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Old 01-06-2014, 09:40 PM   #76
isaac004 OP
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Day 19, July 15, 375 miles, Stewart BC to Vanderhoof BC

I woke again slightly feverish and sore, but was still overall OK and rolling strong.


Early on we saw another bear crossing the road as we rode the twisties out of Stewart back to the Highway 37/37A junction.

The morning started out cool in the 40ís, but ended up in the 70ís rather soon.


The Chicken Alaska mascot leads the way.


We had lunch in McDonalds in Smithers. Most McDís up here have wifi, a great way to keep in touch with the world at home if you do not have a Canadian phone plan.

After lunch my bum was becoming super sore. The seat, even with the sheepskin, was really taking itís toll on me.

We were going to push onto Prince George but were feeling pretty beat by the time we got to Vanderhoof. These roads arenít hard riding at all, mostly fast with sweeping fast turns, but it sure does wear you out quickly over the course of a day.

In addition to the fatigue, I had a lump in my throat and was not feeling to great again. Food did not taste too great, everything tasted way too sweet, so dinner for me was light. I was glad we stopped when we did, as the bit of extra rest was needed.

No more photos, today was a short photo day, not too much new to see.

GPS tracks.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:49 PM   #77
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Day 20, July 16, 338 miles, Vanderhoof BC to Cache Creek BC

I woke up feeling much better then the day before, the rest definitely helped. I now only had a minor sore throat. This was also one of the first mornings in a long time that we could start the day without the heated jacket.


We saw lots of traffic throughout the morning, including some cops that went blazing past up with sirens on. Lunch was a routine stop at Subway.

After lunch we came upon a large car accident that had the multi lane highway at a crawl. Quick thinking and the Zumo confirmed we could jump on small streets just to our right, beyond the trees, and skirt around the hold up rather quickly.

A cager was tail gatting my Dad for awhile then flew past us. To our satisfaction, we later saw him pulled over by the Mounties!

I also saw a bald eagle flying overhead out of the corner of my eye.

We stopped in Cache Creek due to the hot temperatures, now back to almost 100 deg F. Plus it was close enough to the border that we would have a short ride to my Auntís the next day near Seattle.

Dinner was had at a local pizza joint that was ROASTING inside. Not sure why they did not bother to open some doors and windows, as even with the hot weather outside it was cooler then inside.

Yet another day with few photos!

GPS Tracks.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:07 PM   #78
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Day 21, July 17, 304 miles, Cache Creek BC to Poulsbo WA

Despite going to bed still feeling a little sick with a lump in my throat, I awoke this morning feeling just fine!

We departed to sunny skies.


But very quickly hit some rainÖhere we are riding into the start of a brief rain shower.


Then it turned into a more steady rain shower. I opted to not put in a rain jacket and just trust my Rallye 3 jacket with liners. The liners work OK, but I did find in heavy rain the seams in the arms leak and my arms did get a little wet.




By the time we hit the border the rain had cleared up and the sun was back. Crossing into the border was very quick, he only asked us what we bought and that was the only question. I saw a R1200GS parked behind the US Customs building, and guessed maybe the agent we had was that rider.

We made it with 5 minutes to spare for the ferry at Whidbey Island, which would take us across the Puget Sound to Port Townsend. A lot of riders where on this ferry, a few for the big BMW MOA rally in Salem OR.


Under the watchful eye of the Chicken.


While on the ferry the seas where a tad rough and you could see the bikes going up and down in their suspension travel. I donít think any bikes would have tipped, but 1 or 2 sure did look close to tipping over on their side stands.

Docking at Port Townsend.


We then made it back to my Auntís in Poulsbo WA in early afternoon and was greater by Zoro the Cat.


My Auntís backyard is quite beautiful as it sits on the Hood Canal with the mountains of Olympic National Park as her view. I was able to spot a bald eagle flying over the water.

Here is an update on tire wear.

XR650L, front MFEO, about 6k miles


XR650L rear MFEO, about 6k miles
[


F800GS, front TKC80, about 6k miles


F800GS, rear Heidenau K60 Scout, about 7k miles


And that is it for my Dad and I. He pulled his front and rear tires off and put them in my Auntís car, to take down to a shop the next day for changing. if memory serves me correct, he had a rear wheel bearing that was starting to go bad and needed that replaced too. Still a few days left to Los Angeles!

GPS Tracks:
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:37 AM   #79
TassieMark
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Great RR

Hi Isaac,
thanks for posting a such complete RR. Great pics of the scenery and road conditions, and informative text. Good reference material for all future adventurers, and I'm sure it will revive fond memories of past travellers of BC, Yukon and Alaska. Who knows, perhaps sometime in the future you will repeat this trip with your kids to build the family tradition you have created with your father.
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:12 PM   #80
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Day 22, July 18, 536 miles, Poulsbo WA to Redwood National Park CA

In the morning I said my goodbyes to my Aunt and Uncle, and Dad as well. He would remain for another day or so to rest and perform bike maintenance, but I had to get back to LA in 3 days to get ready for work again.

It was a early morning roll out at 7am, since I would be riding through Seattle morning traffic as well.

I jumped in the HOV lane for the Tacoma Narrows bridge, hoping it might be a free toll, but instead they just snapped a photo of my plate and sent me the bill 3 weeks later. Still, easier then fiddling around with cash at a toll booth.

As I rode the boring drone of I-5 from Tacoma down to southern Oregon, I kept seeing A TON of BMWís heading north once I passed Salem. A lot of riders were pouring into town for the BMW MOA rally, and the cops knew it too because they were all over I-5 as well.

I stopped for lunch at Jimmy Johns in Springfield OR, as I always crave JJís having had them all the time at Purdue. I ate one half and kept the other half in my tank bag to eat down the road.

It was getting very warm in the afternoon and I had to stop for a break at an I-5 rest area, where I had the other half of the JJís. At that rest stop I met fellow inmate Bill310 who was riding on a Super Tenere. He was heading down to SF in one long day push on his way to MotoGP at Laguna Seca.

Later on I came across a huge slowdown on I-5 for an accident. We were crawling at walking speeds for 20 minutes, not fun when the temp is in the 90ís F and itís in that speed just between stopped and clutching for first.

In retrospect, that wasnít too bad. The NB lane of I-5 had a total freeway shutdown just 35 miles north of Grants Pass!

I turned off at US-199, where it was still roasting. A quick stop at the McDís provided relief and another opportunity to fill my CamelBak full of ice.

As I worked my way down US-199 towards the coast, it cooled down very nicely. The Redwoods are always so pleasant.


I fueled up in Crescent City and discovered my low beam headlight was out. No worries there, I had my ADVMonster LEDís running on low, so I was still just as visible and had plenty of light if I was to be stuck out at night.

I ended up camping at an open site in the Redwood National Park, but perhaps I should have just stuck with a motel! The campground cost was $35!!!! So much for being a cheap way to travel and experience the outdoors. I rode by motels that had rooms for $40-50 and should have stuck with that. At least these sites were surrounded by trees and shrubs so you didnít have to see all the people around you. I still think camping should either be dirt cheap, or seclude and remote. Paying a lot of money to be surrounded by people defeats the whole purpose. OK, enough ranting on that.


The layout wasnít too bad.


I had some interesting neighbors in my camp site.




I went to sleep rather early, probably by 9, since I needed rest for an early start and a long day coming up.

GPS Tracks.
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:44 PM   #81
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Day 23, July 19, 441 miles, Redwood National Park CA to Burlingame CA

I woke up at 5:30am to get a good jump on the day. It was a fast burn down 101, very heavy fog with cool temps but traffic was rather low. Only a few peaks of hills did it get thick enough to slow down some.

While riding by Fortuna, I thought I would be getting into SF too early. I had plans to stay at my friends place just south of SF, in Burlingame, and they would have to come home from work first. I made a last minute call (hell, I had to turn around and backtrack north on 101 a few miles) to ride out on Mattole Rd out to part of the Lost Coast.

Out on Mattole Road, it was bumpy and tight. I love these goat roads, and have ridden this one before on a Wee Strom. Here I am riding south, still dropping elevation down to the coast.


On the Pacific Coast. There are blackish sand beaches here. Very windy and nippy on this day.


Chicken approves.


I ran it pretty low on gas as I came back to 101, but made it to the gas station in Garberville without issue. Luckily if I had run out, I had 175 gallons of gas in my Rotopax, but did not want to transfer it over if I didnít have to. At the gas station I ran into a father/son duo who were doing the very nice road loop of 1, 101, 36, 3, 299, etc. For those who have ridden in the area, they know it is some of the best asphalt to ride out in the west. My Dad and I actually rode this loop in 2012 on a week long tarmac ride.

I skipped lunch, wanting to get onto 1. One of my most favorite sections of road ever is the section of CA-1 as it runs from Leggett/101 down to the coast. It is around 20 miles of some of the most fun turns linked together through the woods and coastal mountains. I did get stuck behind two slow HDís for a while. One was white knuckling it and actually leaning their bike INTO the curve while trying to keep their body vertical. Not good, especially on that thing. I felt bad for following so close, but they were not letting me get a good passing position while we were in the tight stuff. Finally I got around and could ride at my own speed. A quick blue KTM 990 with hard bags caught up to me and passed me and I followed him for a bit.

Normally I would be starving for good, but I got into the grove on 1. The cool coastal temps were perfect, the traffic was low, I had very few cars to pass, so I kept riding and riding and riding. Itís not often to get such a great run on the coast for this long, so I had to take advantage of it.

Perfection.


I finally did stop for lunch at an excellent little restaurant in Elk, CA, called Queenieís Roadhouse Cafe. Another place I stopped at with my Dad in 2012, they have great food. By the time I stopped around 2 I was starving but it was worth the wait, both to get to the food here and to have had such a good traffic free run on the 1.

I continued down the 1, and saw a good handful of cops out as things became more populated.


One interesting thing I noted is my right heel started becoming slightly numb. On this days ride, my heal was often resting on the peg so I could easily get to the rear brake without having to move my foot all the time. Keeping my heal on the peg would make it worse. This ended up bothering me for a few days, but went away after being home for a few days of no riding.

I ended up breaking away from the coast at Bodega, heading towards the 101 at Petaluma, as I was starting to run short on time.

In my little notepad of trip notes, it says I almost ran over and killed 2 rabbits, but I cannot remember where or exactly what happened.

It was extremely windy that day on the Golden Gate, not a good day for lane splitting and traffic was tight/slow coming up to the GG.

I arrived at my friends place in Burlingame, and immediately tried to start indoctrinating their new baby girl. I realized that their baby girl would have a lot to learn on her own, as her father asked me where the brake and clutch was on my bike.


GPS Tracks.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:08 PM   #82
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Day 24, July 20, 429 miles, Burlingame CA to Los Angeles CA

The last day. I was tempted to stay for a rest day with my friends here, but after being gone for so long I knew I would want a full rest day the next day before going back to work. Another distraction was friends at Laguna Seca for MotoGP who had an extra ticket.

I saw a good handful of ridings heading to Laguna Seca. A gas stop was made in Big Sur, at a gas station that makes AWESOME burritos in the back, but sadly it was too early. Too early for them to serveÖI think it is never too early for a burrito.

Despite more traffic today then the previous day, I was able to find a few good holes between the cars to ride the 1 at a spirited pace.

About an hour south of Laguna Seca I saw a distinctive red XR650L with an HID bulb and a white helmet. I thought, this must be my friend/fellow inmate michael.brat. I later talked to him and discovered it was him, with his girlfriend on back, as they were riding up to the GP as well!

One of the only shots I took riding that day.


I finally pulled back into LA, home at least. What a ride. I had a great time on the road with my Dad, and the ride to Alaska was epic indeed.

GPS tracks.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:09 PM   #83
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THE END

The following day, I did a thorough washing of the bike to clear the Dalton mud. It almost looks like new again!





Here are the overall GPS tracks from the entire trip.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:44 PM   #84
stickman1432
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Nice write-up Isaac. It is always great to clean up the bike after a long ride like that, especially with the crap from the Dalton or Dempster Highway. You need to take chisel to get it off the header pipes.

Thanks for taking the time.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:48 PM   #85
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great write up and pictures, thanks for taking the time and effort, great to see you and your dad had a great trip.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:00 PM   #86
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Liked it Isaac. Great pics. I've been watching it here instead of the other site.

A few questions maybe would help me and others contemplating this type of trip as well....

1. Any regrets, do-overs, or 'wished we'd done different' things?
2. Bike choice? How did they work out? Would you choose differently again? Would you fit them out differently?
3. Equipment - what were you missing? What did you bring that you didn't need?
4. Route changes - would you go a different way?
5. Season - did you pick the right time to go?
6. What were the main things you really liked, and those you didn't so much?

And anything else you think might be of benefit.
Congrats on a fine trek!
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:32 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by browneye View Post
Liked it Isaac. Great pics. I've been watching it here instead of the other site.

A few questions maybe would help me and others contemplating this type of trip as well....

1. Any regrets, do-overs, or 'wished we'd done different' things?
2. Bike choice? How did they work out? Would you choose differently again? Would you fit them out differently?
3. Equipment - what were you missing? What did you bring that you didn't need?
4. Route changes - would you go a different way?
5. Season - did you pick the right time to go?
6. What were the main things you really liked, and those you didn't so much?

And anything else you think might be of benefit.
Congrats on a fine trek!
1. No regrets on this trip. I'm not so sure if I would repeat this trip on the same schedule, as it was a lot of miles to ride with only a handful of days of really stunning scenery. This trip was done for 2 reasons: to lay the claim to having ridden to the end of the Dalton Highway, and to visit the old homestead that my Dad was born on. If I was to do this trip again, I would either ensure I had more time to do more exploring of other dirt roads, or would not spend so much time getting up to the Dalton. If I had more time, I would ride a smaller bike (DR650 or even a WR250R) for more route options. I stated earlier that the big CDT loop we did took almost just as long (3 weeks), was MUCH more dirt riding, but also was less taxing on our bodies and far less tiring, and I would say more enjoyable day to day since we did not have to consume large miles/distances. Overall I was very happy to have done this trip, but I would not repeat this exact route. I WOULD repeat the CDT route we did in 2010, though realistically I would focus on other nearby routes for future rides (Forever West, COBDR, etc). There is supposed to be a lot of nice dirt stuff in YT (Canoli for example) and BC (lots of stuff off the Cassiar, an inmate here on ADV has a big thread about Cassiar side trips). It all depends what you want to do. If you want to lay claim to jumping in the Arctic, then you will do what you need to do to ride to the end of the Dalton or Dempster. We chose Dalton mostly because we had plans for Fairbanks, but if not that then the Dempster would have been a great choice. If you just want to see some great terrain in northern CA and Alaska and have a time limit, then you may not want to ride the Dalton. Or you could truck/ship up north, and then still have time to ride the Dalton.

2. Bike choice was great for this trip, since it was easy dirt and long distances. I could have done it on the DR650 too, which would have been nicer in ways since all the fuel I would need for the long stretches would be in my 5 gal IMS tank, and not in a Rotopax attached to the back. As stated above, with more time even the WR250R would have been great since you woudn't be rushed into running at high speeds all the time. Even so, we usually never went more then 65-70 on the highways. I would only ride at 80mph on the main highways between LA and Seattle when I was not with my Dad. My Dad was very happy with his XR650L, it served the need well and he already had it all set up. I did suggest he look for a used GS to increase comfort, but by the time he found one, set it up for the trip with accessories, examined it with a fine tooth come for issues/etc, it would not be worth it.

3. Aside from the lightly used camping gear, everything else was fine. I did bring some extra spares/tools, and while I didn't need them it was good to have. Later on I will post my packing list. We did have camping gear in case we were stuck, but with proper planning it was not really needed, as we stayed in motels every night north of Seattle. Therefore, I could have not brought the rear Ortlieb dry bag, and relied on my 2 side panniers (36L each Caribou Cases). Usually a good pack-able insulated down jacket (Patagonia) along with a tarp/ground cloth and a space blanket will get you through an emergency night outdoors. I always carry a cheap tent footprint now as a spare shelter or a tire changing/bike working surface.

4. We were happy with our route given the time. Some said we should not have ridden the Cassiar twice and instead should have ridden on the Alaskan Highway through NE BC/SE YT on one of the legs...I did hear one part is supposed to be really nice (Stone Mountain Provincial Park?), but other then that it seemed like too wide open of a highway, and the Cassiar is truly beautiful and remote (and will soon be built out and have permanent mining truck traffic).

5. Timing was good, July is really the best time. June can be too cold in some mountains, and August will get you caught up in too many storms in other mountain ranges on the way up or down.

6. See #1

Hope this helps, let me know if you have other questions.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:33 PM   #88
Bob
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Thanks, great report!
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:45 PM   #89
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Packing list is described below. One thing I have found is that new wool fibers (especially from Patagonia) while pricey are THE GREATEST THING EVER. They are comfy and do not pick up odors. The more common polyesters pick up odors very quickly. Recently in Baja I wore the same pair of wool socks for 5 days straight as an experiment. While they did start to smell when wet with sweat after a long day in the boots, after they dried overnight they did not smell at all until the 5th day. This means you can get 3 days per pair of socks with no smell, and have plenty of time to wash them in your laundry rotation. I also loved my Patagonia long sleeve wool layer, I wore that a lot during the trip and it never smelled, only washed it once on the trip....that one lasted longer because there was not much upper body sweat/moisture going on.

Left Pannier, 36L
Tool Bag #1 (black)
Spare Tubes (21"&17")
WD40/Chain Lube & Rag
Head Lamp
Leatherman
Gloves, secondary (BMW Pro Summer Goretex for rain/cooler weather)
Phone charger (AC)
3 boxers (ExOfficio)
3 pair socks
2 long sleeve (wool, Mountain Hardware and Patagonia)
3 t-shirts (1 on body)
1 jeans
1 long thin hiking pants (Prana, worn most days in cool weather)
1 long johns
1 shorts (thin, Prana)
Beanie/hat (for cold night)
Heated Jacket & Controller
Camp Towel
mosquito head net
Laundry detergent/clothes line (just a few ounces)

(1 change of clothing on body)

Right Pannier, 36L
Tool Bag #2 (orange)
Air Compressor/Pump
Plexus/Rag
Pocket Rocket stove
Fuel Cansister
Cooking Pot, 1L Evernew titanium
Matches/Lighter
Spoon/fork/etc
Camp food (3)
Rain Jacket (Frogg Togg)
Ka-Bar Knife
Travel cable/lock
Toiletries/tooth brush
Spare AAA batteries (Li)
Toliet Paper/Shovel
PASSPORT
Shoes, for evenings off the bike
Tire Changing Mat (random tent footprint)
Emergency Whistle
Space Blanket
Bug repellent (Ultrathon)
Sun block

Duffel Bag (Ortlieb, Large size I think, volume is 50L)
Tent (Marmot Aura 2 person)
Exped Pad (mine)
Exped Pad (Dad)
Sleeping Bag
Pillow (compressible)
Water Filter/Pump
1 Patagonia Down Shell (packs very small, and very warm)

Tank Bag, Wunderlich
Cell Phone
Phone charger (DC)
Powerlet to cigarette adapter
Sunglasses
RX100 Camera
Gorilla Pod
iPod (charger, remote)
ER6i earphones
Spare keys/credit card
Chapstick

On Body
BMW Rallye 3 Jacket w/ Liner
Aerostich Roadcrafter Riding Pants
Gaerne G-Midland Boots
Alpinestars SMX1 (for warmer weather)
Ear Plugs (spares too)
Buff head/face protector
SPOT
Camelbak Bladder (slipped inside integrated jacket pocket)

isaac004 screwed with this post 01-08-2014 at 05:00 PM
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:47 PM   #90
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In addition, I carried the following spares (but did not need any of them):
Wheel bearings (2...carried these because I had one go bad 1 month before this trip)
Clutch lever
Clutch cable (mounted in parallel to the existing)
Hardcase mounting parts (Caribou Case brand)
Front Sprocket (mostly because I had it laying around and it was small)
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