Talking with the air force serviceman, I find out he has just come from Denali Park, and there were clouds all around but Denali was in full view.



This is the end of the line for the private vehicles. Looking at this bridge I have this funny picture in my head of Gandalf in forest service uniform standing at the end saying “You Shall Not Pass”. Chuckling to myself I take a few pictures.



An outhouse with a sod roof is a little unique, and the rocky valley behind it is striking.



Down by the river, a caribou is grazing. Its getting later in the day and I need to keep moving. “Fly you fools” echoes in my mind as I load up and head back out of the park.



It appears that the clouds have moved in and Mount McKinley is hiding again. Like many tourists, I get to point to the clouds and say, “it would be right there behind that tree”. For those not aware of geography Mount McKinley, or Denali in the native dialect, is the tallest peak in North America at 20,320 feet.



The mountains around the park are still striking and I stop for one more picture before leaving the park.


Out on the highway the aspen are starting to change color out on the mountain sides.



I’m taking the highway south to the junction of the Denali Hwy. I stop at this little café along the road. This was a very nice little find as the food was excellent.



They had an amazing halibut steak with rice and fresh beans, and I had the blueberry crisp and ice cream for dessert.



The Denali Highway is a gravel road that goes from Cantwell to Paxton. It provides access to the valley and rivers that drain off of the glaciers on the flanks of Mt Hayes. I’m not sure I would designate this road as a “highway”, but it is going to provide a nice trip for me.



The clouds are moving in behind me, but these mountains are green and stand above the boreal forests in the valley the road winds through.



The road breaks out of the mountains and winds around the ridge on the south side of the valley. To the north Mt Hayes stands out and the sun lights up the slopes while the valley is shadowed by the grey clouds. It was a pretty striking effect.

Hunters were out in force looking for critters. Campers and tents were parked along the approaches and turnouts beside the road.



The road is just a three track and the hunters and myself are travelling along at a fair clip. As I near Paxon it is getting darker, and the clouds are moving in. There is enough light to take one more picture.



I hit the Henderson Highway at Paxon and head north a little ways to find a campsite.

Stats for Day 10: 328 miles, 6.8 gallons of fuel, 8.75 hours
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:31 PM   #41
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Monday August 16, 2010 – Day 11 – “Back to the Alcan”

I had set my tent up in the dark and when I stepped out in the morning, I immediately reached back and got my camera. It’s a tough life to wake up in Alaska...

but I’ll survive. ;-)



With a granola bar for breakfast, I packed up and headed south picking up some gas at Paxton. It was a beautiful clear morning and I enjoyed the views.

This little pond was still so I stopped for a quick pic.



I made it to the Tok Cut-Off and headed north to Tok and the Alcan Highway. I hoped to be in Canada tonight.

Michelle Shocked sings a little song about a friend that moves to Anchorage.

Hey Chel you know it's kinda funny
Texas always seems so big
But you know you're in the largest state in the union
When you're anchored down in Anchorage

It’s a story about life and how it passes by one day at a time, and the relative significance of the human experience compared to this large landscape.



This large state is amazing, so this song was running through my head as I was looking across this river valley at this mountain. I had ridden about 20 miles along this river watching this mountain grow until I got to this place.

I believe this is Mt. Sanford.



I continued on north through these mountians to Tok. I was filling up gas and I saw a small café called the Grumpy Griz Café. They had a nice burger and fries, and then I stopped at the bank to exchange some currency for my trip in Canada.



This is Tetlin junction, and I had to stop and take a picture of this sign. It is about 220 miles to Fairbanks from here. Last Wednesday, I had traveled 687 miles from Dawson City because of the road closure to get to this sign. I just about cried that night.

About 20 miles from the border, I was stopped at a construction zone. The flagger motioned me to the front of the line. He was a native and willing to chat a little. After I asked about the danger of riding a snow machine on the river he mentioned that he fell through the ice last winter. He lost his gear and his axe and was wet, but walked a ways and found a deadfall and started a fire. The next day he was found by a rescue party. He went back and recovered the snow machine, but couldn’t find his axe that he had for 20 years. Then he said that a lot of younger people didn’t like this job because it was too hard to stand out here all day. He was 68 and had worked up on the North Slope. I was disappointed to see the pilot car.



Here you can see some of the road damage that was on the Alcan. As you can see from all the tire marks, it makes for an interesting ride. It wasn’t too bad on the motorcycle as you would watch for the flags and then look for the easiest way through the damage. I would image that it would be less fun if it was raining and the visibility was poor.

Oh yeah, the mountains were kinda pretty also. ;-)



This is Pickaxe Handle Lake. I saw it from the road and had to stop and take some pictures. The reflections were just awesome.



The road is up in those trees there.



A duck swimming amongst the reflections of the trees.



I don’t think I’ve ever shown everyone what my cockpit looks like. The orange device is my spot tracker, on top of my tank bag. I kept the camera, phone and wallet in the tank bag. The GPS is mounted on a RAM mount on my handlebars. I would keep the speed and the daily trip meter showing on the main screen with the map. In Canada I changed the units to metric so I knew how fast I was going and what distance I needed to travel that day. The bikes trip meter was used to keep track of gas mileage.



These were the mountains I stopped to take a picture.

Back in the Pacific time zone the daylight was fading fast. I picked up gas and some supper in Haines Jct. There was a campsite just a short ways down the road.



I was able to get to the campsite by 9:00 PST and set up the tent as the evening sky got darker. The neighbors to my site invited me over for a coke and a taste of gumbo soup.

As I wrote out my notes for the night, I thought of the children’s song, “He’s got the whole world in His hands”. This grand landscape was all part of God’s creation and he is the architect. He is big enough to hold all this, and my life within his hands. It certainly gives more comfort and direction to life than Michelle Shocked’s song about Anchorage.

Stats for Day 11: 487 miles, 13.7 gallons of fuel, 12.5 hours
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:47 PM   #42
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Tuesday August 17, 2010 – Day 12 – “Cassiar Hwy??”

Another morning at a campground; I roll out of my bag about 6:00 am and start to pack. By 7:30 I’m on the road. I barely got to Haines Jct last night so I wanted to cover some miles before getting breakfast. Whitehorse would be my next fuel stop so I planned to see what I could find for breakfast there.

The mountains looked pretty in the morning light.



I stopped at a combination gas station and grocery store when I got to Whitehorse. I asked another guy who was filling up for gas where he would eat breakfast and didn’t get much of an answer. When I was closer to the airport, I pulled over at a small hotel that had a restraint and got some breakfast.



After Whitehorse, I was driving on part of the Alcan that I had routed around by taking the Campbell hwy out of Watson lake.

This bridge by Teslin crossed an arm of Teslin lake.



Today I wanted to take the Cassiar Highway, Hwy 37, south along the coastal range in BC. However, when I left home, and several days along my trip the highway was closed at the junction to the Alcan because of a forest fire.

The turnoff is called Jct 37, and when I got there the gas station was crowded with an RV caravan. I pumped the gas into my bike, chuckling as I listened to the RV owners discuss how much this gas stop was going to cost them. In the store I learned the Cassiar Hwy was open, but you had to follow a pilot car through the section with the forest fire. There was a line forming at the roadblock just outside the gas station.



While waiting for the pilot car, I end up talking to a fireman from Michigan on an R1200GS. He has taken a month off and is touring around.

As we travel along the highway following the pilot car, I was surprised that we never saw visible flames, just some burned areas. After we got out of the piloted section, I pulled over for a quick break.



The road is mostly paved, but has some gravel. The Alcan is wider also.



As I kept going south the smoke started to dissipate and the views of the mountains improved.



This little shop sold jade and other rock curios. They have a bunch of pictures of them pulling a jade boulder out of the hills



Dease Lake was the next fuel stop. After picking up fuel, some water and snacks for the campsite tonight, I stopped at a restaurant called Mama Z’s. For their special they were serving a buffet, but it was really good. While I was sitting and eating, the fireman stopped in. Turns out he had gotten a motel room next door for the evening.



Sitting at the table after eating, it was tempting to stop for the night. However I still needed to put in some miles tonight or tomorrow would be a long day. About 7:30 I get back on the bike and continue south.



The setting sun and the shadows from the clouds make for some picturesque views. This bridge crosses the Stikine River, which flows into the Pacific Ocean near Petersburg AK.

The river also flows through a small community called Telegraph Creek. Out of Dease Lake, there is a scenic gravel road that follows a creek down to this town. This road is on my list of places to visit in the future.



Since I was there, I decided to take a picture of the grating used on the bridge deck.



It was getting later, and the sunlight gave the clouds brilliant colors.



Another fire was giving off large clouds of smoke.



I finally put on 70 miles after dinner. The moon over the hills set the mood for the evening.



It was finally 9:40 when I got to Kinaskan Provincial Park and set up the tent for the night. It was a pretty campground.

Stats for Day 12: 568 miles, 10.9 gallons of fuel, 14.1 hours
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Old 10-29-2010, 07:11 PM   #43
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This is fantastic...

Thank you...keep it coming...
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:44 PM   #44
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Great report with awesome pictures! Really sorry you were so limited on time.
Rock on!!

Ken
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:46 PM   #45
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BTW, what kind of bag are you using on the back? I am looking for a waterproof duffel to strap on mine.
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