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Old 08-14-2012, 03:41 PM   #76
NorWis OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2twisted View Post


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.
Thanks!

I think any time you spend with your children is quality time. After comparing this trip with Dylan and my older sone, Stephen, I think the more quality time came with the one on one time. I spent a lot of time with Stephen but it was with a lot of other folks around and we didn't get as much time together alone. Dylan and I were always alone throughout the day at some point. I thoroughly enjoyed both trips though.

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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
I was in a bind and willing to pay it to get rid of the weight I had. It would have taken me hours to do the same thing that took a few minutes at the post office. There had to be 30 people in line.
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2up to Prudhoe - A father/son adventure
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:25 PM   #77
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Day 11

This is the day we had been looking forward to for quite awhile. We got up and showered (last one for a few days ) and packed. We loaded the bike and checked out of the dorm. Other riders were doing the same thing. Some heading north to Deadhorse, the Arctic Circle, Coldfoot, etc... Others heading south and home. The only things we ALL had in common; we were all riding motorcycles and we all had HUGE grins on our faces because the weather was PERFECT!

Not a cloud in the sky, no rain in the short forecasts. That could all change in a heartbeat but for right now, life was good. No..........life was great!

We were on the road to Coldfoot around 9am. Not a bad start. We wouldn't have a lot of miles today but we needed to be ready for anything from this point forward. The weather, the road, construction, bike mishaps, fuel issues, wildlife, people, etc. I think being an Eagle Scout helped me "Be Prepared" for just about anything. Look at all the crap I was carrying.

I was not ready for the amount of time it takes to get from point A to point B in this area. We were no longer able to maintain the speeds we had been but boy did we have daylight! Lots of daylight! We could drive all night if needed! I was pretty well rested after hanging out at the dorm for two days. We needed that time to rejuvenate. Even Dylan had a little spring in his step and a glimmer of hope of making it to the Arctic Circle tonight. When you look at that on a globe it puts it all into perspective. It's WAY up north. Looking at it on a one dimensional map does not do it justice. We had planned the route together on the living room floor together and I had spun the globe a few times to show him where we lived and also where we were going. He was pretty speechless and knew this was going to be something special.

Little did he know.....

We started to leap frog some folks on bikes as we headed toward the Dalton Highway. They were pulling off for fuel but I had enough fuel to go to the circle and beyond without issues. The folks we were leap frogging would become dear friends along the way...Karl, Bernie, Doug, the couple on the Goldwing (never got their names) and Ron.

Our first glimpse of our very dear friend and companion for almost 1,000 miles of riding:



The Alaskan Pipeline.



You begin to see it for miles and miles. When you don't see it you are riding along wondering where it went. Almost concerned that you're off course or should have made a turn somewhere.



It would then reappear and you could let out a sigh of relief knowing you're still on the right road. Like there are any others up here!

It's called the Dalton Highway, the Haul Road, and Alaska Route 11. It's the road we would become intimate with over the next few days. We left the Elliott Highway and started on the Dalton.



Other riders had posted pictures of the sign and you couldn't make out the words on the sign from all the stickers that were plastered all over it. I was quite shocked to see the sign with no stickers on it.

As you approach it though then you see why. It has got to be 10 feet off the ground! I had to drive down into a ditch to get this photo! Dylan was a bit taken back by that. I was not coming all this way and NOT getting a picture of the Elegant Hog by the Dalton Highway sign!



Here we go!!!! We're on the Dalton Highway. Heading north. My trip of a lifetime and I hope the first of many for Dylan.
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:47 AM   #78
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Come on....don't leave us hanging!!!
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:23 AM   #79
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I plan to one day do this ride with my wife and your RR is inspiring me to get on planning this.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:40 AM   #80
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Come on....don't leave us hanging!!!
You ride fast, you drink fast and now I find out you READ fast too!!!
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:41 AM   #81
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I plan to one day do this ride with my wife and your RR is inspiring me to get on planning this.
Do it! You will NOT be disappointed!

Todd
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:54 AM   #82
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Day 11 Continued

We met another rider who was on a BMW R1200 GS, Karl. Karl had just retired from the Air Force (thanks for your years of service Karl) and his retirement gift to himself was a ride across the US and to the Arctic Circle. We all rode together and offered each other some company along the way.

That's Karl in front of us. We were watching him from behind and thinking "wow, glad we got these tires on". Karl even said he had to slow down a bit because he was all over the road.



I didn't know when it was just water on the road or when it was calcium chloride. I just knew it was slippery! It didn't matter, look at the sky!!! Could it be any more clear than that?

You can see a long way off when it's this clear and you start to realize just how far this ride really is going to be.



This was going to be our first (of many) construction zones. You can see the orange sign just in front of Karl warning travelers.



The next photo was taken by another couple of riders we met along the way. We have stayed in touch with Bernie & Doug and truly welcomed riding and meeting up with them along the way. I believe Bernie took this photo (e-mailed it to me recently).



You can see me, without the helmet (still no smile), Dylan has his hemet on, Karl by the stop sign, Doug with his back too us, and the couple on the Goldwing. Bernie and Doug were both riding Super Tenere's and that was the talk of the hour. We are all waiting for the "pilot truck" to get back. It's nice that they bring the motorcycles to the front.



Right before the pilot truck got back a tanker came and dumped a bunch of water on the road. Great, now it's slippery. It does keep the dust down though.

My cameraman was taking pictures and getting that "creative" camera angle.







I think he liked getting himself in a bunch of the photos (look in the mirror).



That's Karl right in front of us then Bernie and Doug on the Super Tenere's and the couple on the Goldwing were in front of them.



It was our first construction so there are lots of photos.







A blurry but good view of the construction site.



You'll start to get an idea about the pipeline and what this road was first used for, maintaining it.



The backside of Karl again as he is cresting a hill.



It was great riding with these folks. We all seemed to have the same feeling that it was a beautiful day or days and we were all experiencing something great for the very first time. I think Dylan enjoyed the attention he was getting as the youngest in the group. It was nice to see the others treating him as "one of the guys". That meant a lot to him, and me.

Todd & Dylan
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:46 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorWis View Post


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:

Wow, looks like a shitty place to live.

And, hang on I've got one more... interesting how tires resemble their owners.


A more serious comment, looks like those false starts at tire changing pre-trip paid off in a crunch. A reminder too, that you've ridden 60 miles or so at highway speeds on little or no air in one of your tires, not that that is a good back up plan.
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:23 PM   #84
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Day 11 Continued

It was great having a few companions riding up the Dalton. We approached the Yukon River and the wooden bridge. I asked Dylan to get some photos.



I was REALLY glad it was dry. I would bet this bridge gets pretty darn slippery when it's raining cats and dogs.

There's a lot going on in the photo above. You can see Karl out in front of us. The area on the opposite of the bridge is Yukon River Camp (full range of services), you can see the pipeline, to the right of the pipeline is a little wayside with some info and history about the pipeline.

Looking west up the Yukon River.



I wish some of these photo editors would be able to do a "45 degree turn" and not just a 90.



Everyone else needed gas. The Elegant Hog was good to go. They all chastised me for not getting fuel but the lower speeds and the amount of fuel I had on board I could almost make it to Deadhorse. We turned right to the pipeline info area and got some photos.

Dylan with his typical grin.



One Who Never Smiles.



We then drove over to the Yukon River Camp and joined up with everyone else. Got a nice picture of Karl and his bike after fueling up.



He got one of us.



Bernie is also in the picture talking to the guy with the HD vest on.

Inside the Yukon River Camp.



After we left Yukon River Camp Dylan got a few more self portraits with some nice views in them as well.



This was one of his favorites.



You must remember that behind the helmet, gloves, and digital camera is an 11 year old boy hanging on for dear life. Any photo he can get is a plus for us. I can then keep both hands where they should be and we can keep moving.

We chased Karl for a long time.



Somewhere along this stretch we stopped for a short break. Bernie and Doug had disappeared and the Goldwing had as well. I told Karl that I would like to stop at Finger Mountain or Finger Rock. He asked me how he would know it and I wasn't sure but I knew about where it was. I thought for sure it would be marked somehow. It was....

FYI...I was using the Milepost maps and they were INVALUABLE. I always knew what was coming up and about what mileage marker it would be at. They were great and all fit in the map pocket of my tank bag. Very little weight, no room at all and incredibly informative. Dylan liked them because it told us all the spots we could pull over and fish.

If you have read many reports from this trip you have seen this photo (or one similar) in every one of them. It really is cool and is MUCH larger than you think!



What you don't often see is this:



Call me crazy but I like to know WHY finger rock has a really nice wayside and is so well marked. Nice vault toilets and plenty of room for vehicles.

Still at Finger Mountain and in awe over the weather!





If you look close you can see the pipeline to the left in the distance and to the right, The Dalton. That's where we came from. OMG we still have a long way to go. Good! It's beautiful! I think at this point in time we could have ridden forever. Our spirits were fantastic and we were doing what we were loving! Can it get any better than this? Yes, I'm afraid to tell you, it can, and does. It just keeps getting better. Even for "One Who Never Smiles".

The views get better, the wildlife gets thicker (in more ways than one), the weather.....gets better, the father/son bond becomes stronger.....
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:28 PM   #85
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Day 11 Continued

How can it get any better?

Crossing a few things off your personal "bucket list" helps. Experiencing those with your son, priceless. Even today we laugh and talk about the things we did together and experienced. It's a pretty amazing feeling. The things that couldn't be caught "with a camera". When you have an 11 year old boy say "remember when we....?". It just about rips your heart out. That happens a lot.

As we approached the Arctic Circle I could feel the excitement, the anticipation, the anxiety....

Big let down? Non event?

Not a chance!

We arrived at the Arctic Circle wayside and it was everything I thought it would be and then some. When you travel almost 4,000 miles and reach that destination, it sets bells off in your head. I was proud of both of us.



Even "One Who Never Smiles" broke into a grin. Probably easier to see in this picture.



You are looking at one very happy father. Not that I am standing at the Arctic Circle. Rather, I am standing at the Arctic Circle with my son.

I could go home now and be happy. Anything after this is just icing on the cake. We will have a LOT of icing, trust me. You had better keep reading.

Ok, can't stay that way for ever. You've got to get back into your character....

One Who Never Smiles is back....



Karl took all the photos for us. So we took some for Karl!



It was an absolute pleasure to ride with Karl. I'm glad Dylan and I got to be a part of his adventure and we are equally thrilled he was able to be a part of ours. Thanks again Karl!

Well guess who rolls in behind us? You got it! Bernie and Doug!

They were in such a hurry they wouldn't take their helmets off!



A great couple of guys! Doug on the left and Bernie on the right. We weren't done with them but we did need to say goodbye to Karl. He had accomplished his goal and was going to hang out at the Arctic Circle awhile.

What could possibly come next? Lions and tigers and bears....oh, my.....

Todd & Dylan
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:36 PM   #86
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I wish some of these photo editors would be able to do a "45 degree turn" and not just a 90.


You can, in this case with Irfanview at 45 degrees, but there's no way to rotate at anything that isn't close to a multiple of 90 degrees and still have a horizontal picture without cropping out a lot of the pic

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Old 08-15-2012, 05:43 PM   #87
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You can, in this case with Irfanview at 45 degrees, but there's no way to rotate at anything that isn't close to a multiple of 90 degrees and still have a horizontal picture without cropping out a lot of the pic

I love it!!!! I've been using Irfanview for reducing the size of photos but never dove in enough to look further. You ROCK!

Even tilted it doesn't look that bad.

THanks for the info!!!!

Todd
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:57 PM   #88
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great report

What a great report. Can almost taste the calcium chloride!
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Old 08-16-2012, 04:42 AM   #89
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just so you know....you perception of what the Yukon River Bridge would be like in the rain was totally correct. It was, to say the least, very slippery!!! Pic is from July 12, 2011. The ride up was still amazing, even in the rain, the entire way from Fairbanks to Prudhoe.



Awesome RR, you have me hooked, every morning I look for it to start off the day!!
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Old 08-16-2012, 04:53 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by FLARider1 View Post
just so you know....you perception of what the Yukon River Bridge would be like in the rain was totally correct. It was, to say the least, very slippery!!! Pic is from July 12, 2011. The ride up was still amazing, even in the rain, the entire way from Fairbanks to Prudhoe.



Awesome RR, you have me hooked, every morning I look for it to start off the day!!
It's really cool to see how nice we did have it. This gives anyone reading along the difference between a "good" day and not having the "perfect" day. We had the "perfect" day. Sounds like your experience was still wonderful, I'm happy to hear that, but the weather dictates a lot in this area.

Congrats!!!

Todd
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