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Old 07-06-2011, 02:30 PM   #1
larshoejberg OP
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Thumb Alaska to Argentina - N69S54A

This RR is going to be about our PanAmerica trip from Prudhoe Bay to Ushuaia.
We've been planning the trip for the last 2 years and now we're finally here - awesome.

Alrighty then - we arrived in Anchorage last Thursday and headed up to Fairbanks. We're still here - waiting for our bikes to be ready at Northern Powersports in Fairbanks. Unfortunately they were a bit delayed due to the 4th. of July celebrations. The packages with the equipment from Happy-Trail didn't arrive until yesterday, so they haven't been able to prepare the bikes for us.

So, for the moment we just hang out at Go North, a hostel at the outskirts of Fairbanks. A really great place.
The plan is to go north to Coldfoot tomorrow - stay there one night and then go to Deadhorse on Friday.

This is my 1st. attempt to do a RR so have a little patience
Pictures and more information will follow soon. Until then, you can follow our adventure on the link below.

Cheers /Lars
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:34 PM   #2
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Looking forward to your trip reports, pics, and perspectives. Stay safe, and enjoy the Americas!
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:03 PM   #3
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The loooong and bumpy road to nowhere

Finally we are on to the real stuff. On our way to the Northern most point of our trip Prudhoe Bay in Alaska towards the famous Dalton Highway. 1600 km (1000 miles) round trip from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay and back.
I was surprised how quickly the landscape changes. Just a few miles out of Fairbanks it became very remote without any form of houses or structures except from the oil pipe. No houses, no gas stations, no tourist traps, nothing. Just a looong road up North. And the pavement quickly disappeared and turned into a dusty, muddy, slippery gravel road.


First stop was the Yukon river. First and only stop for fuel before we hit Coldfoot. The Yukon is enormous! The biggest river I have ever seen. It cuts right through Alaska from the East to West. The landscape is soooo beautiful. It’s easy to imagine Indian tribes hunting for caribou or muskox on the vast Yukon flats. The trees are all small and thin and all look young or sick. But in fact they are all really old trees that grow extremely slow. The further we get North the less trees we see. Finger Mountain is a beautiful spot with amazing granite structures scattered all over the area. Several places the stone stick up in the air like fingers pointing.


We stopped and cooked our first camp meal in the shade of the rocks out of the strong cold wind. It was either mosquitos or strong cold wind. Just after midnight we finally made it to latitude 66,33° – the Artic Circle. We planned to go further but as we started so late in the afternoon it was late when we arrived here and we decided to camp for the night. Driving so far North is amazing since the sun is up all night and you can just go on as long as you don’t fall asleep behind the wheels. (wheel!)






Bunny going for the road kill!

As we got to the camp, we found that Bruce, Ruth and Tim had camped there as well, and Bruce came out of his camper and welcomed us. This was a nice surprise and the following morning Bruce spoiled us with an all-inclusive breakfast. Tim fixed us a nice Aussie outback campfire



This was also the place we met Christian Moser, a Swiss guy doing a trip from Deadhorse to LA! Pretty hardcore! We think our sweet little buts hurt from riding the motorcycles! Doing the same trip on a bicycle, you gotta have an iron butt!

Next stop was Coldfoot, one of the few and important stations for petrol on the way. Also THE place to stop for a meal and get an extra Jerry with petrol. The Suzuki tank contains 13 liter (3,8 gallons) which gives me about 280 km (180 miles) – not enough to make it to Deadhorse.

The Dalton Highway was build as a support road for the big Trans Alaska oil pipeline cutting through the landscapes of Alaska. It’s kind of sad to see this enormous fat metal pipe all the way through the landscape – but I know there’s a lot of double moral in sentiment. After all we are riding 2 motorbikes using petrol – and if it wasn’t for the pipeline, there wouldn’t be a road at all for us to ride up North on. However it seems that everything civilization has brought to Alaska is either exploitative or ugly.

The highway is mainly gravel, and some places they use calcium chloride that makes it extra slippery when wet. When dry it’s very dusty, so they have enormous trucks pour water on it to reduce the dust, and simultaneously they scrape the surface hereby creating huge piles of gravel parallel to the road. An amazingly high number of trucks use the road to nowhere. The road is built for these trucks and they merely accept our presence on their road. They certainly do not slow down for 2 bikers or anyone else. The large clouds of dust they create are thick and practically make you blind for 10 seconds until the dust disappears.



The bikes love the ride. This is definitely what they were build for. The big 21′ front wheel surf right though the numerous potholes and handles the gravel really well. Our heavy weight on the back, screws the balance a bit and the front wheel is a bit too lively, but after a while we got used to it and rode with really good speed. When it rained the road turned extremely slippery and we had to reduce speed.


We pass the Brooks Ranges on our way to Deadhorse.


The Dalton Hwy cuts through the Ranges over the Atigun Pass. An Amazing place. The mountains seems much higher than they actually are since there are no threes up here. It’s a cold, remote and dead-zone like place. We get all our gear on to keep out the cold. 7 layers in fact. 2 layers of woolen underwear, a woolen shirt, the 3-layer mc suit and finally a rain suit. And still I was really cold. The wind was soo strong and cold and right in our faces.

Lars at the Atigun pass with max layers and a whole lot of dust.



Fuelling up for the next stretch of gravel



We drove until midnight and by then I was extremely tired and cold. Probably not the best condition to be in, driving on a heavily fogged, slippery gravel road with thousands of Caribou around. The windscreen kept fogging up on the inside and I couldn’t see anything. So I would lift up the windscreen to see 30 meters ahead, but immediately my eyes would water up and my skin would freeze, so I would have to shut the windscreen again. I kept wiping the screen to remove dust and moisture, but it just made it worse. After what felt like an eternity, we finally arrived at Deadhorse and headed for the Caribou Inn to get some heat back in our bodies.

Henriette freezing her but of at midnight in Deadhorse. From the look on my face, I’m not having much fun by now!



Deadhorse and Prudhoe Bay is the most northerly drivable place in North America. Basically Prudhoe Bay is an oil field and Deadhorse is the support town. Awfully ugly and hostile looking and an amazing contrast to the nature we have been riding through coming up here. The numerous caribou in between the buildings added to the contrast. I cannot imagine that the grass they were feeding on is very healthy for them.



We stopped at the Artic Caribou Inn in Deadhorse, hoping for a nice restaurant with a warm fireplace. But it was midnight and of course nothing was going on. Besides the word “nice” really doesn’t apply to anything here. The manager of the Inn came out and talked to us. Think he felt sorry for these two dirty, soggy people and he let us into the breakfast room and even let us make our own sandwiches. Really sweet of him. We stayed there for quite a while until we were just slightly warm again. Outside a poorly looking fox was very interested in our bikes in his search for something edible.

We knew that the hotels in Deadhorse are a rip off, so we drove out of town again to find a place to camp by the river. We managed to set up our tent and climbed into our cold sleeping bags and fell asleep immediately. If we wanted to see the Arctic Ocean, we would have to sign up for a bus tour out there. They would let us dip our feet in the water and give us a certificate for doing so! We didn’t really wanna do that, and just wanted to get out of there as quick as possible.



In the morning we woke up with caribou all around us.

The way back to Fairbanks was easier since we had the wind in the back and were going towards warmer weather.
We met Christian Moser, the Swizz biker again 60 miles outside Fairbanks. He was heading for the Go North hostel as well, so he would arrive the following day. He also told us that Bruce broke his arm up at the Yukon River. Not good.



The wildlife didn’t seem to be bothered by the pipeline.



More moose.




So finally we arrived back in Fairbanks only missing a few bolts and Lars’ number plate from the bumpy ride to nowhere. Anna, Ruth, Tim, Tom and Bruce were all there to welcome us. Felt like coming home






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Old 07-19-2011, 06:18 PM   #4
leonphelps
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On my Prudhoe Bay trip I met a couple also doing a bike ride from Alaska to Argentina.....just in case you bump into them...http://www.bootsboatsandbikes.co.uk/......Nick and Ivanka...they are two up on a GS1150....
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:32 PM   #5
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Awesome!!! good luck on your journey and thanks for all the great pictures...keep them coming....!!!
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:13 PM   #6
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Nice shots! looking forward to seeing the adventure unfold
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Old 08-01-2011, 05:52 AM   #7
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Wild thing!

Canada……you make my heart sing!


The ride from Alaska to Canada was amazing. We left Fairbanks on July 14th and headed southwest towards Tok.



In Tok we turned North on the Taylor Hwy towards Chicken and Top of the World Highway. Even if the nature is amazing, we got long stretches of absolutely nothing. Those stretches are tiring and exhausting and makes your mind wander and go to places it shouldn’t be. You should always focus on the road, the next pothole, next patch of deep gravel, or next passing bear but when you get looooong stretches of perfect pavement it makes you unfocused and you forget just how quickly the surface can change. For that reason I like the potholes, the curves, the gravel patches and the occasional rain shower because they make me focus on the driving. A bear sighting, a moose or just a beautiful scenery does the same trick.


The rivers were massive and we can only begin to imagine the water masses during spring time. There is just so much nature in this place.



We are getting into the daily camping routine. Lars is in charge of the tent. I am in charge of the campfire and the cooking. Very traditional roles and not exactly how we do it back home



We are both completely covered of a layer of dust from the roads and smoke from the campfires and there’s easily 4-5 days between showers. My long hair is sticky from the dust and mosquito spray and I’m starting to look like a true Scandinavian Amazon.






Deluxe Birthday camping dinner – not exactly bear save camping food, but we took the risk.





We see a lot of moose. Mostly female moose with calves.





We stop at every gas station available. Alaska is so extremely remote and distances are much bigger than we are used to back home, so passing a gas station is a no go.





At the gas stations we seem to attract people. Maybe it is every guy’s boy dream to do overland travels on motorbikes, but most of them end up in the huge RV’s with their satellite TV and their generators and their extra car toed behind them. It’s a pretty comfortable way to travel and we envy them a few times – but mostly not. Anyways a lot of people – mostly guys come over and talk to us. It’s really nice to have these conversations, even if they tend to be a repetition of each other: where are y’all from, where are y’all going, where did y’all start your trip etc.


A gas station on the legendary Alaska Hwy. This RV actually tows a large car behind it! For European standards, that’s a bit over the top!





In Tok we spotted Liz and Brian’s red bicycles and found them inside the visitors center. We all went for a coffee and talk. They were having a laundry break in Tok before they continued their long trip down to Victoria, Vancouver Island.





We were very tempted to buy the local calendar!



After a long ride (July 14th), we arrived in Chicken, a weird little community with just 3 houses, run by a pretty tough woman.





Only 5 people live here year round but they have more stickers, badges, patches, posters, gadgets than Disneyland. Just amazing. And people actually buy it!


The diner is known for it’s amazing pies and burgers and they brag loudly about it. I think they are just famous because they are the only place within a 200 miles radius!








What happens in Chicken stays in Chicken….. well don’t think too much happens in Chicken anyways!!!





It is quite a cool place though. The goldmines are still running, so this is not a museum, but a real mining town.
Meet Mrs. Moose and her two babies in downtown Chicken.





We met John, a former KLR mechanic from Oklahoma and Don from California. They were going the same way as us over the Top of the World Hwy, so we agreed to meet again in Dawson City.


In Chicken we also had our first motorcycle incident. Just before we left Chicken, I was topping off the Suzuki. I was talking to another traveler at the same time, so I didn’t really focus on what I was doing. I reached out for the green nozzle and filled up the tank with about 1 gallon of petrol – at least so I thought! In Denmark green nozzle means unleaded petrol - in Alaska it means diesel! Bummer!


After the first few seconds of panic, Lars got an old bucket from the store and I emptied the fuel tank. As I had only put about 1 gallon of diesel on it and since I never ran the engine, non of it would have gotten into the carburetor. We rinsed the tank with petrol and filled it up again – this time with the good stuff. And I crossed my fingers that it was OK for the Top of the World Hwy.





The the road from Chicken towards the border was absolutely amazing. The nicest gravel road with lots of curves, beautiful rivers, lakes and scenery all around us. – And the Bunny bike ran smoothly btw!


We crossed the border into Canada at a tiny border crossing Little Gold on Top of the World Hwy (July 15th). Up here we had to wear all layers again. It was freezing cold with a strong wind. But absolutely beautiful.


Second border crossing – yay!






In the evening we arrived in Dawson City and just outside a camp ground officer flagged us down and asked if we were Norwegian (: We answered that we are Danish, and that was close enough for him. John and Don had asked him to flag us down and direct us to their campsite. They had gotten the last campsite available in town and they were gladly sharing it with us.





John on his cool KLR with 40 homemade modifications and Dob on his big BMW. I was very impressed with Johns Aerostich coverall riding suit and his Chinese army boxes.





Dawson City is an amazing mining/hippie/museum town. There was a big music festival going on, so the town was packed with people over the weekend – hence the full camp grounds.






Dawson City and the massive Yukon river seen from above.






Dawson City was also the place we ran into Charley Boorman (July 17th). For us that was pretty damn awesome as one of his previous adventures “The Long Way Round” was inspiration for our trip.




He was there working on a new TV-series “Extreme Frontiers“. Thank you Charley for inspiring us!


Between Whitehorse and Watson Lake on the Alaska Highway we got to see our first bear – is it a Grizzly or a brown black bear? You tell us!




From this point we saw an amazing umber of bear. Between Watson Lake and Liard Hot springs approx. 100 miles ahead, we stopped almost every 10 minutes for a bear sighting.








Bunny finds it a bit scary to be this close to a real bear!






At first I was quite scared. The bears was so close to us, and I would always keep my motor running and in gear, ready to set off. But after a while I realized that they really couldn’t care less about us. They just cared about munching strawberries all day.






Further down the Alaska Hwy we came across several herds of Bison. They were if possible more scary than the bears. Just sooo big and walking steadily in the middle of the road, forcing you to ride right past them. Urgh!







Enjoy the exiting movie clip of one of our bison encounters






We also get to see more Moose. Only female cow moose and calves. We haven’t seen any bulls with big antlers yet.




The nature is just beautiful and purple from foxtail and fireweed.






We went down the Alaska Hwy to Liard Hotsprings where we enjoyed the extremely hot water and turned back towards Watson Lake.


Here we spent 2 days so Lars could get a new rear tire on his KLR. The rough gravel roads seems to be eating our tires raw.


Equiped with new rubber, we headed toward Steward and Hyder on the Cassiar Hwy 37 south. Probably one of the most beautiful stretches so far. Lots of smooth curves, large areas of ghost-like burned forest.







And after a nice day of riding comes and nice campfire.



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Old 08-01-2011, 09:26 AM   #8
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Fantastic! Enjoying the story. Keep posting and happy/safe travels!
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:22 PM   #9
Johnnydarock
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Excellent adventure! I'm looking forward to reading your ride report. By-the-way...all your bear pictures look like different colors of black bears.
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnydarock View Post
By-the-way...all your bear pictures look like different colors of black bears.
Johnny,
"They come in all colours, as long as they're black"
Nah . . . . I think you're right - we still haven't seen any Grizzlys, but we're hoping to see one soon.

We'll keep you posted
/Cheers
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:48 PM   #11
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Thumb The journey continues south towards Glacier N.P.

The Cassiar Hwy got us down to Meziadin Junction where we headed west towards the Portland Canal and the two towns Stewart and Hyder passing amazing glaciers.




Stewart and Hyder was a different experience. These two small towns are right next to each other, but far from everything else at the bottom of the Portland Canal. Located in a harsh, cold and misty environment, hidden deep in this fjord on the west coast of Canada.



Since the towns belong to two different countries; Hyder is in Alaska and Stewart is in Canada, they have their own little border control. They are even in two different time zones. When it is 4 pm in Hyder it is 5 pm in Stewart. Pretty unpractical since the people living in these small towns cross the border several times every day. But then again, I don’t think time matters so much for them.


The people living in Hyder seem to be either fishermen, mining people or old hippies who enjoy the simple and non restricted world, where no legal office sets its feet or construction rules are ever enforced. The people living here can do pretty much as they please. – And it shows!


There's so much junk scattered all over the place. Old mining machinery, abandoned houses falling apart, old trucks rusting in the woods.






The place attracts two types of visitors: tourists who come to see the bears feed of the spawning salmon and motorcyclists who come there to complete their 50 USA states and get a Ironbutt certificate.
The day we got there was the first day the salmon started coming up the creek. A grizzly with her two cubs was there, but unfortunately we missed them. To bad really, but nevertheless it was quite cool to see the big salmon dig holes in the shallow creek bed and lay their eggs and spawn.
We camped in Hyder Alaska behind the Sealaska Inn to everybody’s astonishment “But there are bears in the area!” Yes, like pretty much the rest of Alaska and Canada. There seem to be some weird bear fear hype going on among travelers. Guess the bear-spray and bear-bell industry is pretty pleased about the freaked-out tourists. Not to mention the weapon industry! - Mind you, there is bears in the area!







Speaking of weapon industry, we went into an old dusty general store with mostly empty shelves besides a bit of fishing equip and an extensive range of firearms. Lars found an amazingly cool tool tube – an old 88 mm mortar grenade holster. Mounted with 2 hose clamps, it fits perfectly on the skid plate and now holds all his tools. Price tag including clamps: $ 12,80!






Leaving Hyder and Stewart and heading for Prince George, we slowly returned to civilization. Fenced cow fields, frequent small towns and heavier traffic were a change in scenery we had to get used to again. Although as we left the main road to find a camp spot, we spotted a black bear less than 50 meters away from cows grassing quietly in the field. What a weird sight!
Riding a motorcycle can be a hazardous stuff! Especially when you are a bit unfocussed and forget details like strapping your bag down!
Lars was riding in front of me and noticed in his rear mirror that heavy smoke was coming from my bike. He signaled like a crazy guy to make me stop. I never noticed a thing! As I hadn't strapped my bag properly, the North Face bag was leaning against the exhaust - dope!!! Not a real smart move! It burned right through my bag and clothes! Bummer!






In Kitwanga we met Casey (KC) on her beautiful old timer Harley Davidson. Casey was traveling by her self to Alaska and we spend the night together with her in Houston on Hwy 16 (the Highway of Tears - check out the sad and ongoing story). It was very cool to hang out with an experienced female biker.


Casey is the second female rider we meet on our trip. Except for all the women who ride on the back of their husbands and boyfriends. We don't know why so little women ride motorcycles. Casey's opinion was that she was passed the age (she's 60 years old) where she had to prove anything to anyone anymore. She did anything she'd like to do no matter what people thought of it. She told us, she didn't like to see the way the women in the US were moving back towards traditional role models, where women are supposed to behave in a particular way to be real women, and where finding that mister right, was their solely purpose in life. I told her about the exploding female sport Roller Derby, where women are definitely following their own dreams and doing exactly what they want no matter what people think of it. She liked the concept.
Beautiful old Native totem poles in Kitwanga, BC.


From Hwy 16 we headed for Dawson Creek to meet Ruth and Tim, who we met in Fairbanks. We decided to try to avoid Prince George and turn north towards Fort St. James and continue on forest roads up to Dawson Creek. The idea seemed pretty good until we hit the first bit of gravel.
It was a dry and dusty gravel road with more potholes and washboards than the Dalton Hwy. But worst of all, the road was busier than Paris during rush hour. Enormous log trucks heading south came towards us every 5 minutes, leaving a huge cloud of dust and zero visibility behind. As soon as we were through the dust and able to see the next pothole coming towards us, the next 2-3 log trucks would pass us and we were back to zero visibility. We couldn’t believe the amount of threes that was removed from the forest every minute. It was hard not to get Lord of the Rings – Isengard - flashbacks.
Eventually we turned away from this sorry ass road, onto a smaller forest road heading east. The road seemed pretty promising. No traffic but just a beautiful nice forest road, with nice scenery. At least so it seemed at first. After a while, the road got narrower, heavier and muddier. Further into the forest, the road was flooded in places. The potholes turned into deep rumbles and I put the Bunny bike down a few times. We could go 5 km/h max. The road didn’t really correspond to the map and it just didn’t feel right.
Finally after passing a stretch with heavy mud, the road ended blind. We realized that we had taken a wrong turn somewhere. We turned back, passed the same muddy areas and scary flooded parts and went back the road quite a bit, until we found the turn-of where we thought we got it wrong. This road quickly turned into a muddy disaster as well and on top of it, it was getting late.


We had the feeling we turned of from the log truck road in a wrong place and was going down dead-end roads one after the other. Finally we decided to throw the adventure towel in the ring and head back to Fort St. James to camp there. Back on the log truck road to the dust, potholes and washboards – now in the dark. Guess we weren’t all that tough and adventurous after all!
From Fort St. James we headed for Prince George and McDonald to get some WIFI! (nice excuse!). In the parking lot we met these 3 super cool guys, Scott, Chris & Austin all riding KLR's. Their surely knew hos to make the most of their money. They had a lot of homemade cool solutions for their bikes, and we admired their creativity.





From Prince George we headed towards Dawson Creek to Ruth and Tim (London & Aussie or Deli girls & Butcher!).
We were pleased to see the scenery change from city to cow fields to thick forest and despite some long stretches of awful newly laid gravel, Hwy 97 from Prince George to Dawson Creek was a beautiful ride.
Just outside Chetwynd I discovered that my pants were covered in oil! I looked down and the entire right side of the bike was sprayed with oil from the radiator. We stopped and tried to find the leak, but with all the mud and dust and now oil on top of it, it was hard to see where it was coming from. We decided to continue the 80 km to Dawson Creek and hoped there would be a mechanic there. We stopped a few times to check the leak, and it seemed to be okay, except for the fact that it was a big mess.
Ruth was a sweetheart and picked us up late in the evening at a petrol station in Dawson Creek. We followed her to their home at Schneider’s Riverside Ranch outside a little farmers town Pouce Coupe, a beautiful farm with the most amazing view over the surrounding fields.





Short after Tim and Rudie - a "Swindian" (Half Swiss, half Indian) - came back from Tim’s butcher shop where they had been “working” late.
We were also introduced to Marley and Fritz a couple of kittens who spend all day entertaining anyone who would give them a bit of attention.



Ruth and Tim live in a house together with Jordan & Frank (youngest son of Freddie and Liz Schneider), who were very nice to let us use their guest room the following 5 nights.
The bike was transported to Grande Prairie for repair at Windsor Motorsports and since it was BC day the following Monday, we had a long weekend in Dawson Creek with awesome company and a nice soft bed! We weren’t sorry at all!
The following days we had more meat and more different kinds of meat, than we would normally have in several years. Dinner would include deer, caribou, elk as well as bison. Picnics would include nothing less than fresh made bison burger!


Bison Burger freshly cooked at Kinuseo Falls, Tumbler Ridge, BC.


Lars was introduced to authentic redneck lifestyle: Firing shotguns, fishing, eating loads of meat and no veggies, driving big ass trucks, drinking his brains out and growing a beard! And he loved it! For a while there I thought I was never gonna get him to leave with me.


Lars with his well earned Coors Light cap - I say no more!





Bruce, the gentleman we all met in Fairbanks, Alaska (with the broken arm) also came by Ruth and Tim’s place on his way back from Alaska, so we had a real Alaska reunion going on! He’s arm was doing better, which was very good news.
Tim, Jordan, Ruth, Henriette, Bruce and the kittens


The kittens seemed to be running on 2 modes: Either 100% on or 100% off!


Bruce drove us to Grande Prairie to pick up the bunny bike. It turned out the radiator had been rubbing against the tank due to a loose bolt and that had caused the leak. Luckily Ron at Windsor Motorsports was able to fix the radiator.
Henriette happily reunited with the Bunny bike.


The fixed radiator. You can see where it had been rubbing against the tank.


Ron was a bit of an adventure rider himself and serious about this work. Something that is very appreciated when you depend on your two wheels and you don’t have all the money in the world to keep it running. The radiator has been running perfectly ever since. Thank you Windsor Motorsports!


Ruth and Henriette doing the true redneck wifey style!


Leaving Dawson Creek was kind of sad. We had so much fun with our new friends and sometimes travelling includes too many goodbyes.
We headed to Jasper National Park and on the way a stop in Hinton to meet West Yellowhead Rollergirls – and even skate! Yay!
Erin aka Atomic Toaster and Nathalie aka Old Lady Wheel-‘her’ took me to their outdoor rink to skate and talk Derby.



Their team was getting ready for their first bout and they were really excited about it. After skating they took us for drinks at a karaoke bar and Toaster showed us her real star qualities on the stage! She even managed to get me up there with the microphone - in my dirty riding gear! Argh! The shots started flowing to the table and Toaster and Old Lady was showing some real Derby party spirit!






Heading for Jasper National Park (Aug 5th)



Jasper wildlife getting a bit to familiar with the tourists!



Jasper National Park turned out to be a very busy place. It is unquestionable very beautiful, but the numbers of RV’s pickup trucks, hikers and bikers just makes it a bit to crowded for our taste. You didn’t have to look for the wildlife. Just look for the line of cars and people jamming up to take pictures of the animals. Amazingly the animals didn’t seem to care. Large Elks were grassing on the side of the road, while an ongoing stream of tourists with their enormous photo lenses were having their Kodak moment.


We treated ourselves with a nice boat ride on the Maligne Lake











On Icefields Parkway we met Petar, a 21-year-old guy from Croatia. He was doing the same trip as us on a big KTM 990 Adventure. He was just going the other way from Argentina to Alaska. We though it was pretty amazing that he was doing this at such a young age, but then he told us that when he was 19 he did a round-the-world trip! In fact, the week after he got his very first motorcycle, he took of to North Cape in Norway. He didn’t have gloves or proper riding gear! That’s the real adventure spirit. Just get on the road. You might freeze your hands and nose of, but you’ll have so much fun doing it!
Check out Petar’s amazing website








The Icefields Parkway took us through this amazing glacier carved scenery with non-stop Kodak moments so we got a lot of breaks along the way.
Waterfalls carving through the rocks creating amazing rock formations.










Peyto Lake is a glacier-fed lake which gives it the amazing artificial looking blue color.
















The ultimate tourist trap: Lake Louise. It's undeniable very beautiful though and the Fairmont's Chateau Lake Louise is a very posh place to hang out with room rates starting from $500. Not in this life!






Enjoying the company at the Castle Mountain Campground. Alice & John from Alberta and Jonathan & Jean-Baptiste from Touluse, France.


Lars doing his homework in the Palace office.


We quickly realized that if we went just a little further than the paved tourist walkways, we would have the place for ourselves. Most people just get out of the RV to take a photo, but they don’t like to get too far away from the comforts of air-condition and cup holders. Lars with the last sausage from the famous Dawson Creek Butchery




Next stop was Calgary (Aug 9th) for a new rear tire for the Bunny bike. On www.advrider.com we got recommendations to go to Anderwerks for parts and repairs. Anderwerks is a BMW motorrad specialist owned by Dave Anderson. He turned out to be a bit of a adventure rider himself.
A flat tire seldom happens on a sunny afternoon, but more likely on a rainy evening on a muddy road on a scary mountain side, so we wanted to do the tire change ourselves by hand behind the shop. Dave agreed to let us do that to his staff’s and other customer’s great amusement.


The “breaking the bead” hug! Didn't work though. We had to use the side-stand on the KLR - that did the trick.


Parts Manager Jennifer was very supportive during the whole act.


And the final victory outburst when we finally got the new tire back on, without pinching the tube once!


Dave invited us to stay at his place for the night and cooked us a nice BBQ on his enormous gas BBQ – his #2 best toy, placed next to his #1 best toy – A BMW HP2 equipped with all the HPN and Touratech goodies you could ever dream of. Take a look at this baby:






Dave had a special seat made by Andrea from Powersports Seats for his HP2. Her shop was right here in Calgary, and we thought she could be the solution to my seat issues. The Suzuki seat is mildly put very uncomfortable. It cuts of the circulation to my right leg. It doesn’t hurt a lot when I ride, but as soon as I get of the bike and stand up, my leg goes numb right away. And I have even invested in the Suzuki gel seat, which should be more comfortable than the original stock seat. However I can’t say I wasn’t warned; on several rider forums the Suzuki seats are described as extremely uncomfortable and not made for longer journeys.
Well arrived in Andreas cool workshop, she removed the seat cover and we quickly realized why this seat wasn’t doing its job. The foam was a poor and hard quality and the gel was equally bad. The gel didn’t even cover the entire space it was supposed to, leaving a rather large hole of nothing. No wonder I was aching.






Andrea did an amazing job, while we waited. She cut of a big chunk of the old foam and replaced with a new of better quality. The she started molding and reshaping it and made space for a new gel pad. It was really cool to see her work and mold the foam like clay.





We tried the seat on the bike several times, to ensure the shape was right for me. The result feels a whole lot better than before. I’m still very sensitive and I think the problem will diminish slowly, but it feels a whole lot better now.
Leaving Calgary we went by the local IKEA warehouse. We hoped an IKEA sheepskin would be the final solution to the butt issues! We treated ourselves to some Swedish meatballs and felt a bit closer to home!


Back on the road we headed for Kananaskis Country and Hwy 40 going south. This road was a beautiful relief from the crowded Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff experience. The mountains were amazing and we saw a lot of deer and mountain sheep. A the bottom of Hwy 40 we turned of to Hwy 940, a beautiful gravel road that took us all the way to Coleman through a beautiful, peaceful landscape of mountains, rivers and fields with cows and horses living the best life imaginable.










We crossed the border into the US at Chief Mountain, a beautiful little lonely border patrol in Waterton Lakes National Park.


Coming from the busy Jasper-Banff National Parks it was a relief getting back to a real outpost.
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:57 PM   #12
Manolito
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Awesome pictures


Will be waiting for you in Argentina.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:41 PM   #13
TomTom63
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Great report and pics. Brings back fond memories
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manolito View Post
Will be waiting for you in Argentina.
Sounds good - We might take you up on that. We expect to be in Argentina in the beginning of January 2012.
I'll contact you once we get closer. /Lars
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:31 PM   #15
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great RR! it would be my favorite itinerary.
enjoy and ride safe!
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