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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by drrags, Jul 26, 2007.
Thanks for posting ......can't wait for the rest of your story....
We rip down the campsite and head for the hills. But first we need some coffee and breakfast.
Brauhausbier is a little paranoid about the fuel pump on his 950 (as he should be) and even brought along a spare. Forrest and I leave the coffee house first and decide to play a little trick on Brauhausbier. I grab my water bottle and pour a little puddle under his bike and when he comes out, we point to it and say "Dude, I think you're leaking gas!" It was pretty funny watching the panic set in as the thought of having some kind of bike problem so far from home sets in. We wanted to let the joke go for awhile, but I was starting to feel bad about it. Nevertheless, we schemed about putting oil under his bike the next time.
Forrest looking patient, but he's not, he's ready to go!
Forrest laughing while I try to figure out how to make my camera work.
We're almost to Alaska!
One of many stunning shots.
The scenary is always improved with a motorcycle in the shot
If you don't like road construction, the Great White North is not for you. None of them were bad though, maybe 10 or 20 minutes. I never minded because it was a nice break. We usually talked to the lollipop girls who come in for the summer from all over to make big bank and listen to stories from weirdos like us. 12 hour days though. If you're on a bike, always go straight to the front. Do it now because you're just going to have to pass all these guys later anyway.
Even the straight roads were awesome!
Just in case you think I'm lying
You gotta love how late the sun sets.
We're just short of Hyder. Thought we could make it, but...
Forrest is peeing on his bike to put out the fire, and Brauhausbier is just now realizing that he's gotta go dookie.
I was investigating an electrical problem and stuck my finger where it doesn't belong
Note the stylish fasion dress - straight from Paris. :huh
New friends from Germany. They were great to talk to. I spoke more German on this trip than I have in the last 20 years put together. These guys invited our freezing carcasses over to warm by the fire when we really needed it. Then, they broke out the good Canadian beer. After the beer was finished off, they broke out the Canadian Whiskey. They love Canada and try to come over every year. The rig rental (truck and 5th wheel) works out to over $1,000 a day. :huh
The sun has set. Neat.
After we ran out of wood, I set forth in the woods in search of firewood. After I broke though, say 20 feet from the road, I bend over to pick up some sticks and see this::eek1
I'm not laughing here ..... well not much.
This is just a little time-lapse waiting at a road construction site.
<a href="http://drrags.smugmug.com/photos/177846161-O.mpg" target="_blank"> Sitting at a road construction site.</a>
This is just one sitting at a gas station in a one-crossroads town. Amazingly busy.
<a href="http://drrags.smugmug.com/photos/177863468-O.mpg" target="_blank"> Busy little gas station.</a>
Still heading north from 100 Mile House:
<a href="http://drrags.smugmug.com/photos/177865950-O.mpg" target="_blank"> The road</a> is actually more fun than it looks, but nothing compared to what comes later.
Hwy 37 north towards Hyder, AK. This <a href="http://drrags.smugmug.com/photos/177879405-O.mpg" target="_blank"> part</a> is heading to the Hwy 37/Hwy 37A junction.
It's like some sort of milestone to make Alaska. It seemed that BC went on forever and that we would never make it.
When you see this sign on Hwy 37, turn left. It's important that you do.
<a href="http://drrags.smugmug.com/photos/177884105-O.mpg" target="_blank"> Here</a> is the time-lapse of Hwy 37A that gets you to here:
Drop down into the little valley and behold Bear Glacier! Wildman Forrest yells "Hey, let's ride up it! I think we can make that river crossing!" Brauhausbier and I had to hold him down. I think he could have done it though.
After monkeying around here for awhile, it was off to Hyder!
Click <a href="http://drrags.smugmug.com/photos/177893886-O.mpg" target="_blank"> here</a> for the time-lapse!
Sadly, we got to Hyder at 8:00 AM and the place was shutdown. Nothing opened until 10:00 AM which was too bad. I wanted to get Hyderized, but, that will give me something to look forward to on the next trip!
Back into Stewart, BC. It's funny that, just to go to Hyder, AK, you have to go through customs. Stewart was open though, and I had a great breakfast. In the hunt for a place to eat, Brauhausbier and Forrest take off. I dawdle for a moment and realize that "Hey! There's a place to eat right here in front of my bike!" I think bhb and Forrest were a little annoyed that they couldn't find me. :ddog
The total spent on this trip was about $3,400 for 21 days. This includes:
Ferry ride from Haines, AK to Bellingham, WA - $815
New tent from REI - $349
Surprise tire purchase in Whitehorse - $260
Pre-ordered tire in Wasilla - $111 (I hope you just made that little connection)
After I got back, I also spent another <$300 for chain, sprockets, brake pads, oil change, chainguide.
I'm a sucker for t-shirts and stickers though, on which I spent $2-300 dollars.
I moteled it only twice, once in Prudhoe Bay for $90, and once somewhere in the Yukon for $40. Otherwise it was all camping. There were usually only 2 meals a day, and not much snacking.
Total distance ridden was 6,232 miles.
The TKC-80 on the front lasted the whole trip, and I might have a few more commutes to work and back on it, but the TKC-80 rear smoked itself in a mere 2,200 miles (Portland to Whitehorse). I replace the TKC-80 with a Metzeler Sahara 3 (the only tire the Honda/KTM dealer had in an 18") and it did the remaining 4,000 miles, plus I still have probably another 1,000 to go on it. I could recommend that tire, but the sidewalls were stiff as hell and a bitch to change. Brauhausbier and Wyatt (and Matt, too, I believe) were running Scorpions on the rear and they lasted the whole trip (KTM 950's). It seems like the best combination was a Scorpion on the rear and a knobby, such as the TKC-80 on the front.
Kick ass so far.
I will have to wait to get to work so's I can watch the time lapse links.
Great report, keep the pics coming!
Here's the GPS tracks from day 1:
Go directly to my smugmug gallery to see the full-screen version http://drrags.smugmug.com/gallery/3208904/5/178046009/Large
Or, just pm me if you want the .gpx file of the sections posted here, or the entire trip.
And day 2:
Let me add that if you have a Garmin Zumo, and you take an extended trip, you might find that when you connect the GPS to Mapsource and download all routes, tracks and waypoints, that you only get the last few days, navigate to the Garmin drive (after you connect to the PC via the USB cable) and go to:
and you will find all of the .gpx files. Copy them to the PC and open them up in Mapsource.
If you want to join a bunch of .gpx files:
Open an instance of Mapsource and open the first file (1.gpx for instance)
Open a 2nd instance of Mapsource and open the 2nd file (2.gpx)
From the 2nd instance, select the tracklog in the left pane and Copy.
Go to the first Mapsource instance and Paste
Repeat opening the next gpx file in the 2nd instance and copying to the first until you've done them all. When you are finished:
Select all of the tracklogs in the 1st instance, right click, and Join all tracklogs. This way you can see the entire trip at once.
Just in case you think I'm lyin'
I love these cool signs!
Neat gas pumps.
I have a friend who made me aware of crows and ravens, and now I'm compelled to take pictures of them. They are supposed to be embodied by ancestors - all I can say is they must have been the party ancestors, because these guys are loud and obnoxious. They'll walk over everything, get into anything, eat anything, and leave little (actually, large) gifts on your seat and suit.
I love how these are called "highways"
We got a chance to talk to a real ice-road trucker! I'd seen the ads for the show on TV, but I didn't really pay any attention. One of the things I didn't know was that there is a 15 mph speed limit for a reason. Apparenlty, as you drive a truck across the ice, the ice sinks a little under the load, but what that means is that the ice in front of the truck raises a little above the underlying water. If you go too fast and end up riding onto the raised portion, you will probably go down. Another thing, I thought the ice froze solid for many, many feet before these trucks cross, but in reality, they'll drive 120,000 pounds across ice as thin as 36 inches! Sorry, but that's not a job for me! :huh
The pilot cars always went too slow, especially in the deep stuff. There was one road construction site where I asked the lollipop girl to tell the pilot car to go a little faster, since I wanted to at least be able to completely engage the clutch, and proceeded to get a 10 minute safety lecture. I tried to explain that if I could get a minimum speed up, I could "get on plane" and it would be more stable and safer, plus I wouldn't burn out my clutch. She didn't want to hear about it. So, the pilot car took off, and, too slow, so I just stopped and let the pilot car go on ahead for awhile, then took off. Much better
Where is my bike (seat)? You got it, right under this ancestor.
We are in the middle of nowhere when I see something odd on the top of a mountain. I do the full 12x zoom to get this photo. Cell tower? Microwave? Dunno.
So we break into Watson Lake and ride past the Sign Forrest, but it was getting kinda late so we didn't stop in.
Brauhausbier loves all things beer
Hwy 4 going Northwest out of Watson Lake.
We went about 50 miles up Hwy 4 until we found a campground. It was navigating the campsite that I realized that I didn't have 1st gear! Sometimes it would engage, sometimes not, sometimes it would pop out of gear. I was a little worried about it - constantly thinking of what could cause such symptoms. When it was cold, it engaged fine, but as it warmed up, it didn't.
At this point I was starting to worry that my TKC-80 on the rear was wearing at an alarming rate, that, coupled with my mysterious 1st gear problem, we decided to backtrack down Hwy 4 and head to Whitehorse. Bummer!
I brought the pressure up to 40 psi.
I love being able to stop in the middle of the road and not worry about traffic. In 100 miles up and back, we encountered a car and a van, that was it.
Thanks for the feedback, y'all. It's nice to know that you folks are enjoying the report.
I would have paid money to see BHB's face when he found the puddle of "fuel" under his bike.
Damn crow impaled itself on my RT last week. Stuck to the mirror between it and the light bracket and wouldn't come off. Ceremonial ancestor blood was left on there as a warning to others.
Keep the pictures coming...
oh... boy... Afraid of where I show up in this saga...
Thanks for the link....