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Old 08-30-2012, 05:13 PM   #136
Dark Helmet
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Been watching you two all along and have to compliment you on your determination and courage. You are doing what all of us wish we could do. Thanks for letting us live vicariously through your words and pictures.

Keep it going!
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:49 PM   #137
jeepinbanditrider
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Very cool stuff. Subscribed for sure. If ya'll come though Texas around Dallas Fort Worth let me know I can either put you up at my place or find a place for ya'll to crash for a day or three :)
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:32 PM   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Helmet View Post
Been watching you two all along and have to compliment you on your determination and courage. You are doing what all of us wish we could do. Thanks for letting us live vicariously through your words and pictures.

Keep it going!
Thanks for the positive comments. It really has been incredible and I already know this will not be my last trip!
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:33 PM   #139
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Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinbanditrider View Post
Very cool stuff. Subscribed for sure. If ya'll come though Texas around Dallas Fort Worth let me know I can either put you up at my place or find a place for ya'll to crash for a day or three :)
Thanks so much for an awesome offer but we have decided to ride the 101 down the coast before heading in to Mexico so Texas is not happening on this trip unfortunately. Maybe next time :-)
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:40 PM   #140
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South Korea

Clearing the bikes through South Korean customs can only be described as an absolute pleasure. A big leather sofa, multiple glasses of iced-tea, an air-conditioned office and English-speaking officers. The entire process was over within less than 2 hours most of which for us was spent surfing the web over their free wi-fi connection. Service with a smile? Wow, we really had made it out of Russia. It was time for change.

The bikes were due on a Seattle bound container ship the following morning so there was no room for error. It was a four or five-hour drive to get down to Busan in the south following a stunning coastal road where we would spend the night before waking at the crack of dawn the following morning to arrange the shipment to the U.S. The road surface was quite possibly the best we’ve seen since we left Romania and the road signs were in both Korean and English. It had only been an overnight ferry since we left, but Russia already felt like a million miles away. Time was looking to be on our side so we pulled over for a bite to eat in a road side cafe. We’d heard rumors about Korean food and my expectations were not incredibly high but I certainly didn’t expect particular dish to give us both a savage 4 day dosage of the shits.

When we arrived at the port in Busan the following morning and located the office we required, our bikes were searched and the relevant paper work signed off. It was equally as pain-free as entering the country the previous day but it was no easy task handing over the keys to our bikes to the dock worker with a big smile on his face. Christmas had obviously come early for this guy and something told me that our ride to the port that morning was not going to be the last for our bikes on Korean soil. We had no idea what the next two weeks had in store for our bikes or even if we would ever see them again but we had very little choice. All we could do was to cross our fingers and wait patiently. All of the tools, spares, camping and riding gear were strapped to the bikes. We walked off with only the clothes we required for the fortnight separated from the bikes so we didn’t get stung on excessive baggage fees on our flight over to the states. The tents went in wet. I can’t imagine the stench on the other side.

We boarded a train up to Seoul, the capital of South Korea and realised their love for technology was not a myth. Jon kicked back and enjoyed the free on board Wi-Fi whilst I spent a large majority of the trip vomiting from the dirty meal we’d had on the ride to Busan. The look on the old lady’s face as I opened the toilet door made it quickly evident that I had in fact misread the signs and had been hogging the female toilet for quite some time. She was a feisty little number who was not afraid to draw attention to my wrong doing. I smiled apologetically and walked away but she was still evidently fuming as I walked back past her for round two.

We settled in nicely to our new hostel and met a Korean/ American guy named Matt. Although Matt was originally born in the U.S, he spent a considerable amount of time growing up in Korea meaning he could speak fluent Korean. Nobody deserved the title more so he was soon awarded the new name of ‘Junior Skipper’ both in memory of the previous Skipper we lost in Vladivostok and in recognition for his ability to show us a cracking time in Seoul. The Koreans are a hands on bunch and it’s quite normal to be cuddled by a male member of the party as you walk down the street. That’s quite simply the way it is so the sooner you get used to it, the better.



Junior Skipper had a whole host of activities lined up for us in and around Seoul, the most memorable of which for me was the Korean BBQ. The concept sounded great. Each party sits around their own table with a BBQ in the middle. The food is served raw on a plate and you cook it yourself as you sit and drink the evening away. We’ve all heard about the Koreans love for dog meat so once Matt had confirmed that wouldn’t be on the menu that night, I was happy to go with the flow. What followed made me wish that we did opt for the dog meat option after all.

Cow intestines large and small with a side helping of tongue was what we had in store. On the side was kimchi, a cabbage dish naturally fermented with chili flakes underground often for months before being served. The entire city stinks of the stuff so we had to give it a go. The tongue proved rather tasty however the intestines were so chewy that even a small bite would go round and round in our mouths for what felt like minutes before it was in any suitable form to swallow. In fear of offending our host we tried our best to get it down us. I found the easiest way of managing that was by taking a small mouthful followed by a swig of beer and swallowing it whole like a tablet.



Hardly an ideal first dish after running on such a fragile stomach. When we realised there was KFC in town we had 4 in 2 days.

Junior Skipper recommended we checked out some of the main site seeing areas of the town and before we knew it, we were signed up for a trip to the eerie demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. It was the first time on this trip we found ourselves on an official tour bus with an official tour guide, Ronald. ‘Big Ron’ as we later named him was armed with one of the dreaded clip on microphones. It was clearly going to be a long morning. His ability to make a genuinely interesting topic sound more humdrum than sitting through a health and safety lecture was quite remarkable and I distinctly remember spending the majority of the trip fast asleep in the back of the bus before being awoken and ushered in to what we can only assume to have been Ronald’s brothers shop where we were we had the fortunate opportunity to buy ‘genuine North Korean cigarettes’. Most of the demilitarized area is restricted so as far as a sight seeing experience goes, there really is little to see out there however the little information I did manage to extract from Ronald’s scripted speech proved an interesting insight in to how the area is currently monitored on the South Korean side.

The War Museum presented a moving display based on the Korean war, a subject embarrassingly never touched upon in the English curriculum during my school days. We finished up the afternoon with a trip to the Seodaemun prison where Korean freedom fighters were held in horrific conditions under Japanese rule. The prison has since been very nicely restored as a memorial to those who suffered there.



Reading about Japanese torture techniques is one of those sickening things that you can’t understand why you continue to read on but you still do anyway.

Having recovered from the mental torment of the Korean BBQ and feeling content with our sigh seeing efforts, notably the best to date I must add, we were well and truly ready to get back on the night shifts and see what Seoul’s nightlife had to say for itself. I’ve always put karaoke in the same ‘avoid at all costs’ category as fancy dress when Im back in the UK but it’s so big in Korea that there was clearly no avoiding it. After a few bottles of strong rice wine at less than a pound a pop, feeling confident I could beat Junior Skipper on the microphone, I found myself performing Whitney Houston’s ’I wanna dance with somebody’ to a crowd of 6. Brookbanks gave a rendition of Michael Jackson’s ’Thriller’ his all and if my memory serves me correctly, he even ended with a 180 degree spin and a grab of the balls.

I’m ready for a steak, get me to the States. Home is in Seattle and the fate of this trip is in the dock workers hands.

Keep ‘em coming guys… The target still feels a long way off! www.justgiving.com/toughmiles
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:57 PM   #141
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Some more South Korea Pics...

New choice of wheels:



War Museum Seoul. An Awesome display well worth checking out:










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Old 09-08-2012, 10:02 AM   #142
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Coming soon.

Hi guys,

Many people have sent me private messages asking how the bikes are holding up. We're in the process of writing a technical update blog which we hope to have up within the next couple of weeks. For now, I'll begin to bring the story up to date with Jon's latest entry from our arrival in the U.S.A.
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:18 AM   #143
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Welcome to the U.S.A

Day 94 of the trip. Having ridden through Europe, Russia, Mongolia and South Korea it was finally time for Tough Miles to hit up the USA. With the bikes onboard a container ship somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Pete and I took a flight from Seoul to Seattle. The plane left South Korea on Monday 23rd July at 12.40pm, and after a short stop in Tokyo, where Pete got to experience his first Japanese high-tech toilet seat, we landed in Seattle at 9.40am on the same day. It felt great to have gained some time for a change!

Once safely back on the ground we decided to stay seated and wait for everyone else to disembark before us. Surprisingly this great decision meant we found ourselves at the very back of a lengthy customs queue, nice. When the time finally came for our interrogation, it seemed I picked the wrong desk, a typical stern jobs worth, and it went something like this……

Where have you come from?: England, I mean South Korea
Where are you going?: That’s a good question. I began explaining that at first we would travel up to Alaska, and then back down to Argentina. He looked at me like I was crazy.
How long will you be in the USA? Not entirely sure
Where are you staying? Hotel Hotel.
No, WHERE are you staying? Seriously, the hostel we have booked is actually called ‘Hotel Hotel’.
Can I see your reservation?: No, not unless you have the internet. We haven’t printed it.
Do you have a job?: Yes, I am an Engineer for McLaren F1 Team.

He didn’t even know what Formula 1 was. At that point it was obvious that the F1 line wouldn’t work out here. Despite the flaky answers he stamped my passport and let me through, at which point we jumped on a bus and headed to our hostel in Fremont.

Fremont is a small neighbourhood in North Seattle, known as the self-proclaimed Centre of the Universe. It has a young quirky vibe, with lots of pubs and live music. It just so happened that the hostel was directly above an Irish pub called The Dubliner, so despite neither of us having slept the previous night, we soon found ourselves firmly planted in the boozer for a well-deserved afternoon session. Before long we became well-frequented with the bar staff and locals, with our new mate Curt doing most of the introductions.



The hostel was modern and clean, but it’s location made it impossible to catch up on sleep. The Irish pub below was banging with karaoke almost every night until 2am, making the metal lockers inside our 8-bed dorm literally shake. In addition to the noise, the heat given off from the pub kitchen made it unbearably hot. It became obvious that our wait in Seattle was going to be, ummmm, messy. Having visited almost every bar in Fremont, one particular venue called Nectar really suited our needs. The walls were covered in Brixton stickers, and during happy hour, 3 till 8, pitchers of beer came in at a very reasonable $5! And it was here that we recruited our Seattle skipper…….meet Sam, “You Bet”



Despite a hectic working schedule, and living on the other side of town, nothing was too much trouble for Sam. We were driven around the city to go kayaking, long boarding, chill on various beaches and visit the best places in town during the night. Suddenly I felt like I was finally on a holiday! Not surprisingly her parents seemed a little shocked when they arrived back early from a weekend away camping and found two English men sleeping in their house. Sam quickly explained our story whilst Pete and I hastily packed up our things and made a dash for the back door.

Another bonus of our time spent in Fremont was the chance to catch up with Petes buddy Fajer. He and his wife Alison had just got married and were on a road-trip honeymoon travelling up the coast with friends. Fajer is a great guy, and after a ridiculous amount of time spent exploring the world he has now set up a successful travel guide company, escape-travels.com. Pete and Fajer met whilst travelling South America, so they have plenty of entertaining stories. We certainly hope to see Fajer again at some point on this trip, with more time for a proper knees-up.



One evening, whilst drinking in our hostel, we met an eccentric Italian guy named Simone. He was on an epic motorcycle trip from Argentina to Alaska, and by the time we met him in Seattle he had already broken the world record for the longest distance travelled on a bike smaller than 50cc. He was riding a 49cc Beta trail bike, which funnily enough was now lacking a side stand, similar to the last Italian, Enrique, we met in Ulaanbaatar. In true Italian style the bike was parked on the pavement, lent up against a lamp-post with a parking ticket stuck to the seat. Some of his stories were pretty funny, one time with a blown head gasket he managed a bodge-job roadside repair, having to use Gator Aid for radiator fluid! At this stage of the trip the bike was really struggling, and it had me in stitches watching him leave fully loaded with luggage. Even with full throttle the poor thing could barely make it up the hill, and the maximum speed was now apparently only 30mph. It left a trail of smoke and sounded like a constricted hair dryer. Must have been a long ride up to Fairbanks! You can read more about his story here.



On Wednesday 1st August we received the long-awaited news that the ship had arrived, and that our bikes should be ready for collection on Friday 3rd. Sticking to the plan we headed down to the port of Tacoma on Thursday evening, excited by the prospect of being back on the bikes the following day. The next morning things took a turn for the worse. Shortly after arriving at the US customs office we were told we were missing some crucial paperwork. In order to obtain the nonresident exemption letter we would have to phone the EPA office and request details on how to apply. Our hearts sunk as they explained this form could take 7 to 14 working days to be processed, and we began discussing whether we would still have time to ride up to Alaska before heading south.



Having lost both our phones in Russia, and without a means of transport, making the necessary arrangements for further paperwork and getting around the port wasn’t easy. We found ourselves walking miles in the blistering sunshine, and stopping outside a random doctors surgery to use their free wi-fi for calls on Skype. Sound Brokerage was the agent we used for organising an escort into the dock yard. When they heard the bad news Gwen kindly drove us to their office to assist getting the required paperwork underway. It was Friday afternoon, so little progress could be made before the weekend.

Both feeling absolutely gutted, we stood alone in the port waiting for a lift to the bus stop. At this point a random guy pulled up in his car and said “Are you those 2 english bikers, how has your day been?”. In a dis-heartened tone I replied “Yes we are. We’ve had a sh*t day. Our bikes are being held by customs due to some missing paperwork, and the length of the delay could really affect our trip. I don’t suppose you can help?” Little did I know that this guy, named Curt Stoner, would turn out to be our saviour! He gave me his business card and said “Email me, I’ll see what I can do over the weekend, maybe Monday”.

Knowing there was little chance of getting our bikes anytime soon, the following Monday we decided to take a bus to Vancouver. Amazingly, whilst waiting to board the bus, I received an email on my new phone, which I had only just bought, requesting us to come to the Customs Office as soon as possible. Thankfully we managed to get a refund for our tickets to Vancouver and jumped on the next bus down to Tacoma. Within 1 hour of arriving at the port we had the stamp we needed and arranged an escort to collect the bikes.

Without knowing how the bikes were loaded or strapped to the boat, it was a great relief to see both bikes were at least still in one-piece, although they looked and felt rough. Petes bike struggled to start and mine kept cutting out when stopping at lights. It was nice to know we only had a short ride to Seattle before the bikes would get some TLC from the guys at Aurora Suzuki.



Almost all of our luggage was left on the bikes during transit, and unfortunately our last pack up, almost 1 month ago, was a wet one. The smell of opening our top bag was revolting, and our damp motorcycle gear smelt worst than a wet dog. My boots had even developed some light fluff around the top, it would appear a small eco-system had begun growing inside. Although getting dressed for the ride ahead was tough, we couldn’t stop grinning at the fact we had our bikes back so soon. The ride to Alaska was back on, and that evening we rode to Seattle.

The following morning, Tuesday 7th August, we headed to the shop first thing to discuss what we could get done. Darrell, the service manager, is a top bloke and very on the ball. Aurora Suzuki is extremely popular, and there is always a long queue of bikes waiting to be worked on, so turning up unexpected and hoping to be squeezed in that day was a lot to ask. Fortunately for us, Aurora Suzuki are renowned for their excellent customer service, and they weren’t about to let us down. Much to our amazement, Darrell immediately cleared space for our bikes, and we set about working as a team to bring them back to life. By the end of play the bikes had been fully serviced, including new tyres, wheel bearings and chains. It was a very busy day, but the boys at Aurora absolutely smashed it, and Pete and I couldn’t be more grateful for their efforts. It was a shame not to share a beer with them after work, but we knew we would be back on our way down, and we couldn’t wait to get going.



Despite our and Darrell’s best efforts to keep costs to a minimum, with all the parts and labour, unsurprisingly we still managed to rack up a fairly substantial bill. Thankfully we have the support of Suzuki GB, where the guys have done an amazing job at liasing with ASMC (American Suzuki Motor Corporation) to organise paying for all the work. Pete and I find it hard to believe the support Tough Miles is receiving from those guys in the UK. The effort certain individuals have put in towards helping us on the other side of the world is remarkable, and we certainly don’t take it for granted.

That evening Tough Miles hit the road and headed for Vancouver.

A huge thanks again to those that have already donated. We’re slowly getting there but still require a lot of support to reach our target for Cancer Research. Please click here if you can help us hit the big number.
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:22 AM   #144
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More Seattle pics







We bumped in to this guy at Aurora Suzuki. It turned out he had been following our trip all along on Thumper Talk!











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Old 09-09-2012, 06:42 PM   #145
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Great installment guys! Ride safe!
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:13 PM   #146
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Great adventure, grat pics
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:51 PM   #147
peteFoulkes OP
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Vancouver to Alaska

Jon here:
We arrived in Vancouver at 1am on the 8th August, narrowly escaping a heavy downpour by timing our fuel stop perfectly. It’s never good turning up in a new city late at night, especially when the hostel is on a street littered with junkies and there’s nowhere to park the bikes. It would appear there are parts of Vancouver with some serious drug problems. It had been a long day, and I felt Petes pain as I turned and watched him drop his bike on the pavement. Neither of us said anything, we just picked it up and carried on looking for somehwere to park for the night.

The following morning we finally managed to wash our motorcycle trousers, for the first time this trip, gross. Believe it or not they didn’t come up too bad, and even smelt fairly fresh. After a spot of Tough Miles admin work we wandered down the road and settled in to the Cambie hostel boozer, where we arranged to meet Krystle, a friend of Petes from a previous India trip. The evening/night soon turned into a blur, not ideal for the early start I planned for the following morning ride to Whistler.



My alarm went off at 7am, but I could barely open my eyes. I felt like a drunk mole that had been hit by a truck. We managed to be on the road by 1pm. The pack up was as tough as ever, trying to drag all of our luggage down 3 flights of narrow steps and then load the bikes with every man and his dog stopping to ask about our trip. Once we finally hit the road the crisp mountian air and sweeping bends of Highway 99 soon lifted the hang over. It was an emotional moment for me over the intercom as we entered Whistler, but whilst rambling on I soon realised Pete had me on mute, standard. Having spent the first three months of this year living there for the ski season, it was amazing to think I had flown home to the UK and ridden this poxy motorcycle back around the world. I can’t describe the look on Jos face when she saw Pete and I arrive on her doorstep……….



With one look at the bikes her opening line was pretty funny “I’ve never seen anything like it”. This made us chuckle and think back to a comment Romanian Mike previously said to us over a spot of dinner….. “A DRZ will never get you any women”.

Having set ourselves a fairly tight time schedule, and knowing we would stop in for a few days on our way back down, we only gave ourselves one night in Whistler. The following afternoon we continued along Highway 99, then Highway 97, finally setting up camp just outside of Lillooet on the edge of a stunning lake. This was our first chance to dry and air the tents, and we both new the camping expedition up to Alaska had finally begun.



The ride from Whistler to Alaska was a long hard slog. The DRZ 400 is hardly the bike of choice for spending 10 hours per day on asphalt highways. Pete and I joked about how nice it would have been for Suzuki to provide 2 GSX-R’s….maybe next time? Many days we were covering over 500 miles at full speed. Despite wearing ear plugs, with the noise of the wind and the drone of the Yoshi pipes we often felt partially deaf getting off the bikes. The only comparable feeling is coming out of a night club at 7am, feeling slightly dazed and wondering where the last 8 hours have gone. I can’t emphasise enough how appreciative we were to have the custom made seats coutesy of Bill Mayor Saddles for this leg of the trip, without them I don’t think we would be able to walk.

So having left Whistler on Fiday 10th August, the route we chose on the way up took us through Lillooet, Vanderhoof, Prince George and White Horse. The scenery was amazing and the number of bears on the side of the road made us wonder if we should be carrying some kind of weapon, or at least bear spray! After 4 nights of nervous camping we finally crossed the border into Alaska on Tuesday 14th Aug. This moment had been a long time coming, a huge milestone, we shook hands and sat down under the sign “Welcome to Alaska”. Despite seeing barely a single car for the last 4 days, as we took a moment to reflect on how far we had come a minibus full of Germans pulled up to ruin our photo. Typical, and with a chuckle, Pete turned to me and said “let’s get out of here”.



Please help us reach our targetfor Cancer Research by donating here.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:01 PM   #148
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More pics: Van to Alaska











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Old 09-25-2012, 08:35 PM   #149
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Alaska to Whistler

Jon here:

When I thought about Alaska I imagined snow-capped mountains, frozen lakes and 24 hour daylight. I pictured myself fishing with locals through holes in the ice. My preconceptions of Alaska at this time of year couldn’t be further from the truth, and as we crossed the border the weather was so warm that even riding in a t-shirt was comfortable! It would appear we had lucked out with the weather again. Apparently during July there was barely a dry day, but by the time we arrived in mid-August the sun was out in full force.

Our first night in Alaska, Tuesday 14th August, was spent camping in Tok alongside millions of mosquitoes, although nothing could compare to the BAM road. The following morning we headed for Fairbanks, our target destination before starting our journey back down towards Argentina. Upon arrival we decided to visit Chena Hot Springs, where we planned to relax and have some time off the bikes. This was my first experience of a ‘Hot Spring’, and as we entered I was slightly put off by the potent smell of natural gas and a gathering of pensioners lining the side of the pool. Nevertheless it was nice to have a bathe in the hot water whilst enjoying the view of the surrounding mountains.

The following morning Pete and I decided to go on a small hike along a local trail. After 200m the path became very narrow and we began scaring one another with the idea of a bear stumbling out of the bush. With a light sweat on the brow Pete stopped and said “This is ridiculous, a bear could venture out and block our route at any point”. I thought back to the previous night, where the bar tender told horror stories of a recent bear attack and said “Why would anyone venture through the forest during Summer without bear spray?” With this in mind we both agreed to bail like a pair of girls and head back to camp. Without any delay we changed our plan and fired up the bikes. A few miles down the road we stopped for lunch at a local cafe, where we met Dave, a die-hard Moose hunter.




Before long we found ourselves following a quad bike up deep streams and dusty trails. It was a challenging ride along the side of a mountain to reach a magnificent view-point overlooking a lush valley. Here the hunters sit and wait for days on end, with the hope of spotting some potential game. That evening we witnessed a young girl shoot a calf along side its mother. The sound of the gun shot made me jump as it echoed around the peaceful valley. The mother, known as a cow, nudged the calf as it fell to the ground. It was a sad sight sight to watch, and I couldn’t help but feel that this kind of activity was simply cruel. However, in this area of the world the population of Moose is too great for the available vegetation, so tight rules govern the hunting activity in order to control the natural habitat and environment. The hunters respect the wildlife and only kill to feed their families. Putting our feelings on hunting aside, the ride back to Chena was great fun. Without any luggage the bikes feel light and nimble. Throwing them around a twisty mountain trail reminded us why we had chosen the DRZ 400, a full-on motorcross bike that you can ride around the world.



On the 17th August we left Chena Hot Springs and began our journey south. On our way back through Fairbanks we stopped at a large camping store to reassess our luggage situation. Now with various holes it seemed the journey so far had proved too much for our 70L Life Venture dry bags, so we both decided to replace them along with an additional smaller version for our ever-growing collection of electronic devices.

Having suffered almost the entire duration of the trip with a punctured airbed, I now finally felt ready to invest a nights worth of drinking money into buying a new one. My extravagant spending spree didn’t stop there. I was sick of trying to find an area of earth soft enough to insert a peg, which often led to an obscure pitch on some kind of slope. With this in mind and the smell of wet dog, I decided the days of the Banshee 300 were over, and within minutes I was the proud owner of a brand-spanker ‘pegless’ tent. Pete looked at me with a look of disgust and said “There was no need for that mate, she’s been good to you”.

That afternoon we travelled back down to Tok, before heading north-east on the Taylor road, also known as the ‘Top of the World Highway’ to reach a bizarre place called Chicken. Chicken is a community founded on gold mining and is one of the few surviving gold rush towns in Alaska, with a ridiculously small population of approximately 17 inhabitants! As you can imagine there’s not much to do there, unless you fancy spending your day siving through a river bed, so the following morning Pete and I continued to tear up the loose gravel on our way to Carmacks in Yukon.



That evening we found a nice campsite on the edge of a river. The following morning, whilst struggling to pack up my new tent, a fellow biker named Henry poked his nose in to say hi. Much to their amusement I turned to him and his friend and said “I f*cking hate camping”. They found this hilarious given the fact I had decided to do a round-the-world trip on a motorcycle, especially with Pete managing the budget. We found it funny watching Henry wait patiently for Tim to finish packing up. Tim rides a BMW 800 GS, but with an old-school leather jacket and a tin top helmet with an alien on the front he certainly doesn’t fit the stereotype. All of the BMW badges on his bike have been replaced with a picture of a comic women, and he has named his bike ‘Hell Bitch 3′.



Their blog is awesome and it has such a good name: ‘crackof10′ Why Crack of ten? Because when on a motorcycle adventure, no matter how hard you try and start your day at the ‘crack of dawn’ you’ll almost never be on the road before 10am. So so true, and almost every day Pete and I chuckle as we shout “Crack of Ten” leaving each campsite. Follow this link to read what Tim has to say about Tough Miles:

http://www.crackof10.com/index.php/b...nd-crazy-boys/

From Carmacks we cut east along another dirt road towards Faro. By this time our rear TKC 80 was completely bald. It soon became apparent that our original plan to make this tyre last all the way back to Seattle was unrealistic. At this point we made a fortunate decision to loop back to Whitehorse via the Canol road, where we would have a good chance of finding some new boots. The Canol road is arguably the most scenic route in Yukon.



Much of it is single track with a loose gravel surface. Due to the weather parts of it were extremely dusty, but it was great fun sliding the rear end around whilst trying to find traction with whatever rubber we had left. Often it was difficult to remain sensible, and with a chance of on-coming traffic there were certainly moments for both of us where we had to hold our breath. It was a fantastic ride, one that I would certainly recommend if anyone is venturing up in that direction.

The only tyre we could source in Whitehorse was a cheap Kenda, seemingly without a name but with the word ‘Nylon’ written on the side wall, perfect. We had no other option than to go with it. Our intial impression wasn’t great. The rear end felt unstable, and 200 miles down the road at Watson Lake we noticed large chunks of the tyre were now missing. The centre knobbles were just tearing off, leaving deep holes in the rubber.




Feeling absolutely gutted, we decided to continue on our journey, hoping that the tyres would at least last until we could source some alternatives on route. That afternoon we passed a large herd of Buffalo. They are one brutal looking beast, so we didn’t dare stop too close for the money shot!



Not much further down the road we decided to call it a day. It was an interesting evening, besides one other biker named Sebastian, we were the only guests sleeping there that night. The owner of the site and his maintenance side kick sat with us drinking around a campfire, telling us how frequently bears and herds of buffalo are seen in the area. They even provided us with our own huge axe to chop the fire wood……somethings just don’t feel quite normal, and I knew I wouldn’t sleep well that night:

The next day we rode with Sebastian. He was on his way to a BMW GS challenge, and you can read more about his adventure here.
It was a long hard day riding in torrential rain on some rough road surfaces with deteriorating tyres. Fortunately it brightened up towards the end of the day, and after covering almost 600 miles we found a nice campsite in St Fort Johns. That night we headed to the pub, and believe it or not, whilst sitting outside sipping on a well deserved beer we were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights!

The sun was out the following morning and it was a short ride to Dawson Creek. With no luck finding tyres there we pushed on to Grand Prairie, where the only option available was a Maxxis full on knobbly from Northgate Honda. This was certainly not the tyre we wanted, but we decided it would do as a spare, so reluctantly we each strapped one on top of our luggage and began our ride towards Hinton. Both feeling a little stressed about wasting yet more money on stupid tyres, our hearts sank further as the dreaded blue and red flashing lights pulled us over only 1 mile down the road. The sheriff jumped out of his car and began giving us a good telling off “You just jumped two STOP signs in a row, did you not see them?!”. He then asked to see our documents, which involved a full unpack in the blistering afternoon sun right outside a Suzuki shop. Despite having paid for insurance neither of us had printed the documents, typical. The sheriff went on to explain that this was an offence, and that along side a $2500 fine, our bikes could be towed away! He began filling out a ticket for each of us. Despite letting us off with the insurance issue, he proceeded to hand us a $287 fine each for jumping the stop signs.

I couldn’t believe the severity of this penalty, and held my head in despair. But looking like I was about to cry seemed to work in our favour, as the sheriff began to take pity. Before long we managed to negotiate scrapping one of the tickets, and shortly after that result the story of our epic adventure seemed to get us off the hook completely. He paused for a second and then much to our amazement said “I’ll tell you what, let me give you one of my cards, and if you email me with stories of your adventure then I’ll let you guys go scott free, but why don’t you keep the tickets for memorabilia?” We were certainly grateful to have gotten away with that one. With this drama dealt with we re-packed and hit the road, reaching Hinton by the evening.

Friday 24th August was our ride through the Rockies. From Hinton we headed south-west down to Jasper, and then took Highway 93 through Jasper National park towards Banff. The ride along this road is fantastic, and the scenery as you cut through the vast snow-capped mountain range looks like something off a post card. Whilst enjoying the view Pete had a near miss with a large black bear, having to swerve around it as it lumbered out of the bush onto the road. Before reaching Banff we cut west at Lake Louise onto Highway 1. Our last night was spent in Kamloops, and on our final day we re-joined the infamous Highway 99 to complete our ‘Alaska Loop’ back to Whistler.


In 11 days we had ridden over 3000 miles, relaxed in Hot Springs, experienced Moose hunting, ridden off-road mountain trails and travelled through the famous Rocky Mountains. An incredible part of our adventure that I know neither of us will ever forget.

We’re now within £1500 of our target. Thanks again to all those who have donated and those who have not yet had the chance, please visit our Just Giving page to make a donation straight to Cancer Research.
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Read more about our round the world DRz 400 trip on our website here:
www.toughmiles.com

Find us on Facebook here:
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:40 PM   #150
peteFoulkes OP
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More pics- Alaska to Whistler



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Read more about our round the world DRz 400 trip on our website here:
www.toughmiles.com

Find us on Facebook here:
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