Chasing Summer

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Jean-Luc, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    Computers come in all sizes! :wink:<o:p></o:p>

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    We’re staying a 2<sup>nd</sup> night in <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Seattle</st1:place></st1:city>, with a BBQ party on the evening. Teryk takes care of electrical issues with the GPS.

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    I’ve never been to <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Seattle</st1:place></st1:city> before so I spend several hours riding around and visiting the areas recommended by Patrick. It is a beautiful city! The water is everywhere, it’s very green each neighborhood has its own character. In the same time it’s maybe too similar to <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">San Francisco</st1:place></st1:city> to be really surprising without having as much charm (in my eyes). And the traffic downtown was just brutal! Did I mention I hate not splitting lanes?<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The pics I took don’t represent <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Seattle</st1:city></st1:place> at all, but I was just fascinated by the scale of the ‘industrial’ sites like the harbor and all.<o:p></o:p>
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    Many freeways in <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Seattle...</st1:place></st1:city><o:p></o:p>

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    But also a lot of beautiful houses, right on the water<o:p></o:p>

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    I visited <st1:city w:st="on">Mercer Island</st1:city> where Bill Gates lives and it’s quite gorgeous, reminding me a bit of <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Sausalito</st1:place></st1:city>. I didn’t see Bill but I saw some other rich guy (at least with a huge house) who was so bored that he was making a ton of noise with his blower to clean up to the street :huh <o:p></o:p>

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    Hey, they even have house boats here<o:p></o:p>

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    And old boats...

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    They were simulating a fight and you could hear the canon and smell the powder smoke.<o:p></o:p>

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    A few random pictures that I like...

    This one represents in my eyes the "old/new" Seattle with this factory transformed in offices for some Hi-tech company.

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    Old and new again

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    And the fascinating harbor

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    Then it's time to go home where Patrick is already working on some amazingly good BBQ :dg

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    A really good time was had by all!

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    #21
  2. Dick

    Dick Its a big old goofy world

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    :lurk :slurp :lurk
    #22
  3. Whammo

    Whammo Nature's toothbrush

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    #23
  4. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

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    Allen, Tejas. Blissful state...
    A Jean-Luc ride report. No doubt another classic in the making.

    :clap

    Yuppers - meet the man up close and personal, at one of the sweetest spots in California.

    :freaky








    Pass the popcorn....

    :lurk
    #24
  5. JimC

    JimC Long timer

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    Go Jean-Luc.

    You both have a safe and eventful trip. We will all be waiting each day for our French Fix of Adventure writing and riding. :ear

    Enjoy
    Jim in Sacramento
    #25
  6. R-dubb

    R-dubb Dubbious Adventurer

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    More, more!

    So far, you guys seem to have it pretty rough :D

    cheers :beer
    #26
  7. nelgallan

    nelgallan oilfield trash

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    #27
  8. JNRobert

    JNRobert Breaking Wind

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    Fantastic! I've been thinking about this same trip for a couple of years now - I'm damned envious :bluduh


    :lurk
    #28
  9. Popey

    Popey Nutter

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    Bravo buddy - good start. :thumb :thumb

    So I have a month or two to win the lotto, rob a bank, bust Vegas or just tell the Mrs. the mortgage is on her, I'll see ya in 6 months and join you guys on the southern leg. :baldy :bluduh :lol3
    #29
  10. Whammo

    Whammo Nature's toothbrush

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    I can vouch for those Dawson City hangovers......
    and strange things can happen while you're working on one!

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    #30
  11. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    It was really hard to leave our friends who had been so welcoming and until the very end fed us with the best food you can imagine. We even left with some short ribs that we enjoyed on the road!

    However the Big North was calling so while the rain paused we left at the end of the morning. We have again to deal with <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Seattle</st1:place></st1:city> traffic but we end up leaving the 5 for some less crowded coastal road that was pretty nice.<o:p></o:p>

    <o:p> </o:p>
    <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Vancouver</st1:place></st1:city> is not really far but we had the traffic to go there and had to deal with a long wait at the border. Not only the line was very long but the two of us also had to get out of the bikes to pass an interview, making sure that we had enough money to go to Alaska and back without getting stuck in Canada. &#8220;Standard procedure&#8221; they said for people that want to go to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:state w:st="on">Alaska</st1:state></st1:place> without realizing how far it is.

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    From what I heard, it just seems that the Canadians want to retaliate to the trouble the <st1:country-region w:st="on">US</st1:country-region> borders started to give to the Canadians crossing the border to the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">US</st1:country-region></st1:place> after 9/11.<o:p></o:p>

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    Anyway, we had not plan to stay in <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Vancouver</st1:place></st1:city> since we wanted to put some miles and were not looking forward to another big city. However, it was already 4:30 pm when we finally entered <st1:country-region w:st="on">Canada</st1:country-region> at that time of the day it just made more sense to sleep in <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Vancouver</st1:place></st1:city> tonight. I called my friend Don who leaves there for recommendations and we&#8217;re on our way to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Vancouver</st1:city></st1:place>.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Wow, approaching <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Vancouver</st1:place></st1:city> is quite something. We both immediately liked this city! No pics though since it was already late and we needed a place to stay. Don&#8217;s recommendation was a bit too expensive for us so we checked around the bus terminal and found this bar/hotel place that was quite interesting :norton. Special crowd for sure but the price was cheap! Unfortunately they had no vacancy. Meanwhile in front of the bar a Harley rider needed some help&#8230;

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    We used our compressor on his flat tire and with this extra air the guy was confident on being able to go home. Not the first time we help HD that way. Don&#8217;t they have electric plugs on their expensive machines? :evil

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    We finally found a good place to stay and went to meet Don and his GF Tara. Nothing better than having locals showing you around! Teryk and I continued to be very impressed by how cool <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Vancouver</st1:place></st1:city> seems to be. Don and Tara although liking their city very much told us about some critical issue for leaving there, mostly because of real estate prices going crazy while salaries didn&#8217;t increase much. There&#8217;s also a lot of real estate speculation and even though many apartments are empty it&#8217;s really hard to find a place to stay.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Well, all I can say is that as tourists it&#8217;s a great place to visit and we had a lot of fun!

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    #31
  12. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    Yeah, and I thought I could loose weight on that trip :lol3
    #32
  13. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    I was really looking forward to riding the “Sea to Sky” highway (the 99); It goes North-East from <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Vancouver</st1:place></st1:city> towards Whistler, along a fjord. Unfortunately, weather and traffic were again against us! There will be the Olympic Winter Games in Whistler in 2010 and so they’re making the road a 2x2. Problem is, the road is stuck between the water and a steep mountain so it’s a gigantic work and there are countless stops and flag poles. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    To make things worse, the 640’s clutch cable breaks! Not ideal in a stop and go traffic…

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    Teryk had gone through a few of those cables in his machine so he had very smartly already installed a brand new cable along the previous one so if one fails it’s easy to switch the spare one.


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    The latest model has been improved so hopefully this new cable will last longuer...


    Thankfully, after Whistler the traffic finally cleared up and we were finally able to enjoy our ride.

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    A pause somewhere around Pemberton...

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    It never poured on us too heavily and it was even sunny at times!

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    Everytime we see a chance to take a dirt road that doesn't take us too much off the way, we go for it! It breaks the monotony, offers often better scenery and we're dirt addicts anyway :D.

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    On the 97 North, the fancy gas station/town called "70 mile House". Yep, that's quite a name.

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    It's always an opportunity to check the bike and Teryk discovers that the bolt holding its side stand is gone. Vibrations on a big single are always an issue for that kind of stuff.

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    We finally arrive at Prince George after a long day of riding and check into a motel. Prince George is quite disappointing and we have to ask 2 people to really make sure that "yes, this is dowtown".
    #33
  14. Rad

    Rad Done riding

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    J-L I love the report and the whole trip idea. I hope you two have a great time.

    Remember, yur a long way from Santa Cruz so I won't be able to pick you up in the truck, like last year, if ya break down this time:lol3

    If yur side kick wants that next clutch cable to last longer, do what I did before I switched to a Hydo unit on my 640, I only used the clutch on down shifts:clap

    Ride safe

    Conrad
    #34
  15. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    Thanks Conrad! Yes, being far from home we're trying to keep the bikes in shape but haven't be that successful (more on that later).
    #35
  16. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    The best thing about <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Prince George</st1:city></st1:place> might be that they have a KTM dealer there. <o:p></o:p>
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    &#8220;Ready to Race&#8221;&#8230; looks like the owner knows a thing or two about that!

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    Impressive tires! They do ride their bikes all year around here.

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    A really nice guy took care of the side stand bolt and we bought a spare clutch cable. Then West on the 16.
    </o:p>

    Why spend money on a fancy menu's cover? :deal<o:p></o:p>

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    <o:p></o:p><o:p>Somewhere on the way...</o:p>
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    Looking again for a dirt alternative we switch off the main road at New Hazelton to go North.

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    Hazelton is an Indian Community and I notice again how the &#8220;First Nations&#8221; people (as they call themselves in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Canada</st1:place></st1:country-region>) seem way happier and prosperous than the &#8220;Native Americans&#8221;. I don&#8217;t why is that but if was a real pleasure to see it.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Not sure if it&#8217;s a local thing but those mail boxes were surprisingly tough.

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    The GPS roads for <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Canada</st1:place></st1:country-region> are not really detailed and it was hard to see on our maps if the dirt road would eventually connect to the main road. After 40 miles it became progressively narrower and my PCQ experience made me think that there was no chance that this road would go through.

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    <o:p> </o:p>Going back 40 miles was really not something we wanted to do so we start to explore every option but there was a big river between the trail and the road we wanted to reach. While exploring we found at one point a family camping along the river with Canoes and all. The guy looked like he had been in those woods for ever and told us where was the only access to cross the river, just a few Kms back. Relieved to not have to backtrack the whole way we found a very nice trail going just where we wanted (towards the 37).

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    Here Teryk stopped because he saw a good size black bear running on the trail ahead of him. We paused a minute and when we pursued it was nowhere to be seen.

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    Back on pavement, it was already late in the day so we hurried to the 37A towards Stewart/Hyder. The 37A is very scenic, certainly the best we had enjoyed so far! The road itself is nice and with twisties but the best part is to see the high montains on both sides since it's a sort of canyon/valley.

    And of course there is the Bear Glacier, although it's not really shinning in this picture at dark.

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    We finally arrived in Stewart, a neat little town, the last on the Canadian side.

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    We found a campground and went to dinner in a good restaurant but like everything remote, not exactly cheap.
    #36
  17. cRAsH

    cRAsH Banned

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    Two of my favorite riding buds. :clap :clap

    :ricky

    :freaky

    :lurk
    #37
  18. PackMule

    PackMule love what you do Super Moderator

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    Whoa. :nod


    :lurk
    #38
  19. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    Oatmeal for breakfast at the campground. With the fog it almost looks like home. :wink:

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    Packing the tents, still really wet

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    Part of the morning routine: clean the visor from all the bugs. In the North we have to do that at least 4 times a day,

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    We decide to cross the border and see Hyder this morning. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Hyder is in a strange situation. It&#8217;s part of <st1:state w:st="on">Alaska</st1:state>, so it&#8217;s American but they&#8217;re only connected by land to Stewart in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Canada</st1:place></st1:country-region>. So they end up depending on their Canadian neighbors on most things including schools and such. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    No one checked us while entering the <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">US</st1:place></st1:country-region> - I don&#8217;t even think there is a custom/immigration office there.

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    <o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p>
    The town itself has little to offer but the views, especially from the long pier are stunning!

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    What a great start for the day!

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    The team is really happy!

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    Surprisingly (since we left it 1/2 h ago) going back to Canada is quite a serious thing! Not as long as the first time but still.

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    Views on the way to Stewart...

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    And on the 37A going back East...

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    Creeks and cascades everywhere

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    No pictures of them but I finally saw my first bears of the trip! The first one was a youngster that quickly ran to the bushes while the 2nd encounter was a mother with her 2 cubs who were having fun not far away from the road.

    One more road block! That one was great though because the flag pole man was such a character...

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    The other good thing is that we were stopped close to the Glacier so I could took more pictures.

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    A last one of that gentle giant

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    Back on the 37th North. The problem with the constantly changing weather is that you might not be dressed accordingly :wink:.

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    What's for lunch today? Pep'n'Ched? Looks delicious :huh

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    The weather gets nicer and we can enjoy Hope Lake on the way but not much else on that road.

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    Finally! After days of travelling in British Columbia we enter in the Yukon.

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    Watson Lake is not very appealing. The most famous attraction must be the "Forest of Signs" brought by people from all over the word.

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    We go grab some food at a supermarket and go camping. There will be no biers tonight though since the State liquor shops close early and the other ones are expensive and offer little choice.

    We decided to try one of those Yukon State campgrounds. For $12 you have a table, BBQ pit and as much free firewood as you need. Pretty nice! Teryk makes good use of his ax/machete.

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    Our closest neighbor

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    #39
  20. cRAsH

    cRAsH Banned

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    boyscout earned his name. :nod


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    #40