1 cylinder, 13,000 kms

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by squonker, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

    Joined:
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    Thanks bud, I will.
    #21
  2. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

    Joined:
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    <o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="City"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="State"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="place"></o:smarttagtype><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> It&#8217;s great having a boss who works 8 floors away from your own office, so for the third day in a row here&#8217;s another entry submitted from work. You&#8217;d have thought, since technically that means I&#8217;m being paid to write this report, that the quality would be higher. Oh well. (You will notice, though, that I wrote this in MS Word and copied/pasted it here. My boss has a habit of walking in unannounced and I&#8217;m always on ADVriver when he does. Usually on the Miss Adventure Biker thread in JM, which is one of the funniest things I&#8217;ve read in a long time). Or it was for a while, anyway.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I woke up the next morning to the sound of many birds singing. In fact, two were having a conversation and I listened to them call and respond for a few minutes until one of them suddenly stopped replying, and I wondered what he&#8217;d said to piss her off. I also wondered whether when birds from different parts of the country &#8211; and different countries altogether &#8211; meet up while on migration they can hear each other&#8217;s accents and understand each other.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The sky was overcast and it looked a little doubtful as to whether I&#8217;d manage to stay dry that day. I always said, when planning this trip, that if I woke up one morning to pouring rain I&#8217;d just take a tent day rather then ride wet, but that never happened. For one thing I didn&#8217;t really fancy spending all day in a tent that didn&#8217;t even have a fly (cheap-ass KLR rider=cheap tent), and secondly riding in the rain is better than not riding at all. I had some breakfast, relieved to see that no bears had come and investigated my stash of food overnight, and loaded up.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    On the move again, the weather steadily became worse. I pulled over to put another layer on, and as I did so the three guys from <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Iowa</st1:place></st1:state> rode past and waved. Later still I stopped for gas where they were topping up their caffeine tanks and put on my electric vest. &#8220;I hope you weren&#8217;t in any trouble back there&#8221; one of them said, &#8220;You looked like you were alright but I wondered whether I should have stopped.&#8221; Like I said, nice guys. That electric vest might just be the single best purchase I made in preparation for this trip. I bought a size M so that I could put it on on top of a t-shirt, then layer up with fleece and whatever else over it to keep the heat in. Works like a charm, I tell ya. I chatted to the Iowans about their fairings and comfy seats, and how my bike had neither. &#8220;Yep&#8221;, they said, &#8220;Riding one of these is pretty much like sitting at home in your armchair.&#8221; Bastards.


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    Onwards we pressed, still passing each other every time one of us stopped for gas or a rest, but at least I was comfortable now that I was plugged in. By lunchtime the worst of the weather was over and it had gone back to just being overcast. I stopped to eat at <st1:city w:st="on">Teslin</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">YT</st1:state> and had lunch with a couple of Harley riders from <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">San Antonio</st1:place></st1:city>. I&#8217;ve never really been into Harleys and know nothing about them, but one of these guys had a beautiful orange paint job on his bike &#8211; looked really good. I was very glad to hear that they&#8217;d had as much trouble crossing the river immediately before the lunch spot as I had .<o:p></o:p>
    All along the highway there are metal grated bridges and they all tend to make the bike wobble a bit, but they're short bridges and if you&#8217;re doing 60, 80 or 100 kmh you&#8217;re over them in just a second or two and can recover. But the bridge at Teslin is long, perhaps 500m, and the grates must be wider because the bike was all over the shop coming across there. I had taken it at 50 km/h, and although I&#8217;d wanted to speed up to get across the darn thing sooner, I thought that that was quite a risk to take. I asked the Harley dudes what speed they&#8217;d taken it at, and one of them said &#8220;15&#8221;. Wow &#8211; at least I now have proof that my balls are bigger than those of a Harley rider.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    At the lunch stop I also met a couple who&#8217;d ridden from Connecticut, and somewhere along the way had met up with an Englishman who&#8217;d shipped his Honda Vadajero (is that right?) to Halifax, N.S., and ridden across Canada.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Having had several teas to warm me up, I pushed on again and the weather only got better. I ended up rolling into <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Whitehorse</st1:place></st1:city> mid-afternoon in glorious sunshine, and found my friend Kate&#8217;s house. Kate and I had met through a mutual friend in <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Victoria</st1:place></st1:state>, B.C. when I lived there and she was visiting. We discovered we had a mutual love of all things Springsteen and, because I&#8217;d only just quit working at a rock station there and still had some connections, I scored two tix to see The Boss in <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Tacoma</st1:place></st1:city> the following week. A couple of years later I&#8217;d met her in Whitehorse and we&#8217;d gone to the Atlin Music Festival with a bunch of her friends (more on Atlin later &#8211; it&#8217;s one of the most beautiful places in the world). Now Kate was living with a boyfriend, Shane, whom I&#8217;d not met, but they had invited me to stay for as long as I wanted &#8211; and that is very cool. Kate and I sat in the driveway enjoying the sun and drinking homemade liquor while Shane and his dad changed the brakes on their car, and that evening they took me to a BBQ at a friend&#8217;s house. One friend, Mitt, makes the homemade booze I just mentioned, and we all had a riot playing croquet in grass a foot long. Extra points were awarded for malice, aggression towards other players, and creativity &#8211; it was a hoot and a great re-introduction to <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Whitehorse</st1:place></st1:city>.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The following morning I was woken by Kate&#8217;s voice calling down the stairs, &#8220;Hey Ben, look out your window &#8211; it&#8217;s snowing&#8221;. At first I was groggy enough to consider believing her, but then remember how it had been so sunny the previous afternoon and so warm in the evening. Plus it was June 8th, so&#8230;.but then it occurred to me that it was a mighty strange thing to say if it wasn&#8217;t true. I mean, if she wanted to wind me up or play a joke she could have come up with something better than that and so, curiosity awakened (even if the rest of me hadn&#8217;t), I hauled my sorry arse out of bed and looked out of the window to see this:


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    #22
  3. Chanderjeet

    Chanderjeet IndiYeah !!

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,841
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    High torque at low RPM. I need something like this on my new bike. :lol3
    #23
  4. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

    Joined:
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    There ya go! But you might need to beef up the frame a tad before you mount this baby in there!:wink:
    #24
  5. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Arbitrary Yukon shots:


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    The snow turned to rain by the end of the day, but the rain kept up for several days. I took it easy, catching up with Kate and Shane, and pootling around Whitehorse. I think I did my first oil change at this time, too.

    It was a Saturday when I arrived there, and on the Tuesday afternoon I was in town parking the bike when some guy comes up to me and starts yakking. I wondered who the heck he was until he told me that he was also there on a KLR, and had ridden from Thunder Bay, On. Cool! He introduced himself as hecktoglider and asked me what my plans were. To tell the truth I didn't have anything specific in mind, but I knew I wanted to ride the Dempster, and I was a little concerned about doing so alone. Turns out Heckto had pretty much the same thoughts, so we decided that we'd think about riding together, and I was to go and visit him in his campground later that day.

    Insert random pic of self and bike here...
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    At that time we decided we'd ride to Dawson City the next day, making our own ways there and meeting up again upon our arrival. Heckto needed to change his tires and wanted to do that the following day, then on the Thursday we'd hit the Dempster together.

    The pics will become much better from here, I promise you. The Dempster is like nothing you've seen before and I took so many photos. I'll continue tomorrow, but here's a taster of what's to come:

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    #25
  6. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,231
    Location:
    Tuscany, Italy
    I love this. For some reason, I simply love it.

    [TaSK]
    #26
  7. SgtMarty

    SgtMarty Retired, baby!

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,064
    Location:
    Colorado
    Nice, Ben. Can't wait to see the rest.
    #27
  8. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

    Joined:
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    No worries - whatever floats your boat!!
    Thanks for following along.
    #28
  9. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

    Joined:
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    Thanks Marty - plenty of pics of you directing traffic coming up! I can only dream of writing a RR like yours...

    Good to hear from you again!
    #29
  10. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
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    Location:
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    :lol3

    Hey Sarge, how goes it???
    #30
  11. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

    Joined:
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    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"><meta name="ProgId" content="Word.Document"><meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><meta name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:%5CDOCUME%7E1%5Cmahoney%5CLOCALS%7E1%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml"><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="City"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="place"></o:smarttagtype><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><style> <!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:612.0pt 792.0pt; margin:72.0pt 90.0pt 72.0pt 90.0pt; mso-header-margin:35.4pt; mso-footer-margin:35.4pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> The ride up to <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Dawson</st1:place></st1:city> was beautiful and there was very little traffic on the road. I stopped at Stewart Crossing for gas, and as I walking to the store to pay for it I heard a thump and turned around to see my bike resting on its side. Hmm. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to right it when it was loaded so I asked the lady at the till if there was anyone around who could help, but she seemed particularly uninterested in my plight. I unloaded it, righted it and got set to go again. I think what had happened was that there was too much weight on the right hand side, and perhaps while it was resting the forks decompressed and the thing became unbalanced. It became a bit of a problem, actually, and I had to make very sure that when leaving the bike on the side stand the ground was at the very least absolutely level, if not sloping downhill a bit. In the end that evening in <st1:city w:st="on">Dawson</st1:city> I recruited a bit of driftwood from the banks of the <st1:place w:st="on">Yukon River</st1:place> to prop up the bike with when I wasn’t sure how steady it was. I called this tool my ‘VFS’, which stands for Very Functional Stick. It was Hecktoglider’s idea to do that, actually - more about that later…<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Saw a moose on the side of the road and stopped to take a pic, but by the time I’d got my camera out it had given me the hoof and ran off. Also met a German family in their ’64 Mercedes Unimog camper truck. I had only pulled over for a few pics and hadn’t even taken my helmet off, but this guy kept jabbering away at me. Nice guy and only full of helpful advice as to what I should see in both Dawson and Inuvik, but I wanted to keep rolling…plus there is something a little disconcerting about being spoken to by a German who’s naked apart from a pair of leather shorts. He did have a cute wife, though, and as long as she was standing beside him I was happy to listen, but once he left I wondered how long it’d take him to realize that I was being deliberately rude by not removing either my helmet or my shades. Maybe I should have asked him where the wife’s leather shorts were…<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Pulled into Dawson at about 7pm and rode around until I found Hecktoglider, who had been there long enough to have already swapped both his tires, and thought he’d be ready to go the next day. We camped together…


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    …and while he was doing work on his bike I thought I’d better check mine over. The front tire was down to only 10psi! Otherwise things were good and we began to seriously plan on tackling the Dempster the following day. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    But as we finished working on the bikes and prepared to walk into town, the sky grew very very dark. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, it looked as though we were about to experience the mother of all thunderstorms plus the father of all thunderstorms, with lots of little baby thunderstorms on the way! And sure enough while we were on the ferry across the river the heavens opened and we had to ask someone if we could sit in their truck with them!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We went into town that night and checked out the Downtown Hotel, and Ithink Heckto went to see the Can Can girls at Diamond Tooth Gerties for a while too. We end up meeting for some Chinese grub, then crossing the river again to go back to the campsite for some sleep.


    Some Dawson pics
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    Thunder storm looming...


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    #31
  12. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

    Joined:
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    2,536
    Location:
    Lone Pine Ontario (or travelling)
    #32
  13. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
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    Yellowknife, NWT
    The next day at 1pm we set out on a Dempster run in the pouring rain, but by the time we reached the Dempster turnoff, about 30 km from Dawson, the rain had stopped.

    We gassed up. I can't remember the price, but this was just about the most expensive gas I bought on the entire trip. It's needed, though (hence the high price, no doubt) because the next gas stop, at Eagle Plains, is 380 km away.
    [​IMG]

    And found this old Dawson City jail
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    I have some work to do right now, so I'll put up some pics and write more later.

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    #33
  14. Air0ne

    Air0ne Adventure reader

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    165
    Location:
    Montreal
    Thx to share... really appreciated :clap:clap:clap
    #34
  15. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
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    4,223
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    My pleasure, AirOne - thanks for reading!

    A few more pics, quickly...

    A trapper's cabin, still used in winter
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    And back to the 'scenic' shots. If, as I'd quite understand, you're thinking to yourself that these pics aren't that impressive yet, we're still only maybe 40 km up the Dempster. It hasn't really began yet...

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    #35
  16. pilotfish

    pilotfish subnewbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
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    105
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    A ride like this would take me weeks, because I'd keep seeing places I wanted to hike or camp....
    #36
  17. motomac

    motomac Mac

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    575
    Location:
    Canton OH/San Diego CA
    Ben, heck of a report!!! I shudder everytime I think about doing the Liard. And to think I know hecto also. It was great to meet you and all the others up here during that time. Thanks for the link. I couldn't open this with my phone while I was on the road. Look forward to the next installments.
    #37
  18. brunstei

    brunstei Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    407
    Location:
    Playing Hooky
    Hey Ben!

    Good reading so far, looking forward to your Dempster pics since we didn't make it up there :bluduh We met you at Bell II, towards the end of this trip I think. I'm pretty sure we also me the same German pair, just S. of Stewart Crossing - if a Unimog is this huge cube-van sort of thing, and they were about 3 years into some round-the-world excursion? I missed out on most of our conversation with them, 'cause I was the only non-German speaking member of my group so it was all in german, but that gave me an excuse to surespitiously oogle the wife :evil for lack of anything better to do.

    Looking forward to the rest of your RR!
    #38
  19. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
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    3,702
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Very nice photos. I really like the one below. Keep it coming!


    #39
  20. motomac

    motomac Mac

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
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    575
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    Canton OH/San Diego CA
    I was just a couple of days ahead of Ben and this was his pond at sunrise at the camp ground in Ft Liard.
    #40