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Old 12-13-2011, 06:41 PM   #271
siyeh
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[QUOTE=jdrocks;17506547]


in your travels, did you ever stop at Dease River Crossing in the pre pink era? the owners were from up around Green Bay. he was exSOG, the real deal.[/QUOTE

I just sent you a Dease River PM JD. I had an eventful night. Must stop cluttering your report.
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:18 PM   #272
jdrocks OP
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I just sent you a Dease River PM JD.
great story, you never know what you'll find out there.
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:37 AM   #273
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A few minutes later and I’m back in WatsonLake, time for a photo of the sign forest, don’t know when I’ll get up here again.



Then down the road to the Air Force Lodge, I need to pick up a set of TKCs that I had shipped Michael earlier, damn, I hate to carry one tire, now I get to carry two of the suckers. No one home at the Lodge, sign says they won’t be back for three hours, but I know where Michael has my tires, and I find them, still wrapped in my packaging. I swear I can smell snow in the air, it has that feel, time to get a move on.

I’m cutting the tape and cardboard away when my phone rings, surprise, I bet it’s that woman from the B&B in Telegraph Creek finally returning my calls. Instead, it’s my wife, she saw the turn east on SPOT tracking when she knew I should have turned west, now she was asking why. I’m always amazed at this technology, and it’s nice to know someone is watching, and the comfort factor works both ways.

I was strapping on the tires when Michael came over from the house next door, he remodeling that one and has several other properties in the area too. I’m glad he stopped by, I wanted to thank him and say farewell, he’s always a helpful and gracious host. He was worn out from a long summer season of 14 hour days, occupancy near 100%, it’s not easy to run an establishment to his high standards up here. So long my friend, until next time.

Tires loaded, and I can step back for a photo, then think about a destination.



I still need to get to a power washer and top off the fuel, yes I’m getting a bad case of fuel paranoia. Chloride mud on the bike that needs to come off before it corrodes everything. I’ve got mud on my boots and pants too.





Fueled the bike at the campground pumps, thanked the guys again for the use of their service bay, then around the corner to use the power washer. This one takes quarters and has a liberal timer, the best power washer deal in the Yukon. After a four quarter wash, the bike was clean, but I was late.



I decided to ride to ToadRiver, and would need to hustle along to get there before dark. That’s another stretch of road loaded with animals, I had the photos to prove it. I pointed the rat southeast and run it up to 80, this road should look familiar, but it was pitch black two nights ago, it’s all new now. I stopped again for fuel at Contact Creek, the same place I got fuel on that night time dash. The owner remembered me, and I thanked him again. He and his wife had a Nascar race on the satellite TV, rabid race fans off the grid on the Yukon border.

There are bears eating grass along the shoulders, equally spaced every so many miles, must be their territorial range.



Old bulls still lying in wallows up high, they don’t even look as I roar by, might be sleeping. Cows and calves grazing lower along the shoulders, then a dead cow and calf, recently hit, then a dead bear. Nearer the mountains there are stone sheep in the road licking salt, they refuse to move until I’m on top of them. Geez, I’d just come through here at 80mph in the dark, can’t recommend it.

I know I have enough fuel to reach ToadRiver, no traffic, sun fading in the Rockies to the west, I didn’t need encouragement to stay on the gas. I was up in the mountains now, deer, elk, then a pair of elk, then more deer, ToadRiver here I come, past 80 now.

There are big washes along the approach to MunchoLake, it must be something to see when the snow melt water comes through.





I can get a last look at the lake before putting the camera away, man, what a setting.







Out of time, out of daylight, and I rolled up to the pumps at ToadRiver in the very last of the light, the sun was down. Fueled, then in for dinner, but first I check on room availability “Sorry, we’re full”. Great, but I can’t let it spoil my dinner, I needed hot food and plenty of it. Black coffee too, how ‘bout a gallon? When my cutie waitress came back and inquired if I wanted apple pie for dessert, I just nodded. When she asked if I wanted it a la mode, I didn’t answer right away and she said “Yeah, stupid question, of course ya want ice cream, comin’ right up”. I know that riders are always taking food photos, not me, never found a shutter speed fast enough to catch home made apple pie a la mode on my plate.

My sweetheart waitress was huddled near the kitchen door and talking with a guy that had to be around 6’8”, 300 pounds, big head, hard as a farrier’s anvil, and freakin’ nuts, at least he had a distinctly unbalanced look. Try your best pickup line on her, it will go down in history, right along with you.

Out in the dark, I was back on the bike, hmmmm, now what. I passed some cabins coming into Toad River, there was a light on in back but no vehicles, better check it out, not sure if they’re open or not. The light I saw turned out to be the owner’s house, when I knocked on the door a gal answered “Yes we’re open, it’s our last day, and I’ll accept cash only”. Well, hello to you too, lady. She was one of those people that provoke an instant, effortless dislike, the antithesis of charm, but hey, I was still smilin’ that goofy lopsided thing I can do when I want something pretty bad…like one of those cabins.

I had cash, she spent 15 minutes trying to decide whether my hundred dollar bill was real. Ft.Nelson was a long way off, I was not enamored with the place anyway, there were animals all over the road, pitch black dark, and it was 32 degrees. Still, if she had spent another second examining that bill I would have snatched it back and hit the road to Ft.Nelson, I wasn’t in the mood for rude behavior. She somewhat reluctantly gave me a key to one of the cabins, they were off the grid and it was right in front of their generator shed. The cabin was a pleasant surprise, snug, clean, and nicely decorated, I’ll take it, like I had a choice.

I spend the evening drinking Irish coffee, reconciling the fact that I was now prematurely eastbound, and writing notes in my proper little journal, like I was some kind of correspondent and was about to impart the news from the road in a faraway land. I was beat, and with fatigue came literary delusions. The last time I told someone that I might try to write something up I got “Yeah sure, I’m Irish, doesn’t mean I should get a tryout for Riverdance”. Damn, shattered dreams.

(to be continued…)
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:54 PM   #274
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Day 19, 9/16:Toad River, BC to Rycroft, AB-554 miles

Ok, so I’m riding east, I wanted to make the most of it. My hostess here definitely wasn’t Catrinel Menghia, otherwise I would have marched over to the house to turn in the key, maybe catch her in her jammies…or less. Instead, I left the key in the cabin and just flipped, no no, scratch that, I meant waved goodbye. It wasn’t the earliest of starts, but I wanted to give the animals time to get the heck off the road. So long ToadRiver, and I was headed east.



Cool morning, but another fine day to be riding, I had the road mostly to myself again. It had been a slow tourist season in the north, and I was still west of all the drilling activity.





Still some sheep around, but at least they weren’t in the road.



I’ve often said that there’s not much to see east of the mountains along this road, but plenty to look at while you’re here.







Looking down a straight stretch and I see something moving in the road, and when I get closer I see it’s a through bicycler, still peddling north. Two miles farther, here’s a through hiker going the same direction. Wimpy me, a little snow had turned me around. At least they were riding and hiking through some wonderful country.



Around a blind corner and down a steep grade, whoa, here’s a huge diesel motorhome stopped smack in the road. The driver had stopped to take photos of sheep, and I was on the stoppers all the way. If I had been an 18 wheeler hauling 60,000, they would be dead right now, extra crispy, hold the hot sauce, type of dead.

It was a close call, I had braked just shy of locking things up, now I was on the side catching my breath, the motorhome still hadn’t moved, freakin’ dummies. The RV finally started moving, and I got a look down the highway, sheep everywhere.







At least the right of way is open and there’s plenty of warning, I put the camera away, I’ll never get anywhere if I take photos of every animal, I must have seen a hundred. When I slowed for a big deer in the road, the new pickup behind me didn’t, swerved around me, missed the deer by a whisker, and nearly barrel rolled at 70, two wheels off the pavement. When I passed him, he was still going 30, face ashen, might have crapped his pants. That’s another known aspect of riding through all these animals, even if ya don’t hit one, somebody might hit you.

Before long I’m back in the eastern foothills again, and can’t resist some photos. It’s not the same as the big rock faces, but you can see to the horizon, and there’s plenty of color, even in the variegated clouds.







There’s plenty to like in front of your eyes, distant mountains still in view.





The terrain flattens out, I know this road well. Soon I’m into road construction zones, slow going, then stop and go, then I’m stopped. The flag girl was standing at my fender, dressed in tights with reflective tape around her ankles, the flag girl equivalent of seasonal high fashion. She was primed for the runway, but found herself behind the pilot truck, oh momma, what we got here?

(to be continued…)
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:39 PM   #275
Separate Sky
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Great photos coupled with lively writing, but what happens next?!
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:26 AM   #276
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Great photos coupled with lively writing, but what happens next?!
thanks, glad you're enjoying it.

what's next? well, first ya meet the flag girl, then we ride for another 4,000 miles.
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:41 PM   #277
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This flag girl is a throwback to the days when the flag girls on all the Canuck road construction zones where something to see, either cute as heck, or had other notable attributes, sometimes both. Never beyond college age, never fugley, I don’t know who did all the hiring back in those days, but there were worse jobs. It was fun being on a moto, ya could always go right to the front of the line, be obnoxious and stare.

This girl had some serious attributes. Now if boobs were bucks, I’m not saying she would be Bill Gates, not Warren Buffet either…try Carlos Slim. She couldn’t hold that sign very close in, and just stood there patiently, arm extended, bright smile. I don’t know what she was smiling about, maybe she was smiling because I was smiling, and she damn well knew why all those men in line were smiling. Sorry darlin’, but ya make waiting for the pilot truck so much easier, time flies in the land of Mr. Slim.

I took the opportunity to button up, organize the tank bag, and prepare for an uninterrupted run that will take me at least another 400 miles east. I had a good idea about the roads and knew what to expect. Here come’s the pilot truck, stand back darlin’, I’m all armored up but I could still get hurt if I bumped into those things ya got there, and with a wave to my smiley flag girl, I was on my way. That’s when it started to rain.

Charging east, I knew the way, also where food and fuel were located, no wasted time, no wasted motion. Construction zones were wet and greasy now, and between the drilling activity and construction, the work appeared relentless, driven, unending. The miles rolled on, Ft.Nelson, Ft.St. John, then Dawson Creek. Besides commercial traffic, the northbound traffic consisted of hunters pulling ATVs and jetboats.

East of Dawson Creek on 49 and I was suddenly out in ag country, big farms, some on an industrial scale, but what hadn’t changed was the energy work. I farther east, the more I saw. I was out of the rain now, and also out of British Columbia, hello Alberta.



I had been north to Yellowknife previously via Athabaska and SlaveLake, so this small section of road was one I’d never been on. The country is described as flat, just like Oklahoma and others, but “rolling” is a better word. It was in one of the rolls in the landscape that a pickup pulling a shop built farm trailer loaded with round bales passed me headed west. When I round the curve in from of me, here’s two of those round bales sitting in the middle of the road. I was on the brakes in a heart attack inducing attempt to drag the bike back down from 80, all the time thinking “Man, those two asshats for sure knew they lost those bales and never stopped”. If dark, those damn fools might have killed someone, unbelieveable.

There’s a motel at the intersection with 2 at Rycroft, it was dusk and I’d had enough. The parking lot was full of muddy pickups, I wasn’t all that hopeful, but there’s a restaurant here too, maybe some of these folks were here for dinner. Nope, the restaurant was near empty and the motel was near full, so near, in fact, I got the last room. The chatty lady at the desk was a person who found humor in every single spoken word, so when I mentioned I nearly died a few miles down the highway because someone left hay bales in the road, well, you would think I was Ron White doing his stand up thing, she laughed until her eyes watered. If she ever heard someone had really died, dial 911, she’d have to be resuscitated.

The doors had signs that said “No muddy boots”, must mean that the cubic yards of mud on the carpet came from dudes that couldn’t read English, surely no one would just plain ignore the signs. I got all my gear situated, top floor, end of the hall. The motel was in Alberta, my room was in Saskatchewan, lucky I had trekking poles, otherwise I wouldn’t have made it. By the time I got to my room, the icon on my SPOT tracking had moved on east.

When I went back through the lobby to find the restaurant, I asked “How’s the food”?, and when she was done laughing, I heard “Chinese buffet”, but she wasn’t laughing anymore. Was that an answer?, hmmm, not really. A clue?, most certainly. I found that the tables had filled since I looked in earlier, one left, and I took it. The diners were farmers, construction crews, hunters, and truck drivers, the buffet was closed, and I ordered some other Chinese entrée from the menu. When I looked around, I realized all the regulars had burgers and fries on their plates, damn, must be a reason, but it was too late to switch.

My century old dyspeptic looking Chinese waiter with the wayward chin whiskers delivered my food and a beer, I sampled it and sipped on my beer. The ASPCA would arrange to throw the cuffs on ya if you tried to feed that plate of food to a stray dog, makes food served at the graybar hotel look like haute cuisine. It looked awful, smelled awful, and tasted twice as bad, check please. The cashier ran my card for the $20 check, and was selfrighteously indignant when I didn’t add anything on the tip line. “Oh, I have some change in my pocket”, and he nodded ok, but by that time I had already made the turn for the door. I did have a pocket full of Loonies and Toonies, I didn’t say I intended to part with them.

Tomorrow I was going to start on roads I had seen before, then run straight across into unexplored territory. I was out of the mountains, but it didn’t mean that all the air had leaked out of the adventure. I was still on the road, the adventure would find me, the stories would follow.

(to be continued…)
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:06 PM   #278
Lionheart007
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Ok JD, Christmas is over, the turkey is all gone (check your waistline to see where...) and it's time to get back in the saddle....
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:02 PM   #279
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Ok JD, Christmas is over, the turkey is all gone (check your waistline to see where...) and it's time to get back in the saddle....
yeah, i've been stuck in Rycroft since...well, let's face it, forever.

i do know where the 14# turkey went, and that 15# spiral cut ham, and the four whole chickens i put in the deep fryer, and all the rest of that stuff. now either i get on a diet, or get a new suspension for the rat.

i waiting for a rain day to pick up the story line in the report, had more close calls, and some real weird happenings.


65 degrees here today, not bad for january, out riding the V649HP for a couple hundred miles. man, it's a fun bike.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:38 AM   #280
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Day 20, 9/17: Rycroft, AB to Lloydminster, AB-542 miles

I wasn’t in a hurry to leave Rycroft, I was in a big damn hurry to leave Rycroft, like a freakin’ streak. I was now in a push on the inbound leg, thousands of miles, and I was looking at one of those trip turns I talked about earlier, this time south. I hadn’t planned it that way, but there was snow in the forecast again for the roads I planned to the northeast, those would have to wait for another day.

Don’t ever ask me for predictions, or to buy your lottery tickets, or to read your palms, I can’t do those things. About the best I can do with gambling type activity is the coin flip, and that seems to come out with a less than fifty-fifty predictability. Given my record, if the thought ever crossed my mind that the race for home front would be uneventful, I’d naturally say the same thing “Sure buddy, think again”.

And so it went, a high speed run for the border and then east, thrills, but no spills, full of challenges and close calls, sleet, snow, gales, the bizarre and outright weird...and no, that gunfire wasn't my fault.

Rycroft, waiting on the winter Apocalypse....






(to be continued...)
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:31 PM   #281
makad
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....bring it on home


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Old 03-08-2012, 03:56 AM   #282
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....bring it on home


.
man, y'all read through that darn quick.

busy with some things, and no time to write. i did look at my journal recently, and with all that happened after i left Rycroft, i was fortunate to get home in one piece. a wild ride on the inbound leg.
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:45 PM   #283
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Great story telling, jdrocks. Until I saw this, I left your thread at the CDR. Guess I'll catch up now.

I've ridden most of that stuff a couple times and never ridden dry tar or saw the sky east of Watson Lake. Tough getting gas through there too.

Looking forward to the rest of the adventure.
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:54 AM   #284
jdrocks OP
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Great story telling, jdrocks. Until I saw this, I left your thread at the CDR. Guess I'll catch up now.

I've ridden most of that stuff a couple times and never ridden dry tar or saw the sky east of Watson Lake. Tough getting gas through there too.

Looking forward to the rest of the adventure.
thanks, glad you were following along. don't mind wet, but when i got back up to that intersection and saw that whiteout to the west, seemed prudent to make one of those monumental trip turns, and head back east.

for riders who have been on the stretch of road from dawson creek to the mountains previously, you would hardly believe the amount of ongoing activity there now. same with north dakota.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:06 AM   #285
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Dang i meant to put my pics in your other thread .
oops, but the good news is that you can edit your post and move the photos down to the V649HP bike build thread. you've got a good start, the guys will want to see it.
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