ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-16-2012, 01:09 PM   #31
Baron650
650x2
 
Baron650's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Stumptown
Oddometer: 107
Great report Steve, that's what the little notebook was for. Hey, you totally left that part out; the Republic neighbor saved the RR!! That and the TDM was an 850. Excellent otherwise. That picture of CJ ridin' away put a tear in my eye.
Baron650 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2012, 02:25 PM   #32
gringostd OP
Rubber side up
 
gringostd's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Yay Area
Oddometer: 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron650 View Post
Great report Steve, that's what the little notebook was for. Hey, you totally left that part out; the Republic neighbor saved the RR!! That and the TDM was an 850. Excellent otherwise. That picture of CJ ridin' away put a tear in my eye.
Right!
Dear diary...

What Rob [Baron650] is referring to is that I lost my travel journal in Republic, WA - at our fairgrounds campsite. A fellow camper picked it up and carried it with him to Sandpoint, Idaho. I had written my name in it [luckily], so he made contact & left it at a gas station for CJ to pick up during his super-slab from Portland. Thanks RV camper from South of Tri-Cities Washington!
__________________
2012 Kawasaki Versys - many others have come and gone.

Arctic Relay 2012 - aka "Pass the Gringo"

gringostd screwed with this post 08-17-2012 at 09:57 AM
gringostd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2012, 08:48 PM   #33
Yukoner2
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Oddometer: 180
Yukon Honda

Yes I am the one with the KLR that just got back from D2D. Still adding more farkles and trying to have a good summer rideing around the country up here.
Yukoner2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2012, 04:59 AM   #34
NHBill
Loosely Wrapped
 
NHBill's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: SW NH
Oddometer: 1,346
Lovin the RR, Steve! Thanks! Stumbled across it early this AM and am really enjoying it.

To answer your question about a place to upload you're GPX tracks (although I can't say that I am hating the Basecamp screenshots) try DualsportMaps.com (CraftyCoder is an inmate here). It's a web based Track and map sharing site. There's also an Android app available but it's not necessary to use the site. Pretty cool really, I've been using it for a while now and really like it

Ride safe and keep up with the gret RR!

Subscribed!
__________________
Cancer Sucks!
I bought it to ride it, not wax it.
Soak it all in, It's a game you can't win, Enjoy the ride
"There's a very fine line dividing bravery from stupidity..."
2009 F650GS
NHBill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2012, 09:59 AM   #35
gringostd OP
Rubber side up
 
gringostd's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Yay Area
Oddometer: 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBill View Post
Lovin the RR, Steve! Thanks! Stumbled across it early this AM and am really enjoying it.

To answer your question about a place to upload you're GPX tracks (although I can't say that I am hating the Basecamp screenshots) try DualsportMaps.com (CraftyCoder is an inmate here). It's a web based Track and map sharing site. There's also an Android app available but it's not necessary to use the site. Pretty cool really, I've been using it for a while now and really like it

Ride safe and keep up with the gret RR!

Subscribed!
Hey NHBill.
Thanks for the tip to DualsportMaps.com. I actually just found that site and some of CraftyCoder's threads about the android app the other day - while researching tablets. Do you use the android app? On what device? Happy with it?
__________________
2012 Kawasaki Versys - many others have come and gone.

Arctic Relay 2012 - aka "Pass the Gringo"
gringostd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2012, 04:06 PM   #36
NHBill
Loosely Wrapped
 
NHBill's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: SW NH
Oddometer: 1,346
Quote:
Originally Posted by gringostd View Post
Hey NHBill.
Thanks for the tip to DualsportMaps.com. I actually just found that site and some of CraftyCoder's threads about the android app the other day - while researching tablets. Do you use the android app? On what device? Happy with it?
I do use the app and yes I like it. I'm running it on a 1st generation Droid running v 2.2.3 so it's a little glitchy because of the limited procesing power but other than that I really do like it. One of the best features is that it has the ability to cache maps on your phone so that it works even if your'e out of cell coverage. Just took a trip to Western Maine, probably the last 75 miles of which had spotty to no cell coverage and it worked like a champ . It's painfully slow to do because he intentionally cripples the download to prevent you getting booted off the map servers . I noticed the other day that GMaps will now let you cache maps on your device, I haven't tried to see if it works with those maps yet. Might have to move them to the correct folder or something, I don't know .

What I really like though is being able to plan routes on the website and then share them and/or download them to my phone.

If you have any questions, check out the thread in Vendors that I posted a lnk to, they're probably already answered in there. If not, post it in the thread and Crafty will answer it. He's amazingly good at responding! There are also some tutorial videos on You-Tube (just go to the home page and click on support).
__________________
Cancer Sucks!
I bought it to ride it, not wax it.
Soak it all in, It's a game you can't win, Enjoy the ride
"There's a very fine line dividing bravery from stupidity..."
2009 F650GS
NHBill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2012, 06:14 AM   #37
Bigger Al
Still a stupid tire guy
 
Bigger Al's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Auburn, CA
Oddometer: 7,718
Sure got quiet in here.................................
__________________
"I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth."

Steve McQueen




Bigger Al is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2012, 01:18 PM   #38
gringostd OP
Rubber side up
 
gringostd's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Yay Area
Oddometer: 331
In process...

I know, I know ... pesky work, house, life. Arctic arrival post in process.
__________________
2012 Kawasaki Versys - many others have come and gone.

Arctic Relay 2012 - aka "Pass the Gringo"
gringostd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2012, 01:50 PM   #39
Bigger Al
Still a stupid tire guy
 
Bigger Al's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Auburn, CA
Oddometer: 7,718
Quote:
Originally Posted by gringostd View Post
I know, I know ... pesky work, house, life. Arctic arrival post in process.


I understand. This report helps me forget those pesky things like work, house, life, etc.

Thanks for taking the time to do this. It's been really great so far!
__________________
"I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth."

Steve McQueen




Bigger Al is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2012, 02:14 PM   #40
maximuski
Don't Follow Me I'm Lost2
 
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, AB.
Oddometer: 88
subscribed!
__________________
99' Suzuki Freewind /// 98' Honda XRV750 Africa Twin /// 07' Suzuki DL650 WeeStrom /// 09' BMW F800GS /// 02' Honda XRV750 Africa Twin
2010 Canadian West Coast Trip
http://motorcyclemisadventures.wordpress.com/
maximuski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2012, 01:56 PM   #41
gringostd OP
Rubber side up
 
gringostd's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Yay Area
Oddometer: 331
Day 18: Dempster Highway - Arctic Circle!

The day had finally arrived - on Day 18 of my journey, 7/13/2012, my goal was to ride the Dempster Highway as high up as the Arctic Circle. I just realized that this was Friday the 13th... hilarious.

[344 total miles / ~319 dirt]


I got a slower start than I wanted to, eventually pushing out of Dawson at ~11am. I was going back and forth about whether or not to stash some of my gear at the hotel to lighten my load [pick it up on my return through Dawson]. In the end, I decided that +/- 20 lbs. wasn't going to make that much difference, and I didn't really know what lie ahead, in terms of conditions. The road had been completely closed for several days, earlier that week, due to a mudslide. Again, they had seen epic rains here, just a few days prior to my arrival. Given all of that, I didn't want to be without camping gear, extra food, etc. in case I didn't make Eagle Plains that day, for whatever reason.

So, I geared up and headed back East from Dawson to the start of the Dempster. There is a gas station and several signs at the beginning of the highway - plenty of chances for photographs and final reflections on what you're about to get into.


I had heard that there was no such thing as an ambulance on this road. A serious accident meant an airlift out - probably to Whitehorse. The road itself is interesting construction - it's a gravel pad 4' - 8' high. Concrete or a lesser pad wouldn't work because of the constant freeze/thaw and movement of the permafrost below. Consequently, one of the biggest hazards for motorcyclists is going off of the road and not being seen by anyone - it's such a long drop. Kate got me a SPOT tracker for my birthday this year - lovely peace of mind for stuff like this.


370 km translates to 230 miles. The big Suzuki is good for about 200 miles, best case scenario. That's if it's smooth, steady, highway riding - which this won't be. I'll likely need every ounce of that 2.5 gallon jerry can.


This would be the last pavement I'd see for 3 days...


...and it begins! Right off the bat, the scenery is amazing. It's really cloudy, but they're isolated, not a solid blanket. It made for really dramatic lighting when the sun did pierce the haze.


The landscape was more varied than I imagined - there was swampy wetlands [that's snow and ice still on the river]:


Rocky cliffs:


Gravelly moonscapes [I'll drink to that] :



Raging rivers:


... and some really interesting vegetation. The trees were really scrappy and thin - I guess their roots were very shallow due to the permafrost.


I don't know what was up with these things - something out of a Dr. Seuss book.


There were fields of this flower, as far as they eye could see.


CJ and I had discussed what the road surface might be like on the Dempster - comparing it to other surfaces we'd seen through B.C. In the end, there was a bit of everything - hard-pack dirt, soft dirt where they had just graded the road [very slippery], loose gravel [the worst], and.... slippery clay-gone-mud.


The rains started after I'd been on the road about three hours - long enough that there was really no turning back even if I wanted to [I wouldn't make it with the amount of gas I was carrying]. It was bitter irony that the first real rains I had seen the whole trip happened when I was riding dirt roads for several days - with no paved alternatives. It was intermittent rain - no big deal, except for what it did to the roads. What would have been nice, solid, hard-pack dirt & clay became deep, slippery, snot. I just slowed down and tractor'd on - grateful for my semi-knobby tires and the additional grip provided by reduced air pressure.


You could see clearly which clouds were dumping rain and which weren't:


Here's me ... a bit soggy and a lot happy.


I really enjoyed the riding - with all of its challenges and accomplishments. How can you not be inspired by scenery like this?


I arrived into Eagle Plains at around 6pm - tired, wet, and proud of myself. Eagle Plains is more-or-less the midway point on the highway and more-or-less the only sign of humanity I'd seen since Dawson, besides a handful of other motorists. There is a gas station [the only one on the route], a motel, and a restaurant / bar. Given that it was still raining, and feeling like I had earned it, I treated myself to a crappy $140 motel room for the night. I guess you can pretty much charge what you want in a place like that.


I had heard when I started up the road that the ferry crossing at Fort McPherson was out due to high / strong waters [ recurring theme]. Apparently, it's a cable-guided ferry, and that cable had snapped. I was cautiously optimistic that it would be repaired by the time I reached that point on the road, but this is what greeted me at Eagle Plains:


Word was that the ferry was still down, and it would be several days yet before it was repaired. I'd still be able to make it up to the Arctic Circle, but not much further. That was ok by me - the Arctic Circle had always been my goal, and timing was tight to catch my ferry down the inside passage. Inuvik would have to wait. The ferry crossing being out was awesome for me in that there was very little truck traffic on the road. All trucks headed South were held up at Fort McPherson [or never left Inuvik], and all trucks headed North were holed up at Eagle Plains or hadn't left Dawson, awaiting assurance that they'd be able to complete the route.

When I checked into the hotel, the receptionist / bartender / waitress [German, of course] tipped me off that it was a beautiful thing to see the Arctic Circle at 'sunset' [such as it is] around 1am. Sounds like a plan! The arctic circle is only ~40 miles further North from Eagle Plains, so I had a bit of time. I dumped my bags and hit the restaurant / bar.


The fact that the road was closed North of there had another entertaining consequence - it meant that the bar was full of sauced-up truckers killing time on the company dime [maybe...]. The soundtrack was nothing short of hilarious - the bartender's iPad blasting through cheap computer speakers... mixed with French-Canadian trucker talk. The numa-numa song [I am not kidding] segued directly to country/western classics and then on to 80's pop ... it was pure magic.



At around midnight, I pushed off North with a light load. The road was damp, but not slippery = fun riding. I had left my camera battery charging in the hotel room, so the iPhone would have to do. At ~1am on July 14th, I had arrived - the apex of my journey - the Arctic Circle.






__________________
2012 Kawasaki Versys - many others have come and gone.

Arctic Relay 2012 - aka "Pass the Gringo"
gringostd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2012, 04:13 PM   #42
Kevan Garrett
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Oddometer: 273
Woohoo!!!!! Awesome. Loving the RR!!! More! More! More!

Kevan

Quote:
Originally Posted by gringostd View Post
At around midnight, I pushed off North with a light load. The road was damp, but not slippery = fun riding. I had left my camera battery charging in the hotel room, so the iPhone would have to do. At ~1am on July 14th, I had arrived - the apex of my journey - the Arctic Circle.


Kevan Garrett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2012, 12:58 AM   #43
gringostd OP
Rubber side up
 
gringostd's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Yay Area
Oddometer: 331
Motivational Bob.

Forgot to mention, the only other motorcyclist I saw that first day was this guy - Bob Jones.



I passed him about midday, and I stopped to say hello [did I mention how desolate it was out there... how few other people I saw?]. He was very concerned with making sure I had what I needed - fuel, water, etc. Later in the day, when it got rainy and slippery, I was wishing I could have checked on him [by then, I was far ahead]. That's about the last vehicle I'd want to be piloting through that snotty awfulness - a huge Harley, on slick road tires, pulling a loaded trailer. As the weather worsened and the roads followed suit, I figured there was no way he made it through - surely he must have camped somewhere along the way and waited for the weather to turn. To my surprise, I ran into him late that night at the hotel in Eagle Plains. It had taken him almost twice as long as me to make the trek from Dawson City [and I wasn't exactly hauling], but he had done it.

Turns out, Bob [Robert] is an addiction counselor and motivational speaker from Quebec - www.recoveryandhealing.info. He was doing his ride [and documenting it well] partially as inspiration for his patients and clients - proving that you can do whatever you set your mind to. Yes, a huge Harley pulling a trailer, ridden by a big dude in a waxed canvas trench coat, can conquer the Dempster Highway in the rain. Go Bob!
__________________
2012 Kawasaki Versys - many others have come and gone.

Arctic Relay 2012 - aka "Pass the Gringo"
gringostd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2012, 10:57 PM   #44
chrish4ku
Studly Adventurer
 
chrish4ku's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: San Leandro, CA
Oddometer: 720
Whoa, what, umm... I just woke up...
__________________
_______________________
Chris
I don't normally ride on the street,,,but when I do,,I prefer lane splitting.
2011 KTM 990 Adventure / KTM 500 EXC
Chris' Sat Tracker
chrish4ku is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2012, 12:41 AM   #45
gringostd OP
Rubber side up
 
gringostd's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Yay Area
Oddometer: 331
Day 19: Arctic Circle to Tombstone - Dempster Hwy.

The next morning, I loaded up and rode up to the Arctic Circle again - couldn't resist. Plus, I had to get some better photos, now that the Canon had some juice. It had rained all night, and the sky was ominous. It made for great photos.


I may have had a bit too much fun with the auto-timer.




Here's a video spin at the marker site.


The rains overnight had made the road south of Eagle Plains miserable. It took me four hours to go 70 miles. It wasn't deep, but it was slippery as all hell.


This was the drill at every stop - find a big rock to set my side stand on, or risk a mud sink & drop. I need to get one of those big foot attachments.


I was not the only one making tracks in the mud.


Luckily, there wasn't much rain coming down, and the scenery was just insane. These really could be Apple stock wallpaper images, IMHO.






At about the mid-point of the day, I caught a glimpse of a car in the brush, out of the corner of my eye. I stopped to check it out, not knowing how recently the accident might have happened. I later learned that it had been there for weeks, and they still hadn't organized how to get the car pulled out. It happened at a point where the road platform was over 4' hight, so it wasn't going to be easy, however they did it. It didn't look like anyone got hurt, but the moonroof was left open. With all that rain, I'd say that car is a write-off now.


I also got a good look at the site of the recent mudslide that had closed down the road - a week or so earlier. Crews [well... one guy and a bulldozer] were working diligently to get the mess cleared away.


They're really creative with their road signs in Canada.


This bridge deck did make my tires dance around though [as I think the sign is trying to warn me]. I believe this is the bridge over Engineers' Creek.




Here's some beauty.


I saw a big female moose in Two Moose Lake. I don't know where the other one was...




Here's me with some beauty.


No matter how bad-ass you think you are...
This guy was bicycling through that awful muck - by himself! You couldn't see through his [clear plastic] water bottles - the water inside was brown and awful-looking. He was using iodine tablets to purify water straight from the rivers & lakes. I'd want to pump, if only to make it look more appealing. I guess every gram of weight counts on a bike, and tablets are lighter than a pump.


Here's one of several reasons I wouldn't want to be out there by myself on a bicycle. On a motorbike, you can open up the throttle and blow past these critters - once they hop off the road, that is.


As I got close to Tombstone Mountain, when the sun broke through the clouds a bit more than usual, I stopped and brewed up a roadside tribute to recently fallen ADVer and friend, Benjava. He was the one that convinced me to do the Dempster over the Dalton [a decision I'm very happy with] and otherwise consulted with me about this ride. One of Ben's other passions was coffee [hence the handle], so I did it up right - french press full of Pete's Major Dickason's Blend [carried with me from Oakland].


I didn't know Ben that well, but his death hit me hard. I realized that he was the first person I've known who's died riding. Plus, we were supposed to have a gathering of this ADV group Ben had introduced me to the very next day - East Bay Meet & Eat. That made it especially shocking to me ... we had traded emails just days prior.


Godspeed Ben. You touched a lot of peoples' lives, including mine.


I was truly enjoying myself on the ride, and I wasn't ready to be done with the Dempster. I was fine for time, and I didn't want to stay in Dawson again, so I decided to call Tombstone my home for the night. All I had left for food was a lentil soup mix [my emergency backup meal] and some oatmeal for the morning. It'd be fine, as long as nothing held me up in the morning - I'd have to restock food tomorrow. No alcohol... I guess I'll survive. It was too beautiful a place not to stay one more night.


It was the weekend, and Tombstone is apparently a big hiking destination, reachable without too much fuss from Dawson, so the campsite was almost full. I managed to get THE last available site - which happened to be the group site. It had a big picnic shelter as well as the usual amenities. I dragged one of the [two] picnic tables closer to the fire ring and set up my tent under the structure. Nice digs!


Dirty girl needs a bath.


I met a really friendly couple from Squamish, BC there [Jane & Mitchell]. They gave me tons of advice for things to do and see around that area - for my trip home. They also gave me... wait for it... half a bottle of lovely red wine! Icing on an already wonderful cake. What a cool thing to do for a fellow traveler.


Here's the day's map - 238 total miles / 238 on dirt.





__________________
2012 Kawasaki Versys - many others have come and gone.

Arctic Relay 2012 - aka "Pass the Gringo"

gringostd screwed with this post 09-16-2012 at 10:31 PM
gringostd is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 04:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014