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:
    2,430
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
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    We headed into town to the casino. We enjoyed some brew and pizza
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    Afterward we went to a local hole in the wall for some local music
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    The next day was the Dust2Dawson Poker Run. The Warpig was stripped of her weight, and ready to fly.

    I will have some videos up eventually
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    The guy on the black GS was FAST. The only guy who could pass us up rallying the dirt roads. He was a local
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    Dawson Dick's place.
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    #41
  2. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,430
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
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    Probably the nicest bike I saw the whole trip... a custom KTM adventure, the guy had made a custom 15gal aluminum fuel tank and CHRISTINI 2WD... just insanely cool.
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    I was lucky and got the very LAST ticket to the banquet, which sold out right away. Ryan didn't get a ticket, but they let him eat anyway
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    Bernie
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    Getting ready for the bike games
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    the slow ride, try and ride slower than anyone else..
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    I made it to the final round, but didn't pace it well enough to win.. guy in the middle won
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    blindfold.. try to ride blindfolded and stop on a plate about 30 feet away.. pretty much shooting in the dark.. I got 11" away, Bernie's father named Bernie got 5" away, he is GOOD
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    Justin
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    Bernie Sr, winner
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    #42
  3. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,430
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    I got all the balls in, and they all bounced back out haha :)
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    hot dog eating contest
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    My bike is in between the cones on the right next to Justin's BMW
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    Midnight. Dawson City, Yukon
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    Dawson Dick is a pretty cool guy. he let me have an old take-off, as my Ching Chong tire had worn down to about 5%. He even helped me mount it. Thanks man
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    After leaving Dawson, I rode south toward Whitehorse. The weather started going south along with me, so I took a five minute break at a gas station for a microwave burrito. A bike with a huge mound of stuff on the back pulled in, a girl got off and started gassing up. I chatted with her for a minute, she was from Nova Scotia, was riding solo out here for the summer. Pretty cool. She told me about Summerstroke in Whitehorse, and a good camping spot.
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    Not too long after, in the middle of nowhere, Yukon. I came across
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    They were trying to figure out what the heck I was, sniffing around.
    Mama bear was NOT happy
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    Then amnesia hit I guess
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    #43
  4. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,430
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    Whitehorse, Yukon. Summerstroke 2011.
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    Hung around till midnight, finished off the last of Justin's Crown with a friend I made named Theresa, who was also on an adventure to the north. She told me about a neat lake there, but I was running out of time to get south.
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    Got back to camp and everyone was sacked out.. not wanting to wake everyone up I just threw my bivy sac on the ground. I could hear all the mosquitoes buzzing around trying to get in. When I woke up it was sunny and 70deg outside.
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    Cool car show I saw on the way out
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    Next stop.. ICE CREAM. Man I was jonesin for some ice cream. Finally I found a cheap ice cream cone. $2.50 for a mega tall cone (I eat most of it here..)
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    see that gunk along the shore? those kids sure didn't mind
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    more to come
    #44
  5. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,430
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
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    Next stop.. Dease Lake. Strange little town. Gas station was closed so I had to find a spot to camp out for the night.. I went to the lake, but it was all private. On the way I rode by an abandoned apartment complex. Reminded me of being in Chernobyl or something.. I was thinking of sacking out here, but visions of rats jumping in the bag with me to stay warm didn't really appeal.
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    So I camped up on the hill behind a baseball field.
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    Lone BMW rider on the Cassiar
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    On a side note... AK has nothing on BC bugs. Once I past Dease Lake it was back to the mosquito/horsefly/yellowjacket cocktail I grew up to love in the Cascades. Only worse.
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    #45
  6. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,430
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    Stewart, BC
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    I was getting quite hungry, so I went for some seafood.
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    I put my order in at the door of the bus and sat down on the boardwalk, as the tables were full. A nice couple asked if I wanted to sit with them.

    The best meal I had had since staying at Pistonpants' place. I got a big seafood cocktail of everything..
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    After talking to the couple for a while they invited me to stay on the couch in their motorhome. Okay! :D. It was like a five star hotel on wheels. They were especially nice, and cooked some good meals that they shared with me. They even made me a nice lunch for the road in the morning. It was nice sleeping out of a tent again.
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    My plans were to get up early and head out for some awesome morning mountain photography of the glacier... I woke up before dawn.. and was a little disappointed.
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    If you have good weather in Hyder, it won't last. I wasn't worried though, it gives me a reason to go back again :)
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    #46
  7. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,430
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
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    got a bigger windscreen.. my prototype worked well, but it was time for the real thing.
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    I missed my horse.. had to stop and feed them some grass :).

    Smithers, BC
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    Shortly after it started raining. And it rained harder and harder. I was planning on camping shortly after Smithers, but I didn't feel like spending another night in the rain. So I rode on. I passed Prince George at around 11:30. I was getting tired.
    I ended up at a rest stop some ways south of Prince George. It was still raining, although very lightly. I took the opportunity and pitched my tent. it was pitch black, a definite change since staying in AK. I woke up every now and then to thunderstorms coming through. In the morning I woke up and it was nice again
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    Next day it was onward to Logan Lake to stay with my Great Aunt.
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    that back tire is getting a little bald...
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    The Cassiar sure likes to eat tires... I picked up a pull off in Smithers, and swapped it in my great aunt's back yard.
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    I tell you what, it is nice having dish soap.
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    My stay in Logan Lake was nice, had an amazing dinner of homemade mac n cheese.
    Time to head for home. Last day. I remember standing next to this rig when I was about 4 years old
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    The pine beetle has really devastated eastern BC. Sad. This was the last photo of the trip. Shortly after it started raining, and didn't let up until I passed the US border.
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    I will be uploading some videos this week. stay tuned.
    #47
  8. PistonPants

    PistonPants Crankcase Scavenger

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    470
    Location:
    Cantwell, AK
    So glad to see that the rest of your trip went well and you made it home safe. Way to go! As expected, the photography is off the hook. Excellent ride report! All of us in the Jack River Nation who had the pleasure of meeting/riding with you salute you. Wish we could've joined along for the rest of the journey (except maybe the 3AM loose spoke slog through the rain). Thanks for sharing the experience with us. Happy to have been a part of it. Come see us again if you're ever through here again.

    Peace

    Piston
    #48
  9. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    6,591
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Have been subscribed for a couple of pages. You're photog work is fantastic.
    Kudos to you for making such a trek on such a bike! Very inspiring. I think going up on the ferry was brilliant.

    I was born in Vancouver, lived in Snohomish County for 35 years, and then moved to California in '92. So I have some familiarity with the region. My sister has a cabin on Lake Goodwyn, and my wife's folks live in Marysville. I have a daughter in Snohomish and one in Bellevue.

    In all those years I never made it to Alaska though. It's on my bucketlist. :wink:

    I really enjoyed your trip report. Makes me want to ride...
    #49
  10. WetSideRider

    WetSideRider Long timer

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,221
    Location:
    Kenmore, Washington
    Great photography as usual. It makes me want to go up there again. But, then I see your wife all bundled up and remember that an Alaska ride isn't for old sissies. Thanks for sharing.
    #50
  11. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,712
    Location:
    Now serving just Snohomish County
    Sweet report and pictures! :clap

    We need to go riding together sometime. I would like to explore over there around Granite Falls.
    #51
  12. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,430
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    Thanks for the compliments. I don't know when I'll get the time to go again, but I know I will. I have to go again..

    Thank you, PistonPants.. it was the highlight of the trip
    #52
  13. weird1

    weird1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    I read the mileage, and the time spent what about the cost? I am planning a similar trip, and the cost is the biggest variable in planning so far. Any Ideas even a rough guess? I have plenty of time just limited money. I am glad for the report.
    #53
  14. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2001
    Oddometer:
    9,525
    Location:
    Granite Falls, Washington State, USA
    Howdy Chris,

    WOW, I just now read your ride report fantastic photos, thanks for taking us along on the ride. :clap:clap:clap
    #54
  15. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,430
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    Hey thanks, I didn't really keep track of the cost, but it wasn't a whole lot. The darn ferry tickets were most of the expense..

    Ferry ticket (each) - $1200
    Gas - ~$450
    Food - ~$200 cooked my own meals most of the way, eat out maybe 5 times, Pistonpants family cooked a few days :)
    Camping spots - $50 (lots of primitive sites)
    One night at lodge with wife - $100
    Random stuff - ~$100



    If you want to count the bike...
    $550 after title transfer/tabs
    ~$1000 in upgrades and modifications


    $300 Coyote saddlebag
    $100 Wolfman tank bag
    $40 waterproof backpack - Overboard brand
    $50 for three drybags for sleeping bags and gear - SeattleSports brand

    ~$500 in various camping gear that I already had


    I am really cheap, so figure you won't be able to beat me on cost unless you skip the ferry and carry food like a packhorse.
    #55
  16. Loud Al

    Loud Al .

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,930
    Location:
    Forest Grove, OR
    Great writeup and great photos.
    #56
  17. WeeMcD

    WeeMcD V-Strom explorer

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    500
    Location:
    Seattle
    Thanks for taking us along on your journey. My wife and I are considering a two-up Alaska trip next summer. It will be our way of celebrating her graduating from WWU. The photos are great. I'm looking for more dirt in Snohomish/Skagit/Whatcom counties. Let me know if you ever want a riding partner.
    #57
  18. Drunk_Uncle

    Drunk_Uncle Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,476
    Location:
    El Mirage, AZ (Phoenix Area)
    Great ride report and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It had lots of pictures which is good for me. You also really helped me decide on my route for my Alaska 2012 Adventure.
    #58
  19. vicster

    vicster Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,172
    Great pic's.
    With all due respect, your wife is beautiful.
    #59
  20. Falcon86

    Falcon86 I just work here.

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,685
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA/Slaty Fork, WV
    Man, absolutely amazing ride report.

    Those aren't just point and shoot photos, so it couldn't have been quick or easy to accumulate all those things as you went.

    Thanks so much for doing such a great job, that area up there is awe inspiring!
    #60