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Old 07-06-2013, 02:21 PM   #31
73datsun OP
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Sorry for the slew of updates. Just outside Jasper and finally have wifi.

My thoughts so far:

Expandable packable 2gal water jug is one of my favorite items. I'm glad I decided not to ditch it at the last minute.

I'm glad I underestimated my mileage. I'm 200+ mi ahead of schedule and not riding weary.

The plains are hella boring.

Should have heeded advice to substitute machete and shovel for a hatchet. Most of the firewood is wet and huge. Hatchet would have worked as a mallet for tent stakes.

Stopped at Walmart and bought a size husky rain get up. You guys were right. It's nice to just throw over the Rallye Pro gear.

I could have got by with two shirts. But brought three, unnecessary. My base layers are tight. So I look like I'm going to the gym around camp. But my body doesn't look that way. Picked up an AWESOME Smartwool shirt for around camp and as a base layer. It should be awesome as it was the same price as a Thomas Pink dress shirt.

The Marmot fleecy packable jacket thingy is going to go with me everywhere after this trip. It's warm. But light to pack. Wrapped around my packable pillow it makes a pretty damn good pillow.

Holy shit. The Jetboil. So great. If you don't have one. Get one.

Canadian drivers actually adhere to the SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT signs.

I just saw my first pine trees, so I'm starting to get to the good stuff. Maybe I'll finally pull out my real camera for some pictures.

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Old 07-06-2013, 04:11 PM   #32
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Woooooot!
See you in two weeks. We have multiple ways to keep in touch now-
I just helped set up a teepee. Life is strange.
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:20 PM   #33
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Gas City? Fort Wayne?

Did my undergrad at BSU. Grad in 2001. Surprisingly great school. My family lives in Fort Wayne, aka Vera Bradley Territory.
Fort Wayne. Went to Ball U one year then IU. Dorm life in Clevenger Hall
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:01 PM   #34
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I just helped set up a teepee. Life is strange.
Is that a euphemism?
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:57 PM   #35
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Is that a euphemism?
Nope. We now have three tents, including a Teepee, on the museum grounds for this week.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:10 PM   #36
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July 6 :: The good stuff. Finally. :: Alberta and BC

Decided to sleep in until 8:30 or so today. Really no rush as I'm already far ahead of my schedule. My goal was Jasper and finding a place to stay there.

Something was off with me this morning. The first 30mins were brutal. It was like I'd lost all confidence to maintain 75mph on a minor highway. Willing myself to press pass the rush of a slower moving semi. I pulled off and just sat for 15mins. Had some water and decided to put some tunes on.

Immediately I felt better. Maybe I just need to get in the groove of things. Once settled, I'm fine.

However, today was windy. Then a ton of rain. Thankfully I stopped at Walmart in Edmonton and picked up a Coleman rain suit that could fit two fatties. It's super easy to don over my gear.

Alberta continued to bore me. The temps managed to dip to low 50's. I switched to my Gortex gloves and put the grips on Hades. But it did nothing for the tips of my thumbs. Might have to pick up a slim glove liner to see if that helps.

Finally, pine trees. That means the good stuff is coming. Which meant that it decided to start pouring rain. Fantastic.

I got into Jasper National Park and was blown away. Even though it was raining, I could make out the magnitude of beauty. During a few spots of broken rain, I was finally able to take some pictures. I pressed on through the park, happily going the speed limit and taking it all in.

Then I passed JASPER. Which I ASSUMED, was just a turn off for more campgrounds, tourist info, etc. Come to find out, that was actually a town. Like a place where you could get gas.

Shit. So I'm 30mi into my reserve. Freaking out. Yet again, I didn't fill my Rotopax, which would be great peace of mind. I'm hoping that I'm able to coast all the downwards mountain passes, nursing it to a fuel stop. The Garmin tells me I have 16mi to the closest fuel stop. But as I coast in I spot a tourist info and a small little gift store fuel stop. I think the bike took 15.1L, I'll have to look back and see what the actual capacity of the 700 happens to be.

At this point, my mind is shot. I'm tired. But I probably only did 375-400mi. Don't know, because I forgot to do an odometer reading. Tangentially, l'm a planner. However, I'm not detail oriented and forget important things like, odometer readings, or fuel readings. I couldn't even guess at what I'm getting for mileage. Which would be good to know since I tend to run it into reserve.

Ok, so across the street from the gift shop gas station is Mt Robson. Luckily it's stunning. And there's room at the camp site. I'm beat. But given that I'm so far ahead of schedule, I think I'll take a morning hike and explore Overlander Falls and some other shit. The picture above is of my campsite.

I'm just happy to finally be out of the plains. Even when it's raining here it's better then the last 2.5 days. At one moment, this morning, in Alberta, I thought to myself, is this really worth it? Is it going to be that good?

Yeah. I think so.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:46 PM   #37
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I'm in! I ride a '09 650GS Twin. Love my bike, a lot. Thanks for sharing your ride with us - appreciate the effort. Keep smellin' them roses.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:09 PM   #38
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July 7 :: And then I dropped the bike on my foot :: Burns Lake, BC

I underestimated how cold it would get at night. Generally, I prefer to be cold when sleeping, but this was pretty damn cold. I awoke a few times and readjusted the bag. Basically smothering myself.

At 30, my joints are starting to pain me. This is mostly in jest, however my knees and all the joints in my hands just ache. I'm hoping over the course of this trip, they get better. Initially, it was my ass that was in pain. But now, I stop because my hands are all knotted up. I feel like Clay Morrow from Sons of Anarchy. Minus the big ass jaw.

I was up earl'ish today to break down camp. Decided to hike Overland Falls and another wayside short hike. All in all, I probably got 1.5hrs of walking in. Which was a nice break. However, Alpinestar boots and BMW Rallye pants probably aren't the most ideal attire.

Along the way, on 16, I caught up to a BMW 800 that was all kitted out. Probably one of the first BMWs I 'd seen. We both stopped at a wayside for a break and took to chatting. Really nice guy, Paul, out of Chicago. He spotted the ADV sticker on my panniers and said he was also a member. Kinda cool to meet similar folks on the road. His bike is in the photo above with mine. He took the scenic route through MT, ID, etc and then up to Jasper. Thus avoiding the hell that was the plains. Seriously, I don't know what I was thinking. Unfortunately, his Nolan modular helmet took a shit on him, it would no longer open up. So he had to try to birth his head everytime he wanted to remove it. I guess that's the one good thing about standard helmets, one last thing to go wrong. He was off to Fairbanks and all over. Wife was meeting him and then they were going to do the Dalton. Makes me wish my wife wasn't in the process of finishing her thesis and boards so she could have met me in AK for a few days.

My goal destination was Prince George. But again, I was way ahead of schedule. I stopped at the tourist info and asked for advice on lunch, places to go after PG, etc. I'm amazed with how helpful all of these Tourist Info places in Canada are. They suggested Nancy O's. And the pulled pork sandwich. The place was fantastic. Given I was stopping to break for an hour, I grabbed a beer, Innis and Gunn, casked aged Scottish ale. Going to have to try this back home. Tastes like a great ale with a bit of rye whiskey.

I put my sights on Burns Lake. Google showed a campground there. Free fire wood, wifi, shower, etc. Come to find out, their PO box is in Burns Lake. They are another 40km off the path. Not worth the effort. So I stopped at the Tourist Info in town and told them I was looking to camp. She looked at me weird. Said there was a municipal campground, but rowdy town drunks hang out there. And there's no drinking water. Welp. How about a hotel. So that's how I got to Lakewood Inn. I don't know how I got a room for $49 bucks. But I'm the only occupant in this big ass hotel. Knowing now that there are town drunks, I'm nervous about the bike outside. But the proprietor promises it will be fine.

That now brings me to a couple issues:
1. As I slow from 40mph - 36mph, with my hands light on the bars, my bars wrench back and forth. Which kicks my confidence in the nuts, as I'm now all concerned about a tank slapper. Plus the dealer already retorqued my steering at my 600mi check in interval. I've put the bike on the center stand and tried to see if there is play in the forks, but I'm not feeling anything. So I'll play with the rear pre-load a bit tomorrow.

2. As I'm doing a wide arch into the gas station, a woman darts into the pump I was heading for, so I had to quickly alter my radius (I was idling at maybe 5mph). My big berth pannier clipped the concrete safety post. You know the rest. So there I am with a bike on my foot, trapped between a pole. I managed to get my foot out, multiple people walk by. Say nothing. Probably better. I was embarrassed. Another guy pulls up and said he dumped his bike at a gas station. And helps me heft it back up. Only now is my foot starting to hurt. Probably just a bruise. Not a scratch or ding or anything on the bike. Thankfully, and hopefully this will be the only time.

Tomorrow it's on to Stewart. I'm hoping to get there early so I can do some exploring. Believe there is a bear observation area at Salmon Glacier. Also, looking forward to stepping across the border to AK in Hyder. I hope the weather is as beautiful tomorrow as it was today.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:45 AM   #39
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When in Hyder keep going out of town if you can call it that and go up to Salmon Glacier....you won't regret the ride!!! It is spectacular and even better on a clear sunny day.....I seen it both in the pouring rain and sun. It's the desk top picture for my computer....
Then as you ride further up highway #37, the Cassier, at Dease Lake make a left towards Telegraph Creek, another well worth the extra few kms out of your way IF you can call it that. These two spots are semi little known locations that many just ride past without seeing their beauty.

You are in for a treat as you get further north......watch out for wildlife on the Cassier, I gave up counting the differnt numbers of animals there were so many especially bears!

Stay possitive as it sounds like you are home sick and in need of company, it will get better .....
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:54 AM   #40
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Be on your "guard".......

Careful up there Datsun, one rider killed on the Taylor Highway this week after hitting an RV head-on, and another rider (from Georgia) injured after smacking a moma-moose at full speed. Both on Beemers.......

EDIT: sorry Datsun.........I didn't mean to come on as so "negative". Your RR is GREAT!!!!! Keeping us entertained .......and just be on your guard is all I wanted to convey.

Moto-Kafe screwed with this post 07-08-2013 at 09:39 AM
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:06 AM   #41
73datsun OP
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Stay possitive as it sounds like you are home sick and in need of company, it will get better .....
Didn't mean to imply as such. I've just been bored up until now. :). I am planning to go to Salmon Glacier and explore that area. Glad it's worth it!

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Careful up there Datsun, one rider killed on the Taylor Highway this week after hitting an RV head-on, and another rider (from Georgia) injured after smacking a moma-moose at full speed. Both on Beemers.......
Well that's morbid. But yes staying on alert.
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:38 AM   #42
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Great stuff!

Enjoying your story! Thanks for the real-time updates - something I've always been too lazy to do myself. I'm having lots of great reminiscence of my trip up there last year. I hope you get some good bear sitings, and if you aren't experienced on loose gravel roads, take your time heading up to Salmon, but go all the way. It's a great experience.

One other suggestion, if you aren't already camping there, take a break at Boya Lake, a bit south of the Yukon border on the Stewart-Cassiar Hwy. Beautiful.
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:44 AM   #43
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Good to know. Yeah, unfortunately I'm on OEM street tires until Anchorage. But I'll give it a go.
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:49 AM   #44
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Datsun you will be fine getting to both Salmon Glacier and Telegraph Creek on OEM tires if you ride with care. They both are simple gravel roads but with spectacular destinations
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:32 AM   #45
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Man, you are really moving!


Enjoy the mountains. I start to take them for granted now. I'm in the foothills / mountains every weekend and sometimes mid week. That being said I still love them and was the sole reason I moved here from the "the plains".

I liked some of your witty comments about the people you've met. Meeting people on the road and the places it takes you makes the experience. I remember eating food in what I swore was an old folks home in Idaho while doing the CTD. The place was full so we were seated with an elderly couple (we were both 29). It actually turned out to be a great lunch!
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