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Old 07-25-2013, 01:56 PM   #91
iamchris
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Welcome back!

How's your butt?
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:41 PM   #92
73datsun OP
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Review/thoughts on the bike: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...1#post21951641


Here are my thoughts on the gear. What worked. What didn't. What I'd change.


Travel/Itinerary:
I should have paid more attention to other (awesome) ride reports I read. I should have heeded advice. I tried to do too much. In the end. That was my downfall. I cut the trip short by five days. The mileage and the toll just added up and I hit a wall.

In the future, I'll ride to a destination and then plan to spend a couple days there. To ride all day, take a few photos, pitch a tent, sleep and then leave, just doesn't really do a place justice. Now I'm not saying I need three days in Watson Lake. But I could absolutely do 2-3 days in Talkeetna, Denali, Jasper, etc.

I'm very happy that I spent all the time planning my route out. I ditched it pretty much the first day. But it gave me a good baseline for mileage and the areas that I was going.


Gear: Top line of what I loved, hated or would/wouldn't bring again

JetBoil is bad ass. I cooked (boiled water) with it twice a day. It packs self contained. My only critique is that the can surface rusts and leaves residue in the boiling pot/chamber

I took an entrenching shovel and a machette. In the future, I'll take a hatchet and carry a single item that is capable of what those two items provided. Much of the wood in the BC and Yukon was large stumps, I had no way to split them.

Kelty Tarp. I was convinced I needed a tarp, relief from the rain, a place to standup to change, etc. In the end, I carried a tarp and poles with me. And never used them. Wasted space.

Patagonia Blackhole Duffle. This is one of my all time favorite bags. I travel a lot. I'm hard on my luggage. This duffle is outstanding. It's billed as water resistant. But I never had any water inside. Even after all day riding in the rain.

Smartwool tshirt, REI wool socks, REI synthetic base layer long johns and longsleeve: Worth the money. The damn tshirt was $95 (in Canada). I wore it for 14 days, without washing it, it didn't smell of BO in the least. The socks were never too hot or too cool. The REI baselayer is a great bargin. Also didn't get stinky.


Clothes: I brought too much. In the future, for a trip of this length, I'd bring: 5x underwear, 3x socks, 1x pants, 1x base layer (pants and top), 1x short sleeve shirt, 1x down/zip up.


Meals: I made my own oatmeal, 1/4 cup of rolled oats, 2 TBS of pulverized oats (in food processor), 1TBS of instant milk, cinnamon, sugar, dehydrated apples. Awesome. Really fills you up. Much more economical (and better for you) than instant oatmeal. I discovered Mary Jane's Organic Backpacker Food, when I re-upped in Anchorage. The meals were incredible. I honestly looked forward to making my lunch or dinner. I highly recommend: http://shop.maryjanesfarm.org/store/...-Samplers.aspx

Garmin 660: I HATE the backend, mapping software that is Base Camp. But, it's fantastic once you have it all dialed in. I was extremely happy with the performance on the road.


Apex 2XT tent: I was always dry. Always at the right temp. Set up and tore down in minutes. Loved it. My only "complaint" is that the poles are kind of long and don't pack down that small.

Big Agnes Pad: Was always comfortable. Only complaint is that it takes pretty long to blow up. Might consider something different, easier to inflate for the future. But it is not a must replace.

SPOT tracker: While of no real value to me, it was priceless to my family and wife. Gave them easy access to where I was, especially in areas where I didn't have wifi or cell service.

Powerbuilt Digital Torque Adaptor: one of the niftiest tools I brought. Allowed me to use a 1/2 drive as a torque wrench. Save a lot of space.

MSR Ground Hogs Tent Stakes: upgraded my stakes. Had no issues with bending. Went into everything from soft dirt/moss to compacted gravel with relative ease.
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Old 07-25-2013, 03:01 PM   #93
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Trip Highlights

Taggish - cute little "town" passing through from Watson Lake into Skagway - Incredible meal at Seven Mile River Resort. I'd love to go back there

The ride into Stewart, BC - worth the detour. Even in the rain it was stunning

Skagway, the ride into Skagway was one of the tops of my trip. The town is a tourist cluster fuck. But once the ships roll out, it's fun to enjoy a night hanging out with the locals

Ferry from Skagway to Haines, it was a mini cruise that gave you a quick highlight of the Fjords

Ride from Haines north, stunning. Bald eagles. Incredible scenery. 20+ mins between seeing other people.

Pizza at Fast Eddy's (Tok, AK) and camping in their back yard. After sampling every Alaskan Brewing beer they had in stock.

Flight tour of Denali. This is at the top of the least of things I've EVER done. Splurge and pay the $350. It's worth it.

Talkeetna was a cute (albeit tourist) town. Would have loved to stay a day here and explored, camped, etc

Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff, via Icefields Parkway. Stunning. Puts so many other sights to shame.

Destruction Bay/Kluane Lake, puts Lake Louise to shame. And I didn't take a single photo. Damn it.

S. Dakota, I wish I'd planned to do more riding here. Would love to explore the Bad Lands and Black Hills.

Dempster/Arctic Circle, sure, it's a shitty road and a stupid sign. But the feeling of accomplishing it is incredible.



Low lights/wasn't worth it/probably wouldn't do again:

Cassiar, I mean, I guess I get the allure, but it wasn't nearly as mind blowing as I've came to believe from ride reports, books, milepost, etc

Glacier National Park, Going to the Sun Road, it wasn't that I hated it, it's just that after riding the Icefields Parkway, Top of the World and others, this didn't feel all that special. It didn't help that there was a ton of traffic and quite a bit of construction. However, I could absolutely see the appeal to hiking around this area

I90, long fast, windy, boring, lots of trucks. I actually preferred the Canadian Plains to I-90.

Sturgis, yeah, it's motorcycle mecca. But wasn't worth the time. Even for lunch. But I've checked it off my list.

Deadwood. I loved the show on HBO, I'd built it up in my mind to be like Dawson City. Turns out it's just commercialized and full of shitty casinos and tour buses.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:24 PM   #94
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Glad you are back safe!

I love it-Fast Eddy's, Destruction Bay and Arctic Circle. I agree on all 3.

Good summary on Deadwood-pass through, get a picture and get out. Same with Sturgis.

Did the ride in 2011 and I am about ready to go back.

Thanks for the pointers.

SE
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:52 AM   #95
ahwarm
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Thanks for the report. I had a great time reading it and look forward to to using some of your suggestions on my own trip.


Andrew


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Old 07-26-2013, 07:32 AM   #96
Long Trail
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Thanx for the RR, I've enjoyed reading about your trip. Good rundown and thorough insight.
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:28 AM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selkins View Post
Sounds like a serious case of the horse-galloping-back-to-the-barn syndrome. It's a natural tendency, I think. In retrospect the good/adventurous parts of the trip will outweigh the not-so-good bits. Good on you for seeing it through.

Yup!

Been on lots of bike trips where people I knew got in that mode.

I think rushed trips are more prone to that because it becomes wearing. You have to take your time, allow days to relax and explore. Get comfortable with your surroundings, etc.

Lots of people simply can't do it.
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:36 PM   #98
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great end of trip info, loved the pics also.
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:21 PM   #99
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Thanks for the effort - enjoyed the read. Good on you for finishing the Dempster - you would have regretted the tow truck ride the rest of your life. Oh, I have same bike, an '09. The seat isn't worth burning, cause it's too hard to burn. I have an Airhawk and have for several years. Put just enough air in it that your ass is one pubic hair off the seat and it's perfect. Barely any air at all - HUGE difference. Anyway, thanks again for taking us along.
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:29 PM   #100
73datsun OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shibby! View Post
I think rushed trips are more prone to that because it becomes wearing. You have to take your time, allow days to relax and explore. Get comfortable with your surroundings, etc.
That was one of my greatest learnings. Too much of a good thing.

In the future, I'll will space it accordingly. Originally, I was going to take 3-4 days off in Anchorage and fly my wife out. But it was just too close to Boards and finishing up grad school. That really would have helped break the trip into two tolerable pieces.

That long ride back on I90 has me eyeing the 1200s again. But then I get on my 700 unladen and have a blast riding it into work.

Who knows.
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:01 PM   #101
Br@dy
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Just got done reading through all that adventure, kudos for doing dempster, great pics,...I hope to do a ride like that one day.
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:11 PM   #102
iamchris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73datsun View Post
That was one of my greatest learnings. Too much of a good thing.

In the future, I'll will space it accordingly. Originally, I was going to take 3-4 days off in Anchorage and fly my wife out. But it was just too close to Boards and finishing up grad school. That really would have helped break the trip into two tolerable pieces.

That long ride back on I90 has me eyeing the 1200s again. But then I get on my 700 unladen and have a blast riding it into work.

Who knows.
Would it really be worth the difference in price? $10k vs $15.8k? If the 700 does all you need and more in 95% of situations, and can get the job done with minor inconvenience in the other 5%, that sounds like a perfect choice to me. Unless money is no object, then by all means, go for it!

Just remember that you're going to have to farkle all over again. ;)
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:14 PM   #103
73datsun OP
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Really not sure. Guess it just depends. I'll do a few more long weekend trips. See how the loaded bike on the freeway performs.
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:21 PM   #104
_cy_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73datsun View Post
Review/thoughts on the bike: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...1#post21951641


Here are my thoughts on the gear. What worked. What didn't. What I'd change.


Travel/Itinerary:
I should have paid more attention to other (awesome) ride reports I read. I should have heeded advice. I tried to do too much. In the end. That was my downfall. I cut the trip short by five days. The mileage and the toll just added up and I hit a wall.

In the future, I'll ride to a destination and then plan to spend a couple days there. To ride all day, take a few photos, pitch a tent, sleep and then leave, just doesn't really do a place justice. Now I'm not saying I need three days in Watson Lake. But I could absolutely do 2-3 days in Talkeetna, Denali, Jasper, etc.

I'm very happy that I spent all the time planning my route out. I ditched it pretty much the first day. But it gave me a good baseline for mileage and the areas that I was going.


Gear: Top line of what I loved, hated or would/wouldn't bring again

JetBoil is bad ass. I cooked (boiled water) with it twice a day. It packs self contained. My only critique is that the can surface rusts and leaves residue in the boiling pot/chamber

I took an entrenching shovel and a machette. In the future, I'll take a hatchet and carry a single item that is capable of what those two items provided. Much of the wood in the BC and Yukon was large stumps, I had no way to split them.

Kelty Tarp. I was convinced I needed a tarp, relief from the rain, a place to standup to change, etc. In the end, I carried a tarp and poles with me. And never used them. Wasted space.

Patagonia Blackhole Duffle. This is one of my all time favorite bags. I travel a lot. I'm hard on my luggage. This duffle is outstanding. It's billed as water resistant. But I never had any water inside. Even after all day riding in the rain.

Smartwool tshirt, REI wool socks, REI synthetic base layer long johns and longsleeve: Worth the money. The damn tshirt was $95 (in Canada). I wore it for 14 days, without washing it, it didn't smell of BO in the least. The socks were never too hot or too cool. The REI baselayer is a great bargin. Also didn't get stinky.


Clothes: I brought too much. In the future, for a trip of this length, I'd bring: 5x underwear, 3x socks, 1x pants, 1x base layer (pants and top), 1x short sleeve shirt, 1x down/zip up.


Meals: I made my own oatmeal, 1/4 cup of rolled oats, 2 TBS of pulverized oats (in food processor), 1TBS of instant milk, cinnamon, sugar, dehydrated apples. Awesome. Really fills you up. Much more economical (and better for you) than instant oatmeal. I discovered Mary Jane's Organic Backpacker Food, when I re-upped in Anchorage. The meals were incredible. I honestly looked forward to making my lunch or dinner. I highly recommend: http://shop.maryjanesfarm.org/store/...-Samplers.aspx

Garmin 660: I HATE the backend, mapping software that is Base Camp. But, it's fantastic once you have it all dialed in. I was extremely happy with the performance on the road.


Apex 2XT tent: I was always dry. Always at the right temp. Set up and tore down in minutes. Loved it. My only "complaint" is that the poles are kind of long and don't pack down that small.

Big Agnes Pad: Was always comfortable. Only complaint is that it takes pretty long to blow up. Might consider something different, easier to inflate for the future. But it is not a must replace.

SPOT tracker: While of no real value to me, it was priceless to my family and wife. Gave them easy access to where I was, especially in areas where I didn't have wifi or cell service.

Powerbuilt Digital Torque Adaptor: one of the niftiest tools I brought. Allowed me to use a 1/2 drive as a torque wrench. Save a lot of space.

MSR Ground Hogs Tent Stakes: upgraded my stakes. Had no issues with bending. Went into everything from soft dirt/moss to compacted gravel with relative ease.
nice review ..
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:20 PM   #105
airchuk
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You and I were traveling some of the same roads at the same time. Couldn't have been more than a few hours separation.

After 3 weeks on the road my fun-o-meter had pegged and I was ready to go home....... and it still took 8 days riding to get there.

I also rode too many miles on too many consecutive days. Fatigue is cumulative. I have never been so exhausted - I mean right to the bone. Riding the mountain passes starts to wear on you after several days. Every joint in my old body hurt.

Doing it again next June. Only this time the wife flies out to meet me. I'll meet her in Ketchikan and continue up to Juneau. Planning on shorter days with more breaks..... a longer but much more civilized ride.

Many times I wondered what I was doing up there in the middle of all that crappy gravel construction on a Harley. I easily would have traded the big Harley for a KTM right about then.

Oh well..... Great report. Very candid. I really enjoyed reading it.

(Hyder - can't believe you missed "The Bus" and the best fish & chips on the planet!)
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