ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-10-2012, 07:58 AM   #61
NorWis OP
No longer a "Wanna Be"
 
NorWis's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Oddometer: 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellow Iron View Post
Whats Dylan going to say when the school teacher asks "what did you do on summer vacation"

All that fishing and no fish pics .

Looks like you guys had a great trip
I look foward to reading your posts every night .
Thanks for sharing
I asked him that this morning; He says he'll just say "I went to Alaska on a motorcycle." Nothing like summing up 24 days and a year of planning and preparation into 7 words, eh?

No fish pictures, sorry!

Thanks for hanging in there with us!

Todd & Dylan
NorWis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 08:12 AM   #62
SWbySWXJ
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Los Angeles
Oddometer: 29
This photo is awesome. I love that he's engaged in the whole thing and not simply "along for the ride"

SWbySWXJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 08:56 AM   #63
NorWis OP
No longer a "Wanna Be"
 
NorWis's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Oddometer: 233
Day 8 Continued

Meanwhile...somewhere in the Yukon....

Another photo op during a potty break...





We had a pretty long ride ahead of us today when we started out and we needed to get some miles under our belt. We had some spectacular scenery in our memory so now it was time to make a beeline for the border. When you get to the border you're teased by seeing the Canada entry point but then are subjected to about 20 miles of no mans land before you get to the US border crossing. That was pretty painless and cookie cutter scripting. The 20 miles of no mans land had some pretty bad road conditions. Not good for a couple of riders with a bad tire and no spare.

Finally!!! Alaska!!!



I had a tripod with me (actually a couple) but was always too lazy to get it out. Again "one who never smiles" in Alaska!



Several photos from around the border:



All four sides:









Dylan took a few photos of a bridge we crossed. I am not sure where this was but I do know it was in this area.





One more stop before Tok, Alaska. We stopped at the Tetlin Wildlife Refuge to use the facilities and choose a campground for the night.



The volunteers said there were some free campsites before Tok. I asked them about cell service and they told me I was better off getting into Tok. Alrighty then. Tok it is.

Here is the photo I took at the refuge and why I had doubts that we would make it to Tok:





About every 6 inches the tire was showing bare spots. I could push on one of the spots and feel how soft it was. Once we had entered the USA the road got back to a more smooth surface. I think that's about the only reason we were able to limp into Tok.

We got a tent site at an RV campground right in Tok. Cell service, wi-fi, laundry, and hot showers. We needed all of the above!!!

This is the front of the bike. Quite a bug collection, eh?



I thought this bumper sticker was pretty comical!



After we had camp set up and we had showered I began to explore options to get us OUT of Tok. We weren't going anywhere on that tire. While the laundry was finishing I went to the office and look through the phone book and asked the owners about anything they would suggest. Not a clue, not all that helpful. It was getting depressing. A group of other riders walking around stopped and saw the tire. They felt bad and if they could help in any way to let them know. An elderly man walking his two small dogs also stopped by to offer any assistance he may be able to offer. Dylan was starting to get pretty worried at this point. We only had a little over 200 miles to go to Fairbanks! 200 miles! That damn tire couldn't have held out just a little bit longer? I had asked the 3 guys if they would chance the 200 mile trip and they said they probably wouldn't even leave the campground!

I decided to get a good nights rest (we had fresh wood shavings for the base of our tent) and get a plan together in the morning.

Todays mileage was 391.

Total for the trip - 3012.
NorWis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 09:22 AM   #64
CafeRacer99
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Las Vegas
Oddometer: 372
On the edge of my seat!
__________________
Ride to Coffee
Coffee to Ride
CafeRacer99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 10:57 AM   #65
rockinrog
Beastly Adventurer
 
rockinrog's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Central PA
Oddometer: 2,714
Was the tire new when you started the trip?
rockinrog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 12:05 PM   #66
NorWis OP
No longer a "Wanna Be"
 
NorWis's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Oddometer: 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockinrog View Post
Was the tire new when you started the trip?
No it wasn't, but it only had about 1,500 miles on it. That means that tire got less than 5,000 on it before it gave up the ghost....

Todd & Dylan
NorWis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 12:32 PM   #67
NorWis OP
No longer a "Wanna Be"
 
NorWis's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Oddometer: 233
Day 9

Since I will be gone to the Central ADV Rider Rally for the weekend I figured I had better finish day 9 while I'm still on a roll or at least get past the tire ordeal.

When I woke up I immediately got to work looking for a way out. As I have read in other ride reports about folks that face adversity on the road (and in life) cooler heads prevail. We went across the street to a gun/sporting goods shop and RV Park. We looked around for a bit then asked about any bus services to Fairbanks. The guy said it stops at the gas station up the road.

The store that started the chain reaction….



When we did finally arrive in Fairbanks I was a little hyped up and couldn't sleep so I penned the following e-mail to my wife that night to fill her in on the days events.

I filled some of the gaps in but the e-mail is mostly untouched. I also added the photos, my wife never had those. We now had a 3 hour time difference than my wife since we were on "Alaska Time".

Also known as the "Terrible Tire Turmoil...."

We knew going into Tok that the tire was not in good shape. The last 20 or so miles I took it easy because at the last break we had I saw the tire. It was bad.

Camping in any area in Alaska is free so it burned me to have to pay $27 for a tent site. But I needed wi-fi in order to be able to research how we were getting out of Tok. The owners knew of no motorcycle tire people in Tok and didn't know of any shuttles or services from Fairbanks to Tok.

While walking to the laundromat I stopped at another group of bikes and chatted, they'd never been there either and didn't know of anything. They stopped by our site later to look and offer encouragement.

Back to the wi-fi, I got a coupon for a free hour then would have to pay for additional time. That pissed me off. Went to bed after sending some emails to check on tires.

Got up early and sent some more email. Then we went over to the sporting good store and asked about shuttles and such. They told us to check at the chevron station. Went there and our friends from the night before were there changing a tire. They heard of a guy around the corner that may be able to help. He was an ass but said call 40 mile airlines, they fly freight from fairbanks to Tok on Mon, Wed, Fri. Went to the visitors center and got the number.

I called the guy in Fairbanks (Adventure Cycle Works) and he was ready to send his wife to the airport with a tire. The lady that answered the phone (Vanessa) at the air service says, wait a minute, I run a motorcycle campground (Thompson's Eagle Claw Campground) and guys leave me tires all the time for folks like you. She gives me directions to her house and tells me to go in her shed and dig around for one. Gulp, it's way out in the woods...



Bingo! Found one (but the bead had a blemish from a tire iron). I take it back to the ass and he says yeah I'll mount it when I have time. Ummmmm, that's not how I like to work but he's busy and I'm stuck. The lady at the air service (I called Vanessa again) says she likes to deal with a guy named CJ cause he is really cheap and he rides a BMW! Don't have his cell number but has his home phone. No answer. Back to the ass. He says go to NAPA and get a can of slime and bring it back. I get there (NAPA) and this grubby dude in the parking lot starts talking about riding on old beemers and how he has a garage and works on bikes. Um, you wouldn't happen to be CJ would you? Yeah, how'd you know? OMG, my luck is turning!

He's got a tire (Metzler Tourance) and wants to help put it on. We go back to the rv place and clean up our stuff and pack it all on the bike. CJ gets busy with customers and I need to do most of the work, but hey, we left the ass holding a "may be good tire" that needs slime and get the new shoe on the bike!

I give CJ $40 for helping and the tire. He says that's cool, if you ever get back here and you want to give some tires away throw them my way. Ok CJ, will do.

That's our story.....

Dylan was a trooper and helped a LOT! Everyone likes talking with him and he's a listener. You should be a proud mom.

That was the end of the e-mail I sent to my wife. CJ was a really cool guy and couldn't have been friendlier. I wish I had gotten a picture of him but I didn't. Here's one of the outside of the Tok RV Repair shop:



When we drove up to the shop I could hear all this squaking coming from inside. I look up and there's a raven nest. Of course as soon as I start to film them they quit squaking:



Dylan grabs the camera and starts taking pictures of some bald guy changing the tire:



You never like to see your bike in this condition but this time it was a good thing:





We were back on the road and loving life again! One more note about our dilemma and the folks who offered help. The "elderly" guy walking his dogs? He came back in the morning and says if there's anything I can do to help call my cell phone. We're on our way to Fairbanks and I will ship a tire or do anything you need. Ok, thank you very much, I certainly do appreciate the offer. I turn his card over to the front and see that he is a Circuit Court Judge from Texas!! As I said, the people we met along the way made our journey EXTRAORDINARY!

We're one step closer to Fairbanks and now riding on a tire that's got some life in it.
NorWis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2012, 07:31 AM   #68
NorWis OP
No longer a "Wanna Be"
 
NorWis's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Oddometer: 233
After that brief interruption...

After that brief interruption we go back to our regularly scheduled report, but first, a word from our sponsor:

A few quick video clips from the Central Adventure Rider Rally (CADVR). Remember I am riding a not so nimble (for me at least) BMW R1200 GS Adventure:







Thanks to Yooper Bob, Mrs. Yooper Bob (Cheryl), Mark, Paul and Paul. It was a lot of fun!

Todd
NorWis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2012, 08:32 AM   #69
NorWis OP
No longer a "Wanna Be"
 
NorWis's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Oddometer: 233
Day 9 Continued

We were now feeling really good. Bright sunshine, warmer temps, a short ride for the day, and of course a better tire than we had 24 hours ago.

We wanted to finish up the Alaska Highway!!!

Dylan at the end of the Alaska Highway in Delta Junction:



"One Who Never Smiles":



One shot without anything blocking the "signpost":



We were pretty proud of ourselves and I was really proud of Dylan for hanging in there through all the weather and tire issues. He helped keep my head in the game whether or not he realized it. We went into the visitors center and shopped around. Got some pins matching the pair we had from Dawson Creek but with the mileage at 1,422 instead of "0". We also made a small donation to get "official" certificates proclaiming us as finishers of the entire Alaska Highway (suitable for framing of course).

The lady that signed our certificates said there was a nice drive-in that has a great lunch right around the corner. I think it was called The Buffalo Drive-In.

But first we had to go back outside and get the obligatory photos by the giant Alaskan "skeeters":

Dylan was a little shy to act like a goof:



Not me!!!



We rode over to the drive-in and it was pretty crowded. I always think that is a good sign, seeing locals eating there, too.

Ronald was a little out of place here:



Almost a smile!!!



The food was great. I could have used a nap after that but we needed to get moving. Leaving Tok later in the day and then our stop in Delta Junction made us a little rushed. We needed to get to Adventure Cycleworks to get our NEW tire and then check out places to stay.

The ride into Fairbanks was beautiful:



I called Dan at Adventure Cycleworks to get directions to his shop/house. We made it there without any issues. I was a little concerned when I called, though. I stopped at the visitors center in downtown Fairbanks to see about staying the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) dorms. The folks there said they had no idea that we could do that. Uh, oh. Hotel? Camping was available right outside of town....Dan tells me of course you can stay at UAF! I used one of the computers at the visitors center to get an information number to UAF. The young lady that answered the phone told me, of course we have rooms for you tonight! Good deal!!!!

I asked Dan if he would rather wait until morning to get my tire done. Nope, better do it now so you can continue on your trip! Great! Be there in 20 minutes.

What a great end to a bad start of a day. There were a couple of guys ahead of us at Adventure Cycleworks http://www.advcycleworks.com. No matter, it was wonderful talking to them and they had fun talking to Dylan. Dan's wife brought out elk burgers and caribou hot links. It was getting late when we left (about 9:30pm). Dan gave us great directions to UAF and we were off!

Dan with the "Elegant Hog" up on the lift getting a new Heidenau K60 Scout (I already had one on the front):



Look at all that tread on the tire! We're going to need it!!!



We checked into the dorm and unloaded the bike. This would be our room for the next two days:



The next two shots were taken around 11:30pm in front of the dorm.



When you see this type of welcome, you know that you're going to have a great experience here. A tent to park your bike under and a sign welcoming you there! Nice!!!



I was exhausted but couldn't sleep. I wrote the e-mail to my wife about the days events. I also pondered what a great deal this is, $71 for a double room ($54 for a single) that includes wi-fi access, nice hot showers, clean bathrooms, and free laundry in a very secure, clean and friendly environment.

It was also nice to see Dylan sleeping soundly and getting some rest. We were going to need it...



I didn't have a picture of it but in my journal I wrote: Saw a black bear crossing the road, had to stop and wait for it.

Mileage for the day - 229
Total for the trip - 3,421
NorWis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2012, 10:44 AM   #70
NorWis OP
No longer a "Wanna Be"
 
NorWis's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Oddometer: 233
Day 10

It's amazing what a good nights rest can do for you! We slept in and took another shower when we got up. Todays tasks;

Go to Wal-Mart to get a few prescriptions filled, laundry, choose what was getting shipped home, laundry, shower, relax, pack for the push to Prudhoe Bay (Deadhorse) and plan logistics along the way.

You better enjoy the photos I have because it's not many!

The hallway to our second floor dorm room:



We made the trek out to Wal-Mart to get the prescriptions filled. They transferred them from our home store and filled all but one. The one can't be filled for a few days yet. Damn insurance companies!

I take photos of Wal-Mart's I visit (my wife works at Wal-Mart). So now you're getting the "odd" quirks about Todd.



I was so impressed with how they treat their employees here in Fairbanks I had to get a photo of the power outlets for the block heaters in their cars:



We got the pills we needed and also some items for lunch and dinner today (sandwich stuff) and several types of granola bars and Clif Bars. Dylan wasn't too sure about them but it turns out he loves them!

We also stopped at Sportsman's Warehouse to get a few other things. As we looked around the store I saw these. In hindsight I should have bought a few!





We went back to UAF for a nap and to unload all the new crap we just bought and figure what to ship home and where to ship it from. We needed to eject some weight and make some room.
NorWis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2012, 01:53 PM   #71
Yooper_Bob
Beastly Adventurer
 
Yooper_Bob's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Da UP, eh! (Michigan)
Oddometer: 2,461
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorWis View Post
After that brief interruption we go back to our regularly scheduled report, but first, a word from our sponsor:

A few quick video clips from the Central Adventure Rider Rally (CADVR). Remember I am riding a not so nimble (for me at least) BMW R1200 GS Adventure:.....Thanks to Yooper Bob, Mrs. Yooper Bob (Cheryl), Mark, Paul and Paul. It was a lot of fun!

Todd
I think you need to trade that high dollar BMW in, and get a "mighty" TW200....that one was being ridden by a girl, and still kicking your a$$!

Excellent job on the ride report!

Dylan is so fortunate to have such a caring and cool father.
Yooper_Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2012, 02:49 PM   #72
NorWis OP
No longer a "Wanna Be"
 
NorWis's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Oddometer: 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper_Bob View Post
I think you need to trade that high dollar BMW in, and get a "mighty" TW200....that one was being ridden by a girl, and still kicking your a$$!

Excellent job on the ride report!

Dylan is so fortunate to have such a caring and cool father.
She does every year!

Seriously, I had a great time and appreciate you guys "holding back".

Lots more report to come. Now comes "the good stuff"!

Todd
__________________
2up to Prudhoe - A father/son adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=814026

2up to Labrador - Another father/son adventure
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=984421
NorWis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2012, 04:35 PM   #73
NorWis OP
No longer a "Wanna Be"
 
NorWis's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Oddometer: 233
Day 10 Continued

So after our naps, lunch and laundry (we needed that pretty bad) I set about sorting our gear. What we hadn't used so far on the trip went into one of our Wolfman duffles. If I hadn't used it or didn't think we would need it again it was being ejected.

A list of the types of things; Small lantern (duh! It doesn't get dark), batteries, motorcycle jumper cables, rainfly poles, Kermit Chair, sheepskin seat pads (didn't want them collecting all the rain so we never used them), large camera tripod, ditched some food Dylan wouldn't eat or was too messy to make or cleanup, extra rain pants, extension cables for charging "stuff", extra ROK straps, and last but certainly not least...the kitchen sink! I thought it would have been an easy and quick way to do dishes. Nope, took me twice as long to get it cleaned!

I found the Post Office and there was a line out the door. I had left Dylan at the dorm by himself but didn't want to leave him very long. I didn't know what kind of terror he could create for them. I looked a bit further and found a UPS Store. I was the only one in there and I was going to find out why very soon!

The young lady that helped me box it up and tape it was great and did a wonderful job. So we get it all boxed up and I lift it on the scale. It weighed 22 pounds. I didn't think that was bad. I actually thought wow I hope that's enough to make this bike easier to pick up.

The girl tells me it will take about 7 days to get to Ashland and I tell her there's no hurry. Ok, but we only have one speed. That will be $82.00..... Say what!!!! She hands me the receipt to prove it. OMG, I will NOT make this mistake again.

Proof that I had everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink!



I calmed down on the ride back to UAF. I was getting pretty excited to head out in the morning up the infamous Dalton Highway! But first.....

I get back to the dorm and Dylan had been using my iPad surfing the Internet. He seems to have found a couple of "skate" shops. Grrrr....... ok, let's go. He's got the address, directions and shows me on the map where they are. By now we're getting pretty familiar around Fairbanks. Instead of getting all of our gear sorted and load back on the bike we're looking for "skate" shops.

After looking around for a building that was no longer there for one of them we find the other. Hockey skates.....

We fueled the bike and the three 1 liter bottles for the big push. I wouldn't need the extra fuel but it would supplement what we would need in Prudhoe Bay....if we got that far.

Time to go back and get packed up. We chat with some of the other riders outside for awhile as the anticipation grows. This is why we're here and why we rode for over 3,400 miles. Our destination the next day would be Coldfoot for fuel, then the Arctic Circle. Camping above the Arctic Circle was one check off of the bucket list.

Not that many pictures today in Fairbanks. That changes BIG time on the return trip.

The days mileage - 50

Total for the trip - 3,471
__________________
2up to Prudhoe - A father/son adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=814026

2up to Labrador - Another father/son adventure
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=984421
NorWis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2012, 05:53 PM   #74
2twisted
GoodNYou
 
2twisted's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2002
Location: Sebago Lake Me
Oddometer: 2,685


Really enjoying this.

When my son was 11 we went on a 7 day wilderness canoe trip, great memories for sure, on the 3rd day we had to cross a pretty good size lake...his reply was "nope I am not paddling today" and he did not lift anything but his fishing pole all day, I think I was the first in the tent that night.
2twisted is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2012, 04:30 AM   #75
rockinrog
Beastly Adventurer
 
rockinrog's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Central PA
Oddometer: 2,714
Not just in Alaska

I went to ship a T-shirt at the the UPS depot and they wanted $15...To ship a T shirt!!! I took it to work where we have a business account and the UPS driver came and picked it up and it cost $5.66 I was like wtf batman. ha
rockinrog is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 02:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014