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Old 07-06-2012, 07:33 PM   #121
Two Moto Kiwis OP
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Fort St James A Hidden Gem

We went to this town only because Otis (a couch surfer we met in Whitehorse) told us to. He stayed with Mel who has a sauna right on the lake. We must come to see her, because she is Otis favorite person in the world or to quote “An Inspiration”! So we did.

One hour before we got to Fort St James, Andi’s GPS told us to take a short cut on Dog Creek Road. Half an hour later, we found this is no longer a complete road. We have to turn around. Never trust the GSP again!

We got to town at about 8pm, only had a phone number for Mel and a phone that does not work in Canada, we were standing in front of a closed visitor center without a cellphone wondering how can we make a phone call.

A local man in a car saw us there, did a U turn and asked us if we need help. That was Miguel, who later took us to his place, we made a phone call to Mel, got the directions to her house. Miguel also kindly led us down the road to her place. What a warm welcoming introduction of Fort St James!

Fort St James located on the side to Stuart Lake, which is 67km long, is similar size to lake Wanaka where we live in New Zealand www.wanaka.co.nz . It has a few hiking trails and the ski field has the longest T bar in North America. It is an industry center for surrounding area, the main industry here is logging. There is an historical site in town, which has staff dressed as old days and show you what happened here. Because the town is located 60km from the main road, not many people come and visit here - which is a shame. The district office is trying hard to get more tourists to come in.

Mel, of course just as Otis described, nice, inspirational and lovely. She lives in a lovely log cabin beside the lake, with a beautiful garden and a vege garden too! The next day was her daughter Maya’s 3rd birthday, so we went to town and brought a wee gift for her. In the evening, Ellen made Sushi and some of Mel’s friends came along, we had a wee party for Maya and we were allowed to join in.

Sondra with Maya opening her Dora prezzy



This needs no explaining ....no-one was gonna get that chocy bar the birthday girl!!



We can't not mention the sauna right at the beach. It is a heated by a log burner, you can hop in and out of the lake if feel too hot. Some friends arrived on the boat the second night, we had another party there.

Sorry bout my builders crack ladies and gents.



Now there are some really nice things happened here in Fort St James. The district office gave us some free vouchers, we also had free burgers in the Spirit Square. After three hours hiking up to Mount Pope, we dropped into the super market to get some food.

Top of Mount Pope



Ellen and I with a view second to none.



Same same ... me and the chief



Ellen didn’t read the price properly, we thought we had enough money with us but we were a dollar short!, Andi went to get the (emergency) money only to find we have US $20.00 only, never mind, the check out lady asked her manager and got a Canadian dollar for us! 1 dollar is not a big deal, but I bet you can’t go anywhere else to get your groceries out with 1 cent short!, the following day we returned to the shop armed with Canadian money and purchased a lot more food and duly returned the $1.00 that was paid forward to us with no expectations.

From Meguel helping us to get the directions to the 1 dollar to help us get our groceries it truly shows how generous people in Fort St James are! We love this town, if one day they have an accountant and quantity surveyor shortage, we will be here in the drop of a hat.

Some groovy shots across the lake from the beach at sunset,this IS living!!



Silhouette of Ellen and Maya



Spot the dog



He is famous now ... bloody BIG dog I might add!



Busted .. hard arsed RTW adventure rider / cuddly touchy feely bloke, Maya decided she wanted to hold my hand on the way back along the beach, she swung around in the water and played "rabbit" jumping up and down in the water with shrieks of laughter ... really cool stuff actually.



A local church down by the water front



Many thanks to Fort St James and the great people from Two Grateful Kiwis, we will now take the generosity shown to us and pay it forward for someone else to enjoy and Fort St James to benefit from.

ADVers and readers, if you are looking for a great wee time out and R&R place check it out http://www.fsjames.com/
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:17 PM   #122
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Spectacular stuff guys! Keep the updates coming.

We have my annual Minginui-Matawai-Motu Midwinter Madness ride coming up in a couple of weeks, the weather is chilling down nicely, hopefully we will get some snow

Cheers
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:57 PM   #123
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Thanks for the updates and great photos.
We crossed paths in Dawson and I also met you on the Dempster as I was heading south and you were on your way north. I got out just before all the rains hit but did have a few pucker moments with the greasy road.
Enjoy the ride and I will continue to follow along.
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Old 07-15-2012, 03:13 PM   #124
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Fort St James To Dunster

Quote:
Originally Posted by clintnz View Post
Spectacular stuff guys! Keep the updates coming.

We have my annual Minginui-Matawai-Motu Midwinter Madness ride coming up in a couple of weeks, the weather is chilling down nicely, hopefully we will get some snow

Cheers
Clint
Heya Clint, great to hear from you mate, hope the Minginui-Matawai-Motu Midwinter Madness goes well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by agplant View Post
Thanks for the updates and great photos.
We crossed paths in Dawson and I also met you on the Dempster as I was heading south and you were on your way north. I got out just before all the rains hit but did have a few pucker moments with the greasy road.
Enjoy the ride and I will continue to follow along.
Heya mate, great to hear you got in and out ok, yeah we had a real mixed bag including wild fires which made it a bit more interesting.

So ... Fort St Fames To Dunster

So leaving Fort St James was difficult given the superb treatment we had been given and the things we had done made it a special place in both our hearts.

We left down the long straights heading toward Jasper, we had been told that Dunster was a nice place to camp which is 160km short of Jasper so we tentatively aimed for this.

Mrs Garmin also sent us AWOL at Prince George so we did a few unintended back streets .... found the NAPA store when we didn’t need one.

Along the way we were treated to a black bear crossing the road ... it would seem he didn’t like DR650’s tho as he ran off ... or maybe we just smelled bad.

Upon arriving at Dunster we faffed around trying to find out where the camping spot was, turned out where we were at the community hall was it, power, water, dunnie, soft grass to pitch on and picnic tables ... and free!!!



I asked at the general store and the lady there said no worries at all, we settled in and waited for the sun to go down as it was some 30 degs C plus, we decided to have tea first, salamis and green peppers with smoked mayo in a hard bread wrap fit for a king, also chamomile tea brewed from Mels garden in Fort St James.

We set up after looking around for a quiet spot, the neighbours were very quiet!



No sooner we had tea and a local drove by turned around and came back, curiosity catching is mind with the bikes.

Richard (as he turned out to be) came and said gidday so we chatted about farming for a while and life in general, turns out he had been to New Zealand and knew quite a bit about it which was well cool, he then left, we set up camp and decided to go for a walk down to the Fraser river were there is a groovy lattice and concrete bridge which had caught my eye earlier ... Two Photo Kiwis at it again!!!



Nice lattice work





The flowers on the bridge abutments, beautifully done and a huge improvement on designa grey concrete





Some local toilet sheds for when they have their music festival, the mozzies were seriously friendly here and both Ellen and I had a black cloud following us so if you were to use these it would wonna be a quick downtrou.



We came back across the bridge to find Richard watering the pot plants at the end of the abutments, he said “I left you guys a wee gift worthy of drinking”, we said well we better go and deal to it eh.

So we went up to the camp in his Jeep, on arrival we find a bottle of Argentinian Malbec Red wine with three glasses and a genuine Greenstone Tiki from New Zealand from when he was there many years ago.



The Tiki was a gift to Ellen, Richard asked that we return it back to New Zealand, we will and we will also take Tiki on a tour of South America first.

The bottle was levelled pretty quickly among three of us and more chats and a quick photo session was held before Richard parted for home and we settled in to bed.



Yet again with no planning or expectations thing just work out, something that just seems to happen.

They also have a swap shed for locals for any unwanted but reusable items, Richard said see if there was anything we wanted and go for it, also if we did want something we could leave it there for someone else to use.



Ellen wanted some jandels and well you wouldn't believe it, neat jandels with a groovy pattern and the right size, thank you to Dunster for these.

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Old 07-15-2012, 04:37 PM   #125
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Edmonton

Dickie (Mark) and Elaine from our Wanaka Motorcycle Club in Wanaka New Zealand were over in Edmonton, Elaines mum and dad live there and this was Dickie and Elaine’s last part of their trip in Canada before heading home.

It was decided a couple of weeks prior that we would make the effort and travel down to Edmonton to catch up with them knowing we wouldn’t see them for another two years.

The ride from Jasper to Edmonton was not one we would do again as it was LONG and STRAIGHT so not DR650 country but for us it was the easiest way to get to see them, when we exited Edmonton we took the back roads.

Great catching up with them, plenty of lies and wine was drunk so just like home.



We also checked out a RSV4 Tuono that Dickie was keen on. ... suits you sir.!!





So for us it was a change the oil, meet up old mates, make new mates and see the old mates leave Canada without flogging anything ... it worked.

The after match function from the final family do turned into quite a session with Cam (from NZ) and his girlfriend Jodi joining in with family and friends and the drunken bums and kiwis overstayers.





A final goodbye and photo (we were here) before we put on all our riot gear and rode off to our next destination ... place unknown.



Great to catch you guys, nice little touch of home, many thanks to Collin and Elma for putting up with us and having us stay.
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:24 PM   #126
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Dunster To Jasper To Edmonton To Jasper

We knew we were in for a treat having seen some amazing pics, for us the stars aligned and mum nature ticked all the right boxes for what can only be described as perfect motorcycle and tourist weather with late 20’s to early 30’s everyday most without a cloud to see.

For us to have the trip down the icefields highway was simply magic and to have the perfect weather was second to none.

We arrived at the park to be greeted by Mount Robson, no cloud whatsoever which apparently is a little rear... how cool is that as we got to see it in all its glory.



I had to do a dangerfreak run to the middle of the road as we an almost clear section for a minute so I took advantage of that.



The road was clean and clear but there was fresh evidence of the rampage that mum nature had unleashed on the area only three weeks prior, brand new sections of tar seal replacing that which was blown away by the huge water deluge.

On arriving at Jasper it was approx 32 deg c ... hot!



We found the restaurant where Mel from Fort St James friend worked, we had a lite lunch and coffee and left our riot gear there, I wanted a belt for my shorts and discovered the totally groovy Moose beanies so I had to have one.



Later on in the afternoon we rode up to Pyramid Lake where Ellen had a swim and I sat down in the sun and relaxed....just hard work.



From there we went to Meligne Lake park, we were greeted by black bears, sheep with rolly horns, Elk, Deer etc so pretty neat to see the wildlife up close, we wanted to travel in the evening as it was cooler and it turned out to be the better viewing time.

Electric Psycho sheep and Ellen creeping up quietly



Bear just strolling along, he just kind walked past lifted his nose and said "chur bro" then carried on





Some general pics,

Lake Meligne



Sunset pics, about 10.00pm at night





The park ride we finished at around 10.30pm so we went to Snaring River camp for the night, it was 11.00pm when we arrived and set up.

In the morning we discovered that we had set up in a mozzie party zone and they were extremely hungry, Ellen said lets just pack up and have breaky at the Meligne Canyon, after 30 seconds for me standing outside and getting about as many bites it was not a hard decision.

Meligne canyon is great, really neat water falls and canyon and comes highly recommended, it was very hot when we were there so again it was a treat.





From the canyon we headed to Edmonton to catch up with Dickie and Elaine, see separate sub report for for this.
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:13 AM   #127
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Wicked Canadian Rockys

Its a great part of Canada your in there , you could wear a camera out around the Ice Fields Highway a , keep the stories coming , my visa expires here in 6 weeks , dont know if I should go home or not , weather has been shit in Te Anau , 30c + every day here . Ride Safe. Toddy
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:09 PM   #128
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:44 AM   #129
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Quote:
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Its a great part of Canada your in there , you could wear a camera out around the Ice Fields Highway a , keep the stories coming , my visa expires here in 6 weeks , dont know if I should go home or not , weather has been shit in Te Anau , 30c + every day here . Ride Safe. Toddy
Its safe to come home now Toddy. Beautiful sunny days, the ice on our pond is all melted and even signs of early blossum.
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:50 PM   #130
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May 3rd to June 20th - Alaska Sum Up And The Heart Speaks

This section of our RR Diary is the open heart part, not necessarily the bit everyone wants to read but we are normal people (well Ellen is) living our life on the road, you see the glamorous pictures and fine weather.

But the camera doesn't usually come out in the heavy rain or the hard winds and it never turns up while having a chat over navigational differences as the camera quite simply does not convey that emotion unless you have a professional cameraman and a hollywood set right at hand .... we don't.

So please realize there is some heart content in here, good and bad, so no photos in this one, just a big read for those who want to.

For the rest of you shallow bugga's like me who can't be assed reading and a picture is worth a thousand words you will be treated in the next installment of Two Lucky Kiwis.

How Andi Sees it

Highlights Non Motorcycle

The people, first off the people who made us very welcomed and gave as great information and help along the way, something that when you are on the road makes your day, something you don’t really appreciate until you don’t have a home.

We find ourselves comparing Wanaka were we live in New Zealand, a good and bad thing to do in some ways but people always compare what they had to what they have, we are human too ... or at least Ellen is.

Alaska all over, pretty cool on the groovy meter.

Snow, views, grandeur, wildlife.

Cost, mostly way cheaper than NZ.

Selection (except metric bolts) is huge across the board, it is not “do you have one” it is “how many colours do you have it in”

I know there are many more but simply can’t remember every one of them, acid test, would I come back to Alaska again? ... HELL YEAH!!

T Mobile, surprisingly good coverage in some very rural places and great coverage across the wide regions of Alaska... even in Prudhoe Bay at the Beaufort Sea, also for calling home and checking in, very worth while to have.

Lows Non Motorcycle

Ellen not riding a little more in NZ to up skill and practice on my bike at home without house and contents on board, once loaded (and we are not heavily loaded) they are more difficult to manouver.

This has created 10 fold more work for me, I expect her to drop it now and then with off camber ground and that is motorcycling but many falls could easily have been avoided and not caused trouble, my main concern is against the odds Ellen is using up her “avoiding injury” credits fairly quickly, the bike will take it and can be fixed easily, she can’t.

American excess, everyone drives a huge V8 pickup, SUV etc, even mums picking up groceries at the supermarket have a monster truck. In New Zealand a V8 is wow, here they are everywhere ... so Americans... don’t want to hear any of you fellas grizzling about the cost of fuel while looking at what you drive!! 8-)

I qualify this by saying we understand if it is a towing vehicle or commercial unit where size and power is needed but for some bread and eggs.....

Rice and Asian food ingredients, way more expensive than NZ

Our ipad, 4 weeks old and some oxygen thief flogged it from under our noses in the University Of Fairbanks Library, makes you mad but it is only a material thing that can be replaced.

Motorcycle Highlights

If you want to organize things or get sorted in Alaska on the motorcycle side then Alaska Leather are the only words you will need, see Barb and you know it will be done and done right, thanks to Barb and her team.

The roads, not as twisty as NZ, a lot better condition across the board, big distances in miles caught us out a few times, gotta remember to x 1.6 8-) but all roads have been great even at 32 degrees F with rain.

Challenging and winning with the Dalton, we had everything thrown at us which kept the level of entertainment up, it made for hard times and good so everything an adventure should be.

Bezzer and Greg for helping with Ellens side stand while we got her high settings sorted, you guys are Honorary Kiwis.

Me, going to give myself props as our luggage and bike setup has come up trumps and is working very well for us, our bikes may not be sprayed with glossy touratech stuff and look “coul” but we have narrow luggage with low windage and some groovy crash bars which have paid their way, we have room to spare for bits and pieces.

All in all very happy with the setup and tuning Ellen’s height issues as we go (now sorted as at writing this ..YAY)

Motorcycle lows

My bike which was running like shit from day one was disappointing then to top it off I made it my problem to try and fix cos I didn’t want to whinge, I should have given it straight back to the stealership day one and said sort it rather than try and sort it myself, remember these bikes were brand new.

So, if you want a meaningless argument with unhelpful people and poor service, be talked down to and to be treated like an idiot we highly recommend Alaska Cycle Centre, sorry guys but the way we were treated and the run around you gave us this is a good as I would give you, in fact you still have the warrantee speedo cable clip for Ellen’s bike that was never on the bike and you wanted to charge us for!!!, despite our calls to get it we still don’t have it, I don’t like dissing down on things but after all this time on the road you guys are still worth a mention for other riders to consider and choose when they get to Alaska and more so Anchorage ..shame on you!!!

It took Barb ringing Alaska Cycle Centre and issuing harsh words to the owner to get us sorted, it should not have to come to that, once again Alaska Leather (Barb and crew) with their positive attitude towards getting things sorted out come out shinning.

How Ellen sees it

Low Points

It was our last day in Alaska, June 19th 2012, tomorrow we will head to Dawson City
The trip is lot harder than I anticipated. I knew it was going to be tough, but don’t know how tough it going to get.

First, the weather. Although we started in late May, hoping that the weather was going to be warmish - wrong. We had snow almost every trip we went on. Not just snow, also the wind and rain. The first trip from Anchorage to Homer was hard enough for me to say: “If the rest of our adventure like this, I’m going home.”

Second, road condition. I have to say the Alaska roads are mostly nice, wide and smooth, less twisty than NZ road. They also have lots of signs to warn you: gravel, road work, dip, road damage. You won’t get too many surprises. However, the road works made the road very hard, specially for our motorcycles. They are also very long. In NZ, we have road work for a few hundred meters, here in Alaska, they have it from a few Ks, the longest one we had was nearly 40ks.

Third, my riding. I didn’t do much riding before the trip. I was scared to fall which will destroy our trip. I was hoping when I start to ride, I will pick it up quickly - wrong again. I should have done more practice, doing figure of 8 and turning, stopping and starting.

For the first few weeks of riding, my turning and stopping was terrible, I can’t turn around. It has caused a lot frustration especially on a busy road. Andi blames me for not listening, he had told me what to do when turning and stopping, I seemed not to master what he thought it’s a simple task. On top of that, my bike is still a little too high for me, I am still on tip toes when stopped, that has meant that Chiwi dropped many times on my stops.

The Denali Highway trip, almost turned Two Moto Kiwis to One Moto Kiwi.

It was our last day in Alaska, June 19th 2012, the next day we would head to Dawson City. The trip is lot harder than I participated. I knew it was going to be tough, but don’t know how tough it was going to get.

What happened was Andi saw two cyclists, one who had a flatty and they were on the side of the road, Andi stopped to ask if they need any help. I was following far behind so in theory I should be able to stop safely no problem. But I applied my rear brake a bit late, not dear to touch the front brake in fears of sliding on gravel road, then my front wheel just touched his bike wheel, I dropped the bike again.

I hated every time I dropped the bike, and Andi was taking a picture of it doesn’t make it better either. I was furious, so I shouted to him why did he stop. He helped me pick up the bike and took off. Left the two cyclists stunned. I was still angry, but have to concentrate on the road.

After about an hour later, I saw Andi pulled over on the road side. I pulled over and he started his serous talk with me. He said: “Tok, or ticket home”, you choose. If you are going home, there will be no Two Moto Kiwis and no Andi and Ellen ANYMORE.” He went on about the ipad and I nearly lost the laptop case in the morning, plus my riding has frustrated him as every time I drop my bike he has to help which increases his work x 4. He is supposed to enjoy his life time travel, but at the moment, he doesn’t. My shot at him in the public just tipped him over.

I started crying, I know I have been very bitchy in the last few days. I have behaved not the normal “Ellen”, I know that. On my side of the story I have hurt my elbow when we cleaned the garden before we left. Its been haunting me every day now. My fitness has dropped since we started the trip, not enough regular exercise which used to make me happy. I admit, it’s not Andi’s fault, and I blamed him and at worst, in public. I apologized.

But I’m not going to give it up. I have been putting up with lots of harsh conditions, inconvenience, discomfort, put myself out of comfort zone for this trip but it was my idea to get my license and do the trip together after talking with other female adventure riders.

We have met great people here and have seen lots of nice scenery. Lots of people have told us a trip like this has broken up a few couples. I will prove this is wrong as so far with our difficulties taking us to the edge and back we are stronger now. Sorry Andi, please forgive me, if I hurt you, I didn’t mean it. I promise to practice my ride and get my skills upgrade quickly.

High Points

Anchorage

Mark flew us over the glacier, Andi even flew airplane on the way back for a while.
Tom took us on his hover craft over Lake George

Homer

when we got through wind, rain, snow and hale, Homer welcomed us with brilliant sun shine and a moose wondering in the front yard and our host Charlie who was second to none.

Valdez

I saw a brown bear while jogging outside the camping ground, the good point was he ran away and I went back to campsite safely.

Fairbanks

Soak in Chena hot springs

Prudhoe Bay (Deadhorse)

Rode Dalton highway successfully
Dip toes in the Arctic Ocean
Saw caribou on the road
Grizzly bear with her cub


Impression of Alsaka

Language

Guess what, with strong South Island accent, people understand my “Chinglish” better than Andi’s NZ English. I have been translating his “ NZ English” into “proper English.” Still, there are lots of differences, here are some examples (NZ English is in front):

petrol - gas; rubbish - trash; tea - dinner or supper; herb - erb (American do not pronounce H); bum bag - fanny pack; Bloody Mozzies - Damn Skeeters.


Camping difference

Their camping ground is huge but more set up for RV - hard stony ground rather than grassy for a tent. So far we have broken five pegs and bent a few more. You pay camping fees by site not by person - makes single travel more expensive. Less facilities compareed to NZ camping, you pay $20 with no shower or kitchen. But every site will have a picnic table and fire pit. You can buy or bring your own fire wood.
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Andi (oveja negra) & Ellen (chica amarilla)...Two Moto Kiwi Grüvers .....riding Maya somewhere ..Una Chimba
Two Moto Kiwis Home Page ..Danger Is Real ... Fear Is Optional
For More Of Two Moto Kiwis Photos
....Where The Hell Are We .. Spot Us

Two Moto Kiwis screwed with this post 08-13-2012 at 06:29 PM
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:07 PM   #131
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Gear Review

Gear Review

ARAI XD 4, mint, perfect for road, adv riding, keeping rain off.

The adjustable height peak making life easier, in the low sun pull in down as a sun shade, same in the rain, you can still have the front vents open in the rain with the peak down and you won’t get wet, great design.

Lift the peak up for better venting and looking at HUGE mountain tops.

The only thing I don’t like about the XD4 is having to take it off as that means we have stopped.





KLIM gear, Keeping Large Insistent Mozzies out, this gear is outstanding, the only grizzle I have is my Adventure Rally jacket does not have great inlet venting at the front so I had the two front pockets opening on the inside and meshed so I can use them for a pocket or vent, these work incredibly well now.

Across the board extremely happy with it and believe it will more than do the distance.
Icebreaker, the best, nothing short of excellent whichever way you look at it, we have 100 % icebreaker and for hot or cold it is a winner, wear a T shirt for 5 days straight rinse and wear again without stinking, perfect adv gear for the undergrowth.



Forma ATV boot, great boots but my right hand boot is coming apart, I wrote to Forma and nothing !!!!! not a sausage back from them so a little disappointing to be fair.



First Gear, Ellens, Kilimanjaro jacket and TPG Escape, very good gear and very nicely cut for female riders, they are waterproof so far and Ellen love the inner pants can be warn as normal pants so dual purpose. The only complains from Ellen is the black pans getting too hot in the sun, a lighter colored ones would be just perfect.



Barkbusters, a must, nothing more to say than they are the best, we had tortured them in New Zealand on my bikes and now Ellen has taken them to the end and back, her last spill she went down heavily, they are straight and although looking slightly second hand from being road bashed and rashed they are still fully functional and in remarkably good condition.



Screens For Bikes, again another mint product for ADV riding, the shape and height across the board makes these very nice to sit behind.





Having a screen is a subjective topic, when it is sunny and warm you don’t want one, when it is pissing down and blowing it needs to be twice the height and width and preferable with a roof attached.

All is all they work very well and we are stoked with them.

Garmin 660, we have had trouble with my GPS sending us down goat tracks that go no where causing us up to 1 hrs turn arounds, we have contacted Garmin and at first we given the brush off, I persisted with a stronger email and to be fair they are trying to sort it out, same GPS, same model, same firmware, same updates, same settings two vary different directions given, hopefully with the reinstalling of the new updates my will start to behave the way it should.

The Bikes, we after a big scrap (see above) with Alaska Pshyco Centre the bikes are running well, mine has a hesitation in the middle still but not enough to haul it all apart for, next service with tank off I will raise the needle a notch and think this will fill the hole.

Sargent Seats, bum saver supreme, they have softened up over the course of the travels thus have become more comfy, the shape is superb compared to the stocker shocker and after 8500 miles they are pleasure to sit on.





Hilliberg, Keron 4 GT, nothing more to say other than get one, strong, quick to put up, great space and vestibule, my only grizzle is the pegs are poorly engineered, will email Hilliberg on this and give them some suggestions.

Coleman 508B, pooed itself three weeks into the trip, still heats ok but the lower or simmer settings have gone so it is all or none.

Yoda Star Wars Chair, kids chair and my bum fits in OK, very lite and looks cool as, compact to take on the bike, we have the power of the force with us so thatmust be a good thing.



Ellens Pink Walmart Chair, looks nice and girlie, small and lite and cheap which is what we want, not as cool as Yoda tho.

AME Heated Grips, we are both on our second set having both sets fail within a week of each other, love the feel and good heat but think the electronics is a bit fussy, I would recommend not six settings individually programmable but one central mounted decent switch with off, med, high on them. AME, you have nice feeling grips but I can’t help but think fussy electronics will survive the test of time, heat and vibration, watch this space.

Safari 30 L Tanks, simply the best for the Long Haul, with a theoretical milage of nearly 700 km these are a must, for the most of the time you could get way with less but the one time you don’t and having to push your house and contents to a petrol station would leave me wondering why.

For us it is one fuel cell, no extras or jerry cans, we have our Motion Pro fuel tap on the side to fill our cooker, perfect.

The only grizzle is the Acerbis locking fuel caps, again both of ours failed on the Dempster by causing a vacuum lock, my bike stopped right in the middle of a huge thunderstorm so I had to undo my cap to equal the pressure, they are also a sod to line up to avoid cross threading and these have large threads!!! very unimpressed with these to be honest so it is back to the std caps.

Happy Trails Highway Pegs, best $50.00 you will spend (other than on booze), to be able to rest the legs in a new position, also opens your trouser leg for venting on the hot days.

Very happy with these to say the least.

Delis Tools LED marker lights, through Delis Tools (bro), visibility is king and many people have commented on these, they are not driving lights, just marker lights on our Barkbusters and they are visible from a long way past the DR candle.



Kincrome Cases, (the big visible yello ones) these are great cases for strength, the full length hinge we believe is stronger than the Pelicans at two hinges, they are waterproof at this stage, all cases have had a beating so far and they are standing up well.



Tough!!



The Pelicans though we believe had better locking handles, not stronger but easier to use, the Kincrome Cases are sharply finished which has led to a coupla cut fingers.

Home Made Tool Tubes, Delis Engineering Wanaka Division, these have worked out great, they don’t hang below the bashplate line, they have had some pretty harsh conditions thrown at them and stood up unscathed.



I did make the end cap waterproof and the door has butyl rubber seal for waterproofing which is waterproof enough to let the water in and hold it!!! ... not sure how that works, so each tube now has a 6 mm hole drilled in the bottom on the left so it can drain when ever on the stand.

GP Custom Bashplates, a must and well made, very happy to be running these, seem to be better built with more protection that one you buy over here.



Wallmart 38 cent glue bottle, ditch the glue, used for daily chain lube, simply turn the top and lace the chain with a nice thin strip of oil, we are using chainsaw bar oil, nice and thick mixed with a combo of spare new engine oil from oil change leftover.

Motion Pro fuel tap, used for filling our multifuel Coleman cooker, makes it very easy to get fuel for the cooker, no spare bottles required, neat and simple, no pulling fuel lines off and on.

Ricor Intiminators, these are brilliant, we put in 5wt oil and 500mls per tube, stock spring and teh combo works very well with the intiminator reducing the dive and the 5wt oils allowing the wheel to be very supple over corrugations or washboard.

YSS rear damper, great shock, the stock shock is pretty soggy in the damping and this works a treat, I machined the collars to fit a factory spring, I have used my factory spring against some advice from other RTW travellers.

I prefer my wheels to do the dancing rather than the bike and me, Ellen at 52 kg this works out perfect for her.

We also have to remember we are not seeking 6ft jumps, rough single tracks and racing circuits so we need to hit the happy medium between weight carriage and a nice suple ride on the rough, I believe we have accomplished this.

Icebreaker, nothing else to say other than superb, the Merino Wool is an Adventure bikers buddy, we go for days at a time without a shower (uwh I know ) and the Icebreaker holds it own and simply does not smell, even after a few stinking hot days I simply dumped my shirt and gruds into the water for a quick rinse and bombs away .. good for another year JK

Also the warmth and also the ability to keep you cool on hot day we simply do not wear anything else.

Pictured here with Naomi and Alberto from Salt Spring Island, Vancouver, even they are total converts.



T-Mobile http://www.t-mobile.com/?cm_mmc_o=Vz...CPyzEpCjCW%2f- it would be fair to say the coverage we have had is very very good, even in Prudhoe Bay I rang home to New Zealand to tell family we have fulfilled the Arctic part of our trip and that we were in Deadhorse, the reception was very good, also on the Copper River near Chitina, I couldn't believe we were able to get out from there so T-Mobile get the huge thumbs up, thank you for a good usable product.
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:05 PM   #132
Phreaky Phil
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Hey guys, awesome write up. Man those pics bring back some memories. I remember when we through the Icefields Parkway, one morning I mentioned I had a sore neck and commented at breakfast that i must have slept awkwardly, but it turns out I wasn't the only one. We concluded it was from gawking at the mountains. !!
I have a question for you. I assume you have replaced your I-pad. How do you find it to post ride reports from ? Can you post pics straight from Ipad to Advrider or do you have to go via something like smug mug.
We are packing for our TAT trip (leaving in 3 weeks) and have been "mulling," (read that as procrastinating !! ) over whether to get an Ipad or take our little notebook. It weighs twice as much, twice as bulky and is a lot slower.
But also another $1000

Whats your intended route through the US. Might bump into you somewhere
Cheers Phil and Dawn
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:32 PM   #133
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Edmonton To Jasper

Ok, we have just left Edmonton ... quick eh!

The main road from Jasper to Edmonton was long and straight thus we decided to take backs roads via Leduc, Lodgepole, Cadomin and back up to the last little bit of main drag before heading to Jasper.

As we got out of town and into the rural area we were riding through small backroads in between paddocks of rape (Canola Seed), stunning colours.



The trip was uneventful and far easier than the main drag, we stopped at Lodgepole for lunch in the shade of an oil pump station shed, not the most epically beautiful place but it was shady which made it nice.

After lunch was the mystery ride part of our trip, we called into an industrial workstation and asked if we were on the right track, turns out we were.

This turned out to be a mini Dempster, we thought it looked like a nice quiet back road but it turned out to be anything but with logging trucks and traffic galore, that with the dust and the heat we started to question our methodology but it was scenic.

The road varied from nice hard pack to riverbed soft and bouldery, Ellen managed to get to the off cambered shoulder and into the very deep and soft stuff at which point Chiwi lay down for a rest at 90 degrees to the road, Ellen was ok, Chiwi had some pretty good scuffs but once again the Bark busters came through shining as did the Kiwi hardwood crash rails which are looking decidedly second hand now.

I stopped at a small river to wait a minute for Ellen to catch up, we got talking to some people who were camping there, very friendly (and don’t bite) so we decided to stop for the night and set up, they invited us over to their camp with a fire and some drinkies, very nice evening chatting and drinking.

Ellen had gone to bed a bit earlier, I am pleased I didn’t as we were treated to Northern lights for about 5 - 6 minutes, no blues or greens in colour but the lights were on.

I rushed back to the tent and dragged Ellen outa bed, she got up in time to see the halfmoon of light recede and the fingers extend out across the ski, I have to admit to seeing that beauty put some small tears of appreciation in my eyes as we see nothing like this in New Zealand.

No photos sorry, just the memories in our mind.

The following morning we had a round of Coffee with Baileys with our groovy neighbours, that set the new benchmark of exotic camping!!, from there we packed up and left for Cadomin.

This is Cadomin general store, you think you are in the styx then a huge bus pulls up and 50 people pile out!!



The road was improving all the time and we had a new found appreciation for tarseal again ... something we all take for granted everyday, on the way we were treated to more wild life.



Cadomin was cool and not to far from tarseal, we went through a couple of tunnels on the road which were quite cool, the road at this point was perfect.



From the main drag we headed back to Jasper, along the way we were greeted with stunning scenery and textbook perfect weather.
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:22 PM   #134
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Jasper To Banff

On arriving at Jasper we tanked up then headed toward the Icefields Highway, first stop was the secret Edge Of The World that everyone knows about, WOH HOH, breathing taking views and scenery, note to one self to stay back from the edge, one slip was certain death.

It is quite a climb to get up there which you only appreciate when you look over the edge



Us in love but a little nervous .. not of Ellen but of the dropoff she could throw me over



A beautiful waterfall graced our ears and eyes, very special place.



With sweaty hands we took photos as close as we dared then went back to the Chiwi and Hobbit who were patiently waiting
for us, look to the background to see our elevation.



We carried on down the highway, so much to see, so much to photograph and so much to want to stop and just look at with huge hanging basins and glacial fronts looking right at us.

Only a coupla pics as we don't want to bore you to death knowing how many pics have been put on here.



Grandeur is the only way to explain it..... the sticker I mean





We only made it as far at the Columbia Icefeilds building glacier so set up camp the night there in a tent only camp, superb place with epic views.

We ended up having a wine and cheese evening around a camp fire with our neighbours and great chats about life.

The following morning we headed back to the Icefields building, we left our riot gear there in the main office and walked across to the clacier .... outstanding.





On our return to the building there was a lineup of bikes in the carpark ranging from Two Skunky Kiwis dirty beaten up DRs to 12 hundy Tenneres that were shinier than new, and there were some Harleys.



One Harley had what appeared to be a coffin for luggage, we went to get a photo but missed them by a minute.

Heading on down toward Banff we were treated to views second to none and hot weather, we were only doing 60 km/hr looking out the window and stopping for photos, very memorable day indeed.





Lake Louise, slightly beautiful and very touristy





Huge Hotel, the people there were very nice in concierge and looked after our riot gear while we treated ourself to a coffee and snack and wee stroll around the lake, 5 star it was and very warm .... not bad I have to say



In Banff we were to catch up with Grif and Lisa from Gippers Travels http://gipperstravels.blogspot.ca/

We had modeled quite a bit of our setup on their bike and Grif had been wealth of information in helping us get packed and sorted so to meet them was a treat for us.

It was a meet and catch up, factory fork lowering, fixed my leaking sump plug, clean air filters, sprocket change try and sort my GPS which was still telling lies.

Left is Lisa, back is Grif and well you probably can tell Ellen and I apart.



Having had RTW riders/travellers use our facilities and tools at home and the huge thanks and appreciation we were given I can see their point now we are on the road and are seriously appreciative of doing what in essence are simple things in your own workshop and surroundings.

The mighty fork lowering job on Ellens bike ..



It actually looks like we know what we are doing!!



Steady does it



Massive thanks to Grif and Lisa for having us, showing us around Banff, giving maps and up to date info on South America so stuff you just can’t buy off the shelf, we stayed in Banff 4 nights, relaxed and took the mountain bikes out for some exercise.







Part of our MTB travel took us past this lake which our local Lads from Wanaka will appreciate, to me when I first saw it I read it as Mini Wanker .. not quite right of course but hey!





Ellen and I at the waterfall which with the high water was in full force



On completion of all the above, having showers, toilet, getting washing up to date and now riding the report as we are a little behind we finally set off west towards Vancouver.

Grif and Lisa, thanks guys and it was truly a pleasure meeting you both, we will cross paths again and we look forward to it.
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....Where The Hell Are We .. Spot Us
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Old 07-21-2012, 12:17 AM   #135
hondav2
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Wicked Top write up

It will get easier for u now Ellen, you were into shit weather early in trip, I remember being stuffed every day for a week after riding the Dalton and I had nearly 2 months riding before i done it so you have done very well . The ride to Inuvik was so easy compared to Deadhorse . The pics of he Canadian Rockys bring back a lot of memories but really being there is so much better than looking at pics a . I have been putting in a lot of time on mountain bike and done a 5 hr round the island ride this morning , must get 1 of Barbs pads for the seat, Im riding a honda XRM 110 today . Keep the pics and stories coming . Ride Safe Toddy
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