2 Texans to Alaska (and back)...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jglow, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. wmfleet2

    wmfleet2 Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    6,207
    Location:
    york,pa
    thanks again for the RR
    #81
  2. jglow

    jglow Two wheeled traveler

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    447
    Location:
    Lowry Crossing, TX
    Dawson Creek, BC to Fort Nelson, BC


    Day 9 – June 8, 2010
    Mileage today: 482
    Total trip mileage: 3,342



    It had rained overnight, and was still somewhat drizzling when we woke up. We broke everything down wet and headed for the Tim Horton's. Tim Horton's, I am guessing, is about the Canadian equivalent to Dunkin Donuts. We got some coffee and donuts (naturally). The lady at the counter asked if I wanted a paper "to go" cup or a mug, and I opted for the mug (same price) since we were sitting inside. The mug probably held 5 oz and the cup was 12oz. The part that they leave out is that there are no free refills of coffee. The moral of this story is, don't get the mug of coffee unless you are a stupid, unaware tourist :baldy . We also met a local here that was dropping F-bombs like they were adjectives (which they were for him). He informed us to be careful because everybody driving on the Alaska Highway was F*ing nuts and we would probably be destroyed :norton. We left feeling like we probably wouldn't be a frequent visitor of Tim Horton's.

    Leaving out of Dawson Creek.

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    This was just going to be one of those days for us. The weather was a bit damp and demoralizing, and to top it all off, my netbook was no longer connecting to the internet. We had tried to connect at the laundry mat, campground, and the Tim Horton's with no luck. It's not like it was a huge deal, but we were trying to keep a live blog, and we were heading out into the sticks now. I felt like I i couldn't get it resolved now, then we wouldn't probably have an opportunity to do so until we reached Whitehorse, or maybe even Fairbanks. We had tried a couple of places in Dawson Creek, but everything was still closed, as it was probably 6 am. Hell, the local Wal-Mart in town does not open until 9am. We looked ahead on the map. Ft. St. John was written in Bold writing, so I figured there would be a chance of us finding a store where I could pickup a new netcard.

    A really far away crummy shot of the Peace River Bridge before St. St. John:

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    We pulled into Ft. St. John and I was blown away with all the stores and shopping they had. In my head, once you got onto the ALCAN then that was it. You were off into the woods. I had hoped to find a "mom and pop" sorta electronics shop for the netcard, but I found this:

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    It just seemed really weird to me. So for anyone planning a trip up this way, just a quick note that you can pickup office supplies right up in Ft. St. John, right on the Alaska Highway :lol3.

    We continued on for a while and stopped in this little town to take a break. The welcome center lady informed us that the church down the road let people use their wifi, so we took a break and updated the blog and I did a few work things.

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    Turns out that my netbook was fine. It connected to the internet without any issues here, so I didn't even need the new netcard. I suppose that all the internet was just down in the whole of Dawson Creek and thats why it wouldn't work. Oh well, add it to the heap of stuff we are carrying. I'm sure it won't be the straw that breaks this camel's back.

    Back on the road, it begins to stretch out. Really straight flat and boring for the most part through this area. Kinda like Texas, but with trees. I think we call that East Texas.

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    Quick stop for gas and a snack at Sikanni River.

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    Then back on the road. No one in front.

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    No one behind.

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    When we arrived in Ft. Nelson we ate at the A&W where we scouted out our route. Nothing was real near, and this was our 9th day out camping, so we pondered our options. Looking out the window, I noticed a Super 8 motel with a huge sign that said “waterslide”. We needed to look no further.

    True luxury! With space to set up the tent and let it dry out.


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    We just needed to get off the road today. In hindsight, this was a great call. We had more fun than grown (growing) adults should have on a water-slide and it was a great time to recharge our mental batteries.

    Tomorrow we push to Watson Lake and have one of the most visually epic days of the trip!



    jordan



    #82
  3. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,993
    Location:
    Clearwater, FL USA
    thanks for continuing the report
    great stuff
    can't wait to read more
    #83
  4. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,079
    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    Nice report!
    #84
  5. bingo43

    bingo43 ¡Que Viva!

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    286
    Location:
    Kearney, MO
    My son needs a cushion for his bike. Where did you get those fluffy pads? They look great!
    #85
  6. presto88

    presto88 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    134
    Location:
    N. California
    Great report, thanks again for posting.

    Today, I didn't get to the computer until the afternoon - first I checked my gmail account (of course) and then I looked for your latest post! It's really fun just getting small portions at a time. Kinda like the trip itself would be.

    If I ever check for your post before checking my e-mail....well that may signal that I have a problem. :D
    #86
  7. jglow

    jglow Two wheeled traveler

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    447
    Location:
    Lowry Crossing, TX
    We got ours from Alaska Leather LINKY. I am pretty sure they are a supporter of the ADV site, and offer a discount to inmates. You may check out the "vendors" section here.


    jordan
    #87
  8. Tricky One

    Tricky One Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Maryland
    I would enjoy doing a long trip with the wife but honestly don't know how both of us would be able to pack all our stuff on the bike. My wife can fill all the bags on a bike by herself, any tips.
    #88
  9. equipment junkie

    equipment junkie n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9
    Great report - Thanks for posting!
    #89
  10. jglow

    jglow Two wheeled traveler

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Lowry Crossing, TX
    Tricky One,

    The biggest space hog, as far as our packing is concerned, is camping gear. The tent, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, associated cooking equipment, etc. takes up most of the space. For us, we use light weight camping gear. We had most of this stuff already from backpacking.

    As far as how to help downsize your wife's packing, I would suggested weening slowly. Prior to this trip we did other smaller camping and moto/camping trips, where I tried to ease Nikki into the whole "less is more" thing. Us dudes mostly don't care to shower, or if we are in the same clothes for the better part of a week. But, try to tell your wife that she is only allowed 2 pair of underwear for a month long trip :nono - not gonna happen. My suggestion would be to utilize layers. Maybe have multiple clean shirts, underwear, socks, but only 1 pair on pants (they are bulky). We wore overpants, so our regular jeans/pants were always clean (or at least not splattered with dead bugs).

    If none of this sounds feasible, then you may need to just get bigger cases on your bike:lol3. Remember, you have to pick your battles.


    jordan
    #90
  11. upweekis

    upweekis Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,101
    Location:
    Indiana-We Tax Everything!
    I would like to know what kind of gas mileage you got from the Wee, and if you felt it lacked any for two up?
    #91
  12. jglow

    jglow Two wheeled traveler

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    447
    Location:
    Lowry Crossing, TX
    The worst gas mileage we got on the trip was 37mpg and the best was 51mpg. I think typically we were averaging about 44mpg. I was very impressed with the wee and wouldn't hesitate to do the trip all over again on the same bike (now with 25,000 miles on the odo). Even fully loaded down and 2up, it had plenty of grunt for the Western Interstates (80-85mph), wicked head winds, and steep grades. I never felt like it lacked any power, but I suppose it may depend what you are used to.

    jordan
    #92
  13. Tricky One

    Tricky One Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Maryland
    Thanks for the advice. Hopefully I can get her to understand she doesn't NEED everything, at the same time I won't be leaving my thermarest behind :D Ride safe.
    #93
  14. jglow

    jglow Two wheeled traveler

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    447
    Location:
    Lowry Crossing, TX
    Fort Nelson, BC to Watson Lake, BC


    Day 10 – June 9, 2010
    Mileage Today: 326
    Total Trip Mileage: 3,668


    We had stayed in a motel last night in Fort Nelson. We woke very well rested and ready to move. There is a huge down side (for me at least) to staying in a Motel. Since you are leaving your bike in a strange parking lot out of your line of sight, you have to take everything off of it and haul it up to your room. Things that you normally wouldn't worry about taking off, because you are tented right next to your bike. Pair this with our complimentary soggy waffle breakfast, and we would be a little late getting on the road.

    The weather was great from the start :clap,

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    and we are being totally immersed in wonderful scenery as we re-enter the Northern Rockies.

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    The animals were out enjoying the weather too.

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    I have read stories of people going all the way to Alaska and never seeing a bear. We had already spotted about 15 by this point.

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    Getting near the Stone Mt. Provincial Park Area:

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    and a stop for some fuel and snacks at Toad River.

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    Heading on towards Watson Lake. These are some of the typical open grating bridges that you will encounter along the way. Just gotta let the bike meander a bit when you get on this stuff.

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    And then we came to Muncho Lake. The weather for the most part on this trip so far had been very up and down. We were so lucky to have come across this area when the weather was so spectacular. Warm sun and just enough cloud cover to add some depth to the photos.

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    We met this guy back a bit at Toad River. He was on a DR650 from Minnesota to Alaska. I figured we would run into him the whole rest of the way up, but never saw him again:dunno.

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    Not too much further down the road, we made a stop at the Liard Hot Springs, where we had lunch,
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    took a stroll,

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    and I soaked in the hot springs.

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    It was absolutely wonderful, and the next couple of hours to Watson Lake were probably the hardest of the whole trip. The sun was out, I was full of food, and had just soaked in the hot springs. It was very difficult to stay awake on this long, lonely road :snore.

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    The Alaska Highway zigs from BC and zags into The Yukon a couple of times before you are in the Yukon for good. We stopped here for our pic in front of the sign. I am going to let you in on a little behind the scenes action. It always takes several attempts before we get the pic right, or that it is so ridiculous that we are happy with it.

    Jump on 3...

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    Wait, that was too late, try again...

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    Hmmm..... this is no good. Looks like we are shittin' on the sign:topes. Just jump on my back.

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    You're too slow, pretend that there is a bear about to get you!

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    Success!

    We really were just having a great time. It is amazing, the amount of impact weather can have on your mood and outlook.

    We quickly found camp in Watson Lake.

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    Fixed up some dinner :dg,

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    and checked out our tire. I am doing a great job of squaring it off, but it is holding up well.

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    This should get us to Fairbanks.

    And then into the tent to upload pictures. It is probably 11pm-12am here. The days are really getting longer!

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    Tomorrow we exit off the Alaska Highway and take The Klondike up towards Dawson City.


    jordan

    #94
  15. shortfoot

    shortfoot Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Oddometer:
    33
    Location:
    Shelton, Wa. ( Misplaced )
    This is great,new to this forum .I seen this last nite, stayed up until I was up to date. Woke up this morning just had to see if anything else new was added. Keep it coming, Good job love it.
    #95
  16. usafe7ret

    usafe7ret Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    251
    Location:
    Illinois
    Great writing and pics! Nikki looks like she is enjoying herself along with you. I've read ride reports here where the dudes on the trip couldn't get along well enough to continue and here you two are doing fantastic. Can't wait for the next installment.

    Thanks!
    #96
  17. bttran

    bttran Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    107
    Location:
    Houston,TX!!
    This is very inspiring for future road adventures. Great jobs guys :clap
    #97
  18. Operator7G

    Operator7G Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    56
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Those pics of Muncho Lake are amazing! Great RR so far. Looking forward to the rest. I would love to do this some day, but I think a more likely scenario is renting bikes in Vancouver and starting out from there. Too many miles to cover, not enough PTO to cover the time. Keep up the great work!
    #98
  19. bash3r

    bash3r I ain't no DingWeed

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,773
    Location:
    Wentzville, MO
    Really enjoying this RR especially as my wife and I will making our first trip 2up on my Versys next month for our 15th wedding anniversary!!

    But I'm not sure why you didn't just do this all on your WR250R, it'll go Anywhere!! hahaha! :thumb

    Be safe, enjoy every second of your trip!
    #99
  20. 1200gsceej

    1200gsceej Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,438
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsula
    No pix of you two on the water slide? I am heart-broken! :cry
    Great report!
    More - we want More!
    -ceej