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Old 07-14-2011, 10:39 AM   #331
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Thanks Cheryl and Leslie for a great ride report. I just returned last week from a similar trip to the Dempster. I noticed you're starting to head back. After all the challanging roads, The Dempster, Top-of the-World (US side), the road to Telegraph Creek, the one I enjoyed the least, was the stretch on the Alaska Highway as soon as you enter Canada. What an embarrassment! Between the endless gravel stretches, pilot cars and the denture rattling endless dips and cracks, that stretch beat me up the most. I was trying to make it to Haines Junction for the night but due to delays, gave up and stayed at this very nice campground called White River RV Park. They have no food service but when I gave the old "whoh-is-me" look, Amanda, the owner, took pity on me and fed me. She had a survey crew she was feeding so there was pleanty. I can really recommend this campground. Very clean washrooms and showers, wifi hookup, grassy campspots and they have nightly excursions on the 1940's crew carrier used when building the Alcan Highway up into the backcountry to look for bears. Lots of history there.

My camping spot.

If you're heading down the Cassiar, try to get into Telegraph Creek.

And to Stewart to the Salmon Glacier.

You taked about super slick road surface on the Dempster. I road it back in sunshine but after a night of heavy rain. Brutal!!

Anyways, sorry to hi-jack your thread. Have a safe trip back and keep the photos coming. You've taken a lot that I wish I'd taken.

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Old 07-14-2011, 05:49 PM   #332
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In Wiseman

Much nicer than Coldfoot. We are staying at the Boreal Lodge down the street from Coldfoot. $90 gets you a sweet room, showers and laundry if you want. Nice gift store and some food too.

BTW...The Dalton is a pussy cat compared to the Dempster. Having said that we have not been on the Wiseman to Deadhorse section yet.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:32 PM   #333
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I just found out about this thread. I will be reading it soon.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:56 PM   #334
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Doin' great ladies. Keep on riding and taking us along with you. Ride Safe!
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:01 PM   #335
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We love this place. Boreal Lodge rocks. Have an update to upload but can't here. Gonna try our luck at Deadhorse and try to get on a tour.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:25 PM   #336
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Say What?

Originally Posted by soph9 View Post
Much nicer than Coldfoot. We are staying at the Boreal Lodge down the street from Coldfoot. $90 gets you a sweet room, showers and laundry if you want. Nice gift store and some food too.

BTW...The Dalton is a pussy cat compared to the Dempster. Having said that we have not been on the Wiseman to Deadhorse section yet.
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Old 07-15-2011, 03:48 PM   #337
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University Of Alaska at Fairbanks to Wiseman (408 KM)

July 14th 2011

I was up really early this morning about 0430. Guess you can say I was anxiously awaiting to get back on the road and see what the Dalton Highway was all about. We checked out by 0620 and were on our way to Prudhoe Bay. It’s a long ride to the actual beginning of the highway, all pavement from Fairbanks but a nice ride with some decent curves and views.

We got our first real glance at the pipe line. When you see it for the first time it is hard to imagine how the heck they protect this long pipe and how they built it.

There were views but to be honest every time I saw one I went by it and only got trees. I am real lazy about turning back once I missed something and also Cheryl likes to keep moving. She hates stopping. So, on this day because it was so nice out, sunny, some clouds and no rain I kept my camera out around my neck on a lanyard and try my hand at moving photos.

We finally got to the Dalton Highway sign after about 130 miles or so I think it was and of course we need to eat and pee. No one really needs to know we had to pee but it’s all part of an adventure.

OK, so we still had another 14 miles to go before it was official.

To our surprise the Dalton was nothing like the Dempster. We were told some of the Dalton was paved but I think those who just got back from riding it forgot how much is paved. The road to Wiseman for the most part is really good. Lot’s of blacktop, compact clay and some gravel. I am sure when this is wet it could get slick but we seemed to be riding on pavement most of the 408 KM we did today. From what we have been told the rest of the way to Deadhorse is a little different. Less pavement more gravel like roads.

Some one handed pictures while riding

Still missing the open views. I am so bad at timing.

We had to pass that truck in front of me and then out run him.
Having fun with self portraits.

Still managing to take pics on the fly. Not really stopping much. I guess we have been inundated with beauty, plus we did not have a reservation either in Coldfoot or Wiseman to stay for the night. getting up there early was our idea to get in fast.

We only about 6 bikes today and 2 of them were Harley’s heading up. We got to the vista for Finger Mountain I believe it is called and one of the Harley’s lost his oil pan. Even though this is not that bad of a road still not made for street bikes.

Pipeline is to your right. I really did take a lot more pictures today since I did them from the bike. Not a bad way of doing things and I was certain to be safe when taking them.

There are a lot of dead trees it looks like. And nothing really grows up here because of the harsh winters and lack of roots/water.

See the road looks like a normal highway in many parts.

Coming into Yukon for our first gas pit stop and of course bathroom break. When out on the road you tend to drink a lot of water, hence all the pee breaks.

The only gas pump

Sort of motel and food.

All better after this break and off again towards Coldfoot for some lunch but first we had something to do.

Had to do more riding to get to our next goal before food.

Pretty purple flowers lined certain parts of the road. Very beautiful

The next picture is where we saw that poor Harley guy looking under his bike to find that he was not going anywhere. He would get help later. This is also that Finger Mountain thing. Cheryl said it looks like a penis. I know this is supposed to be G rated but really???? I agree with Cheryl on this one.

Now the next few pictures mean a lot to us. Our goal on this trip was to at least make it to the Arctic Circle on the Dempster and on the Dalton. So, here we are, Arctic Circle # 2. We have succeeded hitting both of them on motorcycles in one trip.

From the sounds of it there have been at least 2 Triumph Tigers to reach this spot before us. Bummer!
And here is Cheryl yet again reminding me how much (4 yrs.) younger she is than me.

Then me, half way up and Cheryl still had to lift my sorry butt up.

Short lived we got back on the bikes and headed north.

Don’t you just love it when you see signs like this one? It was a tight blind corner but I have never seen such an honest sign before.

he dark clouds ahead were apparently over at Deadhorse. Was raining there today.

Anyone getting tired of me saying that it has been raining or some precipitation all the time except today? Weather becomes an obsession when riding.

arrived at Coldfoot, was greeted by a nice cat and some decent food and then more gas.

At Coldfoot they wanted over $200 a night for this

Soon you will see what we got for $90
next picture is the nice floor in the restaurant.

We do not get Land O Lakes products in Canada. When I lived in NY I used to love Land O Lakes anything.

Why doesn’t half and half need to be refrigerated anyway? Almost forgot to take a picture of my patty melt.

waiting to get gas

We are carrying an extra 2 gallons as we have done quite a few times on this trip just in case. We might need it for the trip to Deadhorse.

The we got back on the bikes to head to Wiseman. Some biker buddies of ours told us about this cool place Boreal Lodge. We had a hard time finding it at first because we did not ride far enough from Coldfoot. It’s about 18 KM from Coldfoot down a dirt road about 3 miles and then you come to this.

About a population of 15 full time residents belonging to the same family pretty much. the family that owns this lodge. The ride into the lodge is very beautiful.

You cross over this little bridge and voila

And this is what we walked into. And when I say Wiseman is in the middle of no where, check out our SPOTwalla page.

Our room is the 5th door to your right. Two twins, towels, linens, bathroom right next door, free showers and they have laundry too. There is a common TV room with kitchen. They do not serve food here but you sure can cook your own. WIFI in the main gift store only and no uploading big files like our BLOG entry. This will have to wait until we are “allowed” to upload.

This is the shared kitchen and TV room

They have one cabin which is loaded with a loft, bathroom, kitchen and bedroom with TV and phone.

They use wind and solar power a well as generators to get electricity here.

Some friendly cats and we took around the area, very small but very cool things to see.

Lot’s of bugs here but we got our spray.
Nice river flowing near by and if we were staying longer we just might have gone fishing.

We are hoping that when we get to Deadhorse tomorrow that we can take the tour to the ocean. They need to check the back grounds of visitors for security reasons. Hence the 24 hours notice but they do not make it easy to make a reservation. Caribou Arctic Inn does the tours. We shall see if we get there only to really turn back.

UPDATE: We got a tour for 5 PM but no place to stay yet.

Caribou is full so we are hoping to get in at the Prudhoe Hotel at $110 per person. OUCH oh but it includes meals. Or, we ride out of town about 10 miles and chance camping with the Grizzly’s. Stay tuned.
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:09 PM   #338
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Awesome! Just awesome.

Staying tuned...
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:26 PM   #339
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Made it to Deadhorse. Wiseman to here was a whole other road. The Dalton has earned nothing but respect. We feel as though we have been on a marathon ride and Deadhorse seriously feels like the end of earth. Lol

Cheryl & I are proud if ourselves and hope to get back to civilization in one piece. Staying at the Prudhoe Bay Hotel. Really clean, all the food you want to eat 24/7, and all for $110 per person.

Going to see the ocean tonight and have some serious pics to post if I can find the energy. Just amazing this trip is and we are very lucky grrls.

ANOTHER UPDATE: We are bailing on the ocean tour. Too much money for what you get to see. We made it and that seems good enough for both of us.

soph9 screwed with this post 07-15-2011 at 05:37 PM
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:46 PM   #340
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"We do not get Land O Lakes products in Canada. When I lived in NY I used to love Land O Lakes anything."

Have to be careful with that. LOL owns Purina Feed.
Great ride report.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:51 PM   #341
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Thanks for the updates. Hope you both enjoy the ocean at the end of the earth. I am so jealous.....
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:53 PM   #342
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Wiseman to Deadhorse (Dalton part II 371 KM)

I have read so many ride reports by other motorcyclists and have seen so many pictures of Alaska and some of the places we have been, but do be living and doing it all ourselves is a whole other story. The vastness of the Alaskan Tundra is almost overwhelming. We feel so small when riding our bikes through the mountains and plains. The views are staggering and makes us wonder why anyone would live up here throughout the winters.

The owner of the Boreal Lodge, Heidi said that her family reside in Wiseman because that is where she was raised. She said all winter is mainly spent trying to keep everything from freezing and laying low. It can get to minus 50 or 60 degrees F in Wiseman. Even colder in Deadhorse. Deadhorse is an industrial “town” open 365 days a year, 24/7. Spoke to some guys who work here and they say there are 2 shifts. Winter and Summer. When I asked if they made a lot of money to be so remote and away from their families, I got a laugh and no answer.

We just decided not to take the Arctic Ocean Tour because (1) costs too much and (2) we made it here and we feel that is good enough. Since 9/11 the tour is not allowed in any buildings or really near the important stuff when it comes to oil. We are instead writing our update, gonna eat all the endless food we get with our room and relax. More about the Prudhoe Bay Hotel in the pictures later in this report.

The Boreal Lodge is simply an oasis in the middle of nowhere. I got up early, what else is new and made myself some coffee in the cute kitchen they have for their 4 lodge guests. Not really good with one of these brewers but it tasted like coffee sort of.

Cheryl said she wanted breakfast in bed and that is what she got

judging by her face I guess she was not impressed with my bowl of instant oatmeal.

Headed out north around 0700 in a little drizzle. Weather forecast was good for Deadhorse but as we soon found out it must have rained all night on the Dalton. Good news is that we pretty much stayed dry all day except the important part the road.

Even though we were surrounded by black clouds it never poured directly on us.

The road from Wiseman to Deadhorse was a whole other ball of wax as they say then the first portion of the highway. Again I have seen pictures of all the roads we are riding and to actually experience the terrain and road conditions is something else.

We are not professional off road riders and you certainly learn fast how to sharpen your off road skills when you ride in slippery snot, deep gravel, rocks, newly grated slippery snot and road mulch. Gives you a good physical work out but also mentally as well.

Looks are deceiving when you are looking at the pictures of the road. Anyone who has been up here will tell you the shiny part of the road means greasy and take it easy.

Doing my one handed on the move shots today again. Seems to be working well.

Not much sun today and very cool. Started out around 6 Celsius and we were plugged in for some heat for the first few hours of the ride.

The road throws at you many different types of conditions. Some are wet but not so slick, others are soaked, deep slippery stuff and really need focus. There are few sections of the second half of the Dalton that tease you with pavement like about 100 miles outside Deadhorse.

Then about 50 miles from Deadhorse when you are totally beat, they welcome you with a grater making pasty wet stuff for riders to have to get past in order to enter town. I think this is Deadhorse’s way of saying bikers should not be here . To add to the mixture at the end of the day they throw in loose gravel.

The scenery again is spectacular.

The above is a good shot of newly grated road and this is not fun to ride in.

The truckers were nice on this road. Most of them slowed down for us and seemed mindful not to want to spray us with mud or rocks.

While passing through Atigun Pass the road was soaked and very slippery throughout the entire climb up and down.

Info thanks to Wikipedia:

Atigun Pass, elevation 4,739 feet (1,444 m), is a high mountain pass across the Brooks Range in Alaska, located at the head of the Dietrich River.[1][2]. It is where the Dalton Highway crosses the Continental Divide (at mile marker 244), and is the highest pass in Alaska that is maintained throughout the year.[1][3] Atigun is the only pass in the Brooks Range that is crossed by a road.[citation needed] The pass has been responsible for taking many drivers off the road and is also home to avalanches during the winter.

Atigun is known among bush pilots for the difficulty of crossing the pass with small planes; Anaktuvuk Pass is favored as the safer flying route.[citation needed].

The pass is often shown on the third and fourth seasons of the History Channel reality series Ice Road Truckers, which focuses on the challenges of driving on the Dalton Highway.

Food breaks were a must today

More pictures of the pass

We made it through and the road got a bit better

I spy some blue sky but never amounted to anything

The Tigers are really doing great, knock on wood but the Heidenau Tires are really helping the bikes and the riders out famously.

That orange thing in the above picture is a cyclist we heard who is from Italy and riding from Patagonia to Deadhorse.

A signal for their road construction

The mosquitoes were miserable whenever we stopped for a break today. The construction dudes wore bug shirts too.

Cheryl and I believe riding miles takes longer then riding in Kilometers.

Around every bend the scenery changed it seemed and you could tell that the mountains and hills were getting smaller as we got more north. Even just plain flat.

Our poor poor bikes.

The Kriega fork seal protectors ROCK!

Guess who always is dirtier.

Gets nicer looking as we “near” Deadhorse. The last 110 miles seemed like it lasted forever. I think it had to do with how tough it was getting into town with all the road gravel and grating.

Looks ocean like eh?

We had to add a little extra fuel before making it all the way. The Tiger’s are getting noticeably better gas mileage as they get more KM’s on them. We are over 6000 KM now and for this trip we averaged 4.9 L/100KM. Not bad. Our Beemers get 4.1.

The above picture is the Franklin Bluffs south of Prudhoe Bay. Again making you wonder that there might be an ocean around. We have not seen hardly any wildlife since coming into Alaska. Seems weird but from what we have been hearing about all the crazy hunting going on maybe this might mean something.

I think we missed to welcoming sign to Deadhorse???

According to what we heard today there is a multimillion dollar hotel built here called the Auroa Hotel, supposed to be really nice. We like our hotel the Prudhoe Bay Hotel.

Getting closer!

First sign of Caribou for a very long while. Nice to see right by the airport.

We got to the hotel and there are signs all over telling you to wear booties or take your boots off, House Keeping. So, I wore the booties to check us in.

We pulled up and this guy Ray was trying to clean his BMW 650 Thumper and right away asked if we had a ride report going on the ADV forum because he said he could tell who we were. he asked to take out picture for his own report to be done later in time. Ray is from Arizona.

the public gas station. Make sure you use the RED handle one for unleaded and this is how you pay.

Funny this is an oil town and they have a crappy “gas station” for the public.

Our room is like a dorm room

That is it for now. We need to chill out and eat again. Will be heading out early tomorrow to head back to Fairbanks. We are day 17 into our trip and it seems to be going by too fast all ready. We are 2 very lucky grrls to be able to take a journey together. Even though there are times we annoy one another we make a great pair.
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:04 PM   #343
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Pipeline Security

Found out they patrol by air and ground...that's it.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:46 PM   #344
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Originally Posted by soph9 View Post
Our room is like a dorm room
Great food at that place though. At least when I was there those oil field folks are fed like kings.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:26 PM   #345
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Deadhorse Tour and a man named Ray

You ever wonder what Deadhorse looks like? Ever wonder why so many ADV riders come here other than the Arctic Ocean? Here is Deadhorse in a nutshell. Also, in my last post I mentioned meeting a man named Ray. Well, we ended up chatting with Ray at dinner

only to find out that he is a published author and after Goggling his name we found out this:

Ray Jardine (born 1944) is an American rock climber who, with Bill Price, in May 1979, was the first to free climb the West Face of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. Jardine is noted for inventing and developing the spring-loaded camming devices called Friends that revolutionized rock climbing in the late 1970′s. He began his climbing career in 1963 in the Tetons, climbed in Eldorado Canyon State Park near Boulder, Colorado during the 1960s, and became active in Yosemite around 1970. During the 1970s he pioneered a number of Yosemite routes harder than had done before, up to the grade of 5.12, including the first ascent of The Phoenix (5.13a) in 1977.

In 1996 he discussed ideas related to backpacking with the publication of his Pacific Crest Trail Hikers Handbook, which advocated hiking the entire Pacific Crest Trail in a much shorter time, using homemade lightweight gear and techniques including early start times with longer days and more mileage at a slower pace. The book was revised and retitled in 1999 as Beyond Backpacking, and revised and retitled again in 2009 as Trail Life.

His techniques were initially considered radical and risky by mainstream commentators. At the core of his philosophy was a primary focus on limiting the weight carried by a hiker. He advocated replacing one’s tent with a tarpaulin, sleeping bag with a blanket, and using the post office to carry gear not needed for a trail segment. He recommended that a hiker make most of his or her own gear.

More recently, lightweight backpacking techniques with less than 25 pounds of gear (before consumables such as food, water and fuel) are becoming increasingly popular, and ultralight backpacking (less than 12 pounds base weight) is gaining acceptance by many. These techniques are often criticized for the lack of durability of some equipment or for being unsafe, but experienced users find the same practicality with less material. A smaller yet notable market for super-ultralight techniques (less than 5 pounds base weight) is also gaining popularity, but not used by a majority of hikers.

Check out his web site @ Ray, Cheryl & Leslie

Nice man and he is riding a BMW 650GS single. Good luck Ray and nice to have met you. I know you will be reading this post sometime soon!

Now, on to the pictures of this industrial town. Deadhorse apparently is a dry town. Rumour has it the oil companies have a zero tolerance for booze in the town and there are stiff penalties if anyone gets caught. This includes visitors like us.

We went for a little walk and this is what we saw. By the way it was freezing out. About 48 degrees F but the wind. Cheryl said it felt like being at Depot in Regina for her police training.

You must wear your booties because everything around here is muddy.

This is part of the cafeteria at the Prudhoe Bay Hotel. The food is not that bad but I think I ate some beef that was not cow and I ended up spitting it out.

Massive equipment all over the place.

We need to get to the General Store where the official welcome sign to Deadhorse is. We will go looking for it before we leave tomorrow.

And dinner. The town is really spread out but t is all industry here, no malls! So, we hope you enjoyed the tour and now get an idea why we went to Deadhorse instead of Hawaii. Probably would have cost the same!

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