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 08-02-2013, 10:51 PM   #106
looksha
n00b
 
Joined: Jun 2013
Oddometer: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizzLee View Post
I hope you can have adventures with your kids. These trips have been among the most rewarding things I've done in my life. I've no regrets... Just some guilt that maybe I could have done more. You are correct. It's a rewards vs risk equation. Kids have to experience it to understand it. I am glad my son is ok and not soured from the whole ordeal. He has been researching speed wobble a bit and even found a couple of YouTube videos whereby he shows me the bike behaving just like his.






Tim, many thanks for the kind words.
I look forward to riding with you and your son this fall. Hopefully I can get Johann's bike put back together by then. He needs new riding gear as well. The ol credit cards are going to take a continuos beating for awhile.

BTW: There will be no guessing on Birthday and Christmas gifts this year.

Tim - it would be great for the boys to have the chance to go on a real ride with you! I'll even throw together a batch of my 'world' famous lasagne if you come out.
looksha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2013, 10:52 PM   #107
looksha
n00b
 
Joined: Jun 2013
Oddometer: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by theofam View Post
I should have known the Sour Toe shot would be old news to seasoned Yukon travelers like you two!

Johann, you're doing an awesome job on this ride. To think you only had your mc license for four weeks before heading out on this adventure, you deserve applause! Between your instructors and your dad, looks like you've had great influences.

Grizz, you must be poppin' buttons, you're so proud. I know I would be!

Lookin' forward to the next round of pics and accompanying story.
Actually, Johann only had his endorsement a few DAYS before they left! He is quite an accomplished rider.
looksha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2013, 06:43 AM   #108
Pantah
Patriot Nation?
 
Pantah's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2004
Location: India Wharf
Oddometer: 10,118
Raising Sons...

GrizzLee and Johann - Yours is a most interesting story of the human experience. It strikes a familiar cord with a lot of us. My son quit HS with about a month left of his senior year. I was devastated. I knew he had a hankering to try motorcycle road racing... So I offered to build a racing program for him if he finished his studies. He jumped at it and we went racing.

The next several years were both magical and trying. Measuring, really. He turned pro when he was 19 and then raced all over the country from Daytona to California. I had to chase a few ambulances along the way, and he had periods of rehabbing injuries, but he learned a lot about himself as did I. He learned a lot about truth and what it takes to compete well in life.

Today he is a highly successful software engineer living in San Francisco. He still does a little desert racing out west but it is more of a hobby.

Thank you both for telling your story. Thanks for the beautiful images too. I've been to most of the same places aboard a KTM 950. My pictures aren't as good, though.

-P
__________________
Straight ahead and faster -Bo Weaver 1970
"There I was..." -Griffin Niner Three Hotel
"One day closer to a parade..." Jonny Gomes, spring training 2013
Pantah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2013, 10:01 PM   #109
GrizzLee OP
RubiKon Adventures
 
GrizzLee's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Pacific NorthWest
Oddometer: 503
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantah View Post
GrizzLee and Johann - Yours is a most interesting story of the human experience. It strikes a familiar cord with a lot of us. My son quit HS with about a month left of his senior year. I was devastated. I knew he had a hankering to try motorcycle road racing... So I offered to build a racing program for him if he finished his studies. He jumped at it and we went racing.

The next several years were both magical and trying. Measuring, really. He turned pro when he was 19 and then raced all over the country from Daytona to California. I had to chase a few ambulances along the way, and he had periods of rehabbing injuries, but he learned a lot about himself as did I. He learned a lot about truth and what it takes to compete well in life.

Today he is a highly successful software engineer living in San Francisco. He still does a little desert racing out west but it is more of a hobby.

Thank you both for telling your story. Thanks for the beautiful images too. I've been to most of the same places aboard a KTM 950. My pictures aren't as good, though.

-P

Good insight.
Raising kids is a nonlinear process as I am finding out. As a parent you lay out a path that is both logical and sound. Perhaps we do this to help them avoid the mistakes we made and perhaps to satisfy our own egos. I believe it is rare that a child follows a prescribed path laid out by their parents. It is good that they find their own way in the world. All we can do is provide for them, give them experiences and point them in the proper direction. They rest is up to them. They have to experience the world on their terms.

Thanks.. I am sure Johann will have a different perspective.
__________________
Take Care, -GrizzLee
"Nature Sets the Boundaries; We choose to cross"
Blog: RubiKonAdventures
RR: Destination Nuxalk Nation
RR: Our Life Behind Bars

GrizzLee screwed with this post 08-04-2013 at 11:16 PM
GrizzLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 05:31 AM   #110
oldNbold
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2013
Location: stranded in Iowa
Oddometer: 124
Raising kids is a little like herding chickens. You just try to keep them going in the right direction and try to get them to the intended destination but the actual path taken is out of your control.
oldNbold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 10:38 AM   #111
GrizzLee OP
RubiKon Adventures
 
GrizzLee's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Pacific NorthWest
Oddometer: 503
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldNbold View Post
Raising kids is a little like herding chickens. You just try to keep them going in the right direction and try to get them to the intended destination but the actual path taken is out of your control.
Absolutely.... .


More ride report coming... Hope you folks are enjoying it.
__________________
Take Care, -GrizzLee
"Nature Sets the Boundaries; We choose to cross"
Blog: RubiKonAdventures
RR: Destination Nuxalk Nation
RR: Our Life Behind Bars
GrizzLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 11:33 AM   #112
C-Stain
Beastly Adventurer
 
C-Stain's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Canoodia, eh?
Oddometer: 5,836
GrizzLee and Johann -

Incredible Adventure and Pictures. You guys have had an experience that will bond you closely forever. I started my son riding with me last season - he was 4 at the time, and he's very interested in continuing to go on adventures with his old man when the old man is healed again.

I'm sorry that Johann had to experience a get-off of such gnarly proportions! Wow! I've never seen MC boot do that - scary!

Keep the report coming - I'll be interested in hearing your final thoughts...
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Gone View Post
C-Stain is wise.
C-Stain is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 11:01 PM   #113
Yukon Johann
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2013
Oddometer: 35
mile 1750-2305

Lots happening these next few days.

We left Telegraph Creek and headed back out to the Cassiar Hwy. The ride back from Telegraph Creek to Dease Lake was as amazing as the day before. On the way out we came across the cemetery, it's located on a bluff overlooking the village. The views from there to the coastal mountains will be etched into my memory forever. You could see the path the Stikine River carved into the mountains for miles and miles. All the way toward Wrangell, Alaska we were told. The cemetery is a place that I think one would be very grateful to claim as their eternal resting home, if not for the humbling views, but for the serenity and beauty it provides in a remote setting; very quiet and peaceful.


old truck mentioned earlier


Camp at Telegraph creek


Old church in Telegraph Creek


Just proof we were there...


Above the town is a cemetery with an incredible view


No roads, no people, no nuthin' all the way to the ocean


From there we followed Telegraph creek road, pretty much in the same manner as we rode in. Slow, methodical, and savoring every mile to the fullest. We even rode side-by-side (slowly and carefully) with a herd of horses in the valley who seemed to express no concern by our presence.


Moring sun on the pillars in Stikine canyon




view of the road


Where the 2 rivers meet... a scared place






leaving the Stikine Canyon



Once at Dease Lake we made tracks to Jade City to meet up with Kendra, a friend we have made over the years, who works at the Jade City Store. After saying hi and goodbye we headed north to Watson Lake, hoping to be there before too long. We went through Good Hope Lake and at one point, my dad happened to get a nasty hornet inside his jacket. he told me that it worked its way down to his torso area. I could tell that the hornet was not happy about being stuck in his riding jacket, and was trying to sting him. He pulled over quickly and nearly tore his jacket off to get the darn hornet on its way without harming him.


Back on the Cassiar Hwy we arrive at Jade City


Ready to go!


Beautiful colors...and the fireweed was in full bloom


We came across a large burn area just prior to crossing into the Yukon. We noticed huge swaths of beautiful fields of fireweed, the official Yukon flower.








Gretchen taking a needed break




We finally made it to the yukon! It took much longer than we had thought


Yeah Baby!!!


I present to you... Yukon Johann, "Larger than Life"!!! (more of an inside joke)


We arrived in Watson Lake much later than anticipated and found a really nice place to stay… the Air Force Lodge. It is a charming place that once played a role in WWII as it was on the Staging route for the Lend-Lease of Aircraft to Russia.


NomaGal (AdvRider name) Working on her KLR


Frenchman riding around the world



The next morning we washed the bikes at the only carwash in town, at the Petro Station. That was the beginning of us meeting many interesting motorcyclists from the US and around the world. Of those people we met a Frenchman, which we sadly can't remember his name. He is halfway through his trip of riding around the world, he said he was doing it in two years. We met another guy named Mike, as I recall, he was making his way up to Prudhoe Bay, and then going kayaking somewhere. We also met another adventure rider. She goes by NomadGal on ADV rider she has popular thread called "A Year On the Road" she was a very interesting person and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to her telling us about some of the things she has seen and done. Another guy we met shortly after leaving the carwash was a German fellow from Washington D.C. he also had the same idea in mind, go to Prudhoe Bay and back home. He was also doing something very similar as I. He was doing a charity ride as well.


Our own personal detail shop


Mike from Denver


The bikes in front of the Sign Post Forest


Adventure riders come in all shapes and sizes


ahhh, Scooby Doo...one of my favorite shows growing up



We finally left Watson Lake very late into the day, we knew we weren't going to make it to Whitehorse so we thought we would just go half way and spend the night at Teslin Lake. My dad spent the night talking to the German guy we met in Watson Lake and another German guy who had just pulled into Teslin Lake shortly after we did. I, on the other was trying to catch up on sleep since I really didn't sleep well at all the past couple of days. It was a great social day you could say. A lot more talking than riding, that’s for sure.


Life along the Alcan Hwy.


Cool rock formations at Jakes corner




Arrival in the Southern Lakes Region... Bove Island




Worlds smallest Desert...located in Carcross




Emerald Lake






We finally made it!






My dad lookin good in a pic


Until next time.....
__________________
Take care,
-Yukon Johann
Ride2Alaska Fundraiser

Yukon Johann screwed with this post 08-05-2013 at 11:31 PM
Yukon Johann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2013, 08:01 AM   #114
GrizzLee OP
RubiKon Adventures
 
GrizzLee's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Pacific NorthWest
Oddometer: 503
Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Stain View Post
GrizzLee and Johann -

Incredible Adventure and Pictures. You guys have had an experience that will bond you closely forever. I started my son riding with me last season - he was 4 at the time, and he's very interested in continuing to go on adventures with his old man when the old man is healed again.

I'm sorry that Johann had to experience a get-off of such gnarly proportions! Wow! I've never seen MC boot do that - scary!

Keep the report coming - I'll be interested in hearing your final thoughts...
Hey thanks for the encouragement.

FInal thoughts. Most definitely... The story won't be over until his bike comes back home. As of today, it finally made it's way to Skagway. Johann really wants his bike back and repaired.

More story coming... and videos now that I finally got my new computer up and running. Let me just say. Hard Drives stored in motorcycle panniers on rough roads don't mix very well.

I am happy I brought a external USB drive along to back everything up along the way.
__________________
Take Care, -GrizzLee
"Nature Sets the Boundaries; We choose to cross"
Blog: RubiKonAdventures
RR: Destination Nuxalk Nation
RR: Our Life Behind Bars
GrizzLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2013, 05:14 PM   #115
GrizzLee OP
RubiKon Adventures
 
GrizzLee's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Pacific NorthWest
Oddometer: 503
Mile 2305 to Mile 2940

Our Life Behind Bars – Father & Son Doing Time in The Northern Frontier (Mile 2305 to Mile 2940)
Days 11,12 (July 8,9 2013)

After a ½ day spent in Whitehorse getting some supplies, lunch and doing laundry, we were ready to take off again towards Tok. Before we left, a couple of riders stopped by because they “heard” of a father –son team back towards Watson Lake. Additionally some other tourists from Florida in an RV stopped to wish us well and bend our ear to. It seems that word was getting around about out trip. It was great to meet new people on bikes and campers.


We finally got away from everyone and began our trip around 5:00 that evening, leaving Whitehorse towards Kluane Lake. However, a huge dark mass of clouds lay before us and we began to feel rain drops. It didn’t look promising. So, at the Klondike junction, we discussed options. The best option was to turn around and spend the night in Whitehorse in a dry place. We had a friend in Whitehorse, Shawn, who offered us a place to stay whenever we needed. We took him up on his offer and he made us one heck of a great dinner. And he had beer. Shawn is an avid paraglider and watches the weather as close as anyone. He said the forecast wasn’t looking for a while in all directions. Darn it! We made the best of it and had a nice visit, catching up on our adventures and to be quite honest, I was envious of him. The wilderness is not more than 5 minutes from his house and he has great mountain views from his back deck.

Ominous clouds in the distance as we leave Whitehorse


The young man looking good


Unfortunately, the normally fantastic vistas at Haines Jct were obscured


Arriving at Destruction Bay and the start of the rain... arrrgggh!

The next morning we said our goodbyes and headed out towards Haines Junction and Kluane Lake. Our destination that day was Tok. We had no rain but overcast skies all the way to Destruction Bay at Kluane Lake. In fact, I forget how beautiful that lake can be. Shortly there after, however, we hit a wall of rain fro the next several hours. It was heavy at times and we began to get a bit chilly. We stopped for gas near Burwash Landing and recanted our 2011 expedition into Kluane park. That particular expedition, we took off from Burwash Landing by foot and headed straight into the mountains, over the tundra to the Donjek Glacier. We were on foot and had heavy packs with 10 days worth of supplies. No trail marked our way and all we had was map, GPS, compass, a handful of GPS coordinates and a vague description of the route. Truly a wilderness trek of a lifetime. It was both physically and mentally demanding. One of the hardest things both of us had ever done and worth it in every sense. We saw wolves, bears and had Dahl sheep come into our camp. We scaled mountains, waded through thick muskeg swamps and beaver ponds; descended steep, frozen, scree fields that were nearly vertical and dangerous as heck; forded many glacial rivers; bushwhacked through some of the most unforgiving country I have ever touched. And yet, the views, the experience and the wilderness were like nothing we have ever seen before and have yet to be matched. That was a fantastic trip and provided us memories that I will take to my grave.
Read more about that expedition here.

Grizzly and wolf Tracks on the Donjek Route in 2011


Remote camp on the Donjek Route in 2011 (note the rams skull used to hold our tent stake).



Snow, glaciers and sheep tracks on the Donjek Route 2011


More grizzly bears going our way... What do we do? There is no other route through the valley... on the Donjek Route 2011

After reminiscing about our last visit and putting on some warmer clothes and dryer rain gear, we headed off down the Alcan highway. We hit a pretty bad stretch of construction where the road was soft gravel and dangerously deep in places. Our beautiful bikes were looking like we already drove the haul road as were our clothes. Over the next several hours, until we crossed the border into Alaska, the road was to be like this and even worse ... giant potholes and frost heaves that seemed to swallow our bikes were everywhere. We had to ride slow and methodical to stay safe and be on our toes.



Oh no... it had to happen to one of us sooner or later

A bit later, we pulled into a rest stop to get a snack and enjoy the brief reprieve from the rain. Then “it” happened. Johann dumped his bike. We both knew that this was going to happen to one or both of us sooner or later. Johann was really upset with himself, but it wasn’t his fault. The wet gravel on top of the chip seal (not really tarmac) made for ground that was like ball bearings underneath his boot as he tried to push his bike. The truth be told, I had a couple of similar near misses already on the trip. If this was to be the worst incident of the trip, I was more than happy with that. A couple of scratches is to be expected.


The mud was beginning to stick on the bikes


Were were getting wet and dirty now



Typical views for us all day (sigh!?!)

As we pulled onto the road, It seemed like hours went by before the next break in the rain. At one point we stopped to help a lady heading towards the Yukon. Her double axle trailer had come un hitched and she was able to safely exit the road onto the shoulder with only the chain securing the trailer to the truck. We got her all hitched safely up and went on our way again. Darn it, we were soaked to the bone with wetness by now and a deep chill was beginning to settle in. We eventually made it to Beaver and Johann and I were both low on gas. I checked the mileage to Tok and it would be close for both of us until we made it to the next gas stop. So we gassed up at $1.74/liter… DO THE MATH HERE 3.785 liters = 1 gal… Yep, we paid over $6.50 a gallon for gas!!! Fuuuuuuudge!!! I only put in 2 gallons in each bike. I got a cup of coffee and Johann had a soda along with a snack for the both of us. We did what we could to stay out of the rain in the little store there for awhile to warm up and dry off. However, there is only soo much waiting around you can do, before the owner gives you the eye and you get the message that you may be overstaying your welcome. So onward we pressed. More construction and we caught up with a group of Harley riders that were taking it very, very slow through the gravel. Too slow for our pace, so we waved at them as we rode by, standing on our foot pegs to catch the wind to help dry us out.



If the rain stopped, this is what it was like





Finally.. good roads in Alaska.. will the rain ease up as well..

We finally arrived at the Alaska border after what seemed to be hours and hours of riding. Geez it was a looooong day of riding. Tok was about 2 hours away at this point and were wanted to get an Alaskan Burger at Fast Eddies before they closed. So off we went again, but now, the roads were in much better shape… we were able to do more than 35-40 miles on hour…. The pace we had been used to for the last several hours ever since we left Burwash Landing.


Nope, a storm was heading our way... Darn it!!!


We arrived in Tok about 9:00. Luckily Fast Eddies was open until 11:00. I think we stayed there until they shut down for the night. We met many nice folks traveling both by RV and motorcycle. It was the motorcycle folks that we could really relate to. Johann was comfortable talking to them. And why not, he relate to the pain and suffering that all of us had just experienced on the road today. I listened closely and he was talking more and more like a true veteran rider now. We had ridden over 2500 miles at this point since leaving home. He has experienced gravel, asphalt, chip seal, calcium chloride soaked dirt, dust, extreme heat and humidity… and now heavy rains. Yes, he was maturing pretty quick as a rider on the road. I was a proud father.

We tucked in for the night at some hotel down the road. For some reason, most of the motels/hotels were nearly full and this was one of the last places we checked. Our room wasn’t very good and cost us $139!! Too much, but we were tired and rain soaked. It felt good to take a warm shower and put dry clothes on and watch some TV as we both faded off into the night, sleeping well.

The next day looked promising. We met the folks from MotoQuest and me the “Chief” who was driving there very cool support vehicle which they named Jethro. I can’t say enough nice things about MotoQuest. I’ve met the owner when he was in Seattle and they answered all my questions I sent them via email during my trip planning stages. Not only did they answer them quickly, they told me to feel free to ask them if I had any more questions and/or call them. The “Chief” let us borrow a rubber mallot. It seems that when Johann dumped his bike, he bent the pannier mounts a bit and we had troubles mounting his pannier back on his bike. We took the panniers off to go to the car wash. Down the road, is a free car wash with every fill-up at the gas station. Even though it was raining, we wanted to get the mud off our bikes… it didn’t really help as it rained pretty hard again on this day.


Arrival in Delta Junction

The ride to Delta Junction was uneventful, save for the dozen or so moose we saw grazing on the side of the road. We decided, that for safety, to ride single file close to the middle of the road to give us a better chance to avoid hitting moose. I am happy to say, that despite the limited visibility and the heavy showers, we had no incidents or close calls.


These mosquitoes are life size


They want your blood!!




When arrived in Delta Junction. We wanted to get lunch, not because we were really that hungry, but mainly to get out of the rain and dry off. Fortunately, there was a grocery store with a small sandwich shop and a fire place. We stripped off our gear off and dried them near the fireplace. To the dismay of other patrons, we dried our boots there as well J


Wet and cold, but not discouraged

We left Delta Junction and made it to Fairbanks were the weather began to get much better and the sun even began to appear for a bit. It was warm and muggy though. Having been to Fairbanks before, I knew where to go to find the University of Alaska. We were abel to get a room for the night… $37 night. Very inexpensive. There are community showers and no TV, but hat was alright with us. They had WiFi and we were able to call and email the homeland back in Seattle. We met several other riders who were either returning form the Haul Road to Prudhoe Bay OR heading up the next day like we were. Again, we had a lot in common with the other riders here and we had some great conversation out in the parking lot as everyone prepped their bikes and gear. Not a Harley in sight as all the bikes here were either KLRs or BMW GS’s… locked, cocked, ready and loaded for adventure on the Dalton Hwy. We felt at home. Oh and many of the bikers were from Europe, so that made for some interesting conversation for all of us. We spent the rest of the evening prepping our gear and packing a couple of bags to leave behind and even a pannier (top case) to lighten our load for the trip north. The University stored our gear for free!!


Our Dorm room at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks





Front row view to the action and the other bikers who were heading out with us.

We couldn’t have asked for a better situation to start our trip up to Prudhoe Bay. Checking the weather, it was supposed to be sunny and warm for the next 4 days as a strong high pressure system was settling in over the north. AWESOME!!!

I was soo excited that I barely slept at all that night. All the stars and planets were aligning. This was going to be perfect!!!

Stay tuned for the next leg of the trip... The Dalton Hwy and Prudhoe Bay. Whoohoo.

Until next time....
__________________
Take Care, -GrizzLee
"Nature Sets the Boundaries; We choose to cross"
Blog: RubiKonAdventures
RR: Destination Nuxalk Nation
RR: Our Life Behind Bars

GrizzLee screwed with this post 08-09-2013 at 08:16 PM Reason: spelling and pictures
GrizzLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2013, 12:04 PM   #116
GrizzLee OP
RubiKon Adventures
 
GrizzLee's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Pacific NorthWest
Oddometer: 503
Mile 2940 to Mile 3216

Our Life Behind Bars – Father & Son Doing Time in The Northern Frontier (Mile 2940 to Mile 3216)

Day 13 (July 10, 2013)

After a restless night filled with anticipation and adrenaline, we wake up and began packing the bikes and taking our extra gear to the front desk. We were supposed to check out by 10 pm, however, with all the day light and lack of sleep we kind of lost track of time. We ended up checking out by 11. No worries though. However, that wasn’t entirely true. One thing that was on my mind was the tires. We met a fellow riding a R1200 GS A in Delta Junction that was running knobblies on his bike. When we found out where we were going, he stated that we won’t make it on the Metzler Tourances that I had installed prior to leaving for the trip. Of course he had just come off the Dalton highway and it had been raining pretty good for the past 2 days... so I thought that was why he was so adamant. The trie choice was something I wrestled with for quite a bit. Before leaving home, I was advised by my mechanic to stay away from knobblies for Johann’s bike as he was a new rider and where we were heading, it usually has lots of rain and wet pavement. So I took a conservative approach. Besides I have had good experiences with them. I rode on Tourances quite a bit in “dry” gravel in central B.C on 2 different trips and had no issues. But, we were expecting wet and muddy conditions that are very, very slippery and having driven on the Dempster highway in the Yukon/NorthWest Territories, I knew exactly how nasty the road could get. More so than just about any kind of gravel road in the lower 48 US states. Once at Fairbanks, in the University parking lot, I noticed nearly all the riders there had a new set of Heidenau K60s installed. Once again, my anxiety level rose. These riders were telling us that they were strongly advised to put the knobblies on. Oh boy, I didn’t plan for this in the schedule and the finances… and besides where could I get tires in such a short notice? The heck with it I thought. If it got too bad and unbearable, we’ll turn around. We are adventurers’ to the core. If we can handle the Donjek route from 2 years prior, I said to myself, we can measure up to anything this country can throw at us. We can handle it I kept saying to myself. So off we went. I didn’t mention this at all to Johann as I didn’t want to give him any worries. As a parent and the leader of this expedition, I had to show confidence. I couldn’t let my worries transfer to my son.


We ended up having a breakfast-lunch kind of meal (brunch?) before we left Fairbanks. We gassed up before leaving town as we were unsure of the fuel situation the farther north we went. We had gone about 70 miles when Johann began to worry about fuel for his bike. I told him not to worry as we had enough to get to Coldfoot, but somehow, I got the feeling he didn’t quite believe me.




Rest stop just after Livengood




Typical views on the way



The ride up to Livengood was pretty cool. Lots of frost heaves and lots of trees. We began to see the pipeline appear alongside the road shortly after leaving Fairbanks. This was a good sign as it indicated to me that we were heading the correct direction.


I was actually too tired to ride any distance today without some more rest and soon after we passed LivenGood, I began to look for a rest area to take a little nap... which I did. Surprisingly, Johann closed his eyes a bit as well. I fell into a pretty deep sleep and didn’t notice that a couple of semi-trucks had pulled for a bit and left the engines running. I only noticed them when I awoke, not from the noise, but more so from the hard pillow I was using ( a large square beam that was lying on the edge of the parking lot.). My neck was beginning to hurt and I needed to change positions. Once I noticed the trucks, there was no getting back to sleep. Oh well, I had a good 20 minute nap and I felt pretty refreshed. So onward we rode until we came to the start of the Dalton hwy.





We arrive at the start of the Dalton Hwy




It seemed that the actual start of the Dalton hwy was still a long ride from our nap stop. When we arrived, we could see that the sign was raised higher than what I saw in my research pictures. And there were less stickers on it. Hmmm, they must have raised it and cleaned some of the stickers off.

A more inviting sign up the hill provides a formal welcome

We were duped however, as we rode less than a mile up the hill and there was a more official
sign carved in wood that stated “Welcome to the James Dalton Highway: Gateway to the Arctic –The Road to Prudhoe Bay”. This was a much better welcome than some nondescript metal sign. We stopped for a couple of pictures and went on our way. The road was initially dirt, but very solid and very easy to ride on. The sun began to come out and we yelled for joy. This was the first time on the entire trip when we had sunshine without the high humidity and high temperatures. It was the perfect temperature for riding. We could really soak in the scenery. I couldn’t believe that we made it. All my fears and anxiety from the night before melted away with the clouds. Tires a problem? Heck no!! Not if it stayed sunny like this the next 4 days as the weatherman predicted. We were going to have on heck of a good ride.

Alright... 389 miles to Deadhorse




The Yukon River..





Johann Looking good





Heading to the Yukon Crossing




We rode through about 17 miles of construction near the start of the hwy. I was getting a bit worried as we were moving slow, and I feared that more construction lay ahead and we weren’t going to make it to the arctic circle until the next day. We did, however, make it through the construction zone and we came upon pavement.. What the heck? I thought the Dalton was all dirt with the exception of about 30 mile stretch near cold foot. We made good time from there all the way to the Yukon Crossing. They were doing construction on the bridge and we had a bit of a wait there. The flagger told us that there maybe gas across the bridge. Once we got across, Johann headed directly over to check on fuel. He was really worried about gas. I think we had gone about 110 miles at this point and he gets a bit testy around the 200 mile mark when the fuel light comes on his bike.

Flagger on the bridge giving us good advice


Not only did they have fuel (at $5.30/gal), they had a restaurant there and we grabbed a couple of burgers. As we left, a couple of guys we met at the dorms in Fairbanks were gassing up and told us about the Hotspot Café just done the road. They claimed that they had burgers the size of dinner plates and that we should’ve gone there. OK we said… on the way back we’ll have to give it a try.




The "famous" HotSpot Café





Typical hwy views

Off we went. The riding was magical. I took lots and lots of footage with my GoPro (There will be a video coming). I noticed a huge burn area and the pipeline went through it. I wonder how the pipeline fares in fires.

The pipeline snakes its way through valleys, rivers and mountains



The road winded through the forested spruce, up and down big valleys and crossed many creeks with the pipeline almost always in view. We began to climb higher and higher in elevation, ever so gradually.

Finger Mountain


Eventually, we could see in the distance a unique rock formation. Awe, Finger Rock, I said to myself. I forgot about this in my research. The area is known as Finger mountain, but is more like a high plateau. The rock formation itself, is granite and seems somewhat out of place this far north. We stopped and hiked the area for a bit. I believe it must have been about 7:00 pm by now, but we couldn’t tell by the sun as it was still high in the sky… 24 hours of daylight.

Johann and I took another rest and enjoyed the serenity of it all. All the while, I was thinking that this would be an incredible start point for a multi-day hike along the high plateau. One can see for miles and miles. I would imagine that it would be great for wildlife viewing as well.

From this view, it looks almost phallic in nature























I took my riding gear off and slipped on my hiking shoes.
Good place for a walk.

Johann taking a much needed rest

The high plateau had expansive views in all directions


After a long stay at Finger rock, we made our way north. The ensuing valley was pretty spectacular with expansive views north and many nice lakes could be seen in the distance, dotting the tundra landscape. We had perfect lighting. We arrived at the Arctic Circle a bit later. Of course we had to take a complimentary picture to prove we were there.

We made it! Arctic Circle

View from Gobblers Knob, Pump Station 5

From there the scenery got even more beautiful. We were still on the high ridges and stopped at one of the pullouts, Gobblers Knob, which offered great vistas. We could see one of the pump stations (pump station 5) in the valley below. Again we were puzzled by the partially paved road this far north. We could make good time here if we wanted, but with dazzling scenery and warm weather, why waste the opportunity? We eventually made our way into a valley, heading deep into the Brooks Range. We stopped at Grayling lake and noticed a couple giant moose feeding in the waters on the opposite side. Too far for good pictures, but we could see that they had huge antlers. It was an amazing area.

Beautiful Grayling Lake nested in the valley. Marking the start of the Brooks range

Huge Moose were feeding in the lake





The road as we approach Coldfoot and our camp for the night



We headed north to Coldfoot. We arrived there around 10:00 pm. We just missed visiting the The Arctic Interagency Visitor Center. We will have to catch it on the way back. I guess our casual scenic motorcycle tour was taking a toll on the schedule. But, no worries, we are on vacation after all. We grabbed some gas and a couple of sodas and headed about 4 miles north to Marion Creek Campground. It is a fantastic place to camp. However, we had one problem. The well was still frozen and we had to get water from the Marion Creek. Since one of our gas containers had yet to be used, we filled it up with water from the creek. We had a very late dinner and tried to sleep in the midnight sun. Both of us had been feeling a little “loopy” for the past few hours… a combination of the lack of sleep, the adrenaline rush and the long hours on the bikes. Before fading off to sleep late into the night, off in in the distance we could hear wolves howling. Pretty cool way to end our day.

Stay tuned for Day 2 on the Dalton... Thanks for riding with us.
__________________
Take Care, -GrizzLee
"Nature Sets the Boundaries; We choose to cross"
Blog: RubiKonAdventures
RR: Destination Nuxalk Nation
RR: Our Life Behind Bars

GrizzLee screwed with this post 08-10-2013 at 12:12 PM
GrizzLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2013, 10:42 PM   #117
GrizzLee OP
RubiKon Adventures
 
GrizzLee's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Pacific NorthWest
Oddometer: 503
Mile 3216 to Mile 3469

Our Life Behind Bars – Father & Son Doing Time in the Northern Frontier (Mile 3216 to Mile 3469)
Day 14 (July 11, 2013)



We woke up late on this day. But the sun was shining and would be shining for the next 24 hours… so who cares. We noticed that it was starting to get warm. As we broke camp and put on our riding gear, we realized just how warm it was. It was humid as well. Oh no, we thought. Not again? I reminded myself and Johann many times that this was much better than having the alternative. We could be riding through we slippery snot in the rain. That would be no fun at all.



Our camp at Marion Creek

Wiseman, a small (pop. 14) community of miners
We slipped out on to the Dalton and I realized that the pavement was in really great shape. I guess in my state of exhaustion the day before, I hadn’t really paid that much attention to the condition of the asphalt here.

We headed down the road and passed the turn off for Wiseman. A mining town with a population of about 14 people. While scenery was beautiful, what I saw next totally blew my mind.




Sukakpak Mtn on the right...


We turned a corner and looked off in the distance to see these incredible rock formations rising out of the ground. Even better, the paved highway stretched before us on a direct route toward them. This was not what I expected to see. Now, I have seen pictures in my research, but they are even more incredible to see for real.

To our left, the pipeline passed by the base of a tall monolith of rock. Wow!!



The road is paved here? Nice!!


Sukakpak Mtn getting closer

We rode on a bit more and the cathedral-like rock formations got closer and bigger. We were both so focused on the them that we didn’t even notice when the pavement disappeared and we found ourselves riding on gravel. At the base of the Sukakpak Mtn, we had to stop for a construction zone. It was about a 15 minute wait for the pilot car. We got to talk with the flagger, who also has a bike. He told us the scenery got even better the farther up the road and that it would stay that way until we arrived onto the flat tundra. We followed the pilot car at a snails’ pace, but we didn’t care. I felt like I was on a premium Disney Ride. Only this stuff was real. It gave us the chance to soak it all in.




Great picture of Johann coming back to see if I was alright


Just beyond these mountains lies Gates of the Arctic National Park



Serene and calm


The pipeline passes just past those trees.




(Click to enlarge) Panoramic view of the valley



WHOAH!!

Once out of the construction zone, we could stop at will. And stop many, many times we did. Johann would motor far ahead, only to realize that his papa wasn’t behind him anymore. Sometimes 10 minutes would pass before Johann would come back to check out what I was doing. He said we weren’t going to make it to Dead Horse at this pace. I really didn’t care. I wanted to see it all. I wanted to take mental images, I wanted to smell it, taste it … more importantly, I wanted validation that I wasn’t dreaming. Gosh darn it, this place was more than beautiful. I had no idea, no clue that such a place existed in Alaska this far north. My only data point was the Dempster Highway in the Yukon/NWT Territories. That place is sacred to me. Now this valley, this road through Atigun pass will be another such place. There are some places in the world that make one stop and take pause and wonder… Places where beauty extends beyond the eyes and burns an image into ones soul. If time weren’t an issue, I think I would still be up there worshiping that holy place.


Not sure what mtn this is, but it is pretty spectacular

I knew there was more to see. Johan was anxious, I on the other hand was in another world. It was a good thing that he was there to prod me on. As we rode toward Atigun Pass, my fears and anxiety about a steep , mud soaked hell, dispensed quickly. If it wasn’t so hot, I’d have mistaken this place for heaven. Everyone has ideas of heaven, but to me, it is clear, heaven would be like this… only without the big trucks, the road and the dust. Come winter, I suspect that I would change my mind. But in the here and now, this was it. I was in heaven with my boy. That is something I wish every parent could experience.


Ascending up to Atigun pass.

Well, we pushed on... slowly, but methodically gauging the best places for pictures and video (yes, I took video and had my GoPro going quite bit). So much so, I nearly ran out of both memory and batteries once we reached DeadHorse.

Atigun pass was amazing, save for the heat. In the valley we could see frozen ice on the tundra, but with 24 hrs of daylight and near 90 degree temperatures, I am not sure why. We stopped to take videos of ourselves riding at one point and another AdvRider we met in Watson lake (Mike form Denver aka mtncrawler on the ADV boards) came riding down the pass and gave us a wave. He rode up and back from Coldfoot in one day…. I thought to myself, how could one do this? How can one not stop and smell the roses (or the tundra in this case). The road conditions were ideal , however, and at times we found ourselves easily doing 60+ miles an hour on the gravel (not really gravel.. when it is dry, it is more like asphalt).


The Pass Plateau


Yep, that is ice out there


A victory and celebration for coming this far


Unbelievable, but true, it was near 90 degrees in the pass valley


Looking back across the valley


A picture of Gretchen before we head up.. Johann is long gone :-)

In any event, it was really incredible to see a lot of motorcycles on the road. More than I thought would be up there. For the first time anywhere, the Dual sport bikes outnumbered the Goldwings and the Harleys. I think the bike of choice was the BMW GSs followed closely by the KLRs based upon what we were seeing. Pretty cool.



Going up, I look back and see the valley floor... Trust me, pictures don't do justice here. It is beautiful



Nice views in my rear mirror


At the summit. They buried the pipeline up and over the pass.


GrizzLee approves this million dollar view


The valley on the other side... see the folds in the rock... Neat!


The pipeline snakes its way through the BLM corridor between

Gates of the Arctic NP on the left and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on the right


Again pictures can't do it justice. The views were expansive


At the end of the valley the road dumps out on to the raw tundra

Once we got passed Galbraith Lake, near the end of the valley beyond the continental divide at Atigun pass, we hit another big stretch of construction. It was really bad and really muddy. I truly believe that if it hadn’t been for the construction zones, my bike would have come back with dust and minor splotches of mud on her. But oh, no, they had to spray that calcium chloride chit everywhere. We rode through streams of the stuff in the construction zones. Even followed water trucks spraying that stuff down… Made it pretty slippery as well. We were all over the road and got the crap all over our riding gear (it took several washing to get it out).



Not sure how this rock was formed or even how it got pocked marked.


Pretty amazing rock. Wish I knew more about geology.

Purple mtns majesty. That's right, purple rock.


The Brooks Range as gives way to the flat tundra


More strange rock formations near Galbraith Lake



Looking into the heart of ANWR... Just freaking awesome


I spin my head 180 degrees and see into the heart of the Gate of the Arctic


Nearly out of the valley now and onto the Tundra


Yep, the tundra... The bugs were REALLY horrible here.

Later on in the day we finally made it out on to the flat tundra. I was surprised how quickly the Brooks Range gave away to flat earth. One thing changed dramatically out on the Tundra. THE BUGS!!! OH MY GOD they were horrendous! We stopped at one point to relieve ourselves and have a snack for lunch…. BIG MISTAKE!! God damn bugs everywhere… Inside the helmet down our necks inside our riding gear and they even made their way into my pants. We’d ride a couple miles to shake them. Had to open the windscreen to get them out. Every stop was like this. So we decided not stop anymore. We finally started making good time on the road. At some point we stopped before Happy Valley. We had to take another bio break, but more importantly, we had to put our warm riding gear on. It was now in the 40’s. What happened to the heat? A cool breeze was coming off the arctic ocean directly into our face. The bugs seemed to be unaffected however (sigh?!?). It was at this point, while inspecting our bikes, that we noticed the Dakar had taken shrapnel damage to the headlight. Thankfully, dad prepared for this and had a lexan headlight cover. It must have been brutal as the cover was cracked. Johann mentioned passing a truck in the opposite direction and hearing a loud pop.



The edge of the Brooks Range


Unbelievable how fast the Brooks range gives way to the tundra


Looking into ANWR


ANWR looks like an incredible place


More views into ANWR


Our final view as we turn away toward Prudhoe Bay.


We stop to put warm clothes on and we see this. The headlamp protector did its job!!

Hard to believe that the temps dropped into the 40s so fast
We pressed on. Parts of the road were broken asphalt… hmmm … all the way out here? And then other parts were freshly sprayed with water and Calcium. We needed all lanes to negotiate those stretches. It was slippery as heck.


Look beyond Johann;s shoulder... Flat as far as the eye can see


Our first view of Franklin Bluffs

The tundra out here, in general, is nondescript and pretty boring to ride on for long distances (like passing through flat prairie land), but in the distance we could see the Franklin Bluffs appear. These bluffs were pretty cool to see. There were carved out by the Sag river (short for Sagavanirktok River… which we were no riding parallel for the last million miles). The bluffs were covered in ice as it leached out from the tundra, creating these cool white patches. The bluffs are the last topographical feature before arriving in Deadhorse. SO I thought we were close. Not as close as I thought. They went on and on for miles. I read later that the bluffs are used heavily by bears to hibernate. Not a good place to be during spring I suppose. At one point, I stopped to take pictures and 3 guys in a jeep pulled over to ask if I had seen any Caribou. Unfortunately, we had seen none, in fact, we had seen no wildlife, other than a couple of Eagles and some seagulls. It made me sad to realize that. I was so busy admiring the natural beauty, that I hadn’t noticed the lack of wildlife today.


They go on for miles and miles


They are about the only feature worth noting out here in on, otherwise flat non descript tundra


That is ice that has leached out of the permafrost



We read that bears hibernate in bluffs


We arrived in Deadhorse around 7:30 pm.. Not bad for a day spent with soo many stops. I hadn’t really planned on staying in a motel here, but it was getting cold and the wind was picking up steam. So we stopped at the Hotel just outside of town… We had a buffet dinner, just in time as they shut the buffet down around 8:00. Now the bad news, our room cost us over $200!!! The accommodations were not the greatest. Our room was actually a dorm style room used by the maintenance workers with a community shower. We had our choice of a room with midnight sun coming directly in the window or would we care to have morning sun. We choose morning sun. Our $37/night dorm room at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks looked like a master suite in comparison. Oh well, we will only do this once. Besides, it will probably be the only time I will ever get to do this with my son. The days experience made it worth every penny.


Stay tuned for Day 15, the ride back to Coldfoot
__________________
Take Care, -GrizzLee
"Nature Sets the Boundaries; We choose to cross"
Blog: RubiKonAdventures
RR: Destination Nuxalk Nation
RR: Our Life Behind Bars
GrizzLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2013, 11:27 PM   #118
Yukon Johann
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2013
Oddometer: 35
Talking Mile 3469 to Mile 3726

Our Life Behind Bars – Father & Son Doing Time in the Northern Frontier (Mile 3469 to Mile 3726)
Day 15 (July 12, 2013)




(Hi everyone, I’m very sorry about not posting these last several days, I have been gone visiting my sister and other family members. We stayed on San Juan Island for 6 days, there was no internet connection so I was unable to post anything. I’m glad that my dad was able to post a couple times during my absence. Anyway, now that I’m back we should be posting more frequently.)

So we wake up after a seemingly short night. Man the 24 hour daylight plays tricks on the minds of folks who are used to dark nights.

In any event, we had a really nice buffet breakfast at the Deadhorse camp


We met up again with a couple of guys we met in Fairbanks at the University Dorms. They were riding KLRs. Nothing like a couple of buddies out for an adventure ride.



Father-son at Deadhorse camp




Gas was $5.50 a gallon.. YIKES!!



After much conversation about our travels north, we parted ways and began to look for the General Store and the Tesoro Gas Station. Now, one would think finding your way around a small town (if you could call Deadhorse such a place) would be easy. However, the lighting and the confusing roads that went around small lakes and tundra combined with nondescript out buildings made it hard to navigate. There were no outstanding features in Deadhorse and it really wasn’t that memorable of a place. The only distinction that mattered for us and many like us, was the fact that it lies at the end of a journey, contains fuel and basic amenities for travelers so that they may turn around and head home. Deadhorse in any other place would not even get a mention. But here, in the north, it had a unique distinction. We wanted 3 things before we left to go back. They were as follows: 1) we needed gas needed gas for my bike as it has just slightly over a 200 mile range and it was 240+ miles back to Coldfoot where the next available fuel station was to be had 2) We wanted a picture of us by the Deadhorse town sign (proof that we made it) and 3) we wanted stickers for our bikes to provide evidence that we were truly serious adventure riders.



Obligatory picture at the old town sign. It was once located downtown, but has since been moved to the General Store



We found the Tesoro station and got some fuel at $5.50 a gallon. Gretchen likes the good stuff (premium gas), but she has been on a diet a great deal of this trip. No premium fuel for her today. Regular unleaded will have to do as that is all they had, and diesel, of course. So we fill up, which is a confusing ordeal in itself as they have an automated pay system set up with two different screens and two different card readers. My dad wasn't sure if he chose the correct one. After which we head over to the General Store. We found the famous town sign and got our pictures. We went inside and found that the store was stocked up pretty good on supplies, including stickers for our bikes.




240 miles back to Coldfoot . It was about 34-37 degrees outside with a breeze. The pictures make it look warmer than it really was.


We left town and I spotted our first and only wildlife on the entire Hwy. We see a lone Caribou crossing the Sag river. We looked around in hopes of seeing more. But it wasn’t to be.

As we approached the Brooks range, the temperature began to rise considerably

We head back to the Brooks range to find the temperature starting to rise pretty quickly, the closer we got.





The pipeline snakes all over the tundra without any logical rhyme or reason… at least it seemed that way




The tundra went on and on forever



We arrive back at Galbraith Lake area and stop for a snack





We had an uneventful crossing of the Tundra back to Galbraith Lake. We did have to ride a 17 mile road construction zone. There was a line of trucks waiting for the pilot car. Not wanting to eat dust from the big trucks, we headed to the front where the flagger greeted us and said that we were smart to do this and that we learned well. We barely shut our engines off, when the pilot car (truck) arrived to shuttle us back through the construction zone. To keep the dust down, they were spraying Calcium Chloride all over the road in huge amounts. It got so slippery and muddy, that I rode as far to the edge of the road that I dared. Our bikes got filthy from the stuff and made it really hard to clean off… if at all.



Hard to get over the beauty of this area



Lunch was delightful as we got to see a maintenance crew head over to a small building and do some work on the pipeline. It was very warm at this point and we took refuge in what little shade our bikes could provide.





Heading back deep into the Brooks range



We are getting closer to Atigun Pass.The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge looks incredibly inviting



Gretchen looking like a limited black edition. I call it the quadruple black edition



Gates of the Arctic looked inviting as well.
Hard to choose which park has the most beauty through the BLM corridor



Looking like real adventure riders now



Wow!!




Me and my dirty bike



Going up the pass, looking back north.


Coming back down the pass... Video to be posted soon...



From there we had a long, pleasant ride back through the valley toward Atigun pass. This time the Gates of the Arctic were on our right and the ANWR was too our left. Again, both had scenic mountain landscapes making it hard to pic our favorite. We stopped many, many times for pictures and video.

By the time we reached the plateau of Atigun pass, it was REALLY quite warm. It was over 90 degrees!!!!! With high humidity and our bike clothing, it was somewhat uncomfortable. If it weren’t for the breathtaking scenery, I think we would have had much more suffering, but as it was our minds were distracted.



Again we stop at the high plateau,



It was 90 degrees out now... HOT!! Yep, again that is ice our there. Hot weather and ice... hmmm?? This is the arctic?!?



Coming down the south side of the plateau



Even the views in our rearview mirrors were a sight to behold.



If my dad had a back pack and more time, he would have left the road here and hiked back into the Gates of the Arctic... never to be seen again, and he quoted: "it would be okay if I were never seen again"



Cool rock formations









Hard to choose my favorite rock outcroppings... they are so unusual and un expected up here



Hey, there is a road back here... Soo I went off in search of adventure. The geology indicates that this land is up lifted crust with glacial carved surfaces




more and more uplifted rock!




Awesome!!



One of my dads favorite pics in the whole trip.







Man oh man... Eye candy everywhere


A quick hike over to the pipeline


Cool views from the pipeline.


Even though this looks like a grassy field, it is actually boggy and wet and very hard to hike back to bike w/o sinking up to you knees








Me again


This a cool place






We have finally made it back to Coldfoot! When we arrived, it was 94 degrees. My dad and I had the buffet dinner.



We gassed up, and checked the temperature before leaving, it was about 10pm, still over 90 degrees!


We pulled into Marion Creek Campground. Just before bed at around 11pm. My dad checked the temperature gauge on his bike, and still very hot and humid.

We both found it very hard to sleep.

Thanks for riding with us, more coming!!








__________________
Take care,
-Yukon Johann
Ride2Alaska Fundraiser
Yukon Johann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2013, 11:31 PM   #119
Yukon Johann
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2013
Oddometer: 35
Mile 3726 to mile 4244

Our Life Behind Bars – Father & Son Doing Time in the Northern Frontier

Days 15-17 (July 14-16, 2013)

The ride from Coldfoot to Fairbanks was very enjoyable; it was still quite hot but not excruciating like the day before. We got a good night’s rest, so we were ready to finish this day off strong and complete the Dalton Hwy.



Looking back toward Coldfoot


Red Carpet Treatment at the Arctic Circle

Ever since we had left Prudhoe bay, we have been playing leap frog with a van full of tourists...they all flew up to Prudhoe bay and a tour guide drives them back. We began form a pretty good relationship with them. They all really liked the idea of a father-son riding together. They had passed us for a while in the morning then we caught back up with them and passed them we rode all the way down to the Arctic Circle boundary. We rested and took a break off the bikes there to get some more pics and rest our butts. Several minutes after stopping, the with all the tourists pulls up, they were very excited to see us and glad we made it. The guide to the tourists brought out what they called the "red carpet" she unrolled it in front of the Arctic Circle sign, and got pictures with everyone...then they were taking videos of the older couples dancing along the red carpet. When they were all finished with their pictures and videos, they invited my dad and I to roll the bikes over the carpet and get our pictures taken there. It was very kind of them, and we got several good pics in front of the sign.


Even the tourists from the touring company got in on the action




only 174 miles back to Fairbanks

On our way back to the Yukon River crossing, something very odd and also very funny happened. We were on a long straight away so we were able to pick up the pace for a little bit...then the unexpected happened, a small bird somehow managed to fly just behind my dad's bike, and hit me right in the crotch...going about 60 miles an hour. The pain was excruciating...I'm very surprised that I didn't dump the bike at that moment, I managed to pull over safely and let the throbbing calm down before we went on...poor bird dying from fling into my crotch...what a depressing way to die.


Animal bike collision



Only a few miles before the Yukon crossing was a place called "The Hotspot Cafe" this place was awesome!! We had burgers as big as the plate, nice shaded area to sit in when eating, we were also able to listen to a couple truckers just talk about the trucking life of the Dalton Hwy. This was a unique stop, and was well worth the time spent there.


A huge hamburger at the Hotspot Cafe


Nearly off the Dalton


One last hurrah before we leave


"Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap"



We made the last 100 mile stretch back to Fairbanks rather quickly...it was really nice since it was later in the day, so it started cooling off.


Baked on calcium chloride... yummm!!






We made it back to Fairbanks and my dad really wanted to wash the bikes...so we went to a local car wash (one that was very close to the university) and sprayed off the bikes...my dad was being quite aggressive with the pressure washer and managed to get a lot of the dirt off the bikes. One major problem though...my dad's bike, Gretchen, is scared of water. He tried starting it up and it wouldn't start, he got very worried then...we pushed his bike out of the stall and around the corner. We decided that I ride the Dakar (which started up perfectly by the way) back up to the University parking lot, and then I would come back and carry the gear out of the bike back up the university. This was a long process, but we made it happen. We got checked into our room, and almost immediately my dad started looking for places that would run a diagnostics check on the bike. The next day, my dad rode down to the local Harley Davidson dealership to get his bike fixed...it took several hours, but we got it done and the bike was back up and running again. On our way down to Tok the following morning, a few things had happened…other than that it was a rather un-eventful ride. We ran into the Moto quest group on their way up to Prudhoe Bay, we talked to a bunch of the rider for a while. They were all from Europe. We also had another scare shortly thereafter, maybe just 30 miles away from Tok. We stopped at a rest stop to witness the wildfire that was very close by. We were ready to move on when suddenly my dad notices a puddle of oil underneath the engine of the bike…he thought I may have cracked something to cause the leak, if so, the trip would be over. We opened up the cover that was covering the chain; it was just a false alarm. With all of the chain lube we used, it built up in the case and was melting from the heat of the engine causing for it to drip. While it was uncovered, we decided it would be a good idea to clean right there…which took about an hour in its own. We took care of that issue and moved on. We pulled into Tok and got a room. Ate at Fast Eddies for the night, then turned in to bed.




A touring group from Moto Quest


The support vehicle known as Jethro


The Tanana River


Just 30 miles from Tok we came across a large wildfire


we noticed oil leaking from the Dakar


Fortunately it was only built up mud that absorbed the oil, I went to work to clean it up.

Until Next Time...
__________________
Take care,
-Yukon Johann
Ride2Alaska Fundraiser

Yukon Johann screwed with this post 08-17-2013 at 12:01 AM
Yukon Johann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2013, 01:07 PM   #120
Yukon Johann
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2013
Oddometer: 35
Mile 4244 to Mile 4439

Our Life Behind Bars – Father & Son Doing Time in the Northern Frontier


Day 19 (July 17, 2013)

The Top of the World Highway was a very wet and slippery ride. My dad was debating on whether we should even go on that highway, or head over to Whitehorse. This all depended on what the weather was going to be like. Well, it was raining lightly and we decided to go on the Top of the World Hwy. The road was ridiculous… during the worst weather, it was all dirt road, and it was like driving on slippery ice the entire way to the Canadian border from Chicken. We hit a very foggy area, so foggy that we could hardly see at all. We were only going about 20 miles an hour through this stretch. Luckily, it only lasted about 10 miles, and then we dropped in elevation again. We made into chicken after about 2 hours of riding on some of the most slippery roads ever. We took a look around the local gift shop, looking for stickers. The lady running the register there was kind enough to give us two free Dust 2 Dawson hats. We headed on down to the main building and campground and grabbed some food to settle us down for the rest of the day until dinner.


Arriving at Chicken


Wet, wet, wet.. This was actually some of the best
weather we had on the road that day.


Which way do we go?






Somebody forgot their hat(s)


taking care of business


Chicken style


Ok, after lunch it was time to head out


We left chicken and made our last stretch to the border as comfortable as possible. The road beyond Chicken was worse. Just about the whole ride to the border, we were fishtailing and using the entire road, looking for the best track. Several miles from the Yukon-Alaska border we came across the road construction. It was even worse. They had scrapped the roadbed down to the muddy surface. The whole road was torn out, and was just pure dirt (more like snot), nothing compact just lumps of slippery mud all over. Add in the rain, and you get extremely slippery, thick mud. Don’t forget the very large “puddles” forming in the middle of the road… I think it would have been safe to call it a pond at that point. Riding through all of that stuff was very difficult, and when thinking of it, I’m completely stunned on how we were both able to get out of all of that without dumping either of the bikes. The border guard told us that they have been picking up bikes for most of the day and were surprised that we didn’t dump or crash our bikes at least once.


Odd town, odd place... We can check this off the bucket list.


The sky opened up and this is what we experienced... hell on two wheels.
There was no turning back now


Mud






Arriving at the border


Despite the tough going and hard weather, we were in good spirits.
It's all part of the adventure


Poker Creek Alaska.. The most northern border crossing in the United States. Population "2"


We finally made it past the border at Poker Creek and got through no problem at all. The road was much better on the Yukon side. It wasn’t slippery and wasn’t super muddy. It was great to not have to play a game of slip and slide all the way to Dawson City. We made it to Dawson City, got a room at the Downtown Hotel, washed our gear, dried our gear, and made dinner. A very long and strenuous day has finally come to an end, and now it was time to turn in and get ready for the next day’s adventures. Except my dad had this idea to ride to the top of Midnight Dome. He went for a walk around Dawson and the weather and said the weather was getting better. I agreed, and we had a great time up there. The town was in a sort “calm” before the storm mood as the Dawson Music Festival was getting ready to start. We met another GS rider who had a bike identical to my dads, a Red ’09 R1200 GSA. So we all rode together up to the dome. We saw a huge porcupine on the way up. Once at the top, we had the dome all to ourselves. It was serene and quiet. Try as it may, the sun would not peek through the clouds. We got to enjoy a nearly full moon however. After about an hour we went back to the Hotel to turn in for the night. What a long day. As we faded off to sleep we talked about the misery of the day, but you know what, in hindsight it was fun. We were glad we did it and got to experience the worst of the worst possible riding conditions of the entire trip. Better here, than above the arctic circle.



Video my dad posted earlier... It really captures the moments of the ride.


We made it... The road should get better from here on out... or so we were told.


65 miles to Dawson City.
Let's hope they have a warm bed and a hot bath.


Downtown Hotel... Yes.... No bath for our steeds though....yet


Downtown Dawson at 11:30 PM


USS Keno


There be no Deer up here. So they improvise.


A midnight ride up to the Midnight Dome


Yukon River


3 bikes


One moon


A lone adventure rider


And a father and son team


It was the eve of the Dawson Music Festival....
We had the mountain all to ourselves.
Thanks to the rain








Then there were 2


GrizzLee loving it... Silence, solitude and wetness
(He approves of his surroundings)


Push it up a little higher son.


Here, let me reach that.


looking south on the Yukon River




Dirty Girl


But a great ride.
Another fun day comes to a beautiful end.

Stay tuned for more later.....
__________________
Take care,
-Yukon Johann
Ride2Alaska Fundraiser

Yukon Johann screwed with this post 08-20-2013 at 01:59 PM Reason: Add video
Yukon Johann 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 07:16 PM.


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