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Old 07-08-2009, 06:28 AM   #1
motodavid2000 OP
MotoDavid
 
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Location: USA - Florida and Ohio
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NE Ohio to Alaska June & July 2009 - Ride Report

Trip Overview

I have wanted to do the trip to Alaska, via British Columbia, for several years as I had fished in the Inside Passage for salmon and halibut many times, but had never ridden a motorcycle through Alaska.

There have been so many great Ride Reports from this forum that I decided I would plan the trip and go in in 2009. I have a lot of motorcycles - mainly sportbikes and one distance touring bike, but none that would be suitable for a mix of on and off road that I wanted to do during my trip to Alaska.

I started trip planning in early 2008 and read the Mile Post to get a good idea of distances and how to structure the ride, as I would be making the ride solo. After reading many informative & entertaining Ride Reports and doing a few test rides on bikes, I decided that I would purchase a 2008 BMW GS/Adventure for the tour.

I have been riding offroad since I was 12 years old - I am now 53 years old, with some breaks in between. I previously owned MotoAdventures Costa Rica, with my business partner Larry, and have ridden offroad in the US, Costa Rica, Central America and Peru, South America, so I felt that I had the experience to do significant portions offroad without difficulty. My only concern offroad was a fairly heavy motorcycle (compared to pure dirtbikes) and the fact that I had knee surgery in 2008 and it was not back to normal yet.

I bought the BMW GS/Adventure and started to outfit it with accessories that would meet my needs. I bought the BMW hard panniers as part of the bike deal.

I added the following items:

1) Touratech skid pan
2) Headlight shield
3) Friction throttle / cruise control
4) Tool Tube
5) Gadget Guy GPS Mount for my Garmin Zumo
6) Locking GPS Mount
7) Sargent seat - 1 inch lower than stock (I have a 30 inch inseam and wanted to be able to dab as required)
8) Touratech Oil Cooler Shield
9) two - 1 litre fuel cans in case I saw the fuel situation as a problem, but the GS/Adventure has a range of almost 430 miles full, so this extra fuel capacity was only a contingency
10) Mounts for thermos bottle and water bottle
11) Tank Bag - for baseball cap, camera, sunglasses, Hero video helmetcam, maps, etc
12) Fork leg Bump Stops
13) Touratech toolbags on top of the panniers - for frequently used items such as tire pressure gauge, rags, faceshield cleaner, etc.
14) Small Ortlieb bags to hold tubes - just in case I cut a tire somewhere and could not repair the hole, at least I could get a tube in the tire and limp to somewhere.

I carried a small tool pack, tire repair / plugging kit, a Cycle Pump portable air compressor, a few spare parts and a set of brake pads.


Planned Route

The route I would take would be north through Michigan, west on Route 2 through the Upper Penninsula, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, and crossing into Canada.

I would then ride through Medicine Hat, Alberta to Calgary. I had pre-odered TKC80 knobbies to pickup in Calgary from a dealership and carry with me to Watson Lake, Yukon Territory.

I would then ride to Banff, the Icefields Parkway, Prince George and north to Hyder, Alaska via the Cassiar Highway. I planned to ride from Hyder, Alaska to Watson Lake, Yukon Territory where I would swap tires and run the knobbies from there.

I then planned to ride the Campbell Highway - almost 100% dirt and gravel to Ross River, overnight in Ross River and then finish the Campbell Highway near Carmacks and head north to Dawson City.

After dawson City, the route would then take me to the Top of the World Highway, to the US Border Crossing, through Chicken Alaska, and onto Tok, Alaska, then Fairbanks and ultimately to Deadhorse / Prudhoe bay.

I then planned to switch back to street tires and ride south - maybe to Valdez and other points unknown (maybe Denali) and finally to Haines, Alaska where I would take the Alaska Marine Highway ferry to Prince Rupert, British Columbia and head for Washington State to visit my niece and brother & sister in-law; then head east back to Ohio.

Total time was estimated at about 40 days and approximately 10,500 miles.

I had originally planned to depart May 21, 2009 but was significantly delayed due to business.

I had a business meeting in Novi, Michigan planned for the 26th of June, so I decided to pack my dress clothes, ride to Michigan, FedEx my dress clothes back home and continue north from there. Over one month late starting out......

So I finally had a start date !

Here is the bike packed and ready to go on June 25th.

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Old 07-08-2009, 07:06 AM   #2
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June 25 thru June 29, 2009

I rode to Novi, Michigan on the 25th as planned and got held up in construction on the toll road through Ohio. It was brutally hot - 99 degrees on the thermometer on the bike. Miserable.

I had the business meeting on the 26th and got a late start north as a result of lunch with the client. I got my business clothes sent back home via FedEx and headed for the Mackinac Bridge and the Upper Penninsula.

The super slab was a boring ride, but the Bridge was spectacular - I have been over it several times previously. I made it to Route 2 and headed west.

Route 2 is a nice route, with some nice scenery and, in sections, runs along the edge of Lake Michigan. The next several days were filled with heavy rain and wind, unfortunately. My riding gear kept me warm and dry though, so it was not too nasty.

The route took me through Duluth, on to Bemidji, Minnesota, Minot, North Dakota and Williston, ND. I worked to put miles behind me as I wanted to gain some extra time and have some flexibility once into British Columbia and Alaska.

North Dakota and Montana are huge states with lots of prairie and views that go on forever. I dodged prairie dogs running across the road most of the way through the two lanes of Montana. I took Route 232 north out of Havre, Montana to the border crossing, where it changes to Route 41 in Alberta.

The first 30 miles or so are straight, but then the closer I got to Medicine Hat, the road had a few twisty bits for making a better ride.

Here are a few photos from Montana....



This was an interesting stop with information about the Sleeping Buffalo and Cree Crossing.



Lots of wide open spaces here in Montana - no crowds or much traffic to worry about.



I stayed in Calgary, Alberta the evening of June 29th and planned to pickup my TKC80 knobbies from the dealer in the morning. Did I mention that the dealer in Calgary had left a voice mail for me while I was en route in North Dakota that there had been a "stocking error" and that they had the front TKC80, but were out of stock on the rear?? Just lovely.

They assured me that they would have a "suitable replacement" for the rear when I arrived.
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:00 AM   #3
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June 30th - Calgary to Banff

I arrived at the dealership early and the service department informed me that they were backed up and could not get me in for an oil change for a day or so. I had scheduled an oil change here but I was early, so this was my fault for not phoning ahead.

Their main BMW mechanic happened to be at the desk when I was conversing with the service writers, and he said that he could get me in for just a simple oil and filter change, so they were able to accomodate me - happy for that as Canada Day was the next day - July 1st - and everything is closed.

I left the bike for the oil change and went to the parts desk to see what we would do about tires. They had the front TKC80, but the rear they proposed was not acceptable - a 25% road, 75% offroad tire. Too aggressive a pattern for the amount of road work that I had in front of me after I left Watson Lake.

The parts guys were of little help and not too concerned that I had a real problem as I was riding north with no other tires available and a Canadian holiday approaching........ .....to the parts department.

I took the front and they refunded the cost of the rear.

I started with a Calgary phone book. No one had a TKC80 rear for the BMW Adventure. I then tried Dave Andersen at Anderwerks - Motorrad Spezialist.

Dave Andersen is kind of person that makes me proud to ride a motorcycle. This guy busted his hump to try and help me. He told me that the TKC80's were backordered for 6 weeks in Canada, but he would try to find me something - he asked for 20 minutes to search, he gave me his direct cellphone number.

I called him back in 20 minutes and was apologetic that he did not have anything yet, but he would keep searching. Apologetic ?? WTF...he was helping me out of a jam, and I was grateful.

In any case, he came up with a Karoo rear tire that would work. Dave Andersen is a life saver and a I cannot say enough about him.

When I arrived at the shop, he gave me 10% off retail - he knew I was in a jam, and he could have charged me more than retail and I would have taken it. If you are ever in Calgary, and need help with your BMW or any moto-related issue - call Dave Andersen at (403) 277-4269 at Anderwerks.

Here are a few shots of Anderwerks and my now tire-laden motorcycle.




I was late leaving Calgary due to the tire search and purchase.

On to Banff and the Canadian Rockies.........





Banff Springs Hotel...absolutely beautiful !!



I stayed at a little hotel called the Elkhorn Lodge - very nice place, clean and quiet.



Inside the room at Elkhorn Lodge - very comfortable. My mess !!



I had not had anything to eat all day, so by chance I see a pizza delivery guy and ask him to bring one back - Athena's Pizza. This may have been the best pizza I have ever had !!



On to the Icefields Parkway tomorrow after a good night's rest and a good pizza.....
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:31 AM   #4
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July 1st - Icefields Parkway

I had a good night's sleep and went outside to see the weather. Brrrr !! How cold ? 29 degrees !! I looked up to see a deer walking through the front lawn on a morning stroll. Totally unconcerned with me.

On the road to the Icefields Parkway - amazing scenery and not too much traffic. I was happy for my riding gear and the heated grips though. Stayed warm, but the breeze by my chin was a little nippy.

The bike dash was flashing an ice warning and it warmed up to a balmy, almost tropical 33 degrees on my ride up the Parkway.

Lots of photos - too many probably - sorry.




Banff Moose - started to approach the bike. Curious ?? Who knows. It finally tramped off into the forest and seemed irritated that I had interrupted its trek across the road.









The fantastic scenery never stopped in Banff Provincial Park. It truly was beyond beautiful.




I met Dick the Dentist from South Carolina on his Harley riding through the Park. We decided to ride together up to Jasper which was a far as he was going before turning around to go south. We had lunch in Jasper together. A very nice person and another motorcyclist enjoying the ride.



I ended the day at Prince George in a non-descrip motel.

On to Hyder, Alaska tomorrow up the Cassiar Highway.
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:43 PM   #5
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July 2nd - Prince George to Hyder, Alaska

The day started well and the weather continued to be clear and sunny - I had been very fortunate to this point. I rode 16 North towards Smithers, where the road would change to 37 - the Cassiar Highway, with the plan to overnight in either Hyder, AK or Stewart, BC.

Arriving in Smithers, BC after some road construction delays. Notice the snow-capped mountains in the background & the two-up BMW GS riders waiting in line for the pilot car just out of the frame. The scenery improved the further north I went.



Obviously, a lot of insects met their ultimate fate on the front of my motorcycle, but not sure how this happened in the reverse direction of the airflow behind the side panel for the fuel tank ??



Houston was a nice little town where I stopped at the A&W to grab a burger - a good meal. It seems that Houston, BC is a fly-fishing center. Here is the world's largest flyrod !



This is the junction of 37 and 37a into Hyder, AK and Stewart, BC.



When you go west on 37a, you will ride 40 miles or so through some great country on a winding road that is the bottom of a deep valley. On either side are snow capped mountains. Beautiful ride to Stewart, BC. Here are a few shots going through the valley to Stewart.



Bear Glacier en route to Stewart.



Along the road were avalanche warnings - 12 months of the year. There were also many gates along the road that could be closed to shutdown the road if heavy snow shut the road or the danger of avalanche was too high.

Here is what looks to me to be a recent snow slide that was perhaps 100 feet from the road.



You arrive first in Stewart, BC and then cross the border to the US into Hyder, AK on gravel. No US Border crossing, only coming back into Canada.

Here is the famous Sealaska Inn - bar & hotel with a couple of other bikes there. I went in and had a drink.



Sign mounted on the Sealaska Inn for Mile Zero of the Alaska - Yukon Highway.



I decided to ride back into Stewart to see what they had for accomodations for the night.

I found the Ripley Creek Inn - a very nice place that right on the bay. Mountains in the background and the atmosphere of the gold rush days.

This photo was taken at approximately 10:00pm at night - the daylight is getting much longer as I head north.



On to Watson Lake, Yukon Territory tomorrow for a tire change to knobbies in preparation to ride the Campbell Highway.
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:08 AM   #6
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July 3rd - Hyder, Alaska to Watson Lake, Yukon Territory

I got started early as I wanted to arrive in Watson Lake and get setup to swap tires on the morning of July 4th and get on the Campbell Highway to Ross River.

There are some spots of dirt and gravel along the Cassiar Highway going north, but I found that they were all easy sections totally rideable on street tires. The ride north on the Cassiar Highway was different than what I expected in that it was less rugged and nicely paved and winding. A very nice ride in my opinion.



Arrived at the Yukon Territory border.



Upon arriving in Watson Lake, I sought out a two-cabin location that had been suggested to me by a group of riders that I met in Stewart, BC. the name is Stampeder's. Here a couple of shots. I thought it was perfect for a rider and the proprietor was very nice and eager to please.



The cabins are fairly new and were immaculately clean and fresh. Here is a shot inside. Again, my mess....



Time to get some sleep and get my tires swapped in the morning.

__________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

Update 8/2/09: Unpacking and just found the biz card for Stampeder's if anyone is interested:

Stampeder's B&B Cabins
Box 231
Watson Lake, YT, Canada Y0A 1C0

e-mail: stampeders@northwestel.net
Telephone: (867) 536-2157
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:58 AM   #7
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Wonderful report! Shouldn't it be up in 'Ride Reports' so the whole world can enjoy it?

You're not coming farther into Southcentral AK? I hope you do make it to Valdez altho I think the roads in and out of Haines, AK and Prince Rupert BC are awesome too. Where are you now? Me and a couple buddies are planning on being in McCarthy this Saturday and Valdez on Sunday.

A few of us locals did a thread on riding our State Ferries and it's in my ride report sig line if you're interested for your ride between Haines and Rupert.

I'm impressed with the quiver of Ducs in your profile. If you made it to Anchorage I'd love to talk Duc and show you the area.

Have fun. Far north Ducatisti, Mark H.

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Old 07-09-2009, 01:02 AM   #8
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July 4th - Independence Day - Watson Lake to Ross River

I got up early, had coffee at the continental breakfast setup at Stampeders and asked for directions to Campground Services. Mandeep, the owner, had been suggested as the man to see to help change tires on a moto by inmate Alvingee43. His Ride Report was fantastic and I followed it as he made his trek to, through and from Alaska.

Getting the wheels off and ready to swap to knobbies. Mandeep is a very helpful person and is the guy to see to get this done quickly and efficiently.



It is not a big deal to get the wheels off the GS and I really like the ease with which this can be done. Not a big deal, but my tool setup worked out great and make quick work of the job.

The rear Karoo was a real monster to get on the rim. Mandeep and I worked together with two truck irons to get it on. The sidewall is pretty stiff and we had to work at it. Mandeep is happy this one is over & done with - finally the knobs are on !



Once I got the bike repacked and the street tires loaded, I was off to see the Signpost Forest - with the obligatory photo.



There had been several posts that indicated the Campbell Highway was a tough ride, so I was looking forward to seeing what this section would be about. When I mentioned to Mandeep that I was planning to ride the length of the Campbell Highway, he told me that it was nice knowing me . His father is working on construction of sections of the highway and that a motorcyclist had been killed recently on the Campbell.

I planned to ride to Ross River and overnight there or in Faro, just a little further.

Shortly after leaving Watson Lake, I hit the construction section. Some deep gravel and a water truck but nothing horrible. Here are a couple of shots along the Campbell Highway en route to Ross River.





Here was a rain storm that caught me a few times along the route. Got wet and dampened the gravel.



Is this great or what ????



Arriving in Ross River through road construction, mud and downhill sections, I arrived at the TND Motor Hotel. After a brief inspection, I would not call it a Motor Hotel. I decided to stay however, as the people seemed nice and they had a cafe and I wanted to talk with the locals a bit. It proved to be an interesting stay as I met some interesting people - a native and several construction workers.

The place was a dump, but it was part of the adventure. I went to my room, and found no ventilation except a window that had no screen and no curtains. I could either suffocate in the warm room or open the window and let the bloodsuckers in to feed on me all night. I choose the latter and scratched away all night in the midnight sun shining through the curtain-less window.

Decent food and coffee though.



In summary, I absolutely loved the southern section of the Campbell Highway from Watson Lake to Ross River. I literally rode for three hours through the Yukon and saw no other vehicle - only a few black bears, but they didn't hang around to visit with me.

There are several semi-technical sections and the washouts / potholes are hard to see sometimes, and I did hit the skidplate twice at about 40 mph through some deep potholes. Some sections are soft and are quite narrow as you can see by the photos, and I was happy that I had no oncoming traffic in the narrow sections.

I found that the majority of the Campbell can be ridden at 45 mph to 55 mph safely - assuming you don't get a moose or a bear in your path. Some sections culd be ridden faster, but an animal exiting the brush by the highway could ruin your day at that speed. The brush is close to the road for most of route. The total distance from Watson Lake to Ross River was approximately 200 + miles.

After the first three hours, I saw a total of six vehicles on the entire route - mainly pickup trucks. I absolutely loved the solitude and the feeling of riding through the wilderness. I would ride this section of the Campbell again - it is a favorite now.

Great ride, and highly recommended if you have moderate dirt riding experience and have knobbies.
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:09 AM   #9
alaskaOE
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Nice ride report David, although it really should be shared with the rest around here. I just brought my 1150 Adv. up from winter storage in CA and saw temps in the mid 20's in Lake Louise. If you make it down Anchorage way be sure to stop in Girdwood for icecream, it's a bit of a Adv. tradition.

OE
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:51 PM   #10
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Great ride report. Glad you had a good ride on the Campbell Highway. Mandeep looks his usual self.
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Old 07-10-2009, 04:00 PM   #11
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July 5th - Ross River to Dempster Highway

I started out from Ross River at a decent hour, hoping that the northern section of the Campbell Highway would be as great a ride as the southern section. The ride was OK, but had many paved sections instead of the hoped-for gravel.

I could hear the hum of the knobbies through my earplugs and knew that the pavement was devouring my knobbies. Bummer....wishing for more gravel & dirt.

The end of the Campbell Highway.




I headed into Carmacks for a quick fuel fillup and to grab a microwave cheeseburger & container of mellon for lunch.




Back on the road to Dawson City and more knobby-chewing pavement.



I hope that I have this in sequence of the ride and geographically - a shot of Five Fingers Rapids.





A shot of the town of Pelly Crossing as you climb out of the valley.



The start of the Dempster Highway en route to Dawson City. I have some regrets of not riding the Dempster, but I was unsure of what lay ahead and I had a schedule to keep to get to Deadhorse and an Alaska Marine Highway reservation out of Haines, AK that I did not want to miss. This may be a reason to return in the future, however.



I stayed the evening at the Klondike River Lodge. I was concerned that allof the Dawson City lodging might be full as I did not have any reservations. As it was, I got the last room available here.



On to Dawson City, Top of the World Highway and crossing into Alaska with a planned final destination for tomorrow of Tok, Alaska.
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Old 07-10-2009, 04:50 PM   #12
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July 6 - Dawson City to Tok, Alaska via Top of the World Highway and Chicken, AK

Good weather again. My friend and fellow inmate Alvingee43 had weeks of miserable weather during his recent Alaska ride. I have had some rain, but not a washout. I've been lucky - at least so far.

Downtown Dawson City. Wish that I had stayed a day here in Dawson City to nose around and visit a museum or two. I was ahead of schedule, but wanted to keep my flexibility.



I was a little surprised that the ferry was free. Nice ride across and the current was extermely swift and strong in the river.



There are simply too many shots of the Top of the World Highway to be posted and others have posted better ones than mine, so I will only show a few. Really great views and I loved the ride except for the caravan of SUV's, motorhomes and campers clogging the roads. A bit dusty also, however, I was able to pass most of them. If you're not the lead dog, the view never changes, as they say.

I was surprised to still see snow on the Top of the World Highway.







Now for crossing back into the good 'ole US of A at Poker Creek.





After crossing into the US, the road conditions deteriorated markedly. Some mud, loose gravel and much tighter, twistier roads. Much more to my liking !

We'll see if I still feel the same about roads after the calcium chloride slippery snot past Atigun Pass on the road to Deadhorse!

Arrived on the outskirts of Chicken, Alaska and stopped here at The Goldpanner for a cold Coke and to stretch my legs.



The reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh look a lot different here in Alaska.......



The road to Tok, Alaska was straight and paved..... Some burned areas also.



I was starting to see some haze in the air. I was told it was smoke from forest fires burning in the Alaskan interior.

I got a little dirty en route to Tok, AK from the Top of the World Highway on the US side of the border.



I arrived in Tok, Alaska ready to get off the moto and get a decent meal. I found Fast Eddy's Restaurant. The salad bar here was outstanding with very fresh salad items and killer good cottage cheese. Highly recommended. My hunger was satisfied ! Yum.



They also had a motel, so I decided to stay here for the night. Tomorrow on to Fairbanks, Alaska and the start of the ride north to the Arctic Ocean. I had planned a full day in Fairbanks to drop off my street tires that I have been carrying with me and to get an oil change in the moto.

I could change it myself as I brought a fresh filter and crush washer, but I needed spec oil and a place to drain the used crankcase oil. Better to just do it at the dealer and be done with it - or so I thought......
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Old 07-10-2009, 05:01 PM   #13
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July 7 - Tok, AK to Fairbanks, AK

I got an early start as I wanted to get to Fairbanks, find a hotel and find the BMW dealer to see if they can do the oil change on July 8th.

The ride was OK, but the haze was getting worse. At a fuel stop, the attendant confirmed the haze was from the forest fires. There may have been some nice photos along the way, but most were obscured by the thick, smokey haze in the air.

I arrived in Fairbanks, got checked into a hotel, used the phone book at punched the address for the Trails End BMW dealer (combined with Harley-Davidson, Honda and Polaris) into my Garmin and off I went.

Spoke with the service manager and said they would take care of if I could be there at 8:45am, just before they opened.

No problem - see you in the morning and off I went to the Super 8 to get caught up on my Ride Report and get some shuteye.
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Old 07-10-2009, 05:13 PM   #14
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July 8 - Fairbanks, Alaska

Headed off to the BMW dealer to get the crankcase oil and filter changed. I arrived at 8:45am as instructed and found a small line ahead of me. It was group of Harley riders who had pre-scheduled to have their oil changed also.

We had some small talk while waiting and the service area opened and in we all went to get get the paperwork completed. All paperwork done, the service department started on the group of 4 H-D's to get their oil changed and on their way.

During the service, the mechanic noticed several broken trailer brackets on one of the H-D's and they had to be repaired or replaced. The dealership was also short by four mechanics that day.

To make a LONG story short, the work on the H-D with the broken hitch brackets was long effort and arduous. I wound up leaving the dealership at around 4:00pm. Ugghhhh.

In fairness, I did not have a prearranged appointment and this group of travelers needed help. I got my oil changed and I was on my way.

Did I mention that it was 93 degrees in Fairbanks this day ??? Hot as hell and no A/c in the building. Why would you need A/C in Fairbanks, Alaska..... This day it was needed !

Glad that I had some float in my schedule !
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Old 07-10-2009, 06:29 PM   #15
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July 9 - Fairbanks to Wiseman, Alaska

I decided that I had to get out of Fairbanks as it was too hot and I wanted to ride north. My lodging arrangement at the Artic Getaway Lodge in Wiseman (en route to Deadhorse) was for the 10th.

I wrote to them and they had no room for the evening of the 9th as they were booked. I called Boreal Lodge and Heidi said she could accomodate me with no problem.

They do not serve dinner so I scooted to the store, bought a few basic canned food items, packed my panniers and headed north.



It had rained heavily the prior evening after the heat, still a little drizzle this morning and the roads were wet.

I would spend two days in Wiseman, instead of one day. No problem, better than Fairbanks and the heat.

Made it to the start of the Dalton Highway with no problem.



Due to the rain, the road was a little muddy and slippery after this sign as it turned to dirt with little gravel, but no real problem.

Got to the Yukon River bridge crossing and the wind was starting to blow pretty heavily. The bridge deck was dry, thank goodness, as it was tough to hold the bike in the cross wind. This is looking up the bridge after crossing going north.



The stop after the bridge shows the Alaska flag standing at attention due to the wind. Fairly heavy wind.



A quick stop at the famous Hot Spot for a cheeseburger. It was a monster !



Two other BMW riders had stopped and just finishing lunch and they volunteered to take my photo. They were on the return leg south and told me that north of Atigun Pass it was a mess. Their look of their bikes confirmed this.



The color of the flowers along the way was beautiful contrasted to the rest of the landscape. Note the Alaska Pipeline in the background.



This is certainly big country here with wide open spaces. The wind is getting worse - heavy crosswind from the west. Notice the flowers to the right along with the pipeline.




By the time I made it to Finger Mountain, the crosswind was so heavy that I was concerned the bike would be swept out from under me. I was literally hanging off the bike to counterbalance it and trying to play "pitch & catch" as the gusts would catch me.

I pulled off at Finger Mountain to take a rest, consider the wind situation (did I feel lucky today?) and take a photo of Finger Mountain. I met some people there who were at the H-D dealer the previous day.

They were in a rented car. They had passed their IQ test......



The guys I spoke with at Finger Mountain told me that there had been a car accident 2 miles north and that a car had flipped. A trucker had the driver in the truck with him and were leaving the scene. Evidently this crash had just happened when they arrived on the scene.

Due to wind, stupidity or a combination of both. Here's the shot when I arrived.



I kept going and saw more great scenery. I was concentrating on staying upright and almost missed the turnoff to the Artic Circle. A nice tourist took my photo at the sign. Note Old Glory waving in the background - and it was protected by some trees.



As I neared the Brooks Range, I could see that it was raining ahead. I pressed on in the rain and the howling wind, hoping that my knobbies would not let me down on windswept, wet roads.

Finally, I arrived at Coldfoot Camp to refuel and get off the moto for a few minutes. It was a relief to get out of the wind. It had stopped raining anyway, but you can see the muddy conditions.




This was Gobbler's Knob somewhere along the way.



The wind was finally dying down a bit as I left Coldfoot Camp. I was grateful for that. I was only 13 miles from Wiseman when I left Coldfoot Camp and heading for a good bed.

When I arrived at Wiseman and the Boreal Lodge, I was warmly greeted by the bloodsucking vultures they call mosquitoes. I am no stranger to mosquitoes having fished in the Northwest Territories many times. But these things were a horse of a different color - big, hungry and relentless. Wicked creatures indeed.

Here is Boreal Lodge - a very nice place with pleasant proprietors. I was happy to be here and not have to face 240 miles plus to Deadhorse today. I slept like a stone here.



A final word to the wise before trekking north of the Artic Circle - pack a bag of blood plasma, you may just need it.

Tomorrow, July 10th, is a day of seeing the area, getting caught up on my Ride Report and getting ready to close the deal on the ride to Deadhorse and tour the Arctic Ocean on the 11th.
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motodavid2000 screwed with this post 07-13-2009 at 09:48 PM
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