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Old 02-17-2012, 03:34 PM   #61
rico2072
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Originally Posted by superdutyGS View Post
Let's see if I can remember. I had no heated clothing for the trip, and Glacier was very nice weather. I think I even had my liner stored most of that day. I put new Bridgestone Battlewings on the week before i left and planned on replacing the back tire only in Anchorage. The trip was 11K total and the front tire was still decent when I got home. Did replace the rear in Anchorage my last day before heading back. had quite a bit of tread left, but not enought o be confident in the tire all the way home. Canada crossing needs, well a passport obviously. We had a couple places that did not want to take American currency, but were able to use our credit cards almost everywhere. I would recommend you have a couple hundred dollars Canadian though as they don't do you any favors on the exchange and the American dollar was weaker than the Can dollar in July. Not sure about now.
I allowed 4K for the trip since lodging can be very pricey. I think I spent a little over 3100 for the trip including the new tire. I am within 100 bucks at that number I am positive. Sharing a hotel room is an enormous savings. I planned on camping 6-8 times but we were getting to our destination late so often it was great getting a room. When we realized we could usually find something for 70 bucks or so it just became an easy choice. No having to take down a wet camp was pretty nice. I think with all the info in the milepost and a little planning ahead you can shop for some decent rates. Later in the report when we get to Alaska I will try to remember lodging info and recommendations. I gave my milepost away so it might not come back to me.
Thank you for the info!
It actually will help out a lot to get some money rounded up. I will have my R1 ready for a small trip this summer for motogp in Indy. Tow it up with the family, take a few days to ride it back......you know test out the luggage rack, new seat, cruise control, stuff like that.
Want to plan a trip like yours thou. Might order a milemarker soon to check it out. It would definitely be the KLR to Alaska.
Great write up, more pictures!
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:46 AM   #62
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Super duty,
Great RR so far. I like the way you tell the story. I agree the first four days looked great, the guys that headed back at that time still had a great week of riding.. But, it does look like it's gets better..
Days 5 and 6 were fantastic..
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:42 AM   #63
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I'm in.
Enjoying your adventure very much as my Son and I will be leaving Dallas Texas on June 29th 2012 for the RT to the Arctic circle. He on his F800 GS and I'll be riding a KLR650.


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Old 02-18-2012, 08:11 AM   #64
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OUTSTANDING Report and awesome pictures
You are not even in Alaska yet (I know I'm biased) and I am already enjoying this thouroughly - you need to come back up here and do a sequel !!!!!
Onward and forward.
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:44 AM   #65
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I'm enjoying your report, keep it coming.
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:10 PM   #66
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Dreams

So happy that you got to go on your dream ride. I to so want to go to Alaska by bike and your rr is great. I can't beleave your riding that many miles a day. Your really didn't take any time to enjoy the places you pass by or was the plan to do the site seeing when you got to Alaska? Thanks for the rr and I'm in.
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:36 PM   #67
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replies

appax and wildwood: thanks for the kind replies and input. I am grateful you are enjoying the report.
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Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:41 PM   #68
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thanks

timbercut": that is a grand slam getting to go with your son. Mine are 14 and 12 and we are already talking about going someday.

Frank..............a sequel? You sir are BRILLIANT!!!! Yes this should be done

Crashes:....hope you get to chase that dream to....there is no substitute. We did have a few high miles days, quite a few. But we went to see Alaska and the Alcan highway. Stay with me, we do a better job o stoppping to smell the roses, "or fireweed actually.....in the days ahead.

Solarmoose: that's a awesome handle by the way.....The alcan is as much a part of doing an Alaska trip as any other part I agree....

Smrchief.........6 months......you are my hero.
Will start in again Monday..................................


It's about to get really interesting...........Superduty
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When I'm dead, I sure don't want people thinking I never really lived. Hell with that.

Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"

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Old 02-18-2012, 05:48 PM   #69
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oh and this

I just saw Wayne at church tonight. Earlier he implied I snored, which in fact is extremely rare unless I have drank a few, and on this trip we were very disciplined about that. He on the other hand is not entirely human once he goes to sleep.
He not only snores loud, but it is kind of a "mechanical" sound. If you have ever accidentally turned on the garbage disposal with a fork in it you get a gentle example of what I mean. Magnify that by about 3.5 times and you are close. I threw pillows, a boot, anything but a lamp to get him to wake up, or trun over. He was a good sport, but he'd be back asleep in like 15 seconds so it was all in vain. Seriously, I need to get some ear plugs.



This has kind of funny twist later in the trip.
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When I'm dead, I sure don't want people thinking I never really lived. Hell with that.

Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:36 PM   #70
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Another Great Trip report!!
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:35 AM   #71
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Man does this bring back the memories....... what a great ride I had with SuperDuty. What is amazing is that we did it so effortlessly. Yes, high mileage almost every day, but it was easy for us. Probably because we had such good nights sleep!!!!!!
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:11 AM   #72
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Day 7.....really

Let's see. Not much riding today compared to the past week. We rode a total of about 330 miles.
oh yea..........
WE MADE IT TOO ALASKA~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Beaver Creek was only 18 miles short of the border last night. We hit the road early after coffee in the room. We grabbed two big muffins in the store last night and that was breakfast. Seeing this sign put smiles on our faces that pretty much stayed for the next ten days. WE MADE IT TOO ALASKA!!!!!!!!!! We took a few pictures here and lingered around for a while in no real hurry. Our destination for the day is Fairbanks so no big hurry.

two miles up the road we went through customs. These guys were pleasant as could be and seemed interested in our ride so far. Wayne at the customs center...........

Our next stop was in Tok where we had a big breakfast. There were 3 guys in on Harley baggers we visited with a little. As we were leaving 2 guys pulled in all loaded up from the lower 48 an a V strom and a RT.
We were able to call home for the first time since leaving the lower 48 on our cell phones. We both use U S Cellular and were told they would work in Canada no problem. They did not. They were useless too us. Not a big deal for 3 days really, although on our return trip it would a factor in one way. Our next stop was North Pole Alaska. Had to send cards home to the kids. My boys were 11 and 13 at the time, and getting a card from the NORTH Pole was pretty cool. I told them we had some discussions with the man in red about the upcoming Christmas.
We did kind of make a bad choice leaving Tok for Fairbanks. The milepost indicated there was a gas station about
35 miles up the road. We had 90 miles on this tank of gas so we did not fill up in Tok. Well, long story short that station was closed. We ran 222 miles on that tank of gas. I had two cans with me but had not put gas in them as they were for the haul road later. We were getting a little nervous with Wayne on reserve when we finally got to that station. I knew I would be okay, My fuel light had just come on, so I had another 50 miles or so but we had ridden about 55 trying to conserve and it worked out. Here is pic for the sign in North Pole

I had made reservations for a couple nights at the University campus in Fairbanks. (Thanks for the info from Alcan rider, he knows a lot of stuff to do) This is something I highly recommend. 43.00 a night. Nice rooms, and there is laundry facilities available for free as well. The students that stay and work during the summer were very helpful and very friendly. They were not form the USA though. Nigeria, Pakistan, the Ukraine, plenty from the Middle east. Oil engineering seemed to be a popular choice from talking to them. They had a computer room where Wayne and I could put some pictures up on facebook for our families and
friends to see. We ate lunch while in Tok at a Thai restaraunt, my first visit to such. Was really great food. There were 8 phillipine sailors dining there while on exercises at a local air base. One spoke pretty good english and we had a nice visit. He tried to explain the duties they had in the military at home. Most of them were firefighters.
Nice kids and very polite.
In Fairbanks we got registered for our dorm room and parked our bikes after buying our parking permit. Was a beautiful day with temps in the 80s. We got started on laundry and emailing home. Here is our room....all we needed. Was a quiet afternoon with time to relax.

for supper we had a pizza delivered and bought a couple bottles of milk.. So here is my first food picture that should be in every ride report
We got reindeer sausage and I recommend it. We had it several times and several different ways this week.

Good Stuff!!!!!
That pretty much ends day 7 gang. WE Are in Alaska........and everyone is wearing shorts.....Windows open
and lots of kids outside laughing and enjoying life. So are we!!!! I am preparing for tomorrow when I will ride up to the Arctic Circle alone. Hope I can sleep some tonight.....still have not bought earplugs.
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When I'm dead, I sure don't want people thinking I never really lived. Hell with that.

Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"

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Old 02-20-2012, 08:09 AM   #73
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Day 8. Mission accomplished!!!!!

If you remember back at the start, my Uncle Elmer was a missionary in Kotzebue. That is located on the western shore line against the Behring Sea and actually a little north of the Arctic Circle. So my dream wasn't just to make Alaska, but the Arctic Circle. I know most ride reports include going all the way to the Arctic ocean at Prudhoe Bay. When I first started planning the trip that was my intention. But from everything I read, it really wasn't that special or beautiful the last 200 miles of the haul road. Plus you have to take a bus from the oil company to get to the ocean from Prudhoe. I watch Ice road truckers and other than Atigan Pass there isn't that much to get excited about north of the circle, and you lose another day or more to do it. so I had decided the circle was my destination.
Wayne was going to skip this portion as he had no desire to ride the big cruiser on 300 miles of gravel. And we had heard that if it rains if can be very dangerous and slick. So today was my only solo day and I was going to enjoy it.
I still wan't sure if I would camp up there until the night before after the pizza, I told Wayne I would be back that same night. I was on the road about 6 am getting gas and a quick buscuit. The Steese Highway from Fairbanks is 76 miles to the Dalton Highway north. All asphalt of course. There was a surprising amount of big truck traffic already. Not a great many places to pass either and hilly and twisty so there were lots of times I would be down to 15 mph. I finally made it past them though and got to the Dalton Hwy. Was a sunny beautiful day. Seeing this sign was somewhat surreal. I watch the show Ice road truckers like many of you I am sure. To be turning on to this was very cool.

The sun was out and getting there early I had hoped I would not encounter to much big truck traffic. I was surprised to find portions of the road paved. What a nice surprise. I was just flying along about 60 for the first 3rd of the way to the Yukon river. Once it turned Gravel I backed off a bit but still the road was in far better shape than I had expected. I thought, Wayne's Roadstar would have had no trouble at all.

Got to the yukon river bridge. This was the first place to get gas since I left FB 154 miles ago.
I am fascinated by the oil pipeline. Thes structures it rests on have these built in shock absorbers to allow for the frost heaving and settling as the seasons change. Makes sense. While waiting on this construction equipment to cross the bridge I took a picture or two.

Forklift with a compressor I think. Gave me a thumbs up though as he passed by.

Wood deck bridge. Most enjoyable views too. The Yukon river is quite beautiful

more.......

That pipeline is WAY up in the air in some places.

had to take a picture of the dragon flys on my oil cooler. Once in a while something would ping off my leg and I'd think....what was that, couldn't be a rock I didn't meet any traffic. I finally figured out it was these dudes. I wrote down their tail number and notified the FAA so the dragon fly's families could be notified. I know everything is bigger in Texas.......but not bigger than it is in Alaska.

After you get across the bridge on your right is a little tourist visitor cabin where you can buy stuff.
Got a couple stickers for the jesse bags, and the couple working it gave me a certificate. Says I have been to the arctic circle. But I haven't been yet I said. I did tell them that I was going that far. Seems they normally
do this at the circle but were working this location for the day. They gave me the certificate anyway which was nice.
Or again as Bill Murray would say. "I got that going for me"
I filled up my tank at the Yukon River Campground. Gas was 6.65 a gallon. There was a sign on the pump..."Do Not get more than 900.00 at a time, it messes our computer and we have to have someone come in to fix it.!!!
So I didn't.......
I paid for my fuel and bought a couple bottles of water and a chicken salad sandwich for my lunch when I would get to the circle. I was getting pretty fired up now.
The only game in town when you want gas.
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When I'm dead, I sure don't want people thinking I never really lived. Hell with that.

Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"

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Old 02-20-2012, 08:32 AM   #74
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More from Day 8

There is so much to see in Alaska. I loved the Dalton. It was dry and i know that makes a difference.
There is a ride report on here from a guy in New Mexico a couple years ago that does it on a 96 RT. Great video report that is still my all time favorite report. He sent it to me on DVD and I sent him a football camp T Shirt. I have watched it countless times. His phrase for the haul road when it is wet was something like this" It's like riding on snot on cellophane." I didn't have any rain. I flew up that road. There is some gorgeous scenery.
Gravel was in great shape.

and these giant fields of fireweed are just stunning........

this picture does not do the fire weed justice. Very pretty.

Here is one of my favorite pictures from the whole trip.

This 95 BMW is a remarkable bike.

Finger rock. In the old days bush pilots counted on this to "point" them back to fairbanks. Legend has it there is gold at finger rock. I did not check it out myself. Figured if I heard that so had everyone else.

After passing finger rock, it isn't much further up the Haul road to this......


MADE IT!!!!! I didn't take any pictures of myself dancing........can't speak for what anybody else did!!!
Had a nice conversation with a guy that pulled in on a Harley trike. I couldn't help but think....all thos potholes have to suck on a trike. As I was thinking that he says.........."That bike would be a nice way to do it.....I hit every hole there was on the way up here!!!
We took some pics for each other but I failed to get one of him and the trike for my report.
There were these two young men on bicycles. I found out they had shipped the bicycles to Prudhoe Bay and were riding south.........to ARGENTINA!!. each was 26, one from Denver and one from Ireland. They were 7 days into a one year ride. Unreal. Had met in Denver and planned this for quite some time. A year, would spend about 20K each they thought. I was truly amazed. They were both very slender, I bet by now they are both even more
so don't you think. Here they are.....

One more pic of the fat girl at our destination. If you think about it.......From here on I am on my way closer to home...this is as far as I will be from Monroe City for the rest of the adventure.

alright, enough already I know. Try to imagine wanting to do something for 30 years and that feeling you get when you step up to the place you have dreamed about. Now what?
Well, I guess now you savor it. Best chicken salad sandwich and bottle of water I have had in my whole life. I sat on a bench in the sun and relaxed a while. I am possilby the world's worst relaxer. As mentioned earlier I am kind of a high strung Type A idiot. Not today. I don't care when I get back.
Taking my time south I got another picture of the pipline with a long uphill run of switchbacks.

I am in awe of this oil pipeline. And for that matter of the lanscape. Beautiful. I can see why people go to Alaska and STAY.

more good stuff amigos
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When I'm dead, I sure don't want people thinking I never really lived. Hell with that.

Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"

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Old 02-20-2012, 08:58 AM   #75
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Haul road back to FB continued

So just a little north of the Yukon River is this 2nd campground with a souvenir shop and food. Burgers, ice cream and such. In the middle of nowhere. So I stopped on my way back. The sun was out....it was probably 70 degrees or close. Gal running it was really different. I hate to seem unkind, but she was really bitter. Hated the world it seemed. Nothing nice to say about anybody or anything. I don't understand people like that. She had a bandana covering her head and it looked like she may have lost her hair. I couldn't help but wonder if she been treated for cancer. She had that look. And if so she maybe had a reason to be bitter. I finally got her to warm up a little bit and talk about life in Alaska. She came out and sat in the sun for a while and it was a beautiful day. She told me about three times that there were many motorcycle wrecks on the haul road and most of them fatal. She told be a few weeks before a guy crashed on the Yukon river bridge and was hurt pretty bad. First he declined medical tratment, but was kind of delirious talking all kinds of nonsense. Said there were other riders, though he was alone. Said he was Governor of Alabama. Lot's on stuff in addition that made no sense. Finally a family persuaded his to ride with them to Fairbanks to the hospital and the father driving was convinced he wouldn't live long enough to make it to Fairbanks. Turns out the guy made it, had a broken wrist, arm, shoulder, punctured lung. And talk about ironic, he really had been the Governor of Alabama. No kidding. Anyway I hope I made her day better, that was my intention and she did finally smile once talking about her family.
Here is the store she ran. Great strawberry shake for 7.00 which is not bad up there.

same store....neat sign eh. I was able to escape without a charge too.........

The place from the road.

Headed south again. My land what a gorgeous day it is.

Okay, last picture from the haul road. I must be wearing you out by now.
The road looks fairly wide on Ice Road truckers show. It is not. You meet these big semis and they are just FLYING. 50 mph speed limit my butt. I got over far as I could, waved and tried to stay the heck out of the way.
I had encounterd only a few going up because i got an early start. On the way south I had plenty of truck traffic meeting me. They are trying to make a living....I am on vacation. I would pull over when one got behind me and let em go. Waved and was very respectful. You don't want to piss these guys off. They talk on the radio. So I was sure to treat them the way I'd want to be treated if I was working. When you meet them those rocks can sting. No broken lights though so I am good!!

oops here is the one I meant to post meeting trucks. there were 3 in convoy here. OUCH...ping ping ping.

Got back to Fairbanks before 5pm.....she needs a bath for sure though I still find her very beautiful
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Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"

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