Arlington, WA to Alaska & D2D on an XR650L

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by n16ht5, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    thanks for the comments..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #21
  2. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My wife's Gerbings coat gave up the ghost here.. had a tear that caught a wire
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    we made it. again...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #22
  3. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    Camp #2 - Sourdough Campground, Tok, Alaska
    [​IMG]

    Well there was this pancake toss to get a free breakfast...
    you get two pancakes to make it in the bucket that is a ways from you, if you get one in you get free breakfast.. well the crazy singer guy offered a third.. but if I didn't make it I'd have to sing a song...
    [​IMG]

    Yeah, I didn't quite make it :1drink
    Good ol Johnny Cash
    [​IMG]

    Our homely abode
    [​IMG]

    crazy guy from Germany had a sweet Yammer
    [​IMG]

    Sourdough Campground. GRUB breakfast
    [​IMG]
    #23
  4. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    can you see the trees bent in the wind?
    [​IMG]

    Our destination doesn't look very enticing..
    [​IMG]

    some really nice Harley guys had stopped with us, they gave us some nice snacks.. some apples, chocolate, and a couple snack bars. we were grubbin
    [​IMG]

    up on the pass in that weather system
    [​IMG]

    we got to Sheep Mountain Lodge right when we started to get cold. I cooked a meal on my stove outside, then we went into the lodge for ice cream dessert, followed by a private dip in the hot tub. amazing.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    A clean DRY room with a warm BED was soo nice. When we woke up in the morning it was SNOWING.
    [​IMG]

    the one picture of the day in Anchorage. Alaska Leather.
    [​IMG]
    #24
  5. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    thanks, the 650 did pretty much fine doubled up. A bit of a squeeze with all the gear made for more stops to stretch.

    if you go, the ferry trip has some great views along the way. I am glad we got to take it to see everything we did

    Along the Tournagain Arm south of Anchorage
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If you look close you can see the small wave coming through.. it was a war-tide. We stopped and waited for a bit for it to come, a nice guy from Colorado stopped and gave me a beer while we were there.
    [​IMG]

    Some of my lenses in my Wolfman tank bag I acquired from Alaska Leather.. I would later come to regret keeping them there
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    more to come...
    #25
  6. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    Heading up toward the Kenai Peninsula...
    what are all these cars doing stopped.. in the middle of the road?? And all these people walking around?
    [​IMG]

    Haha.... everyone was stopped and gawking at a little black bear up on the hill. I was expecting something better than this.
    [​IMG]

    "I wonder if these people will get mad if I shoot it.. it's bear season!" Guy says as he looks at the bear.
    [​IMG]

    After enjoying the show of people trying to get run over watching the bear, we headed further up the pass.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We were heading to see a friend down on the Kenai, but I couldn't get a hold of him. We turned around here. It was about 10pm. We were tired.
    [​IMG]

    Headed back up to the pass for camping. Can't remember the name of the place. In between two creeks. Got there about 11PM.. Hannah cooked up some food while I set up camp.
    [​IMG]

    Braaaiinnsss...
    [​IMG]

    We had a hungry buddy
    [​IMG]
    #26
  7. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    The next day.. heading back toward Anchorage
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Headed out on a tour boat to go see a glacier on the way back. Pretty cool
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next campground.. Harley Davidson of Anchorage. Hannah had to fly out at 5am tomorrow, so camping way out of town just didn't sound appealing. Beside, it is free and they have a shower :)
    [​IMG]
    #27
  8. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    The next day... After I dropped Hannah off at the airport a little after 5AM, I headed up to Hatcher Pass. I was jammin to Moose while I was riding.. The weather was perfect, no cars on the road, and plenty of room to romp

    http://youtu.be/alX4rfuQfis
    #28
  9. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    Hatcher Pass.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Independence Mining Town
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #29
  10. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    Lunch time
    [​IMG]

    The gate to the top of the pass was closed, sadly. I could have easily gone around, but there were quite a few people around by this time.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cantwell, AK. Home of PistonPants, who I would stay with for the next few days
    [​IMG]

    Bubba in front of Carl aka PistonPants' cabin. I must say they live in an awesome place. On Adv I had seen a few ride reports from Carl riding the backcountry near Cantwell, by Denali. I thought man, this guy must be legit with a screen name like that and some killer riding like this. So I sent him a message, and he offered to take me up riding. And it would be an epic ride...
    [​IMG]

    Bubba has some sweet bikes..
    [​IMG]

    Bubba took me out for a spin on the quads behind their cabins, I rode Carl's
    [​IMG]

    Grizzly tracks
    [​IMG]

    Wolf
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Mobbin
    [​IMG]

    Beaver.. can't see it in the picture
    [​IMG]

    Back at Carl's place.. They let me use their washer, and I hung out my clothes to dry. It was so nice to have clean gear!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #30
  11. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    The next day we got up, Mrs Pistonpants made an awesome breakfast. We jumped on the bikes and headed to get Shuttermonkey and go riding.

    Time to shred some tundra with the Warpig.. Here's the video updated
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LX24lZl5kK0


    we headed up a local spot, gained about 4000ft in elevation up into the Alaskan tundra into the mountains. Epic ride. pictures don't do it justice. some of the hardest, gnarliest riding I have ever done before. mud, creeks, bogs, roots, rocks, hillclimbs galore.. I didnt get any action pictures, but I got more video that will come

    many thanks to you guys for taking me out!

    [​IMG]
    Team Honda
    [​IMG]
    the two-timers
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    this one is called "price of admission." it is one crazy climb. and LONG, about 1/4 mile of throttle pinned insanity

    [​IMG]\
    trail work, cutting out headslapper branches
    [​IMG]
    this gives you an idea of steep
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #31
  12. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    up on top. no trails up here, just tundra and mountain
    [​IMG]\
    [​IMG]
    Top. far as you can go with wheels.
    [​IMG]
    we came from the valley floor, off the screen to right
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    storm rolling in. another that is.
    [​IMG]
    all on Cheng Fling cheapies too :smirk:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    there are no trails up here
    [​IMG]
    we got up there
    [​IMG]\\
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    big rack
    [​IMG]
    #32
  13. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    creek
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]\
    [​IMG]
    #33
  14. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    Many thanks to Carl and Jill, Bubba, Terry, Alex, and Ty for hooking me up with an epic weekend.




    After the ride, we had a huge dinner with some good brew. Bubba has a pretty sweet fridge
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The next day Carl hooked me up with a free whitewater rafting trip through Denali.. sadly this is the only picture I got. It was awesome..
    [​IMG]

    Rode up to Denali park afterward. Too late for the last bus, I'll have to set this aside for next year. Only tour buses past the MP14 gate
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Afterwards I stopped by the Pizza Pub and hung out with Alex, a fishing guide who was a friend. Split a pizza and a pitcher.
    [​IMG]
    #34
  15. Too Tall

    Too Tall Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    209
    Location:
    Iowa Great Lakes
    Enjoying your report. Plus great pictures!

    Keep it coming.
    #35
  16. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    The next day, Alex took me out fly fishing for grayling
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Afterwards, I said goodbye and met up with Ty to go ride the DH.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    we traded bikes for a little while.. I had never been on a KLR..
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Time for some splorin
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    going up stuff like this with fully loaded top heavy bikes is.. awkward
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #36
  17. O'B

    O'B Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,306
    Location:
    Passing By The Highway
    Excellent photos!
    #37
  18. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    thanks
    here's some more


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    little overgrown.. We stopped and had some sandwiches and beer that Ty brought.. he makes a mean sandwich
    [​IMG]

    we emerged... unscathed
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    About halfway on the Denali Highway, there is a cool old hunter lodge and diner... guy had a cool old tundra truck
    [​IMG]

    The Sluice Box
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We had some philly cheesesteak sandwiches in here. Ty got me lunch, I was very glad to have a warm meal!
    [​IMG]

    Guy that owned the place had some really nice planes...
    [​IMG]

    After we left we went down a few sideroads
    [​IMG]

    This mud was a lot deeper than it looked, he got SOAKED.. and it was a long ride back home for him

    We said our goodbyes, and off I went solo again. I hope to ride with Ty again next time
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    the highway got pretty long and it started turning to twighlight
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #38
  19. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    I was planning to camp near Paxson along the DH... well Milepost doesn't tell you that it is about 4,000ft up and there is still snow on the ground in July.. It was about 10pm here... I was low on gas when I pulled into the Paxson Inn... I didn't think it was in operation when I got up to the pump... I was tired, hungry, and cold.
    [​IMG]

    uhh..
    [​IMG]

    the sign on the door says "pay in lodge."
    Shocked that the door was unlocked, I went in. The place looked like it had been abandoned for 20 years. water stains across the ceiling tiles, paint chipping off. Hardly a light on. I didn't see anything but old newspapers and random junk lying around what used to be the main counter. I heard a noise and went further in, looked around the corner to a bar. Two guys were sitting there smoking and drinking. smoke filled the air and the only lights on in the place were the neon bar lights. The guy behind the counter turned the pump on and told me to tell him how much gas I got... As I was leaving I heard a "Hello" from behind me coming from a window upstairs.. the place looked deserted, I couldn't see anything but closed blinds. I got on my bike and headed down the empty road with an empty cold feeling in my gut.
    [​IMG]

    11PM.
    Headphones in, Explosions in the Sky, playing to "The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKyrULAfvq8
    [​IMG]

    Cold. My electric coat quit working after I snagged a wire on something. Not wanting to stop and fiddle with it, I kept on.

    Alaskan Pipeline
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I didn't take any more pictures that night. About 10 miles from Delta Junction, I felt a strange sensation and wobble from my rear tire. I stopped and noticed that my spokes were loose. It was dark, and raining pretty hard. I did my best to snug them up somewhat evenly. A nice guy on a Harley stopped and offered some assistance. He followed me a few miles to make sure it wasn't too uneven.

    I got to Delta Junction, pulled into a gas station and filled up at about 12:30AM.
    Inside, I got a few microwave burritos. A guy working there shared some of his chili with me. I knew I had to keep going.

    About twenty minutes past Delta Junction, heading for Tok, I was starting to look for a good gravel road to pitch my tent. I didn't have a good feeling, though. It was pouring rain, dark, and wet. I was starting to get foggy, when a huge bear ran right in front of me across the highway, at about 50MPH it looked. Yeah, I am NOT stopping here. Thoroughly awake now, I mashed the gas and kept going.

    2:30AM. I see a sign for a state campground. A wave of relief came over me as I pulled into an empty spot. I did my best to quietly set my camp up, and promptly sacked out at 3AM. I had been on the road for a long time.
    I don't even remember the name of the campground. I woke up around ten, quickly stashed my stuff onto the bike and left.

    Next day, Tok. Thompson's Eagle Claw.
    [​IMG]

    Here I met a number of people, including Ryan. He had a nice F800GS
    [​IMG]

    As well as Bernie and Bernie
    [​IMG]

    And a bunch of other FFs
    [​IMG]

    Bernie and Ryan
    [​IMG]
    #39
  20. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    The next morning, we met up with Justin, a friend of Ryan at the cafe. We then departed for Chicken, and the Top of The World Highway. It was raining, and it only came down harder as we continued on...
    [​IMG]

    Justin's F800GS
    [​IMG]

    Inside the Saloon at Chicken.. I can only imagine how bad this place gets the funk on a hot summer night
    [​IMG]

    They had a stove going, we sat around it drying out socks and gloves.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Nearing the Candian customs, an RV had got stuck on the side of the road.
    [​IMG]

    She apparently got out, as we saw her later in Dawson
    [​IMG]

    The ferry to Dawson. The rain had let up here.. we were completely soaked, and glad to be here! My camera had fogged up from the inside
    [​IMG]

    Dawson, Yukon. The clouds parted, the sun came out. It warmed to 70deg. What an amazing sight and feeling, to be warm again. Justin had a MX helmet with no faceshield.. I can only imagine how relieved he was!
    [​IMG]

    My Giant Loop bag leaked, everything except my overboard backpack had been thoroughly drenched.
    [​IMG]

    Not a good day for my camera gear. Every lens I had was soaked. My camera body was soaked. Wolfman tank bags are not waterproof I found out..
    [​IMG]

    I put everything in the sun to dry out. Absolutely relieved, everything cleared of all moisture within a few hours. Our campsite looked like a yard sale with everything out drying.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ryan, Justin, and I
    [​IMG]
    #40