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Old 07-28-2013, 07:14 PM   #46
Lappeman OP
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Location: Lappe, ON Coldest, wettest place...well not quite!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KEL115 View Post
Looks like you're making good time. I would be having a hard time getting outta of my hotel bed by now!
Made it to High Level Alberta which sets me up for a run to Yellowknife tomorrow, weather permiting...and it's been real crappy!! The sun comes out for just enough time to suck you out of the hotel and onto your bike...then it pours for 4 hours

Have an issue with that stupid oil seal on the water pump cover seeping oil out thru the weep hole...not sure what to make of it?

Be posting a day report after I get some food...Only 7pm here
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:47 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lappeman View Post
...

Have an issue with that stupid oil seal on the water pump cover seeping oil out thru the weep hole...not sure what to make of it?
...
Sounds like it may have been snagged on reassembly. It's best to replace the o-ring, mechanical seal and oil seal to fix the issue, but you may get lucky and get away with just the o-ring. Take care when threading the impeller on, that you screw it on clockwise, to help ease the o-ring over the threads.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:33 PM   #48
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Day 3...

This was going to be a nice relaxing day...get up when I feel like it and take may time, figured I easily make High Level Alberta which was only another 700kms away...then I'd have time to relax and do some bike maintenance.

Think it worked out that way...guess again

Did manage to sleep until 7am, grab a quick breakfast and shower before lugging all my gear down the hall and out the door of the hotel...why no motels around, I'll never know Loaded up the bike...wait, where'd the sun go, it was here a minute ago. Oh well, a few clouds, no worries. I'd spent last night drying out my gear and it was ready for the day...half hour down the road and the skies opened up...WTF! I pressed onto Slave Lake where I figured I'd get some photos of the new town and the Lake...What, I couldn't even see the lake thru the driving rain...gas up, continue on. High winds kept me on my guard, so that I wouldn't hit the guard rail

As I rolled down the hill into Peace River, I thought...this is it, as far as I go! Feet were wet and cold, so much for waterproof boots and gortex socks! the Frog Troggs let water in seep in at the wrists (even when I have gloves that go past the seal) and at the ankles. The driving water seems to traverse down your arms and up your legs...so I'm wet to my elbows and knees!! I gas up and stop at Tim Hortons to ponder life...what could I have done that was so bad that I am punished for it on every trip I have ever taken...for those of you that know me, I attract bad weather!!

I order a hot tea and a sandwich and hope that I dry out a bit...trouble is that it's as cold inside as it is outside...I can't win! Finally the rain stops but the high winds and clouds stick around. I figure I'll try to make High Level, since it's only 300kms away by my GPS. After about an hour, the clouds break and the sun kinda shows every now and then but just enough to warm the air a bit and I start to dry...except for the boots. By the time I reach High Level, it's a nice day with a few sporadic showers and clouds but I made it! I check into a motel to dry my gear...again! Geez this trip's getting expensive fast and things are not cheap the farther you go north. I unload my gear and I notice that oil is seeping out the weep hole under the water pump...damn, I knew I should've gotten the seal replaced when I changed the shaft... I know there's no place or tools to deal with it around here, so I'm hoping that it will not give me any grief until Whitehorse and that maybe for some strange reason I can deal with it there...probably not

So, in short, my nice relaxing day has been a pretty stressful one and I'm only on day 3

High Level Alberta
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:46 PM   #49
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Lappeman...

Ah, the freedom, the joy of the open road...
Hopefully the weather will turn tomorrow and you'll be grinning from ear to ear.
If you can get the parts flown or bussed into Whitehorse, I'm sure you'll be able to find a place to sort out the leak.
Just keep an eye on your oil level and carry some with you, as gas stations are pretty sparse north of High Level.
Cheers!
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:02 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PiffleMaster View Post
Ah, the freedom, the joy of the open road...
Hopefully the weather will turn tomorrow and you'll be grinning from ear to ear.
If you can get the parts flown or bussed into Whitehorse, I'm sure you'll be able to find a place to sort out the leak.
Just keep an eye on your oil level and carry some with you, as gas stations are pretty sparse north of High Level.
Cheers!
Everything is sparse up here I am already carrying oil but I will stock up when I get the chance...didn't require very much to top up today and that's three days of running, sooooo....

Forgot to mention that I also broke a pipe band holding the tool tube...never done that before, hence the 4, 2 extra for backup...know it works now...also had a spare, so I put it on.

Not time to buy a pickup and load the bike yet! LOL!!
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:23 PM   #51
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Location: Lappe, ON Coldest, wettest place...well not quite!
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Day 4...

Finally, a day with sunshine in it! Was up nice and early and hit the road. By 9am I was in the North West Territories...fighting off the blackflies



I stopped at Alexandra falls on the Hay River and rolled into Hay River around 11am. I used to have a thing for Tugboats and Hay River has a ton of old River Tugs. I spent the better part of an hour searching the town for them. Finally I gassed up and left, having not found the one tug that I was really looking for...either it was scrapped or the undergrowth has encased it.

Alexandra Falls


Old River Tugs in Hay River, NT




From there it was north across the new bridge on the Mackenzie River. The old barge sat dejectedly beside the new bridge.

New Bridge


Ferry no longer needed


I ran into several herds of Bison, I had seen Bison before but they are still cool to see!

Herd of Bison


On the Yellowknife Hwy


I arrived in Yellowknife after negotiating the last 110kms of the worst crappy highway you can imagine that still resembles blacktop. Lots of construction, potholes, whoops, dips, cracks, etc Once in Town I went to the Cdn Tire and purchased a 2.5 gal fuel can...I had a plan for tomorrow. I went to the local campsite and they promptly put me in a crushed rock tent site I was too tired to argue when I found out. I cooked supper and enjoyed the evening, while wondering why I had not camped in a long time. I went to bed early to the sounds of parties, planes and trucks

Yellowknife
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:12 PM   #52
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Day 5...

Okay, so you have probably figured out by now that there was no wifi at the campgrounds.

Well this morning I remembered why I have not camped in a long time...it was raining when I woke up So began the process of packing away wet stuff. Once on the road, re-doing the 110kms from hell, the skies cleared and gave way to sunshine As I rode down the hwy, I saw the saddest sight imaginable...I approached a lone Bison standing near the road. As I passed, I realized it was standing over its dead calf protecting it from the ravens that were trying to get at it...

I made Fort Providence by 10:15am, pretty good time considering. I gassed up and now comes the part I told you about the extra gas can. I figured that I could carry enough gas to bypass going out of my way up to Fort Simpson for gas. It is 480kms between Fort Providence and Fort Laird...KLRs will not make it...or will they... Anyway, I decided I would be wasting a lot of time going to fort Simpson, 60kms each way and a Ferry ride across and back...no way for me to make the Alaskan hwy if I did. the Mackenzie hwy turns to gravel pretty quickly and would be fine, except it poured on me for the first while, making it a slick mudfest of travel

Mackenzie hwy...only 400 more kms to Fort Laird


Muddy bike


Straight and boring


To boot, they were doing construction on it, meaning deep loose gravel, holes, ruts, etc. I was getting everything that everyone talks about on the Dalton and I had it all in one shot! Well I will be ready for the Dalton, that's for sure!

The only real fun I had on the entire route was seeing the aftermath of the forest fire that crossed the highway a couple of days ago...I just missed having to detour for the closing. I saw many hots spots still smoldering and a couple still burning...pretty neat being up and close to a recent fire.

Fire at Trout River


Trout River


Still smoldering


Part of 50kms of burn


Liard Trail


Liard Trail or River...


It rained on me a few more times before I finally ran out of gas just after seeing a Bison and a small black bear on the Laird Trail. I averaged around 90km per hour and switched to reserve at 390kms! I finally ran out at 430kms, just 50km short of Fort Liard...I was really surprised at the mileage that I got. I normally was running to reserve around 335kms and going only 10kms per hour faster!

Out of gas 50kms short


I pushed on and finally the gravel, that looked more like a river at times, gave way to fresh pavement at the BC border. I ran thru a huge thunderstorm and into Fort Nelson where I got yet another motel room to dry things out again. There was sooooo much mud on my bike and gear that I had to go to the spray wash to clean it all before unloading. I was going to stay here a couple of days and do some stuff to the bike but theres really nothing here, I will move on tomorrow and find a better town!

Scary ass wet wood bridge and another storm in distance


So I ended up with around 800kms yesterday and 1002kms today...long days, almost time for a break.

Where will tomorrow take me....
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:13 AM   #53
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Lappeman...

Great write-up and photos!
The Liard Trail looks absolutely pavement-like compared to my last run.
Keep the story and photos coming.
Cheers!

PS. Finally heading east tomorrow, now that I have the RT sorted out.
See ya down the road!
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:07 AM   #54
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Really enjoying the reports and the funky frissons from the photos! (The way to keep a clean bike is to leave it in the garage!)
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:30 PM   #55
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Keep it up Rob!

I am really enjoying reading your ride report while Deborah and I are on our own trip. Between family gatherings and visits with East Coast friends, I can't keep a report as comprehensive as yours, good for you! Hopefully you can keep the cost down with more camping, we have tented 5 or 6 nights on this trip and will likely do a few more before we get back home. We have enjoyed the basics of tenting, although Wi-Fi is a must! Keep the report coming, we all appreciate it!
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:12 AM   #56
Lappeman OP
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Location: Lappe, ON Coldest, wettest place...well not quite!
Oddometer: 2,186
Day 6...

Thanks for all the wishes!! The internet in this place sucks, so bear with me, can't upload many photos

The day started out in pea soup fog, couldn't see a damn thing on the highway for about an hour, then as I climbed into the mountains, the sun broke out! About 10 minutes later, I was at a stand still waiting 20 minutes at a construction site This went on for the better part of the morning. I needed to make a gas stop in order to make it to Watson Lake, so I stopped at the first gas sign I saw. It was an old lodge and at first glance I thought it was closed but then I saw an open sign and the front door open also. I pulled in an a guy came out and handed me the nozzle. I pulled the lever and nothing, the guy muttered something and I looked at him and he was starring at the sky I said, it's not working and he said it will. What do you mean it will, these things are supposed to pump when you pull the lever About a minute and a half, it finally started trickling out and finally became a stream. I paid cash, as I wasn't going to offer up a credit card I went in the door and asked where the washroom was, he said there wasn't one and if I needed to piss, to use the bush...so I did beside the building As I got back on my bike I noticed that the front door was closed and the closed sign was up...I left the twilight zone

Leaving the Valley of fog behind


Muncho Lake was the next stop where I topped up to make sure that the previous gas didn't leave me stranded somewhere There was lots of wildlife out today, saw black bears (one cinnamon), Mountain sheep, moose and one animal that was either a caribou or elk...you decide!

Caribou or Elk?


I rolled into Watson Lake Yukon way behind schedule, so after a quick stop at the sign forest, I was back on the road. Lots of bikes out today, must have counted 60 riders, most heading south...maybe they know something I don't!

Yukon Ho!


Watson Lake sign forest


Lappeman was there


Next stop was Teslin to fuel up for the last run to Whitehorse. While I fueled up a group of 3 Harley trikes pulled up, they all dressed the part right down to their leather vests, one wearing only the vest on top I said hi and they just looked at me like I stepped off a space craft! I was way over dressed for their liking! After Teslin I was hit by 6 separate Thunder Storms, fortunately they were all small and I pushed thru to Whitehorse. I will be staying here for 2 days to do some maintenance on the bike...the weather for the rest of the summer in deadhorse is crappy anyway...could be an adventure that I don't want!
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:29 PM   #57
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...I pulled the lever and nothing, the guy muttered something and I looked at him and he was starring at the sky I said, it's not working and he said it will...... While I fueled up a group of 3 Harley trikes pulled up, they all dressed the part right down to their leather vests, one wearing only the vest on top I said hi and they just looked at me like I stepped off a space craft!
It's colorful to meet some of the characters who decide to live in the north! Nice description of your Twilight Zone experience.

And, you do know, you are riding a motorcycle, not a Harley.

Thanks for the updates and pictures Rob!
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:55 PM   #58
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Day 8...

Day 7 was a rest day in Whitehorse, get something to eat, oil change, few other things...mostly relax!

The next day I knew it was going to be a long day, goal was to reach Fairbanks Alaska, 950kms away. I got going at 5:35am and ran steady all day only stopping for quick breaks and gas. Before I knew it I was at the doorsteps of ADVcycleworks in Fairbanks Alaska. I planned to get a knew tire there but when I talked to the owner Dan, he suggested that I run it some more and do the Dalton with it. I figured I could get a bit more out of it, so I took his advice and set out again. It was a nice evening and having arrived in Fairbanks early, I decided to head toward Livengood near the start of the Dalton and camp out. Somehow I missed Livengood and ended up starring at the Dalton Highway sign. I couldn't remember how far Yukon river gas was, so after hyming and hawing for awhile, I decided to go up a little bit on the hwy. Another mile down the gravel road I found the big Dalton sign and a mileage sign stating Yukon River was another 140kms or so...I had lots of gas and lots of time, so I continued up the Dalton for Yukon Rive Camp. I arrived there at 9pm, had supper in the café and gassed up. the waitress there told me of a tenting site just 4 miles up the road, so I ended up setting camp there for the night. A great day of riding today!!

Alaskan Pipeline


Yukon river bridge


Chicken sandwich and a salad at Yukon river Camp


Camped out on the Dalton Hwy
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:37 PM   #59
Lappeman OP
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Day 9...The push

This was going to be a big day...run from Yukon River to Deadhorse and back to Yukon River before the gas pump closed at 10pm...was it possible!

I was up and swatting mosquitos at 4:25am! I never really gets that dark up here. Sun sets around 1am or so but it's still so light out that you don't even need a flashlight...kinda like twilight! Then it rises at 5am, which is when I was on the road riding thru pea soup fog filled valleys

As I began to climb, the fog dissipated and gave way to a nice sunny day. The temp quickly rose from 5c to about 13c in a few hours. At 7:30am I was in Coldfoot, gassing up for the final 390kms to the next gas stop, Deadhorse. In Coldfoot, 4 other riders where loading their KLR's and got on the road headed north when I did. Shortly after leaving Coldfoot, the first construction delay was met. 15 minutes waiting for the pilot vehicle to return and lead us thru the construction. This area is brand new pavement for 20 or so miles and was nice cruising once we got going! Soon we hit the rough but dry Dalton gravel. Immediately one of the KLR guys slowed and I knew he wasn't comfortable. I passed him and he soon disappeared in the dust behind while his group surged ahead. At the first construction, I noticed that this group was all on rented KLR's from Moto Quest, 3 new ones and one pre '08 like mine. This group reminded me of the Movie Wild Hogs. 4 guys decide to take a bike trip. Fly to Alaska, rent bikes and do the Dalton...what could be more fun than that

Foggy morning on the Dalton


Finger Rock


Arctic Circle


As I rounded a corner I caught up to one of the group, going slow, obviously waiting for the other to catch up. As I pulled up alongside, he looked over and thru his head back...his reaction was I'm sure...Where the hell is that guy We passed over the Atigun Pass, which to me, was the highlite of this run, steep uphill followed by steep curving downhill. Soon after, we hit more construction and stopped. The other guys caught up and we all waited 25 damn minutes for the pilot car to come back. As the guy who fell behind pulled up, he parked his KLR on the wrong way slopping ground...anyone who rides a KLR knows that you have to park with the slope on the kickstand side, especially when you have a load. As he stepped back for the bike, it fell over, bending the luggage rack...his buddies laughed out loud. As we where following the pilot vehicle, it was going very slowly and pulled to a stop on some real rocky, loose, wet dirt on a hill that they had just plowed up. We all had to come to a stop and of course the guy who's bike fell over, had no idea how to stop a loaded KLR on a hill and began to slip backwards. Front tire locked up but still sliding backwards, he dumped the bike again Hi buddies almost fell off their bikes, they were laughing so hard!! 3 guys could barely lift this bike now, which was laying downwards on the hill...meanwhile the pilot vehicle had left forward and all the traffic behind us was left shaking their heads. Not long after this construction, they all pulled over and I never saw them again.

Atigun Pass looking up from the south side


Looking down the north slope


Looking down to the south side


KLR down...the first time


The last 150 miles or so was boring and rough as hell. The only view was of tundra for miles and miles...Finally after what seemed an eternity, Deadhorse appeared on the horizon. I pulled in to this village, which is basically just a large Camp with industrial buildings, warehouses and bunkhouses. I turned into the wrong section first and wasted time running around trying to find gas. Finally I asked for directions and went to the other side of town and found gas. Then I had to ask for more directions to find the General Store where the Deadhorse sign was. By now it was near 2 in the afternoon, almost 8 hours since I left Yukon River. This was cutting it close, as another 8 hour run back would put me there after 10pm which was when the pumps closed. If I wanted to leave Yukon River early the next morning, I would have to gas up tonight!

Nothing but Tundra


Deadhorse Alaska


At the infamous Deadhorse sign


I turned my bike back south and began the long tedious journey back down the Dalton. I had made it to Deadhorse with a tiny bit of gas to spare in the tank and a still full jerry can, so I knew I could push it a bit on the way back and still make Coldfoot. I got lucky at the construction and arrived just as the pilot vehicle did...perfect. Everything was going as planned. Rain storms began to appear over the mountains but every turn on the road missed the rain. Still the road became wet from the rain that missed me but still dumped on the Dalton. I pulled into Coldfoot and gassed up at 7:15pm...I can make it I thought! I pulled out and ended up behind 3 transports heading south. They were going like gangbusters and I was running 110kms and hour and still they were pulling away. There's some really big hills on the Dalton, Roller Coaster hill and Sand Hill are two of the biggest...when your at the top, it's 1 mile down to the bottom and then another mile up the other side...huge!! Flying down the hills at 130kms and hour, I could make out the tiny dots at the bottom heading up the other side, they were the transports...absolutely amazing hills! I ran hard and fast, sliding uncontrollably thru ever thickening mud...I'm surprised I stayed upright. I pulled into Yukon River at 9:40pm, enough time to gas up and grab a quick supper I then headed back to the tent site and setup camp...I was dead tired after running another 1200km day...this one taking 16 hours to complete

Caribou near the Pipeline
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:59 PM   #60
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Day 10...

My alarm, went off at 5am...I ignored it It was raining all night!

At 6:20am, I woke again. It had just stopped raining but threatened to dump more...I packed up everything wet again and set off down the greasy Dalton. The mud packed on quick and soon I was covered in mud up to my thighs. By 8:16am, the wet mud gave way to pavement again...I was done the Dalton!!

Muddy and glad to be finished


I ran thru more showers as I headed south to Fairbanks. Soon it began to dry out on the road and my bike began to overheat! I figured it was the mud solidifying into a solid on my rad, so I pulled over at a river and splashed water onto it. I started out again and it wasn't as bad. It stayed cool enough that I reached Fairbanks around 10am. I went back to ADVcycleworks for a rear tire. I ended up replacing, sprockets, chain, rear tire and rear brake pads...they were all shot!!

Repairs at ADVcycleworks in Fairbanks


Brand new rear tire


I decided I would cruise down to Healy and find a room there to rest and dry out. When I got to Healy, there were no Motels to be had. I saw the Stampede Road sign and curiosity got the best of me. This was the infamous Trail that was featured in the book and movie entitled "Into the Wild". I headed up a freshly paved road that turned to gravel about 3kms from the trailhead. On the way up, I looked down and saw that my speedometer wasn't working. I figured the cable wouldn't make the whole trip, so I fortunately had brought a brand new one with me. So at the Trailhead to the Stampede Trail, I replaced the cable. I can see the draw to the area, wide open terrain back dropped with hills and mountains but you wouldn't catch me walking out there with nothing more than a plan to live off the wild

Start of the Stampede Trail


Looking out across the Stampede Trail


Mountains as a Back Drop


Broken Speedo cable


I left the Wild and headed south thru the Denali Park mountains, down to Cantwell. There I found myself at the start of the Denali Highway, my next destination. At the start there was a sign for the Backwoods Lodge. I decided to check it out. I got the last room and it turned out to be a really nice place, completed with kitchenettes. Tomorrow...The Denali Highway!!

Denali Park Sign


Start of the Denali Highway...next conquest!
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