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Old 08-20-2012, 08:28 PM   #181
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Thanks for tuning in!

dave6253, it is pretty flattering when some of the best photographers on site comment on my photos, I appreciate the compliments.



Editors Note: I went back and added a couple more pics to the previous post, I want to keep this page clear for the next destination. By the way, has anyone heard of anyone dong the Dalton in a day? Up and back?
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:52 PM   #182
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your pics are fantastic..

thanks for the Hard work on the RR also..
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:12 PM   #183
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Just Paul, thanks a million! It is a good way to get out of the grind, mentally at least.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:52 PM   #184
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Circle.............to...............Chena????????? ????????

After Hope, I dropped the sis off, back in Anchorage. The old couple that let her stay in their basement mother-n-law suite were awesome. We talked about the great land, he was super interested about the travels, and he went on about his rare fish on the 200-mile fishing trip down the Yukon. He was a really cool old guy, taking care of everything at 85+.


I took my second, or perhaps third shower of the trip and then restocked, dumped the crapper, filled the water, bought some groceries, and tried to find some dry ice. I found some, but it was well scavenged through. There were just a ton of little pieces, and no big blocks. After we went fishing the second time I had maybe 32lbs of halibut that I wanted to keep frozen. Yea, we were too cheap to ship it back so I decided to carry it. So, I bought what I could and didn’t worry about it too much, figuring I could pick some up along the way.


After restocking and saying the goodbyes to Val and the hosts, I headed out. I had pretty much ridden or driven all the roads that connected in the entire state. Well, almost all. I really wanted to get over to the Nebesna road, but part of me wanted to at least leave a little to come back to. Other than that, there was a long dead-end to Circle and one to Manley above Fairbanks and maybe one other one, I forget.


I had to flip a coin; either Manley or Circle and they both had hot springs as far as I knew. I love hot springs. I ended up deciding on Circle, so I found a nice little camp spot on some little short dirt side road just off he intersection with that road north of Fairbanks.


I pushed hard and rolled in late, packed a lunch and headed out after it warmed up a little in the morning. Usually, if I want to actually get somewhere specific, I get there first and explore on the way back. But, as I was blasting out towards Circle, I found something interesting.


Photobucket



Well, it wasn’t so much the sign, but actually this:




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My plan was to get out to Circle then find some side roads on the way back, but it was a long way on a boring road, so I decided to not worry about the destination.




Photobucket




And focus on the journey.




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And the adventure.




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It kept going and going, over 10 miles. From what I could tell from the little map, there wasn’t a river the whole way through to Chena.




Photobucket




Again, the problem with land travel in AK is yes, rivers, but especially boggs. I hear that is why you don’t see horses up there. They all too often step in a bog, and you have no other option that no put them down. So, as I was riding up the 2-track and what do you know, there was a bog and I stopped, got off, and scoped it out. 10 Miles from the main road, off one some little trail, by myself, the last thing I was about to do was get stuck. So, I poked around a little and found the right path. I saddled it up, blurped the throttle a little and made it through. A little further there was one more so, again I hopped off to investigate.


By this time, the well beaten 2-track was down to just two tracks through the brush. I could tell that there was recent traffic, hunters on ATVs and side-by-sides. I knew they were very fresh, but they still could have been a day or two old, leftover from the weekend. I wasn’t going to bet a 10-mile hike that someone else may come across me and my stuck bike.


But the second one didn’t look to bad if I cut way off the right and made it through the tiny little stream. Then, again, a little further up there was one more. This one was different. It was a lot bigger, just before a small rise. It looked like I could follow one path, where an ATV beat in an off-chamber track through the gigglebushes. I almost started to think about it, but, I decided I better turn around, it was the smart thing to do. And I lived to ride another day, and explore on.


*******I still think it is possible by motorcycle to make it through to Chena. If any of you out there have any insight, please speak up******.
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Old 08-25-2012, 08:59 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by Z_HARSH View Post
By the way, has anyone heard of anyone dong the Dalton in a day? Up and back?
I believe Alcan Rider has done it in 24 hours from Anchorage. It's possible, but I wouldn't go up there expecting to make it with no problems. I stopped to much for pictures.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:02 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by dave6253 View Post
I believe Alcan Rider has done it in 24 hours from Anchorage. It's possible, but I wouldn't go up there expecting to make it with no problems. I stopped to much for pictures.
Anchorage to Prudhoe Bay in a day is impressive 862 Miles, 1387 km according to one site, not much time to take pictures indeed.

Ok, back to Circle to Chena, I still think it is doable, just not solo......
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:50 PM   #187
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Circle.............to...............Chena????????? ????????

After I ran into the third bog, as much as I wanted to push on, I had to turn around. I felt like it stayed on the ridge looked very promising. But I had to admit defeat and head back out, and it seemed like it took me a whole lot less time to get back to the road. Maybe that is because I didn't stop for as many pictures. But, I was soon back to the main road and decided to check out a little side trail I had found on the way in, rather than pushing on to Circle.



I saw a little trail heading up a hill, off in the distance, so I headed off to find it.




Photobucket




Nothing major, maybe a little rocky in some places though.




Photobucket





The trail had these ice heaves along it, a foot or a foot and a half tall. I wished I a had a some suspension so I could at least have a little fun with them. But instead it was slam on the breaks and pucker up.




I cruised around and found some good vistas.





Photobucket





Found some sort of an observation platform.





Photobucket





And watched the light fade I a listened to the hum of the thumper.






Photobucket








Photobucket






As I was headed back to the truck, still keeping my eyes pealed for side roads, I spotted a little one with a large wire across it. It was old and stretched out and the posts were sagged in so it was touching the ground in the center. It was obvious that it was long abandoned so I decided to check it out. It turned out to be a ski lift of all things. Not much of an incline, but a an old ski lift none-the-less.





Photobucket









Photobucket








Photobucket






Photobucket



But, it was just about dark and I was getting hungry. I had a ton of halibut, and it as calling my name.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:57 PM   #188
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And They Call It Northern Lights

After the little jaunt off the Circle road, I cooked up a nice little halibut dinner with garlic and onion and some vegetables.


I kept hearing about this dead-end road north of Fairbanks that was worth checking out. They say it is a long haul, so I did a little extra packing. I filled up an empty windshield washer fluid container with gas, stuck the left over halibut in a plastic baggy, put together some trail mix and Wheat Thins and packed an extra layer and my rain gear in my tail-bag, then downed a beer or two and tried to sleep.


It is always harder to fall asleep when you know you need to.


I just laid there and laid there, counting sheep but loosing count after three or four.



My plan was to just head up the the Arctic Circle sign take a picture or two and head back. No big deal. I heard most people that go all the way do an overnight thing, and stay in the Halliburton dormitories, or something like that. But, I had some time constraints since I needed to get back and let the Rat out. My brother-n-law actually thought I took him with me the first time he heard the story. But, Tina would work 12 hr shifts and and leave him in the house the entire time, he was fine with it. If he needed to, he knows to go on the floor rather than the seat and he just sleeps when we were gone, plus, it is not like he hadn't been getting any exercise.


After a while I got up to use the bańo, and then stuck my head out of the camper and watched the show for a while.


Photobucket





Photobucket


It was a pretty amazing thing to take in for the first time, too bad my pictures of it suck. Just another limitation of the $200 Pano and minimal photographic sophistication.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:20 PM   #189
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A Day Ride on the Dalton

I laid in bed for a while that morning, letting it warm up a little more. Everything was ready to go, all I had to do was make some oatmeal and some coffee. I rolled out of my camp spot just off the Circle intersection a little before 9:30 and hammered it, I had some miles to cover.



Right off the bat, I was wishing I had started out with my Cold-Pro gloves, none of those fancy heated grips here and my hands were frigid. I tried to reach down and uses the cases to warm them up a couple times while riding. But, I gritted through it and pretty soon I was at the sign.




Photobucket


According to my camera it was 9:43, and the ODO shows 19,571 Miles, or 31,496 KMs.


The beginning, of the long haul. I probably should have taken this picture too, my old man actually took this one though.


Photobucket


But, I guess I kind of ignored it. Ooops.







Now, I didn't find that there was too much excitement on the road. It is just a graded gravel road, the type I try to avoid here in CO if there are better options. Really, a graded gravel road is not that much more exciting than a paved road, but, like my old man says, "there is no such thing as a boring road; Just a boring speed, you just have to go fast enough."


I was hoping for some more curves, although, I have to say that the wet sections with 2 inces of mud on the top were fun and a refreshing change. Especially when passing semi trucks.


Really, passing in general is fun I think.


So is hammering it and and giving it all it can take.


I had to be careful though, I couldn't run my poor little KLR into the ground.


After the sign, I didn't really find much to take pictures of. It had been sensory overload for the last month or two and after all the amazing views, vistas, sunsets and scenery I didn't find much to stop and take a picture of.


Until I arrived at the Yukon River that is, fifty-six miles and fifty-one minutes later.



Photobucket




Well, I pulled over for one picture and then took a couple more while riding.



Photobucket









Photobucket


After putting over the long wooden bridge, I stopped in to the little truck stop and figured I should probably gas up. It felt nice to stretch the legs a little too. But, daylight was burning and I rolled on.






And rolled, and rolled, and rolled.







Passing semi trucks at 70 or so (112kmh) is a little exciting, when their 18 wheels throw marble and bigger sized rocks at you. I just ducked behind the wind shield and twisted the throttle some more. The ping..........ping........ping....ping, ping off he bike was not good, but, I figured better it than me. Honestly, I was a little surprised that no lenses were shattered in the process.





I couldn't worry about that though, I had to keep hammering it, I had miles to cover.







Then, way sooner than I thought, I was there. There at my goal of the day; The Arctic Circle. But.......it didn't feel any different?


Photobucket




I sat there in the saddle for a bit, relaxing and stretching out my back. Soon after I arrived, a bus full of tourists showed up and killed it though. Funny how that happens, and I had some deciding to do.




I had made my goal, technically I could turn around at any time, I was going to have to sooner or later. I had to get back to the Rat. But, it was only a quarter to one and there was plenty of daylight left, even thought you could feel winter right around the corner.

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Old 09-07-2012, 05:49 PM   #190
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:31 PM   #191
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Late to the party for sure. Just found the thread and still on page 5, but had to chime in. Hell of a job on the report and your images are as good as any on here...cheap point and shoot or not. The Panasonic Lumix is an incredible camera for the money...hard to beat a Leica lens. However, there comes a point when the man holding it has to take some credit

Nice job........carry on, I'll catch up

Thanks for taking the time.............John
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:02 PM   #192
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Dave, thanks for hanging in there, it takes a little longer whey you actually try and write.

WaywardSon, glad you found it, I guess I do alright on occasion with the camera
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:38 PM   #193
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A Day Ride on the Dalton (Pt 2)

I sat there, surrounded by plump touristies snapping pictures, pondering my options. Really, it wasn't hard. The day was still young and I wasn't done yet. So, with a light tap on the starter button she fired up and I was on my way.



I figured that Coldfoot wasn't too much further so I might as well check it out.



I kept hammering it, mile after mile after mile. I started zoning out, never loosing concentration on the road, watching everything and looking at nothing, almost riding in a daze.



It felt like Coldfoot too, came sooner than it should. I actually passed it and had to turn around to make it down to the gas station. I filled up on the expensive gas, went in to the little cafe.



The grizzled looking truckers looked up and went back to their coffee, I peered over the menu, ordered up a coffee for myself and once again pondered my options. I was kind of hoping to see some blond chick and goofy looking dude with a blue mow hawk. Honestly, it doesn’t look that scary; if the ice were to collapse of course. Where are they going to fall to? Down a ten foot crack into frozen dirt?



Anyways, at this point, it was a little harder.




To decide of course, not too much harder though, since Atigun pass was not too much further. 71 miles, or 114 K.




That is like, an hour away, well......according to Mr. Google, an hour and 47 minutes....but what does he know.




Finally, the mundane and repetitive wilderness gave way to some hills, I was happy to see some change.




But, I was pissed when I finally ran into some construction. I hate pilot cars, you don't see them too often in the lower 48. I like passing and I was tempted, but I figured it may ruffle a feather or two. I was manly pissed because it was putting a major damper on my moving average. I had it up over 72 MPH (115 KMH) according to Mr. Garmin, and it was alarming how fast it declined following the pilot car at 5 miles an hour.



The pass was nothing though, extremely inferior to say, the road to Valdez. Plus the light was crap and I didn't find much to photograph.



As you can see, I had to force this one.


Photobucket


But, this one is at least half-way interesting, in my opinion at least.


Photobucket


There I was, two hours and eight minutes after leaving the Arctic Circle.



Maybe the scenery couldn't compare, but, there was something in the air. I was standing up, toes on the pegs like a dirtbiker at heart, leaning forward with my chest past the headlight, pressed against the oncoming blast of tundra air. There comes a time when you and the machine are no longer separate masses but become one. This takes a while I have found. I really didn’t feel it on the KLR for 12,000 miles or more, off road at least. When the wheels are your legs and the tires are your feet, humming along in perfect harmony and you know exactly what that tire is going to do with no supprises.



Anyways, I was over the pass gazing around in the wonder of the Northern Slope, and then came decision time. As I mentioned, I kind of dazed out, watching the sky shrink down around me. When I looked down again, I was thirty miles (48k) past Atigun pass. Or, 100 miles from Coldfoot.



I knew I probably wasn't getting the best gas mileage, but can get from 280-240 (450-386k) per tank. It was time, I had to decide.



Do I come this far, only to turn around? It was obvious what the smart thing to do was. I kept telling myself all the reasons why I should turn around. "You have gone so far, made it way past where most people make it, you still have to think about the Rat, you are just going to have to turn sooner or later, it is just a destination, it is just a meaningless destination......" I tried, I really did. I just couldn't, I just couldn't talk myself out of it. I tried for several miles.




I was on a mission; so I spun the throttle, a fist full as some like to say, and blasted on knowing that there was no turning back until I reached the end. The highest dead end, on the map of course.


Photobucket


After the pass, there was something different about the atmosphere. The sky closed in on me and the wispy clouds seemed to dance along, mile after mile.




Just the humm of the engine, it would be KM after KM, but the hand-drawn line was a ways East.





It was surreal, almost fake?










Then..........................it sputtered, and the daze snapped back into reality.





I was running out of gas, well, going onto reserve to be more precise. This usually happens around the 220 mile mark in the worst situations. Coldfoot to Deradhorse is only 240 miles (386 KM) or 9 hours and 17 minutes according to the all-knowing Mr. Google, the problem was I had only gone 170 miles (273k).



Photobucket
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:29 PM   #194
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Wow! I just finished reading this whole RR and all I can say is; Epic! Cant wait to find out what happens next. Oh, and great pics too.
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:41 PM   #195
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jessepitt, thank you thank you, I greatly appreciate it!
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