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Old 11-28-2013, 09:37 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by jlambo View Post
T of C, Kick ass ride report, really enjoyed the photos and observations. This is a trip I also want to do, though I haven't quite figured out how to get the time I would need, (live in southern Maine)... Adding in a couple cross continent jaunts, I'd probably need around two months to do it justice. I'll get there though, and reports like this keep the desire burning. Thanks, John
Don't rush the north, that's my advice! It's a lot of effort to get up this far, make the most of it when you're there!
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Old 11-28-2013, 09:58 PM   #167
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Thanks for such a great report and wonderful photos too. Ridden up to Dawson a couple of times now and next year I am aiming for Inuvik. Thanks for adding even more motivation.
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:12 PM   #168
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And you never set out on the Dempster? Get out there boy!
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:16 PM   #169
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Now to look for a camping spot!





I knew that even the scrap yard would have something interesting in it! This is one massive engine block! Look at the tanker trailer to the right, for scale.



I then milled into town. First pavement in over 700 kilometers! A local teenager sees me on the beast I'm riding, and gives me a big smile and a thumbs up, as though to say I made it!! Oh yeah, that's a good feeling!

I rode up and down a few streets to get a feel for the place. It is amazing to ride on pavement again. Nothing was open, except for the town bar, which looked like a drab community hall with flaking paint and no windows.. I also notice that the local RCMP, in a town of 3 1/2 thousand people had no less than 16 cruisers parked at the station! I'm thinking the place gets rowdy! I'll skip the victory beer for now, this aint no tourist town!
There is a loud hum of machinery in the air. I have a look down the block to see 4 over sized big rig type exhaust pipes climbing the side of a 6 story brick building. It was the towns power plant. These pipes were massive! they had to be at least 2 feet in diameter each at the tips, with giant mufflers below. I guess that's where the giant engine I saw earlier came from. The constant drone of the turbines was an audible reminder of what an outpost this place is, and that it was a town built for working.

Tropic-Of-Canada screwed with this post 11-30-2013 at 09:54 AM
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:09 PM   #170
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I found a park by the river, and stretched out on a bench, feeling rather bagged, and dazed by the daylight. 11:30PM, and kids are still running around, some are messing around on river boats, and local native family was having a barbecue over a fire pit.
"Ya want a hotdog?" mom asks me.

I was happy to accept the invitation for warm food with locals, and talked with her for a good 45 minutes. She introduced me to her sons and daughters, about 5 in all. Naturally, the boys loved the DRZ!

"You come up here for work?"
"No, just came to see what was here I guess."
"So you came here all alone on that dirt bike?"
"Yep"
"What, are you crazy?! Weren't you scared? Heck, I sure would be! Well welcome to Inuvik!"
She asked me how summer was where I was from, and I had to tell her this was as hot as I had felt this year.
"Yeah, this is real nice for here. It happens, but it never lasts long. If you had come about 2 weeks earlier, the sun would still be up all night! You know, you should have waited 'till next year to come up here! You could have rode all the way to Tuk! They just started working on an all season road!"
She asked me if I was native.
"Hehe nope, just a good tan, maybe a layer of dirt!"
"Aah, you're pretty dark for a white guy! What are the local tribes called where you live?"
"Well there's the Cowichan where I grew up, there's also Nitnat, Saanich, Esquimalt, I'm not sure who else, there's all kinds of groups."
"Mmm, Cowichan, I might have heard of them. My family is Gwich'in, There's a lot of Inuit in town, and a few groups as well. Heck, people come here from all over, It's a real melting pot."

As the light starts to dim, more boats start arriving.

"Jeez, look at all these crazies ripping around out there! Where's my oldest son? HEY! is that him on that boat? He better not be hangin out with the wrong people again! I'll call the cops, they'll chase em down, Hehe!!"

There is no denying the strange effects of the daylight up here. I can't imagine what one would do about it in winter.

"Does the 24 hour darkness get to you?" I ask her.
"Naah, We're used to it. We all grew up here, but some people who come to work here really start to lose it in winter from the lack of light. Some of them ending up having to leave, they just get too depressed. It's only complete dark for about three months of the year."
"Where are you staying?" she asks.
"I'm Camping" I tell her.
"In town here?"
"I think so, I hear there is a cheap ground here in town."
"Happy Valley? Aah no, you don't want to go there, not on a Saturday! Too many rowdys and partiers that way, it'll go on all night! Mmm, I know a good spot. You wanna go to Jak Park. That's a better spot for you, it's the one the truckers use just outside town on your right."
"OK, I think that's what I'll do, thanks a lot!"
"Enjoy your visit! It was nice to meet you!"

I can't remember any of their names, but it was real nice being invited into a family like that, especially after such a long haul!

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Old 12-01-2013, 05:28 AM   #171
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That was such a great write up of your interaction with that family. Sure sums up what travelling is all about. Thanks for continuing to post your adventure.
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:47 AM   #172
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You know, you should have waited 'till next year to come up here! You could have rode all the way to Tuk! They just started working on an all season road!"
That's an interesting bit of news.
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Old 12-01-2013, 12:37 PM   #173
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That's an interesting bit of news.
Shhh!!! It's a secret!!! By the sound of things for us riders, it may not be ready until the 2015 season....

http://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/_live/pages...ukhighway.aspx
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Old 12-01-2013, 02:28 PM   #174
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Originally Posted by Tropic-Of-Canada View Post
Shhh!!! It's a secret!!! By the sound of things for us riders, it may not be ready until the 2015 season....

http://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/_live/pages...ukhighway.aspx
Hope Tuk is ready for the onslaught of bikes Gives me a reason to go back up there

Great report!!
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:29 PM   #175
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it may not be ready until the 2015 season....
http://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/_live/pages...ukhighway.aspx
Might be a bit later than that. I followed your link above. If you click on the Risk Matrix link on the first page it brings you to the Risk Matrix page--it states one of its goals is to "Deliver the high quality Project by Nov 2018"

Sounds like a good excuse to repeat the trip in Spring 2019--at a slower pace. Maybe I'll join ya!

Tuk would be the furthest north (summer) road accessible point in Canada then. Deadhorse still beats it by a bit for North America.

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Bike Nomad screwed with this post 12-01-2013 at 11:49 PM
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Old 12-03-2013, 05:48 PM   #176
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Stealth camping was going to be a bit difficult, being how it was still light out! I went exploring anyway.



I found a road that headed back towards the river, which I thought might have been the start of the ice road. It narrowed to a quad trail on the banks. Since I still had light, I decided to see where it would go.



More cool surprises!



I rode a little further, sticking to the broken in path. I was really glad for my knobby tires in the loamy ground. The top layer seemed solid enough, but my gut told me to turn around when I realized I was alone, and things got slightly softer. It was that jolt of fear that sometimes hits you when you are in the committed stage of doing the water hazard, or the climb, or in this case, the soft ground, when you realize you might not make it......

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Old 12-09-2013, 12:04 PM   #177
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The Muddy Mackenzie

I turned 180 degrees to the left, and when my wheels broke through the crust and sank axle deep into the silt, I realized I probably should have turned 180 degrees to the right...... Oh snap!!!!!!

I got off the machine and tried to rock it loose, causing it to sink a bit deeper.... I took all the gas cans and bags off and tried to get the bike moving again, and realized I was in trouble!!!! I was able to get the bike rocking, but with no footing, I wasn't going anywhere... I could push, pull, and struggle as much as I wanted, but could not break the vacuum on the wheels. The more I struggled with the bike, the softer, and more watery the ground got......

PANIC!!! PANIC!!!

Sorry, but there are no pictures of the hours of struggle that ensued. I was not in a happy place anymore..... There was a lot of profanity, It was getting late, the bugs were insane, and I was tired, hungry and dehydrated.


I was thinking that I was going to have to go knocking on doors the next day, looking for someone with a quad to come and rescue me. Was anyone going to take pity on me for being this stupid all the way up here? I saw some more river boats speed by, but they were too fast, and too far away to flag down for a hand..How did this happen?? It seemed completely rideable 5 minutes ago!!!!! Now the machine was standing up on it's own.

"OK, Don't panic!!! Calm down, catch your breath, and come up with a strategy. Start gathering branches" I told myself....

I figured there was no time to wait for help. I couldn't stand anywhere by the bike for more than a few seconds without sinking, and I figured this was going to mean the same thing for the bike. I was already dirty, but realized I was about to get completely filthy. I started gathering wood, and laid down a few logs to stand on. I then started digging under the bike with my hands. I grabbed two thicker logs, using one as a lever, and the other as a fulcrum to try and pry the wheels out of their holes...Sweet, it's moving!!! This might just work..... I realized I needed to put the bike on its side if it was going to get anywhere. This was going to be far more work than I realized. I needed way more branches!!! I ended up making dozens of trips for more wood. It was slim pickings. Every piece of wood within a good 1/2 km radius was used.
I made a landing pad of sticks for the bike to fall on, and dropped it down. I then pried the wheels up with one arm, stuffing sticks under them with the other arm from either side until they were broken out of their vacuum. From there, I was able to pull the bike sideways onto the landing pad. Ok, it wont sink any furtherm that's progress!!

I got absolutely covered with mud in the process, and this was all being done amidst relentless clouds of insects. I wore my ski mask, and long sleeves to try to keep them at bay. They get in your eyes, up your nose, in your hair, and I was sweating buckets, dehydrating myself even further. It was still about 22 degrees out.

It was almost dark out, and I was completely exhausted... I turned the key and cleared the mud off of my dash to see that it was about 2:30 AM....It was clear where I was going to be staying the night... I did my best to make sure that my bike wasn't going to sink, and that was about all I could do. I pitched my tent on the grassy bank. I had never set up in such soft, muddy ground in my life! At least no sleeping pad was required. I did my best to get some rest, so I could try again in the morning.

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Old 12-09-2013, 02:25 PM   #178
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I've heard of a cliffhanger--this is a shore hanger! Looking forward to the next installment.
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Old 12-09-2013, 02:38 PM   #179
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So we see you are just gonna leave us hanging, need more $$$ or spare parts or double double from Tim's or what ????? We can only hold on so long to see how you got out of this "jackpot" mud hole

Loving the RR!!!
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Old 12-09-2013, 03:14 PM   #180
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I've been hard at work!

Tropic-Of-Canada screwed with this post 12-09-2013 at 04:07 PM
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