Chris gets up first this morning and opens the tent door to a surprise. Look who greets him eye to eye right outside the tent.
This guys hangs around much of the morning.
ADV Doolitle at work. His connection to animals is cool.
We head north and land in Klondike I believe, at a restaurant and gas station at the beginning of the Dempster. It is around 1 or so, and we stop to eat before heading up to Dawson. Inside we meet Paul from MN, who was staying in Dawson the past couple of nights. Very wet, however the weather looks good for the next few days, and he is heading up the Demptster now. So who are we to doubt a stranger about the weather. He can't be any worse than the weatherman. Or can he? While fueling a truck pulls in, just off the Dempster. The driver says it starts good but turns to mud after 30 miles. We head out. This is cool!
We are not sure if we will make eagle or not. We will just ride til we don't want to any more. It is 370 k to Eagle. We will see. Whatever/Whenever back in the mix.
Below are a few pics along the way. The dempster is quite an interesting road. When it is dry, it is a 60 mph road. When it gets wet in the flats, it drops to 40. When they add gravel it drops lower. When they add gravel and it is raining one may be paddling or stopping.
We roll at 60 mph and slow to 40 in the wet sections. Just after the first picture above, Chris chirps on the radio that he has a strange sound coming from his bike. What kind of sound I ask as I stop and look in my mirrors. He is off the bike, and looking at the real wheel. He pulls off his helmet. SH$T.
I turn around. I have checked my bags for tight bolts the last few days but not his. The bolt from the cross member on the rear that supports the Caribou bags has rattled out. The brace has fallen on one side and is bouncing up and down on the rear wheel. Very lucky it had not yet been twisted up or worse yet been driven down into the wheel itself.
Here is where the caribou luggage loses it for me. The brace is made of two square bars. The bolt goes through one, and threads INTO the other. So unless you have the SAME bolt, you can not even easily strap it together. Chris has the idea to remove/swap another bolt from another area that is more easily field reparable. Good idea. We are down for about an hour or so but we get it tight. Our bad for not checking it, their bad for having a system that is really crappy to fix in the field.
A bit later the bolt holding my clutch and mirror assembly rattles nearly off. Stop and tighten. Damn this road is shaking everything lose. There is a tip here.
Today is Moose Day in the Yukon.
Here is another shot. The views are grand; a true visual feast this road is. Here you can see the beauty, and also the road itself. Note how hard, flat and smooth it is. Passing showers have kept it damp so no dust
and we have seemed to miss the showers. But you can imagine how glass smooth becomes damn slippery when wet.
We make it to eagle. Interesting place, really nothing more than a working stop midway between Dawson and Inuvik. A few rooms, restaurant, gas, a shop and heli pds. A campsite off to the side. Several helicopters around, apparently for geologist and mining operations.
It is around 9 and as we go inside to check it out, we meet Paul the weatherman again. He has been there for about an hour. He has clutch problems and can not engage the clutch. He can shift while moving but he can't start from a stop without a push.
We have dinner together. Soup and sandwiches is all they have this late. BUT we have moose steaks and they let us use the BBQ. Here are the steaks cooking at around 10-10:30 at night. Told you it was moose day!
We over cook them as we drink beer. Oh well, good flavor and a nice treat from Gramma to us back in Pelli. We chat with Paul, he is not sure if he should go to Inuvik or head back to Dawson. I say, hell you only have to stop twice for ferries, why not head north. He is not sure, and the beer may have skewed my logic.
Here is one of the Heli's at around 1:30 am on the way back to camp.
Talk with some folks at the campsite. Apparently it rained like hell at the head end of the Dempster both this morning and later around 5 pm. Our 2:30 departure turned out to be damn lucky. But that is the nature of things up here I believe. Another inmate told me that regarding the Dempster, "look to the sky then decide if you want to ride or not" How true that is.
Here is our campsite for the night. Nestled in the trees. This pic was taken at 12:02 in the morning. Even the lions aren't tired.
What a road, what a ride.