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Old 09-20-2012, 09:30 PM   #196
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A Day Ride on the Dalton (Pt 3)

My heart sank when I heard the sputter, I was still 70 miles out (112k) and guessed I had 40 in reserve (64k).



This was not good considering my horrid gas mileage up to this point.



I thought ooooohhhhh shit, what did I get myself into.




Needless to say, my moving average was no longer a concern.




There were a few little hills, oil slick hill or some other equally un-imaginative name, I would speed up at the top then kill the engine and coast for as long as I could, almost wanting to push a little with my feet.






All I had was a hope and a prayer, and a windshield washer container full of gas, but I still wasn't out of the woods yet.






I didn't feel like pulling over right away, I just wanted to get to the gas station.




Get to the gas station and keep from freezing my fingers off.




Every moment I felt it get colder as I descended to the northern most point, feeling the bony grip of the Arctic air closing in around me.




I ran into some more construction and had to wait 20 minutes or so for the pilot car to come back and get us, it was a nice chance to get a few cheap passes.





I sat there and chatted with the guy with the stop sign, and asked him if he thought it was possible to make it there and back in a day. He said he thought it would be possible, said he heard of people driving from Anchorage to Fairbanks and back at least. I took the chance to empty the gas into the tank and calculated that I should have about 10 miles to spare, if I didn't rail it. He bid me good luck and God's speed, and I took off at a torturous pace after the pilot car.





I knew I should make it, but I still had the feeling I may have gotten in over my head a little. Especially considering I wasn't yet half way. The "smarter" half kept saying; "see, see, you should have listened, look what you got yourself into now."





I just had to tell the chatterbox to shove it, and rolled on the throttle, while trying to keep feeling in my finger tips.





It is not that easy to throttle with our left hand.








Finally, I started to see something in the distance. Could it be??? Am I really almost there I thought.






By this time there were a few trucks on the road and I decided that passing a bunch on the way in to town might piss some of them off, so I rolled in looking for a big red Conoco sign or something, maybe a convenience store and a coffee?



I thought I was going to run out just driving around looking for the gas. I finally pulled off and went up to some big building with a garage door and a couple workers and asked them to point me in the right direction.



Finally, the sacred nectar was found.




Photobucket




Once the most important task was completed, and I figured out how to use the vending machine gas pump, I decided I might as well check out the downtown scene a little.



Photobucket





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Now, I heard that there was some sign of a deceased horse that you are supposed to take a picture of, but I didn't bother trying to find it.


I also heard that you are not supposed to actually see "Prudhoe Bay" from the end of the road either. But if that is the case, I am not sure what you are supposed to call this:




Photobucket




At any rate, maybe I should have stripped down to my boxers and jumped in, but I didn't want to do 500 miles with wet and frozen drawers, and the Halliburton tour was not something I was worried about missing.





So, after a quick jaunt around the destination I dove back into the journey, but only had seven miles until my baby turned 20 at the age of three.





Photobucket





And finally I actually pulled over for a picture.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:34 PM   #197
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A Day Ride on the Dalton (Pt 4)

After snapping a picture of my bike's 20,000 milestone I looked up and knew in my gut exactly why I did it. Exactly why I was there, it was like, for just a millisecond, the universe and all existence made sense.




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But there was no time to dilly dally, I as you might say.........I had a long ways to go and a short time to get there.





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....I was going to do what they say can't be done????







Photobucket











Photobucket







I just gazed into the atmosphere and I blazed down the dirt. The sky was amazing but the sun was falling fast and I couldn't keep stopping for pictures. So I didn't.





Photobucket








Photobucket



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Old 09-27-2012, 11:09 PM   #198
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I wanted to, I really really did, but, I couldn't.


I just couldn't stop.











Have you ever sang, at the top of your lungs on the bike?















I wouldn't admit to it, but, I was screaming at the top of my lungs......"I've got a looooooooooong way to go, and a shooooort time to get th.....I've got a loooooooooooooooong way to gooooooooooo but a shooooort time to.....YEA I've gooooot a loooonnnnnnng way tooo goooooooooooo and a shoooooooooooooooooort time......



I wanted to, but I couldn't stop, so apparently this is what you get.



Photobucket











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CRAP!!!!!!!!!! CAN IT REALLY BE DONE???????



SHUT UP!!!!!!! You've got a long way to go and a shOOOOOOOrt time to get there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




No time for that shit now!






Photobucket





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Old 10-15-2012, 10:48 PM   #199
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A Day Ride on the Dalton (Pt 5)

The tundra blazed by, mile after mile in an endless blur. I kept count 30 miles at a time (48k). It seems like the more you look at the ODO, or the clock for that matter, the slower it moves so I forced myself not to look down. As agonizing as it was, I used every inch of my willpower not to look down. Just keep going, no stopping, just go, go, go! ………….even though it wasn’t written on the side of my bike.



No looking down and no full throttle, I couldn’t run out.



Just the steady hummm of the thumper, mile after mile, hour after hour……




Finally, I guess I had missed it on the way in, but this time saw the actual sign. Little Old Atigun Pass:





Photobucket




It was a relief to put the Arctic behind me and get back onto the familiar Southern Slope.




Photobucket




Yea, sorry about that one, “cheap camera” raring it’s ugly little head I suppose.



Photobucket



I had a little light left, but not much more than that.



And I couldn’t dilly dally, and no looking for camp either.



Because I still had a loooooooooooooooooooonnnng way to go and short time to get there.



Honestly I wasn’t sure it could be done. But none of that mattered, I was committed. I had no choice.



And I had to hammer it.




Photobucket



But gas was still a concern, so I would speed up and kill it at the tops of the hills, I coasted almost all the way down the pass.



30 miles, then another 30, and another and another.



Finally I made it back to Coldfoot.



I needed a break by this time. I had oatmeal for breakfast, a little beef jerky and trail-mix at a couple stops on the way up and some halibut in Deadhorse. I needed to refuel more than just the bike. I also needed some coffee, it was cold. Well actually, it was just starting to get cold. Obvious pun omitted.



On my way into Deadhorse I passed an FJ Cruiser that was headed out. The truckers at the little Coldfoot Café didn’t seem to have much interest, but the guys in the FJ were chatty. We talked about our trips and this and that, we also agreed that it was next to amazing they didn’t have a broken windshield.



But I couldn’t stay and chat forever, although it was not like the daylight was burning either. So, I had another cup of coffee.




It was a blur, from there on out and it was back to the 30 mile regiment. That and praying nothing ran out in front of me.




It seemed all the big game was long gone, since the first shot of the hunting season I hadn’t seen a thing along any of the roads.




Riding full out mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after kilometer after mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after kilometer after mile after mile



After mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after kilometer after mile after mile after mile.



At one point, I had to pull over and stretch the legs and take a piss, I shut off the bike and black was completely and breathtakingly all encompassing. Like drive you insane in the depths in a cave pitch black.




It was all I could do to stay warm and keep going. But even if I wanted to stop, I had no blanket, actually I did have an emergency blanket that I haven’t had the fortune to use yet in Baja, but I had nothing more to put on or shelter myself with.




I had to keep going.




Finally I made it to the Youkon River, and there were even a few of the workers still playing poker in the café.




At first the guy in charge said I couldn't have any. It was too late and they were done for the night. So, I pulled out some cash and I had to beg and to tell them that if he didn' I would run out. Honestly, I thought I didn’t need it but I really didn’t want to worry about it. I had already done enough of that. I had to plead my case but he finally gave in.





After I topped off and had a few more bites of trail-mix, it was back in the saddle and off down the road.





But not until I had taken the chace to warm my hands on the engine cases.





No stopping, just GO, GO, GO!





And finally the dirt turned to pavement and I only had one more measly 30 mile stint, and there I was.






I let the rat out, heated up some soup, and tried several times to get this picture to come out, just in case there were any doubters.






Photobucket



Yea, who would have known a KLR could go that fast!


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Old 10-18-2012, 08:29 PM   #200
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Well, needless to say, I was hurting the next day. I didn’t get back to the truck until 2:30 AM and it took me forever to fall to sleep, still feeling the rumble and vibrations coursing through my body and still hearing the hummm of the thumper ringing through my ears. Finally when I woke up the next morning and tossed and turned in no hurry to get up out of the comfortable bed and warm blankets.




It was mainly in my shoulders, the muscles were tensed up like softballs, but my neck was a stiff as could be too.




967 Miles, or 1556.24 KM




All in 14 hours and 40 minutes of moving time, and only 2 hours and 38 minutes stopped.




Max speed, 97.3 mph or 156.5 kmh, with a moving average of 65.9 mph or 106 kmh, not bad.










And after all that, a hot tub sounded perfect, or better yet, an outdoor hot springs.






Photobucket





Yep, I was feeling good.





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And perhaps looking a little grizzled.

Either way, it was an amazing place to be.






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Typically, I am not a huge fan of it, but on that day it was perfect. It was a perfect day to just be. Not to be doing something as I typically prefer, but instead just to be.





A couple days earlier I had been exploring out by Circle, and I had ran across a little track that seemed like it went through all the way to Chena, so, since I was in Chena, I started talking to one of the local guys doing some maintenance around the site. He told me that he had been up on the trail, the Historic Fairbanks trial, on a hunting trip once and although he just went part way, he did seem to think that it may be possible. No big rivers at least, but perhaps a bog or two here and there. Honestly, a 80’s big wheel might even be the perfect tool for such a job. It could even be the perfect place to train for the Enduro Cross, or something like that.



But what do I know, I'm just some dumb tourist from the lower 48.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:06 PM   #201
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Now that was an awesome Dalton Experience.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:24 PM   #202
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Originally Posted by dave6253 View Post
Now that was an awesome Dalton Experience.
I still can't believe I actually tried it, it sounds crazy sitting here in comfort.



OK, I need to keep going with the story and finish it up. It is hard though, with only limited ADVrider time I keep getting sidetracked with the other awe-inspiring report going on now.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:22 PM   #203
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The Beginning of the End

I lingered at the hot springs as long as I could, but I had to keep rambling. I was disappointed I didn't get to Nebesna, but I had been just about everywhere else I could ride to and it was time to start heading south. Fall was closing in and it was only a matter of time before the snow would turn the land white.


I was feeling good, and the bike had a nice new paint job from the previous day:



Photobucket




I liked it, I almost wished I could have it clear-coated on, to preserve the beauty of the Dalton on it forever. I obviously didn’t do that, but I didn’t go out of my way to wash it off either.




From Chena I headed to the "Top of the World" Highway over to Chicken then Dawson. I had heard from several sources that it was worth checking out and I did the Alcan on the way in.



It was another beautiful day with perfect visibility, and reminded me of home.



Photobucket



I had to pull over and admire the amazing view of the Alaskan Range. Zooming in wasn’t working so well at this point, but I still tried.



Photobucket



I kept rolling in the comfort of the truck, not stopping much, except for the perrrrrdy sunset.





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I turned off of Highway 2 but didn't make it too much further before I found somewhere to pull off and pop the top on the camper and call it a night. It wasn't much of a camp spot, just a little pull-off. I didn't want to go too far in the dark and miss the best of the road, I had hear it was a good one.


Then I watched the aurora borialus for a while before calling it a night.




Photobucket




Again, more limitations of the point and shoot and lack of technical skills showing up here, but you get the idea.




Photobucket
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:23 PM   #204
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thE sKagwAy pT 1


The next morning I made it to Chicken just in time to miss the pilot car. So, I took the chance to drop the oil in the bike, I figured it needed it. All the people were packing up, closing down the store, and getting ready to move out for the winter. There was this local guy, stumbling around, face all bloody and reeking of alcohol. He apparently had wrecked his ATV the night before and looking for help getting it out of the woods. All the locals just basically stood there and laughed at him.


Chicken seemed like an interesting little place. I didn’t get much of a feel for it since it was after their season ended, so I didn’t deserve a shirt or a sticker. My old man on the other hand, picked up about 3 shirts and two stickers a few days earlier on his way back. I am still not exactly sure what actually happens in Chicken, it didn’t seem like much to me. Although, I did hear about panties shot out of cannons…







Anyways, I tried to get back and make sure I was at the front on the line for when the pace car got there to take us through the gauntlet. I didn’t quite make the front, and after the pace car, or pilot car rather, let us go there were a few people to get around. One chick, AK plates, tried to ride the middle and not let it happen. Apparently people don’t like getting passed by campers pulling trailers but I had a lot of miles to cover, actually more kilometers than miles, before my next spot to ride.




The border crossing was no sweat, the uptight lady crossing guard made sure I wouldn’t terrorize Canadia with deadly bear spray, and I pleaded with her telling her I wouldn’t shoot up the Edmonton Mall with it. I told her how scared I was without it, and she finally said that since it was a wilderness post and not close to the city she would allow me to cross with it but I was not allowed to take it into the city. Heaven forbid.





From there I kept going and going until I hit the Yukon and had to wait for the little ferry. Without much of interest in Dawson City, other than gas, I kept rolling on south. Turned up the tunes and not long after that I was rolling into Whitehorse 532km later. The day before when I was heading out of Fairbanks I tried and tried to find some more dry ice for the 22lbs (10 kg) of fish I had in my cheap styrofoam cooler. I stopped by two supermarkets but they were sold out. I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal and I should be able find it in Whitehorse.


But, to my surprise not only bear spray, but dry ice too is illegal in Canadia. Smmmma beeeaaaach! I thought “these panty wasted limp wristed…” But, there was nothing I could do and so I gassed up and kept rolling South. Don’t get me wrong Candians, I love you guys, you are probably some of the nicest and politest people in the world. I just hate stooped laws to try and save ourselves from ourselves. I personally think that Darwin, although not 100% correct in his assertions, definitely had a ton of wisdom in survival of the fittest and that letting the dumb kill themselves off isn’t the worst thing in the world. Either way, what am I going to do with dry ice? Put it in a Coke bottle with some water and scare someone with the loud noise??? Next you are going to tell me they don’t sell The Works toilet bowl cleaner either. But what do I know; I am from Colorado where all the crazies are, apparently.





Anyways, after Whitehorse the turnoff to Skagway wasn’t too far and on the way out of town there was a hitchhiker who needed a ride so I picked him up. He was trying to get to Carcross 70km away. My plan for the next day was to poke around Skagway and I would have to go through there. With two ways in, I wasn’t sure which I should pull over for the night at, the first one or the second a couple miles down the road. But, the hitchhiker was a little odd so I dropped him off at the first one and continued to the second. I would have been cool with it, but I had to burry my Tech-9 back in Montana.









Anyways, I had riding to do the next day and so I found a decent place off the main road and set up for the night.






The next morning I suited and booted and headed out to see what I could see. And honestly, it was pretty amazing.



Photobucket




Really amazing in fact.







And soon, I was to another cheesy picture of a sign.



Photobucket






But, then I remembered I was a complete dumbass because my passport was back in the truck, more than a couple klicks back.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:07 AM   #205
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What are those hotsprings called please.

Great pics.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:28 PM   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 75bronco View Post
What are those hotsprings called please.

Great pics.
Thanks! The one on this page is Chena Hot Springs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chena_Hot_Springs,_Alaska

There are some pics in the beginning of the story that are from Laird: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liard_R...rovincial_Park
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:52 PM   #207
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tHE skAGway PT 2

I thought about turning back, but I figured I would give it a try without the passport. Getting into the US wasn’t the problem; it was getting back to the truck and back across. I had the friendly boarder guard write up a slip telling the other side that I was OK to let back in, prayed that it would work, and went on through.


The canyon in was pretty cool, but didn’t think it was a good place to carve it up proper. So I obeyed and rolled through and into town. There was nothing for me there, I still had enough gas, so I turned around and took the turnoff I spotted on the way in that seemed to lead along the shoreline and would go for a ways.


It turned into dirt, and got real good. Easy stuff, nothing technical, just good cruising. Eventually though, just like the rest of them, it deadened.







Photobucket



Well, it didn’t actually end. It would have been one hell of a hill on my dirtbike, but obviously impossible on the KLR. Pictures of this kind of stuff never give it justice, and the blur doesn’t help either. But, on the way in I noticed several interesting turnoffs. So, I naturally had to see them all dead-end in one form or another.










There was some nice riding up the wash and ended in this:












Photobucket

























It gave way to a nice view of this:








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I found some nice tracks that looked like that:










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But the best of all, I found quite a bit of riding that looked somewhat similar to this:






Photobucket















































Photobucket










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Old 11-07-2012, 08:30 PM   #208
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ThE sKAgwAy Pt 3

The riding was awesome, probably the best concentration of little tracks that I found. It was obvious there were quite a few ATV riders beating in the trails. None went anywhere, just winded in and out of the main path in, but fun as can be. There were also some good sandy spots too.





Photobucket





One river had a decent path out the other side but I didn’t want that much excitement. So I found all the dead-ends and headed back to town.




Photobucket




I noticed that the tour boat had pulled in. The streets were packed with overweight tourist herding all throughout the downtown area. It wasn’t my scene and made the stomach turn just a little so I rolled back to the gas station by the edge of town and headed back to the boarder, hoping that I could get back in.








The border guard looked at my little piece of paper and my driver’s license and waived me through with little delay.





I cruised through the canyon and made it back to the amazing turquoise lakes just on the other side.




Photobucket









Photobucket



After a nice break and taking the chance to eat a little more of my packed lunch, I blazed up the pavement back towards the truck.











But not far after that something caught my eye so, after a quick glance in the rearview mirror of course, I slammed on the breaks and flipped a bitch.






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Old 11-10-2012, 06:36 PM   #209
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tHE SKagwY pt 4


I turned around quick because of a truck with an empty flat bed trailer behind, parked next to the road. Exactly like the type you would use to tow an ATV or a sled, oops, I mean snow machine (in a different season of course), with the ramp still down next to a little path leading into the woods.




It obviously needed checking out.




And I am glad I did. I am also glad I didn’t have any extra luggage or a more obese bike because it was steep.




Real steep.




The hill kept going and going and going, up and up and up. There were a couple moments of doubt, but in that situation you have no choice; just gas it and go. Not too many rocks, at least at first. Just steep and unrelenting, enough to where there was a little clutch slipping involved to make it.



No stopping and no slowing just keep going, it was a relief to finally make it.



Photobucket




The trees disappeared, choked off by elevation and the elements, giving way to an alpine playground.




Photobucket




Running into the owners of the truck and trailer, I thanked them for tipping me off. It would have been very easy to just blast by the little path off the main road. They seemed pretty surprised to see me roll up on the bike, mainly surprised that I was able to manage the hill. One owned the campground in Skagway and the other was retired and spent all his time ATV’n and sledding. I mean snow machining. They were awesome, the typical friendly and helpful Alaskan.




After a warning about the clouds coming in from the sea, they headed down but there was more poking around to be done for me.




Photobucket







Photobucket






Photobucket






Photobucket





After finding all the dead-ends, it was time to head back. The clouds were coming and riding a waterfall down would not be fun.





Photobucket



If you ride off road, not just graded gravel roads, you understand that up can be much easier than down. That was the case here too, and all you can do is pucker up and go with it.





At the bottom I waved at the guys, as they were just getting back to the truck, and headed back up the slab.





Not much before Carcross there was another interesting looking side-road, so I stopped to check it out. It looked good, but the day was wearing thin, there didn’t seem to be any liability waivers, and it was time to get back to the truck.






Not until after a quick shot of the sign though, just in case one might find himself in the neighborhood again in the future.





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Old 11-13-2012, 09:13 PM   #210
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The next day the miles, or KMs rather, just melted away one after another, after another.

The Cassiar was a nice roll, but there was not much disappointment in having the enclosed box rather than the bike; not enough corners to make it better for a bike. But definitely the way I would go if I were to ride it, with a back-track for Laird of course.

It seemed like a good idea to not skip the gas stations however.

Just a bunch of open road with no one around.


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