Arctic Relay 2012 - aka "Pass the Gringo"

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by gringostd, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. gringostd

    gringostd Rubber side up

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    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]
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    This would be the last pavement I'd see for 3 days...
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    ...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.
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    The landscape was more varied than I imagined - there was swampy wetlands [that's snow and ice still on the river]:
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    Rocky cliffs:
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    Gravelly moonscapes [I'll drink to that] :
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    Raging rivers:
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    ... and some really interesting vegetation. The trees were really scrappy and thin - I guess their roots were very shallow due to the permafrost.
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    I don't know what was up with these things - something out of a Dr. Seuss book.
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    There were fields of this flower, as far as they eye could see.
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    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.
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    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.
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    You could see clearly which clouds were dumping rain and which weren't:
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    Here's me ... a bit soggy and a lot happy.
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    I really enjoyed the riding - with all of its challenges and accomplishments. How can you not be inspired by scenery like this?
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    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.
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    I had heard when I started up the road that the ferry crossing at Fort McPherson was out due to high / strong waters [:deal 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:
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    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.
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    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.

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/60og9gwKh1o" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe>

    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.
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    #41
  2. Kevan Garrett

    Kevan Garrett Been here awhile

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    Woohoo!!!!! Awesome. Loving the RR!!! More! More! More!

    Kevan

    #42
  3. gringostd

    gringostd Rubber side up

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    Forgot to mention, the only other motorcyclist I saw that first day was this guy - Bob Jones.
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    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!
    #43
  4. chrish4ku

    chrish4ku Been here awhile

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    Whoa, what, umm... I just woke up...:rofl
    #44
  5. gringostd

    gringostd Rubber side up

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    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.
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    I may have had a bit too much fun with the auto-timer. :puke1
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    Here's a video spin at the marker site.
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    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.
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    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.
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    I was not the only one making tracks in the mud.
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    Luckily, there wasn't much rain coming down, and the scenery was just insane. These really could be Apple stock wallpaper images, IMHO.
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    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.
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    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.
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    They're really creative with their road signs in Canada.
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    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.
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    Here's some beauty.
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    I saw a big female moose in Two Moose Lake. I don't know where the other one was...
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    Here's me with some beauty.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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].
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    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.
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    Godspeed Ben. You touched a lot of peoples' lives, including mine.
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    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.
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    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!
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    Dirty girl needs a bath.
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    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.
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    Here's the day's map - 238 total miles / 238 on dirt.
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    #45
  6. KimPossible

    KimPossible XT Diver!:)

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    Great ride report! :clap
    #46
  7. pablito

    pablito KLRer in SF

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    Steve,

    Awesome trip. Thanks for taking the time to write the report. I might have to pick up a Vstrom - looks like a great bike for touring and dirt. We should go riding soon.

    Paul
    #47
  8. gringostd

    gringostd Rubber side up

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    Hey Paul!

    Yes all around! Let's maybe go riding around 3 Bananas Ranch before the rains come. Kate and I are going up for Apple Fest. What about that weekend?

    The V-Strom was a perfect steed for a trip like this - no regrets whatsoever. It is the most comfortable bike I've ever ridden for long highway stretches, and it's more than capable enough for dirt roads like this. It handled my big frame with a passenger and loads of gear, no problem. It's not a light bike, for sure, but there are times where that's a good thing. I may end up upgrading in the next year or so. If I do, I'd love to pass her along.
    #48
  9. chrish4ku

    chrish4ku Been here awhile

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    Let me guess - KTM 990?
    #49
  10. gringostd

    gringostd Rubber side up

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    Nah, won't likely be that. Might be a 950. I've also been interested in the Triumph Tiger 800, but it seems a bit... precious.
    #50
  11. dentrecords

    dentrecords Adventurer

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    Ridiculous with the border guard and that powder. I would have only imagined the US border guard seeing my bag of gatorade mix and demanding an explanation... lol
    #51
  12. gringostd

    gringostd Rubber side up

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    I had gone to bed the night before under clear skies - blissed out with not a care in the world.
    I awoke at 5am the next morning to... thunderstorms. Great!
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    As my groggy morning mind sorted the sensory information coming in, my first thought was gratitude for my picnic pavilion tent shelter - at least I was dry, personally. I took mental inventory. I had moved all my gear under the structure ... except... the bear bag I had hoisted, full of what little food I had left and other stinky stuff. I decided the damage was done, by that point - no sense getting wet trying to retrieve it at 5am. Beyond the immediate, I was also starting to get my head around the ramification of this weather. I really didn't have a day's worth of food left - a couple of oatmeal packets and a scoop of peanut butter maybe. If and when the rains did let up, the roads were going to be shot, but I was going to have to brave them.
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    Luckily, around noon, the sky did clear up - enough for me to pack up camp and get on the road, anyways. I retrieved my soggy bear bag and boiled some drinking water.
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    The roads were bad, and the rains continued on and off, but I made it through. I had completed the Dempster Highway ... well, half of it, anyways.
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    Cold and wet, I collected myself at the Mile Zero restaurant and service station. They had a coin-op power wash station, so I treated the V-Strom to a bath. Everything was caked with mud.
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    I also aired my tires back up to highway pressures. At the tire shop, I noticed loads of small birds diving all around me. Swallows? Finches?. They had made homes in the siding of the garage. 'Killer' appeared to be the mascot.
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    I hit the road back towards Dawson, and saw an adult female moose with two calves, grazing in a pond.
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    After a quick stop in Dawson for souvenirs and groceries, I took a hairy ferry ride across the Yukon River. The water was high and strong, of course. To travel what would be a short, straight line across the river, as the crow flies, was quite an endeavor by boat. We took off from the dock and immediately turned the nose of the boat upstream. By the time we were halfway across the river, the engines were roaring at full power to try to keep up with the current. We ended up doing this funny 'S' path in the water. Docking on the other side was a surgical maneuver - motoring past the landing and then swinging the boat perpendicular to the shore at the last moment. I was glad to be off of that ride.
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    Once you cross the Yukon River, you're on the Top of the World Highway - a part of the trip I had been really looking forward to. It's a winding, mostly dirt road that goes along an incredible ridge and across the northern-most land border crossing between the US and Canada. The views were spectacular.
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    The road on the Canada side was pretty beat - mostly dirt with spots of rough pavement, patches of gravel, and potholes that could swallow a front wheel. I just wanted to be flowing and taking in the scenery, but the road demanded my attention. Here's the scene as you approach the border crossing.
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    Poker Creek, Alaska: population ... 2. Presumably that's one US border guard and one Canadian border guard. I had images going through my head of those two guys barbecuing and drinking beers together - hilarious to me, for some reason. What do you have to do wrong at your previous customs post to land yourself the Top of the World border crossing gig?
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    The Alaska side of the Top of the World Hwy. was awesome - well-groomed, consistent dirt. It was fun riding and breathtakingly beautiful - definitely a highlight of my trip.
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    My stop for the night would be Chicken, Alaska. The place has a hilarious history. Because of their prevalence in the area, it was suggested that the community be named ptarmigan. Unfortunately, no one who lived there could spell the name of that bird [silent 'P' and all], so they went with Chicken. It's the only city in the world named Chicken, and the year-round population hovers around 15. There's still lots of gold mining in the area, so in the summer, the place is full of prospectors.
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    I had heard from a friend that one of the few buildings in town was a rowdy saloon full of said gold miners, and that was something I wanted to experience. I rolled into town around 6pm, gassed up, and made my way across the river to the 'town center'.
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    I parked the bike in front of the saloon, and a porch full of local color was laughing and jeering and trying to talk to me before I could get my helmet off. I joined right in with the merry-making and asked where I could pitch my tent for the night. Almost in unison, several people shouted '...right there!' and pointed towards the parking area twenty-odd feet away. Stumbling distance indeed... seemed good enough to me. As I started in on my first beer, an Australian rider pulled up on a Triumph Bonneville [new]. I filled him in on the camping arrangements, he produced a bottle of single malt scotch, and we became fast friends. This is Dennis - folks call him 'Dog'.
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    The only restaurant was closed by that time, so we decided to do a camp dinner together. In my nervousness about almost running out of food on the Dempster, I had overdone it a bit in Dawson. I had four huge, perishable [red wine chorizo] sausages, cheese, fruit, fresh bread, etc. - all of which would be less awesome by morning. Dog provided scotch and Folgers coffee. After dinner, we resumed carrying on with the locals. Everyone had little vials of gold flakes in their pockets. It was used as direct currency, in some situations - we heard stories of gold traded for ATV's and trucks. There were also a lot of firearms - huge, honkin' pistols swinging off of everyone's belts - reportedly for grizzly protection. The bar actually had [and enforced] a policy of turning in your firearms to the bartender when you arrived. At one point, I asked about law enforcement and got a big laugh. 'No cops through here so far this year.' This picture about sums it up - people were coming and going all night on ATV's, often with open beers in hand. In the background, you'll notice that there's a person riding on the trunk of that car, and they're coming back from the airstrip - the local smoke spot.
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    Yes, also in the background is a huge bush that [vaguely] looked like a chicken - so someone made a cut-out chicken face and mounted it on a big pole.
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    Here's the outhouses for 'downtown' - appropriately labeled 'Chicken Poop'. This town has a sense of humor.
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    It's a funny thing, seeing people bar-closing-time-drunk in near daylight. Darkness is a kindness I've taken for granted all these years. Inside the saloon, the decore is fittingly hilarious. The ceiling is plastered with panties ... but not the hot little thong, spring break, sorority variety. Oh no. These are well-worn, battle-scarred numbers with a little too much 'history'. The walls are covered with hats and license plates and business cards and such - the usual. In the back of the room, there is a pool table, which I was eager to show my chops on. Thing is, it was turned sideways in a very narrow room - so to make a shot from anywhere but the corners, you had to unscrew a cue stick into its halves and shoot with an awkwardly short stick. Add to that, the floor was so out of level that every shot hooked and returned to one corner drastically. Talk about a home court advantage. Here's Dog short-sticking it.
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    After countless beers, and just as the conversations were turning to politics, I stumbled the 20-some feet over to my tent and crashed like a ton of bricks. Chicken had been everything I had hoped, and more - what an epic day!


    Day 20: Tombstone, YT to Chicken, Alaska [189 total miles / ~100 on dirt]
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    #52
  13. Baron650

    Baron650 650x2

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    "Darkness is a kindness I've taken for granted all these years."

    Classic! I now have some great stories about Chicken, and I didn't have to go there.

    What does a border guard have to do to get posted in Poker Butte? Let's hope it's not getting your picture taken with a baggy of mystery powder! On that note, the good folks at Anti-Monkey Butt came through with a couple of travel size bottles for me, thanks to your marvelous yarn. Thanks for the memories.

    Rob
    #53
  14. gringostd

    gringostd Rubber side up

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    I know, me too!
    Thanks Anti Monkey-butt!

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    #54
  15. Philip Kuntz

    Philip Kuntz Fleasy Rider

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    Great RR, Steve. I started reading this back in August, and finally got around to finishing it tonight. Incredible pics and stories, makes me want to go to Chicken, AK. :D

    Are you going to finish it? :ear:lol3
    #55
  16. gringostd

    gringostd Rubber side up

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    Ugh, I know. Sorry to all of you who have been waiting for me to finish this thing. I promise I will. Life just got the better of me for a while there.

    Jerry, how did your ride finish up? How did everything shake out with your dad? Well, I hope.
    #56
  17. squiffynimrod

    squiffynimrod maximum shrinkage

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    :lurk

    Great RR. Please finish 'er off.
    #57
  18. Rich Ard

    Rich Ard n00b

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    Some of us are trying to live vicariously through you, Steve. What happened next? :)
    #58
  19. gringostd

    gringostd Rubber side up

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    Sorry for the long break, folks. Here we go again... Day 21. Chicken, Alaska to Haines Junction, Yukon territory - 382 miles total / ~25 on dirt.

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    I was headed towards Whitehorse - as directly as possible. Kate, was flying in the next day, and the bike needed a bit of love and adjustment to get ready for more two-up service. Plus, I could use a bit of rest before pushing off again. I hadn't had a rest day since Portland, 15 days ago!

    By the way, Kate rides too, but she wasn't quite ready for this big of a trip on her 1969 CB350. She'll be pillion again for the trek back to the contiguous 48.

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    Anyways... Day 21.
    My new buddy 'Dog' woke up just before 6am and started making noise around our campsite ... aka the parking lot of the Chicken Saloon. We only went to sleep 4 or 5 hours earlier - well liquored up, no less. Guess it's an early start today, whether I want it or not. It's freezing cold and raining. Nothing is open yet in Chicken, so I gear up quick and hit the road. Beautiful, despite the dreary weather.

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    The ride that morning offered some cool glimpses of permafrost vegetation. I love the trees that just look like they're going to fall over because the earth below them thawed a bit too much this year.

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    I was going to pass fairly near the city of Tok, Alaska on my way towards Whitehorse. Tok would turn out to be the most 'modern' city I'd visit in Alaska on this trip. I was frozen stiff by the time I got there, and the 'stich was starting to leak in all of its unfortunate leak zones [read: crotch]. The Beaver Fever cafe offered a nice, warm place to make some phone calls on non-roaming AT&T service and do some quick work stuff. Plus... with a name like Beaver Fever, how could I resist?

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    Once I was thawed out and sufficiently reminded of how great it was to be away from work, I pushed onward. The Alaska Highway from Tok to Haines Junction was crap. The pavement would undulate severely without warning and then disappeared entirely for huge stretches into gravel awaiting repair. You couldn't lose concentration, but the utter lack of curves or other interest made that very hard. The one glimmer of entertainment I did get along the stretch were these beauties - my first grizzly bear sightings of the trip. I saw two big ones, just a dozen or so miles apart from one another.

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    This one was lumbering along just 15 feet or so off of the roadway - heading the same way I was. I slowed down next to him and followed along with him for a bit. It was a remarkable experience. I was close enough that I could hear it grunting and the snap of the saplings as it scratched itself and trampled them. Its movements were gruff and powerful. Awesome creature.

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    Just before the border crossing, I heard CJ's voice in my head and picked up a case of beer. It'd be three times as expensive on the other side of that imaginary line. Hooray for USA!

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    By the time I reached Haines Junction, I was exhausted. A push on to Whitehorse, another ~100 miles, didn't seem prudent. Over really bad Chinese food, I considered renting a room at one of the decent-looking motels. Given that the rain had stopped, and it seemed like it might hold off all night, I opted instead for the Pine Lake Campground up the highway a bit. Good enough - especially considering that the fee was $12, and firewood was free. I love Canada's provincial parks. Rain really saps my enthusiasm. I was glad for a few of those PBR's and a dry sleeping bag. I couldn't wait to see Kate the next day and really begin the long trek home.
    #59
  20. gringostd

    gringostd Rubber side up

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Yay Area
    Day 22 - Haines Junction to Whitehorse [97 miles total]
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    It's 7/17/12 - I wake up to another rainy day, hopeful that it doesn't persist. We could be in for a miserable stretch of two-up riding, if it does. I blast into Whitehorse and check into the Mountain Ridge Motel again - same room CJ and I had last week. I reserved it before I left last time - given the craziness in town with the softball tournament. I took the first shower in four days - luxury! Then, I took the rest of the day handling stuff like laundry - and drying out all of my soaking wet gear.
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    I had a few little bike issues to deal with - chain tension & lube, suspension linkage clean & lube, check fluids, etc.. I had also lost one of the rubber bumpers under my seat at some point. These keep the load of the saddle distributed nicely to the frame as opposed to [as in my case] grinding away at the top of the battery. That'd surely lead to trouble, by the time I made it back to California. The guys at the Suzuki dealership didn't have the exact part, but they had some other bumpers that they made work. Thanks guys!

    Kate's original flight out of SF was delayed, and she missed her original connection to Whitehorse. The airline was originally saying that she'd have to wait until the next day, but we were on a tight schedule to catch the ferry South. The boat we needed to be on only left Haines / Skagway once a week - and we had already bought tickets. She made a fuss, and they got her on another flight, on another airline, arriving into Whitehorse at 11:30pm that night. So... I had some more time to kill.

    The nice folks I met at Tombstone recommended a restaurant in town called Klondike Ribs & Salmon - so I went there for fish and chips. Delicious - and fun place! I even caught a movie [Ted] at the local two-plex. It was cheap night, which meant lots of teenie-boppers. Funny cultural experience.
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    I picked Kate up at the airport on the bike, in the rain , in the 'dark' - what an arrival.
    #60