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Old 08-17-2012, 02:56 PM   #121
CharlieFox
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Fabulous! Thanks for sharing.

I stopped at Bell 2 on my trip in 2010; by far the worst mosquitos the whole trip. We had to fuel up with the helmets on and the shields down
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:26 PM   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave6253 View Post
Day 11: July 1st, 2012

....My plans were to get new tires then run north up the Dalton Highway some before finding a campsite. Then I wanted to ride up to Prudhoe Bay to do the Arctic Ocean Tour in the afternoon. Sounds like a reasonable pace, right? They advertise a tour at 9 AM and another at 3 PM. The 3 PM tour seemed perfect.

We were eating a late lunch at Boston Pizza (A chain restaurant we don't have in Arizona). I gave Helen the phone number to call for the Arctic Ocean Tour reservation. The reservations must be made one day in advance for security reasons. It's 4 PM when Helen calls to find out they do not have the afternoon tour on Monday. Decision time, either we can try to make it there at 9 AM or fall a full day behind schedule. We can do it. It doesn't get dark here. Make the reservation for 9 AM! Helen said, "What!?! Are you crazy? Can we make it?" "Yeah, no problem." "I'm gonna kill you if it rains!"


Now that our schedule is set, let's go get the bike serviced.
Am I reading this correctly? You have just rode all day, arrived in Fairbanks and it is now 4:00 PM. You still need your bike serviced (tires) and then are going to continue overnight to make a 9:00 AM Arctic Ocean Tour?

All I can say is WOW! I hope you don't go all that distance and then sleep through the cruise.

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Old 08-17-2012, 05:39 PM   #123
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Glenn, It sounded like a good plan. I'm not saying it was a wise one.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:42 PM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieFox View Post
Fabulous! Thanks for sharing.

I stopped at Bell 2 on my trip in 2010; by far the worst mosquitos the whole trip. We had to fuel up with the helmets on and the shields down
Yes. There were a few mozzies about. Thanks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheMuck View Post
People are really setting the bar high these days for report writing and photography...and you sir are at the top of the list

I bet it is a little odd writing about how cold and wet you were, now that you are back in hot and dry Arizona

Can't wait to see the rest of this one!
The climate is a little different here, for sure. Thanks for the wonderful compliment!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shallowskiff View Post
Incredible!
Thanks, shallowskiff.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:48 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by LittleWan View Post
Hi Dave!
Matt just found your report last night (sorry we're late ) and we hooked the computer up to the tv...
WOW. your photos are stunning.

We just rode through some of those areas (Whistler, Lillooet, Squamish, etc.), but offroad and/or in the dark.
It was great to see what we missed! well, maybe not "great," but you know what I mean...


So, we're all waiting to hear what happened next, Mr. Crankypants...
Ha ha ha! I have a new nickname. It sounds like you know me well. I can't wait to see what happens in The Wan's epic summer adventures!



Quote:
Originally Posted by AZST View Post
I'm so in.

That coastal highway is pure magic.



--Bryan
I agree! Thanks for joining in Bryan.
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:44 PM   #126
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Thumb Day 11: Rip the Nipples Off!

Adventure Cycleworks

You can't just ride a motorcycle forever without occasionally stopping for a little service. When planning a trip of 10,000 miles, one must consider spending time and money on maintenance items. I've learned through experience to not be very trusting of motorcycle dealerships. Out of neccessity I do most of the maintenance and repair myself. I've carried an oil filter and could do an oil change myself, but mounting new tires is not something I want to do mid-trip. I know you can't just show up in Alaska and expect someplace to have tires in stock. So this must be pre-arranged. I could go through a few different motorcycle dealerships, but they would probably want to schedule an appointment that must be kept, and this would have to be within their normal operating hours. This sounds like a major hassle, especially if the trip doesn't go as planned and you show up on a holiday weekend. (We arrived in Fairbanks on Sunday of the Independence Day Weekend.)

Thanks to Adventure Rider, I've heard of Adventure Cycleworks. I do a search and find numerous stories of positive experiences. I emailed Dan about 4 weeks ago and placed a tire order. I got a fast, professional reply assuring me the tires I want are in stock. A quick PayPal transaction later, and I'm the proud owner of a set of motorcycle tires almost 5000 miles away! The best part: no appointment needed, open 24 hours a day, and if my trip is cancelled he promised to give a full refund.


We meet Dan and pretty soon he is rolling out a set of tires with my name on them.





Service is first-come, first-served. There are a few other riders there ahead of us.
I get busy pulling the wheels.





Dan is not shy about giving his opinion. This is a good trait for a mechanic. He looks at my rear tire and asks, why would you replace that? I'm amazed at the Heidenau K60s. I've never had a rear tire last so long on this bike. While there is still life left in the tires, I know they aren't gonna make it back to Arizona, so I asked him to please replace them anyway.


This looks pretty good for 4800 miles.




Dan goes to work!










Dan is an interesting Alaskan and a great storyteller. It would be enjoyable to hang out here all night...





Dirty bikes...





get washed. (1994klr250 should recognize the BMW F800.)




Old Front





New Front. Let's go rip the nipples off!




Due to time constraints, I decided to delay the oil change for if we ever make it back to Fairbanks.
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:00 PM   #127
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Someday I'll make it to Alaska for my mom who never made it...

Wonderful photos and commentary.
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:03 PM   #128
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Day 11: Elliot Highway!

We leave Fairbanks around 6 PM. We have about 500 miles between us and the Arctic Ocean.

We need to be there at 9 AM!



To get to the start of The Dalton Highway you must first ride about 77 miles of The Elliot Highway.



I've read many Ride Reports...



...But I'm not sure I've ever heard about how fun this road is!

The highway is a nice stretch of asphalt, but beware of the frost heaves and major cracks like the ones ahead in this photo.
If you are not on a KTM you may want to slow down.



Some of the sinking and sliding areas create cracks large enough to swallow an entire wheel.




All the way to Livengood, this highway delivered the most fun we've had in Alaska, so far...

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Old 08-17-2012, 08:10 PM   #129
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Day 11: The Dalton Highway


After days of wearing rain gear,





I was happy to be wearing only the mesh gear.





We pass a water truck,




and enjoy a dry and smooth ride.









Not many trucks were out tonight.




We make good time all the way to the Yukon River.



















We stop for the first break at the Hot Spot.




The staff were friendly. They tried their best to sell us pulled-pork sandwiches.




We weren't that hungry, so we ordered ice cream cones.
It was so warm I couldn't lick it fast enough to prevent all of the drips.




Marriage...




A Tulip for my Dutchwoman.




Back on the road we enjoy long steep hills,




and stunning scenery.

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Old 08-17-2012, 08:22 PM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardwaregrrl View Post


Someday I'll make it to Alaska for my mom who never made it...

Wonderful photos and commentary.
Thanks hardwaregrrl. I hope you do make it up there and have an awesome time.
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:37 PM   #131
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Day 11: Awesome!


For a day that started out so badly, things are sure improving.





Brilliant Fireweed





The Haul Road




I can't help myself. I need to stop for photos. Helen is crunching the numbers and is worried.
She keeps warning we need to hurry if we don't want to miss our Arctic Ocean Tour that we've already paid for.
I figured we could make it with plenty of time for a nice nap before the tour.




We stop at Finger Mountain. It was just after 10 PM and the light was fantastic.



















Pinch me! I think I'm dreaming.







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Old 08-17-2012, 08:47 PM   #132
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Day 11: Finger Mountain
























A fellow rider heading south stops in the parking lot. Micheal has been working in Fairbanks for the past year.
He recently purchased his first motorcycle. He declares the last 70-90 miles through the Brooks Range to be
the most beautiful ride of his life. I don't know what to think. I've heard good things about the Brooks Range,
but had never heard it stated like this. We'll see... I'm already totally awe-struck.






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Old 08-17-2012, 09:07 PM   #133
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I am still following and will continue. Absolutely great!

You mentioned the K-60's...a lot of us around here in WNC are running these and some reports of as much as 12K before a change. I did not get quite that on my first set and actually only changed them out because I had been running them a lot in the paved curves causing edge cupping but they are the greatest adventure tire!

Really enjoying this....
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:39 PM   #134
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Thumb Day 11: The Dalton Highway

Excerpts from The Dalton Highway Visitor Guide

Quote:
Built for Black Gold In 1968 Oil was discovered at Prudhoe Bay on Alaska's North Slope. Excitement was high
at the prospect of new money to fuel Alaska's boom-and-bust economy. The nation was in the throes of an energy
crisis and pushed for an 800 mile long pipeline. But first, Native land claims had to be settled, permits granted,
environmental safeguards designed, and a road built to get workers and supplies north to the oilfield.

When finally approved, consruction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline was run like a wartime project-money was no
object and time was of the essence. The weather conditions, terrain, and the immensity of the project were all
extreme. Engineers overcame permafrost, mountain ranges, and the relentless flow of the Yukon River in the
process. Incredibly the Haul Road was completed in just five months and the pipeline in three years (1974-77).




Quote:
At first the highway was called the Haul Road because almost everything supporting oil developement was hauled
on tractor-trailer rigs to its final destination. In 1981, the State of Alaska named the highway after James B. Dalton,
a lifelong Alaskan and expert in arctic engineering who was involved in early oil exploration effortson the North Slope.

The highway was open to only commercial traffic until 1981, when the state allowed public access to Disaster Creek
at Milepost 211. In 1994, public access was allowed all the way to Deadhorse for the first time.













Absolutely none of my friends, family, or co-workers ride motorcycles long-distance (if they ride at all). They all ask the same thing. Why ride a motorcycle all the way to Alaska? That's insane! None would understand the reason motorcyclists are drawn to ride up the Dalton Highway. Even Helen was surprised to see so many motorcycles up here. I guess she thought this was just my stupid idea.



I know one of the main draws is that it is as far north as you can go by road. This makes it a common goal for those riding from the southern tip of South America, or the extreme opposite point in the USA - Key West, Florida. For these reasons is seems like a destination ride - a place to go just so you can say you did. Much of it is also in the Arctic Circle.



Another reason to ride the Dalton is the challenge of dealing with the hazardous road conditions, extreme weather, remoteness, long distances, and mosquitos.




You see, I knew all of this already, but I was completely blown away by the beauty.



Riding into the Sun at 12:12 AM!

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Old 08-17-2012, 10:06 PM   #135
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Help Needed.

I'm sure I forgot some other perfectly good reasons to ride a motorcycle to Deadhorse. If you know of any others, please explain so that even my family can understand.
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