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Old 08-30-2014, 08:46 PM   #1
hewhohesit8s OP
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Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Kitchener - the one in Canada
Oddometer: 302
Annual August Adventure - V7 Ontario to Inuvik

We just got back from our Annual August Adventure which this year took us to the Canadian north. Previous editions have seen us do the Trans lab, a few trans-continental trips, part of the trans eastern train, a Canadian Maritime edition, and some less organized roaming. The pattern is generally the same; we pick a terminal point, a suitable meeting place where the ladies join us for a few days of R&R and we hoof it back home.

I'm 58, retired and my traveling partner is a high school friend who is still a productive member of society. Our last three or four trips included a lot of driving in the American South so this year I suggested we head to the Canadian north. Specifically, I suggested we head to Dawson, Yukon, and weather permitting, do the run to Inuvik, NWT. I was informed by my better half that Lake Louise would be an acceptable meeting place for some R&R.

I have usually blogged these trips in real time, but this year, we were planning some longer days than we usually do and I didn't think I'd have the energy younger me had when he blogged those previous trips.

So I will be uploading some pics and writing a few quick impressions of some of the roads we traveled and the places we saw.

I had a DeLorme tracker in the event we needed to summon help at any point on our trip. Here is the link to the track - it shows everything except for the leg from Lake Louise to Regina on the way back.

https://share.delorme.com/FrankTremblay

We covered just a bit over 16000 km in 28 days. I won't be providing a blow by blow of the trip, but hope to share some of the sights and impressions we gleaned along the way. Now, off to upload some pics to Smugmug....
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'14 KTM 1190R
'12 Ducati Multistrada 1200ST
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:39 PM   #2
moralem
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So which bike did you ride and how is it you guys can retire so early and us Yanks pretty much work until we drop dead....we must be doing something wrong down here. And another thing I gleaned from talking to a number of your countrymen on my trip to Alaska, is that you all have big SUVs or trucks, a boat, a travel trailer, motorcycles and a snowmobile and you are all retired by the age of 60.....and you still can afford gas at over 5 bucks a gallon.....I wish the Canadian border was as porous as our southern US border because I would be an illegal alien up there in a heart beat.

moralem screwed with this post 08-31-2014 at 03:15 AM
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:21 PM   #3
hewhohesit8s OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moralem View Post
So which bike did you ride and how is it you guys can retire so early and us Yanks pretty much work until we drop dead....we must be doing something wrong down here. And another thing I gleaned from talking to a number of your countrymen on my trip to Alaska, is that you all have big SUVs or trucks, a boat, a travel trailer, motorcycles and a snowmobile and you are all retired by the sage of 60.....and you still can afford gas at over 5 bucks a gallon.....I wish the Canadian border was as porous as our southern US border because I would be an illegal alien up there in a heart beat.
So I took the 1190R and my buddy was on a Triumph Tiger 800XC. They performed really well except for a few minor niggles I'll get to later.

You're not going to like my answer, but the reason we can retire so early is socialized medicine. No need to hang around the job for health care. This from a guy who spent 42 days in hospital a few years ago. Well that and I have the good fortune to be married to a wonderful women who is way smarter than I am, who is a hard worker, and who indulges my motorcycle habit.

As for our borders, they were mighty porous during the Vietnam war. But I hear you might be building a fence. I can never tell when a fence is to keep people out and when it's to keep people in.

As for gas, it's priced by the liter, so when I filled up at $1.51/l it doesn't really feel like the $5.72/gal. Maybe because our loonie is smaller than the greenback. Besides, no matter how expensive I think gas is today, I know that next year, I'll be thinking back fondly on the good old days when gas was only $1.51/l. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.
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'14 KTM 1190R
'12 Ducati Multistrada 1200ST
'10 KTM 530EXC
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Old 08-31-2014, 02:13 AM   #4
Deadly99
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Frank



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Old 08-31-2014, 03:13 AM   #5
moralem
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Oh and that's another thing.......Cuban cigars, though quite pricey you can pick them up almost anywhere I went in your fine country. Sometimes I wonder about us down here and our priorities.......I am looking forward to reading more about how your bike performed on the trip. I am intrigued by 150 hp in an adventure bike as I consider trading in my RT for a GSA.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:43 AM   #6
hewhohesit8s OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moralem View Post
Oh and that's another thing.......Cuban cigars, though quite pricey you can pick them up almost anywhere I went in your fine country. Sometimes I wonder about us down here and our priorities.......I am looking forward to reading more about how your bike performed on the trip. I am intrigued by 150 hp in an adventure bike as I consider trading in my RT for a GSA.
Ha, funny you mention that.... just pulled this from the humidor to go sit on the deck and enjoy some sun...


Here is the bike loaded and ready to go at 8:00 on August 1



And here it is bike after a few hours on the Dempster 11 days later.



But I'm getting ahead of myself...
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'14 KTM 1190R
'12 Ducati Multistrada 1200ST
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:50 AM   #7
hewhohesit8s OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadly99 View Post
Frank



Ted, you must be glued to the weather forecast.... gets cold in them hills. Wish I were going back with you. Saw some roads there and thought, "Bet Ted goes down this road when he's here in Sep"
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'14 KTM 1190R
'12 Ducati Multistrada 1200ST
'10 KTM 530EXC
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Old 08-31-2014, 05:33 PM   #8
hewhohesit8s OP
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Intro and day 1

Richard and I have been going on these August Adventures for seven years now, hence the imaginative title to the thread. Planning usually starts in the winter over a dinner and a few drinks. This year the conversation went something like this.

Me, "I just got back from a trip in Vegas and a few days in California. Let's go north this year"

Richard, "Well, I prefer warm to freezing my ass off, but I've been meaning to go north, so wtf."

And with that, the general direction was selected. I had already decided to trade in my 2010 KTM 990 with about 48,000 km for the new 1190 R. And I had determined it needed a few upgrades to make it road worthy. They included:

- Madstad windscreen. It took a bit of experimenting, but I eventually got it set to where I could ride at 100kph with the visor up.
- Adv footpegs. these lowered the pegs a bit , but mainly provided a comfortable platform for riding while standing
- Akrapovic exhaust just because
- KTM luggage Rack
- KTM bash plate
- Wolfman Rockey Mountain bags
- Mitas E07 rear, TKC 80 front

Richard was taking his Triumph Tiger 800XC. For this trip he added heated grips and knobbies - I think they were Karoos.

We both carried full camping gear - just in case as well as bear bangers and bear spray.

I was debating between Purdhoe Bay and Inuvik as the terminal points of out trip and opted for Inuvik on a whim. But I assured Richard that we would only head out to Inuvik from Dawson if the weather was favorable.

Here is Richard's bike with the Wolfman Expeditions bags and the Twisted Throttle Duffel.


And just so you can keep the players straight without a program, I'm the one on the left, Richard is the one on the right.



So on August 1, Richard headed out from Ottawa and I headed out from KW and we agreed to meet in Sudbury at the Starbucks at 1:00. I got there a little early and Richard was delayed a bit by holiday traffic and so we met up at about 1:30. We hung around for an hour and headed out towards Sault St. Marie for the night. My wife was acting as our support base and was calling ahead to to book our accommodations. She booked us into the Water Tower which is where we stayed about 4 years ago when we last stopped in the Sault.
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"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list."
'14 KTM 1190R
'12 Ducati Multistrada 1200ST
'10 KTM 530EXC
'04 HD 1200C
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:37 PM   #9
hewhohesit8s OP
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Day 2 - to Winnipeg.

The thing about Canada in general and Ontario in particular is that it's BIG. 800 plus km and we were just in the Sault. It would take us another day to get to the Peg, our destination for day 2. The first gas stop was in our Nemisis, Wawa.

Both Richard and I had strong negative memories of Northern Superior in general and the ride into Wawa in particular. One of our first rides seven years ago had been in late August on a rainy day from Dryden to Wawa. Nothing terrible in itself, but we were woefully unprepared for the cold and the rain. I was on a Harley Heritage Classic, wearing leather jacket and assless chaps with no rain gear, no heated gear, nor heated grips. Richard was on a V-Strom equally ill prepared. We spent the night in Wawa all those years ago, trying to warm up and dry out our gear. The trauma of that day was what prompted me to get the Klim gear, the Sidi boots, Heated grips and heated vest.

So we were not surprised that, although we left a sunny Sudbury, rain started about 50km from Wawa. I got a pic of one of the wooden geese that adorn the town's main street.



As you would expect if you were imputing evil intentions to the town, rain stopped as we got back onto the highway exiting town. The ride to the peg was mostly uneventful. We stopped for a break on the side of the road just past Dryden and Richard wandered into the bushes, as he is wont to do,


And came back with a handful of blueberries. This is what was left by the time he got to me.



The prairies can be a bit of a bore. There was the rare burst of colour.




Mostly it was flat


punctuated with the odd grain elevator


With gaining an hour in the time change to CDT, we made it to Karen, Richard's sister in the Peg in time for a wonderful steak dinner.
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"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list."
'14 KTM 1190R
'12 Ducati Multistrada 1200ST
'10 KTM 530EXC
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Old 09-01-2014, 04:06 PM   #10
hewhohesit8s OP
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Through the Praries and onto the Alaska Highway

Not much to say about the prairies except that there appeared to be more oil and gas development going on in the northern parts than I had expected. That meant that what traffic there was tended to either be big ass RVs or big ass trucks - double tankers were especially prevalent. We crossed into Sask....



Stayed overnight in Saskatoon, crossed into Alberta at Loydminster...



Except for being stung by a wasp in a trafffic jam in Edmnton - thus adding injury to insult, the ride into Whitecourt, where we spent the night, was uneventful.

We crossed in to BC


the next day, and in many ways, this was the start of our journey. We got to Dawson Creek, the start of the Alaska highway mid day




As it turns out the Alaska highway is a beautiful road,


with beautiful vistas,


built with American money during WW2 and under condition that it be handed back to Canada after the war.

There is not a lot of traffic but what there is appears to be more vacation than industrial. And again a lot of tanker trucks. We spent the night in Fort Nelson
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"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list."
'14 KTM 1190R
'12 Ducati Multistrada 1200ST
'10 KTM 530EXC
'04 HD 1200C
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