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Old 08-29-2013, 02:05 PM   #16
isaac004 OP
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Originally Posted by oldNbold View Post
Ill be following along. Sounds like a great trip. I would have loved a closer look at that station wagon on the ferry.
Here is more info about the owner of that Ford, as well as his woodworking company/shop:
http://heidenswoodworking.com
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:34 PM   #17
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Thanks

Thanks. I really didn't expect that. I like those old woodies.
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:30 PM   #18
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Another awesome adventure!! i'm also looking forward to the next installment.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:29 PM   #19
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Day 5, July 1, 435 miles, 100 Mile House BC to Smithers BC

We woke up to a much nicer temperature, but knowing it would only be a matter of time before it heated up again. It felt refreshing for a change, instead of the usual draining heat.





Other than that, I actually did not take too many photos this day. The morning gave way to the heat of the day. We had lunch at a McDonalds just outside Prince George. The cold AC and free WiFi was a great way to escape the heat during the middle of the day. I also used the ice machine to fill up my CamelBak to the brim, for plenty of ice water while on the road.

After lunch, I had the usual post food coma and felt a bit tired. At one point while rounding a corner, I thought it was funny that some dark patches of the road were moving. I then realized it was a mother duck with 4-5 ducklings, crossing the road. This was a fast section of 4 lane road where people were going at high speed. I knew I was not going to swerve and put my life at risk for the ducks, but I still did what I could to avoid hitting them. I had just enough time to hit the brakes hard and veer ever so slightly to the right (just a few degrees) so that by the time I got to the ducks (only a few seconds) I was able to get half a foot to the right of the ducks, as they continued to the left. It was a very close call and I was glad to have avoided them. I then wondered how they would hold up against the other trucks I saw going the opposite direction. Hopefully they made it. Note that this incident was not due to being sleepy while riding…rather, it was just that hard to register how the brown ducks blended into the road which was of a similar color.

Later in the afternoon we stopped at a road side rest stop for a quick break and nap. We noticed an 18 wheeler going in forward, then reverse, then forward, then reverse, etc. He did this quite a few times over a 10-15 minute period, and then left. A bit after he left, we commented on this strange behavior to another trucker that just pulled in. He then told us about the Highway of Tears that we were riding on, which is Hwy 16 in BC, from Prince Rupert to Prince George, where a large number of abductions and murders have occurred. He said that the police cannot get any leads, and any strange behavior should be reported. This has been happening since 1969.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highway_of_Tears_murders

Cloud cover increased and the temperature dropped some, which was a relief. We even had a few drops of rain, though not enough to actually call a rain.

At one of the last rest stops of the day, we mentioned the truck backing up to someone else who had stopped. He then told a story about how his friends sister went missing on that highway, and she has not been seen since. There are a lot of other sad similar stories of disappearances.

We stayed at a hotel in Smithers that provided free dinner and breakfast. Not a bad deal, except the service was a little slow at dinner to receive our food.

GPS tracks for the day:
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:58 PM   #20
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Day 6, July 2, 376 miles, Smithers BC to Dease Lake BC

We woke up looking to take advantage of the free hotel breakfast, but unfortunately learned just why it was free. The service time was incredibly slow, and we could hear the waitress BSing with the cooks and generally trying to burn time. Finally our food came but it was not worth it. It was not worth it to leave a tip either.

It was a cool morning, rather nice actually, compared to the heat we had been used to.


Not to far west of Smithers, we made a few miles detour to see the bridge that leads to Hazelton. Different variations of this bridge had occurred for many years. In one of its original forms, it was a rope bridge that natives built. To test out the strength, they would send the women across the bridge with a heavy load. I don't think that's how they do it nowadays.


On our way back to the main road, we saw one of these signs, tied back to the Highway of Tears story.


Back on the road, it's looking nice and green.


We stopped at the junction of 37 and 16 at Kitwanga for a bathroom break, and opted not to get gas. But we did get a photo. Starting to feel like we are making progress! I also discovered the $2 micro USB cable I bought on Amazon to charge my phone on the bike had died, so no more charging. A few days later I did find out I could tape a 180 degree bend with electrical tape at the phone end, and it would "fix" the short so I could keep charging.


We later ran into a group of motorcyclists from Texas, riding a variety of BMW GS's and V-Stroms.

Kitwanga is the start of the Stewart Cassiar Highway (37), which we would later learn is quite the gem. We pushed on to Meziadin Lake, also known as Meziadin Junction. Some will see this on the map as where 37 and 37A (Glacier Hwy) meet. Most obviously, this is the out and back highway that will take you to Stewart BC/Hyder AK. On our way up we opted to skip this section, saving it for more time on the way back. Our philosophy was to save as much time as possible for any weather or mechanical delays up north, and then explore more on the way back.

We now realized we needed to either find gas or transfer gas to make it to the next known gas pump. I was carrying a 1.75 gallon Rotopax to supplement my 4.2 gal stock tank. My Dad was carrying two of the 1.5L Primus bottles using the Sweet Cheeks, in addition to a basic 1 gallon gas can on the back, to supplement his 4.7 gallon Clarke aftermarket tank.. Details for those interested:
http://cycle-analyst.com/sweetcheeks
http://www.campmor.com/primus-1-5-l-fuel-bottle.shtml

Anyhow, back to the gas. Since we did not want to transfer, we decided to ask around and discovered the nearest gas would be a 120 km round trip to Stewart and back (would waste too much time) or try to continue north on the Cassiar to Bell 2. We were asking at a construction camp at the corner of 37 and 37A, where you could see the old gas station that had long been shut down. There was also a new construction gas tank and pump set up for the truckers. We asked a trucker who was filling up if regular folk like us can use it to fill up, and he said he did not know. So we tracked down a worker for that construction site, and discovered that there was a way we could buy gas with our credit card. Here is my Dad learning how to use the system. The guy in the blue shirt was training us, in addition to another employee (lady on the right) on the art of retail sales.


It's easy, you just have to swipe your card once to do an onscreen training on what not to do (don't pump gas on the ground, and other common sense items), and once you pass that you can swipe again to start filling up. 87 or diesel only, as will be come the norm.


Onward north we went. It really started to "feel like Alaska" at this point.


Feelin' the scenery.


We then came across this fresh accident.


The guy standing to the left of the truck with his hand on his head in a confused fashion is the driver. Luckily it was only his truck that was crashed and damaged, and that he walked away. It can be a deceivingly sharp turn, especially for these top heavy trucks that will often fly at 80-85 mph. Sure glad we were not in that outside lane as we were heading north. The truck was heading south, on the inside lane.


Next up was our first construction stop. Not very exciting, just nice greenery around us.


Coming up to another turn, we saw one of those German heavy duty RV rigs stopped on the side of the road. If you have been up there, you know what rig I am talking about, they are always driven by German's and Russians…I will post a photo of one later one. They had stopped to photograph a baby black bear, which we saw as we rode by. It was a bad place to stop, as there was little shoulder room and too much truck traffic.

It was now time for lunch, and the Bell 2 Lodge was conveniently located right there some food. Bell 2 also sells gas, but we did not need any yet. The lunch was pretty good, much better then you would expect up here. Bell 2 is a fancy lodge that has pricey rooms ($200 or $300 per night, that serves heliskiers in the winter time. Looks like it would be an amazing place to visit in the winter for some board time, but also very expensive. There is also very cool and chill old black dog that wanders around the dining room.


As we were getting ready to suit back up, we talked to a few riders who were on there way back down from the Dalton. They were an older couple from North Carolina, on two BMW's. Some combo of F650 and R1200GS I think.

We also talked to another small group who were coming back down from the Dempster/Inuvik as well as the Dalton. They were on a F single and 100GS. Check out these highway pegs!


Another person we met, and would keep on re-meeting, was a gentleman from Texas. We did not catch his name at first, so we dubbed him "Tex" when referring to him (later on we would learn his name is Josh). He was riding solo from Texas up to Prudhoe as well. He ate lunch at a table next to us, and while we did not speak much in the lodge we did talk some outside. He has a website documenting some of his rides: http://www.woodsmanrides.com/

The Cassiar is good stuff.


We saw a lot of these power line poles going up. The story is that most of the towns on the Cassiar are off the grid, running on generator power. These power lines are primarily for mining projects, but also to put these towns on the grid and improve development and growth. Good for the economy, but bad for the beauty of this area. 2013 is probably the last year of real beauty before they start stringing the lines up and truck traffic grows more.


This motorcycle is a-rockin'.


More great views.


Protein shake anyone? There is actually a phenomenon that takes place where so many bugs have built up that alive ones fly in and land, looking for a meal. It is a self cleaning machine I suppose.


We stopped for an afternoon break, and enjoyed this view.


And this.


Yours truly and the Dad. Notice how clean the bikes and gear are.


At this rest stop there was a pickup and camper parked. An older gentleman came out and said he had stopped to take a quick nap. He lives not to far away in Smithers, and told us a quick story. When he was young, he was living in Edmonton and needed to get out to Watson Lake YT for a wedding and decided to ride his newly acquired Harley. He sad the ride was so cold that he sold the Harley in Watson Lake and sold it to find another way home.

At some point, a beaver darted across the road and my Dad narrowly avoided hitting him.



We stopped for some gas in Iskut BC, a very small town with a gas station and small grocery store. A small boy asked my Dad what those "things on the side of the motorcycle where for", so he explained that that is where he stores his gear.


This small town is mostly natives. While paying for the gas inside, we saw a clipboard next to the register where status individuals could buy tax free gas. The lady running the register explained that certain natives have "status" and do not have to pay tax on certain items. With some disgust, she said only certain natives get this "status" and her native group does not. It does seem odd that the breaks they give to natives do not apply to all.



We hit Dease Lake BC just around dinner time. There are only two motels in Dease Lake, a small collection of cabins and a regular looking motel. Both were sold out that night, but the clerk at one suggested we try the small campground just 10 km north. We rode 10 km and saw a sign for Waters Edge Campground. It turns out the guy had one cabin, which was an old houseboat converted to a cabin. We made a deal, and then road back to Dease Lake for gas and dinner. The restaurant next to the Petrocanada gas station was not too good, but pretty average for these remote parts.


Another 10 km back north to our home for the night.


Just down the bank behind the cabin was this view of the lake.


The campground did offer complimentary wifi through a satellite system and generator. Just enough that I could Skype my girlfriend with my phone! More details on the cabin to come later.

GPS tracks for the day:
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:52 PM   #21
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Day 7, July 3, 403 miles, Dease Lake BC to Whitehorse YT

This is the little cabin that we slept in. You can tell it used to be a boat, as the location of the steering wheel is original and was left in to signify this. Can you spot the wheel?


Since my Dad is the old man, he took the bed, and I set up my sleeping pad and bag on the floor.

The morning was nice and brisk, and we had the heated gear out on low. A big contrast from the almost triple digit temps just a few days prior! Some nice views out here, and virtually no cars or trucks in site. Early starts sure are nice.


Early on in the morning we saw a black object dart across the rode up ahead. It was the right size to be a bear cub, but also moved very fast. Regardless, it was just far enough away that we could not tell.



We hit only 1-2 very minor and quick construction delays. Like Michigan, the great north up here has two seasons: winter and construction.

We pulled over for a quick stop and photo opt, when I noticed my Dad's 1 gal gas can had shifted. Here is the minor damage, disaster averted!


The view at our stop.


I will say that one mod worth more then its weight in gold are the Moose foam hand guards (MSR makes a similar version). They attach right onto your existing hand guards with velcro on the inside, and a zip tie on the outside. I brought some removable zip ties so I could easily take them off when needed for the hot weather sections. The foam guards are cheap ($25-30) and help a lot at keep the cold air ( and rain) off your hands. With the heated grips, I could wear summer gloves down to the high 30's without issue.


You can see where I drilled 2 small holes in the plastic to have a better attachment point. Another great mod was the Kaoko throttle lock, an amazing item for the straight sections. Your wrist will thank you. The Kaoko is particularly nice because it tigthens with the WOT motion, and loosens with a closing throttle motion. So if you have it on and need to slam the throttle closed, the lock will not fight you - rather, it will open quite easily.


Forest fire recovery.


Yet another province sign!


I was tempted to ride up the hill to get next to the Yukon sign, Tire tracks indicated others have done so, but I decided the bike was a little too heavy and the bank a little steep to mess around with now. An older couple snapped this photo for us.


And because we missed the BC sign when coming in from Washington, we walked across the street to get this shot.


One with the bike too.


The Alaskan Highway was only another 10 minutes up the road from the BC/YT border, where 2 gas stations and a small restaurant was located. We topped the tanks off and attempted to get an early lunch. It was 10:20am but they would not sell anyone lunch until 11am. The place was pretty empty with only 2 out of 12 tables occupied. I can understand them not wanting to switch the grill over, but they would not even make a cold sandwich. The waiter said the owner would not allow it. Very odd. Finally we decided to order some breakfast instead of killing time to wait for 11am. We were hungry and it would be at least 1 hour to the next possible food place. I ordered french toast and wanted real maple syrup…for a bigger tip, the waiter brought out his own personal bottle of real maple syrup for me to use. The meal was followed by pie.

The Alaskan Highway.


I pulled over at this rest stop to see if my Dad wanted a short break. We concluded no, but he noticed this old building here and noted it was quite familiar, from when he drove this highway as a child in the 50's. It was one of the few landmarks which stuck out in his childhood memories.


The Alaskain Highway is a pretty long and fast rode, it begins to drone on and can be tiring on any motorcycle. But then some rain came to spice up the afternoon. Suiting up during the initial drops, smile and all.


This rain was actually short lived and not a big deal at all.

Our goal was to roll into Whitehorse and hit up the Honda dealer immediately. My Dad wanted to try and rescue his chain guide as well as find a replacement battery. His bike was having a hard time with cold starts in the morning, and required a lot of cranking. That, combined with a 3 year old battery, he figured it would be cheap insurance to replace it now just in case it decided to crap out on the haul road. We rolled up to the Honda dealer steps at 5:40pm. They closed at 5:30pm. One employee was just walking out the door while another was doing last steps inside. Neither was interested in hearing our story or what we needed. "Sorry, come back tomorrow, we open at 8:30am." It was a little disappointing to see that they would not go out of their way to help out some travelers, but on the flip side they probably also see this a lot. Realistically it would not have been too bad to wait until they opened in the morning, we just wanted to get an early start. So we opted to delay this parts hunt until Fairbanks, where we had a little maintenance time scheduled.

The employee leaving did offer to guide us to a motel he recommended, the Stratford Motel. It was priced fair for the area, clean, and had a mini fridge. Perfect.

While roaming around for dinner, gas, and snacks, I did notice there are quite a handful of Asians in Whitehorse. My guess is they must direct immigrants new to the country to certain areas. That, or there is just a need for work and this is how the people flow. While filling up with gas, an individual complemented me on my F800GS and mentioned that I was the second one in town now, his being the first. His name was Sebastian, and he actually works for Mototrek (http://www.mototrek.ca), a motorcycle ADV guide service for the area. He was rather friendly and provided some info to us.

Back at the hotel, the lady in the room next to us seemed like she was high and was easily amused by my Dad working on his motorcycle. Quite an odd one. We also ran into our fellow travel buddy, Josh (aka "Tex"), who we would continue to see everyday until we finished the Dalton. He said the previous night that he was not able to find any hotels in Northern BC (where we had the house boat cabin) and was forced to ride long into the evening to Watson Lake for a room. He was traveling without camping gear and had fewer options.

Some fellow travelers parked outside.


GPS tracks for the day.
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:32 PM   #22
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:39 PM   #23
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:18 PM   #24
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Awesome pic of you and your father. Love the write up, every bit as good as Noah's report.

I rode from Idaho to Inuvik last summer, honoring and thinking about the man who taught me the art of riding and appreciating motorcycles..miss him. The Cassiar and the Top of the World and of course the Dempster are unforgettable.
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:10 AM   #25
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Looking forward to the rest of the ride.
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:27 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by tvbh40a View Post
Awesome pic of you and your father. Love the write up, every bit as good as Noah's report.

I rode from Idaho to Inuvik last summer, honoring and thinking about the man who taught me the art of riding and appreciating motorcycles..miss him. The Cassiar and the Top of the World and of course the Dempster are unforgettable.
Thanks! Wish you could have done your ride with your father too.

In a few years, the Dempster will take you all the way to the Arctic Ocean!
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:28 PM   #27
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Day 8, July 4, 390 miles, Whitehorse YT to Tok AK

Our first mission this morning was to find some air for my Dad's tires. We failed, including below, because every place had a large chuck that would not fit into a motorcycles wheels.


The road presented more great views.


We stopped for a break here, and ran into Josh. He had caught up to us, and took off ahead of us again.


We eventually found some air at Haines Junction for my Dad's tire.


Kluane Lake (where Destruction Bay sits on) provided some nice views. Here we are at the south end of the lake.


We stopped here to snap a few photos and enjoy the view. An older German couple came up to us, who spoke very little english. She did say "BMW, goes long way, no problem!" and smiled. They love their country!




We had lunch in Destruction Bay and topped off on gas as well. Our timing was good, we came in just as one tour bus was leaving and finished our meal just as another tour bus was pulling in. Lots of tour buses bringing people up the Alaskan Highway.

There was a short dirt section after lunch. They were in the process of grading it, so some parts where smooth, but there was also trails of soft dirt about 6-8" high that the dump trucks were laying out in front of the graders. This made changing lanes very difficult at times, and you had to change lanes to pass construction equipment.


This guy did not fair so well. He was heading the opposite direction, and flew completely off the road into this ditch. From what we heard and pieced together, he must have been doing 60-80 on the pavement, which was perhaps 1/8 to 1/4 mile before the dirt started, and was probably sleepy. Then he probably got squirrely on the loose road surface. This would explain why he went off the road where he did (a big flat straight section), ejected so much stuff, but was right here walking around with no injuries just 10-20 minutes after the accident. His riding partner went on to find help. Notice the car rear tire. That is also his camper trailer that is upside down.


I will admit on many sections of this road, I would become tired very easily, due to all the high speed riding.

We stopped after another hour or so to take a break from the post lunch food coma. Here is my Dad exploring an old dock.


The hillside was very green. I'm pretty sure I saw a bald eagle on one of those trees.


At another snack stop up the road, we ran across a rider on a Harley from Vancouver Island, who had just come back from Inuvik via the Dempster Highway. He said road conditions were good, and also mentioned they are planning on building out a new section of road to continue the Dempster from Inuvik all the way to the Arctic Ocean by 2016.

We hit some construction and traffic just before the border.


Some parts were a bit dusty.


Finally we made it to the Alaska boarder!


Right after we took that shot, a tour bus pulled up…




It was just another few minutes ride to customs. The entry was pretty easy and the border agent a little more laid back then usual. One thing he did check was the apples I was carrying. They will not let you bring Canadian apples into Alaska, as Canada allows imported apples from China and the US will not allow those. So he checked the country of origin sticker on my apple, which did say USA. Safe!


The next section of Alaskan Highway in Alaska was much smoother!


We rode into Tok, which would be our stay for the night. Some forest fires were not too far way…here you can see the wall of smoke between the trees and the clouds in the back. The wind was blowing just right to keep the air pretty clean in Tok at that moment.


Once again we ran into Josh, as he happened to be staying at the same hotel.

GPS tracks for the day.
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:46 PM   #28
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OK, I have been slacking off (or rather too occupied with work and other items). Here is another round of updates.
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:47 PM   #29
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Day 9, July 5, 231 miles, Tok AK to Fairbanks AK

The morning first appeared very overcast, but turned out to be the thick smoke from nearby forest fires. There were even some bits of ash on the motorcycles.


A side road we pasted while heading west out of Tok.


This gives you a good idea on how thick the smoke was.


The layer of smoke between the valley floor and the tops of the mountains.




Another at speed shot of my Dad.


Self portrait.




Sometime in the morning we saw a few female moose.

I found my road!


We stopped for gas in Delta Junction, where I managed to anger a couple in a smaller RV. There are 4 pumps, and I pull into the pump below such that I am facing the RV head on. My Dad is on the other side of the pump. I could see the driver throw his hands in the air since I had blocked him in. Except all he had to do was back up and there was no one behind him. I'm not sure why he got so excited since I couldn't even pull up behind him. Oh well.

We talked with a AT&T contractor who had done work on the pipeline and mentioned there is some service out there for wireless communications of the valves/telemetry, so there is a small chance we could see signal in certain areas.

We rolled into Fairbanks area by lunch, and after a quick meal at McDonalds we headed to the BMW dealer in Fairbanks. They did have the battery my Dad needed for his XR so he purchased it and installed it in the parking lot. While this was going on, we met a few riders passing through. One was a guy on a late 70's airhead, who had been riding around for over a year, working odd jobs here and there. Another was a Brit on a Wee Strom with FL plates who bought the bike here and had been riding around for over a year as well.

Next we went to the Clay Street cemetery in Fairbanks, to find the gravestone of the individual that homesteaded the property that my grandparents eventually purchased and lived on in the 1940's…his name is John Grenac. The property/cabin is just north of Fairbanks in College. After arriving at the cemetery we set out to look for the stone, splitting the cemetery in half. It was then that the care taker happened to be driving by and said he would meet us at his care taker shed in 15 minutes. Not too soon after that we happened to find the stone by luck. Here it is:


The care taker had a lot of interesting info to share. Here is a plot of the areas that different people were buried.


Many floods had come through, 3-6 feet deep, so some stones are turned or missing. More info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_Street_Cemetery

The cemetery gates. It happened to rain during our hunt…a thunderstorm rolled through but was gone in under an hour.


Overall, a pretty non eventful day other then the exploring we did at the cemetery. It was an easy half day of riding. We stayed the night at the bed and breakfast of the family that has since purchased the land/cabin that my grandparents lived on. They are the second family to own the property since our family sold it in the 50's, and the husband grew up on the land and currently rents it out. After my family bought the land they built a few round of cabins, one of which stands today.

GPS Tracks:
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:47 PM   #30
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Day 10, July 6, 245 miles, Fairbanks AK to Cold Foot Camp AK

The idea around Fairbanks was to get up here a half day early, so we would have the afternoon to relax and prepare for the Dalton Highway. We also wanted a full day to explore Fairbanks and explore some stuff for family history, so we figured if the weather window was good when we arrived, we would go right away to Deadhorse. Then after we got back to Fairbanks we could rest and explore. If the window looked bad, we could explore Fairbanks first while the Dalton cleared up. Lucky for us, we had a great window of weather to start out with, so today was the day to head up the Dalton!

Here is the B&B:


And the RV we stayed in. Our arrival was last minute and they already had a full house of guests from Poland, but we were just fine with the RV accommodations.


We had a good breakfast at the B&B, pancakes with rhubarb syrup/jam. For those who don't know Alaskans, those who are born here have a certain love for rhubarb. It explains my Dad's love of rhubarb pie, since he was born in Fairbanks.

There is a gas station to the north of Fairbanks. Specifically, it is on Hwy 2, 5 miles north of the intersection of Hwy 2 and Hwy 6. This is the last gas until you get to the Yukon River, which is another 119 miles north.


It was another cool and smokey start, due to more forest fires. This particular forest fire was started by the army, we were told. The national forest warned the army that they should not be doing live fire exercises in this weather. They ignored the advice, did some live fire exercises, and the result is a big smokey fire on the outskirts of Fairbanks. As you can also see, this is a nice great section of twisty asphalt road to enjoy before hitting the Dalton.


The start of the Dalton Highway, mile 0!!! We ran into a Korean who had broken english and a rental car. We talked to him for a bit about the road and gas conditions, mostly telling him what to expect. He then continued north…






So far the Dalton was a mix of smooth fast dirt and some paved sections. Around lunch time we cross the Yukon River.


There are many cameras on the bridge, along with signs that say "no stopping". We were told if you stop, someone gets alerted rather quickly and you will be told to leave. On the right side of this bridge is where the pipeline crosses the river too.


Immediately after crossing, we went to the pipeline visitor center where they had lots of displays and info. As an engineer, I find this info fascinating.


One of the few places you can legally get a photo beneath the pipeline.


An up close view at the pipe supports. The pipe floats freely on the pipe stands. The pipe stands use aluminum radiators to ensure that the heat from the warm oil/pipeline does not make its way down the pipe stand into the permafrost, which can cause the pipe stands to sink or lean.


The gas pumps at the Yukon River restaurant. Gas is not cheap, but it's here and it's 87. They take credit card.


Here is Yukon River Camp, just to the north side of the Yukon River. Notice the bear going in the window to the left of the door.


The lunch was surprisingly good! I had a salmon burger with curry soup. Normally I would say it's pretty good, but given the remote area and usual lack of choices/quality, I was quite happy with the food.

Continuing on north after lunch. Lots of looooong hills and deep valleys here. Forgive me while I bump most of these photos up from 800px wide to 1024px, but they are just too beautiful.


Skimming the road.




Here you can see the Alaskan Pipeline following the road.


I had fallen slightly behind my Dad for a few photos, and barely caught up to him when I saw the turnoff for the Arctic Circle sign. I pulled over figuring he had seen it, and went to the sign which is hidden from the main road. After 10 minutes and no sign of him, I rode back out to the road just to see him riding south again and missing it again. Good thing I saw him at that time, otherwise I'm not sure how far south he would have kept riding. Just a good reminder that it is too easy to lose your riding partner if you venture off the main road without a visual.

After patiently waiting for a van load of Chinese tourists to finish their photos, we had ours taken.


At the sign we met an Aussie named Martin who was riding a black R1200GS. He is former Aussie military and works contract jobs as a load master/paramedic out in Africa, the Middle East, and other interesting areas. In between jobs, he goes riding for months at a time. he bought this bike in the UK and has since shipped it to the US for a tour of North America. He said his next plans are to ship it to Australia, then Asia as he slowly rides around the world between jobs. I believe he was up to 46km. since he started this project ride in 2010.

Even though we rode slower, Martin seemed happy to join us for the final 1-2 hours to Cold Foot Camp. Not many photos were taken on this stretch.

We arrived at Cold Foot and felt the mosquitos immediately, though not as bad as we would learn the next day. We filled the tanks up here…again, 87 is your only choice. Well, they had diesel too, but not many people can get their hands on those diesel KLR's that the military uses.

Cold Foot is a pretty drab looking place, as it was built to house the pipe line workers when the pipeline was first constructed. Here are a few shots of our room, which is not cheap at all!!! The bathroom door is on the right side near the riding gear, and was added in after the pipeline construction was completed.




A few other riders here. From left to right….a Huntington Beach rider on a rental F650GS, Martin the Aussie, my bike, and my dad's XR.


On the right we have Josh's (Tex) bike again, as we caught up to him again. The XT660 Tenere belonged to a Brit by the name of Ollie, who was on a charity ride. He started about a year ago at the tip of South America, and was nearing the end of his ride north to the Arctic Ocean. Once he finished the ride, he said he was planning on selling the bike for charity in Anchorage and then flying back home to Britain.


The bike scene in front of the block of hotel rooms.


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