(FAKE) Alaskan Adventure Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Z_HARSH, May 3, 2011.

  1. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

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    dave6253, it is pretty flattering when some of the best photographers on site comment on my photos, I appreciate the compliments.



    Editors Note: I went back and added a couple more pics to the previous post, I want to keep this page clear for the next destination. By the way, has anyone heard of anyone dong the Dalton in a day? Up and back?
  2. Just Paul

    Just Paul Pro Cat Herder

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    your pics are fantastic..

    thanks for the Hard work on the RR also..
  3. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

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    Just Paul, thanks a million! It is a good way to get out of the grind, mentally at least.
  4. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

    Joined:
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    After Hope, I dropped the sis off, back in Anchorage. The old couple that let her stay in their basement mother-n-law suite were awesome. We talked about the great land, he was super interested about the travels, and he went on about his rare fish on the 200-mile fishing trip down the Yukon. He was a really cool old guy, taking care of everything at 85+.


    I took my second, or perhaps third shower of the trip and then restocked, dumped the crapper, filled the water, bought some groceries, and tried to find some dry ice. I found some, but it was well scavenged through. There were just a ton of little pieces, and no big blocks. After we went fishing the second time I had maybe 32lbs of halibut that I wanted to keep frozen. Yea, we were too cheap to ship it back so I decided to carry it. So, I bought what I could and didn’t worry about it too much, figuring I could pick some up along the way.


    After restocking and saying the goodbyes to Val and the hosts, I headed out. I had pretty much ridden or driven all the roads that connected in the entire state. Well, almost all. I really wanted to get over to the Nebesna road, but part of me wanted to at least leave a little to come back to. Other than that, there was a long dead-end to Circle and one to Manley above Fairbanks and maybe one other one, I forget.


    I had to flip a coin; either Manley or Circle and they both had hot springs as far as I knew. I love hot springs. I ended up deciding on Circle, so I found a nice little camp spot on some little short dirt side road just off he intersection with that road north of Fairbanks.


    I pushed hard and rolled in late, packed a lunch and headed out after it warmed up a little in the morning. Usually, if I want to actually get somewhere specific, I get there first and explore on the way back. But, as I was blasting out towards Circle, I found something interesting.


    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030559.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030559.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>



    Well, it wasn’t so much the sign, but actually this:




    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030561.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030561.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>




    My plan was to get out to Circle then find some side roads on the way back, but it was a long way on a boring road, so I decided to not worry about the destination.




    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030562.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030562.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>




    And focus on the journey.




    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030566.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030566.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>




    And the adventure.




    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030567.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030567.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>





    It kept going and going, over 10 miles. From what I could tell from the little map, there wasn’t a river the whole way through to Chena.




    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030569.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030569.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>




    Again, the problem with land travel in AK is yes, rivers, but especially boggs. I hear that is why you don’t see horses up there. They all too often step in a bog, and you have no other option that no put them down. So, as I was riding up the 2-track and what do you know, there was a bog and I stopped, got off, and scoped it out. 10 Miles from the main road, off one some little trail, by myself, the last thing I was about to do was get stuck. So, I poked around a little and found the right path. I saddled it up, blurped the throttle a little and made it through. A little further there was one more so, again I hopped off to investigate.


    By this time, the well beaten 2-track was down to just two tracks through the brush. I could tell that there was recent traffic, hunters on ATVs and side-by-sides. I knew they were very fresh, but they still could have been a day or two old, leftover from the weekend. I wasn’t going to bet a 10-mile hike that someone else may come across me and my stuck bike.


    But the second one didn’t look to bad if I cut way off the right and made it through the tiny little stream. Then, again, a little further up there was one more. This one was different. It was a lot bigger, just before a small rise. It looked like I could follow one path, where an ATV beat in an off-chamber track through the gigglebushes. I almost started to think about it, but, I decided I better turn around, it was the smart thing to do. And I lived to ride another day, and explore on.


    *******I still think it is possible by motorcycle to make it through to Chena. If any of you out there have any insight, please speak up******.
  5. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    I believe Alcan Rider has done it in 24 hours from Anchorage. It's possible, but I wouldn't go up there expecting to make it with no problems. I stopped to much for pictures.
  6. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

    Joined:
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    Anchorage to Prudhoe Bay in a day is impressive 862 Miles, 1387 km according to one site, not much time to take pictures indeed.

    Ok, back to Circle to Chena, I still think it is doable, just not solo......
  7. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

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    After I ran into the third bog, as much as I wanted to push on, I had to turn around. I felt like it stayed on the ridge looked very promising. But I had to admit defeat and head back out, and it seemed like it took me a whole lot less time to get back to the road. Maybe that is because I didn't stop for as many pictures. But, I was soon back to the main road and decided to check out a little side trail I had found on the way in, rather than pushing on to Circle.



    I saw a little trail heading up a hill, off in the distance, so I headed off to find it.




    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030574.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030574.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>




    Nothing major, maybe a little rocky in some places though.




    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030576.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030576.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>





    The trail had these ice heaves along it, a foot or a foot and a half tall. I wished I a had a some suspension so I could at least have a little fun with them. But instead it was slam on the breaks and pucker up.




    I cruised around and found some good vistas.





    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030578.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030578.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>





    Found some sort of an observation platform.





    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030579.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030579.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>





    And watched the light fade I a listened to the hum of the thumper.






    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030580.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030580.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>








    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030582.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030582.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>






    As I was headed back to the truck, still keeping my eyes pealed for side roads, I spotted a little one with a large wire across it. It was old and stretched out and the posts were sagged in so it was touching the ground in the center. It was obvious that it was long abandoned so I decided to check it out. It turned out to be a ski lift of all things. Not much of an incline, but a an old ski lift none-the-less.





    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030583.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030583.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>









    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030585.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030585.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>








    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030587.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030587.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>






    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030588.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030588.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>



    But, it was just about dark and I was getting hungry. I had a ton of halibut, and it as calling my name.
  8. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

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    After the little jaunt off the Circle road, I cooked up a nice little halibut dinner with garlic and onion and some vegetables.


    I kept hearing about this dead-end road north of Fairbanks that was worth checking out. They say it is a long haul, so I did a little extra packing. I filled up an empty windshield washer fluid container with gas, stuck the left over halibut in a plastic baggy, put together some trail mix and Wheat Thins and packed an extra layer and my rain gear in my tail-bag, then downed a beer or two and tried to sleep.


    It is always harder to fall asleep when you know you need to.


    I just laid there and laid there, counting sheep but loosing count after three or four.



    My plan was to just head up the the Arctic Circle sign take a picture or two and head back. No big deal. I heard most people that go all the way do an overnight thing, and stay in the Halliburton dormitories, or something like that. But, I had some time constraints since I needed to get back and let the Rat out. My brother-n-law actually thought I took him with me the first time he heard the story. But, Tina would work 12 hr shifts and and leave him in the house the entire time, he was fine with it. If he needed to, he knows to go on the floor rather than the seat and he just sleeps when we were gone, plus, it is not like he hadn't been getting any exercise.


    After a while I got up to use the baño, and then stuck my head out of the camper and watched the show for a while.


    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030593.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030593.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>





    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030594.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030594.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>


    It was a pretty amazing thing to take in for the first time, too bad my pictures of it suck. Just another limitation of the $200 Pano and minimal photographic sophistication.
  9. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

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    I laid in bed for a while that morning, letting it warm up a little more. Everything was ready to go, all I had to do was make some oatmeal and some coffee. I rolled out of my camp spot just off the Circle intersection a little before 9:30 and hammered it, I had some miles to cover.



    Right off the bat, I was wishing I had started out with my Cold-Pro gloves, none of those fancy heated grips here and my hands were frigid. I tried to reach down and uses the cases to warm them up a couple times while riding. But, I gritted through it and pretty soon I was at the sign.




    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030596.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030596.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>


    According to my camera it was 9:43, and the ODO shows 19,571 Miles, or 31,496 KMs.


    The beginning, of the long haul. I probably should have taken this picture too, my old man actually took this one though.


    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030262-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030262-1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>


    But, I guess I kind of ignored it. Ooops.







    Now, I didn't find that there was too much excitement on the road. It is just a graded gravel road, the type I try to avoid here in CO if there are better options. Really, a graded gravel road is not that much more exciting than a paved road, but, like my old man says, "there is no such thing as a boring road; Just a boring speed, you just have to go fast enough."


    I was hoping for some more curves, although, I have to say that the wet sections with 2 inces of mud on the top were fun and a refreshing change. Especially when passing semi trucks.


    Really, passing in general is fun I think.


    So is hammering it and and giving it all it can take.


    I had to be careful though, I couldn't run my poor little KLR into the ground.


    After the sign, I didn't really find much to take pictures of. It had been sensory overload for the last month or two and after all the amazing views, vistas, sunsets and scenery I didn't find much to stop and take a picture of.


    Until I arrived at the Yukon River that is, fifty-six miles and fifty-one minutes later.



    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030597.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030597.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>




    Well, I pulled over for one picture and then took a couple more while riding.



    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030598.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030598.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>









    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030601.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030601.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>


    After putting over the long wooden bridge, I stopped in to the little truck stop and figured I should probably gas up. It felt nice to stretch the legs a little too. But, daylight was burning and I rolled on.






    And rolled, and rolled, and rolled.







    Passing semi trucks at 70 or so (112kmh) is a little exciting, when their 18 wheels throw marble and bigger sized rocks at you. I just ducked behind the wind shield and twisted the throttle some more. The ping..........ping........ping....ping, ping off he bike was not good, but, I figured better it than me. Honestly, I was a little surprised that no lenses were shattered in the process.





    I couldn't worry about that though, I had to keep hammering it, I had miles to cover.







    Then, way sooner than I thought, I was there. There at my goal of the day; The Arctic Circle. But.......it didn't feel any different?


    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030602.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030602.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>




    I sat there in the saddle for a bit, relaxing and stretching out my back. Soon after I arrived, a bus full of tourists showed up and killed it though. Funny how that happens, and I had some deciding to do.




    I had made my goal, technically I could turn around at any time, I was going to have to sooner or later. I had to get back to the Rat. But, it was only a quarter to one and there was plenty of daylight left, even thought you could feel winter right around the corner.

  10. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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  11. WaywardSon

    WaywardSon Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
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    Somewhere East of Omaha....
    Late to the party for sure. Just found the thread and still on page 5, but had to chime in. Hell of a job on the report and your images are as good as any on here...cheap point and shoot or not. The Panasonic Lumix is an incredible camera for the money...hard to beat a Leica lens. However, there comes a point when the man holding it has to take some credit:deal

    Nice job........carry on, I'll catch up:D

    Thanks for taking the time.............John
  12. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

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    Dave, thanks for hanging in there, it takes a little longer whey you actually try and write.

    WaywardSon, glad you found it, I guess I do alright on occasion with the camera:D
  13. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

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    I sat there, surrounded by plump touristies snapping pictures, pondering my options. Really, it wasn't hard. The day was still young and I wasn't done yet. So, with a light tap on the starter button she fired up and I was on my way.



    I figured that Coldfoot wasn't too much further so I might as well check it out.



    I kept hammering it, mile after mile after mile. I started zoning out, never loosing concentration on the road, watching everything and looking at nothing, almost riding in a daze.



    It felt like Coldfoot too, came sooner than it should. I actually passed it and had to turn around to make it down to the gas station. I filled up on the expensive gas, went in to the little cafe.



    The grizzled looking truckers looked up and went back to their coffee, I peered over the menu, ordered up a coffee for myself and once again pondered my options. I was kind of hoping to see some blond chick and goofy looking dude with a blue mow hawk. Honestly, it doesn’t look that scary; if the ice were to collapse of course. Where are they going to fall to? Down a ten foot crack into frozen dirt?



    Anyways, at this point, it was a little harder.




    To decide of course, not too much harder though, since Atigun pass was not too much further. 71 miles, or 114 K.




    That is like, an hour away, well......according to Mr. Google, an hour and 47 minutes....but what does he know.




    Finally, the mundane and repetitive wilderness gave way to some hills, I was happy to see some change.




    But, I was pissed when I finally ran into some construction. I hate pilot cars, you don't see them too often in the lower 48. I like passing and I was tempted, but I figured it may ruffle a feather or two. I was manly pissed because it was putting a major damper on my moving average. I had it up over 72 MPH (115 KMH) according to Mr. Garmin, and it was alarming how fast it declined following the pilot car at 5 miles an hour.



    The pass was nothing though, extremely inferior to say, the road to Valdez. Plus the light was crap and I didn't find much to photograph.



    As you can see, I had to force this one.


    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030607.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030607.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>


    But, this one is at least half-way interesting, in my opinion at least.


    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030608.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030608.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>


    There I was, two hours and eight minutes after leaving the Arctic Circle.



    Maybe the scenery couldn't compare, but, there was something in the air. I was standing up, toes on the pegs like a dirtbiker at heart, leaning forward with my chest past the headlight, pressed against the oncoming blast of tundra air. There comes a time when you and the machine are no longer separate masses but become one. This takes a while I have found. I really didn’t feel it on the KLR for 12,000 miles or more, off road at least. When the wheels are your legs and the tires are your feet, humming along in perfect harmony and you know exactly what that tire is going to do with no supprises.



    Anyways, I was over the pass gazing around in the wonder of the Northern Slope, and then came decision time. As I mentioned, I kind of dazed out, watching the sky shrink down around me. When I looked down again, I was thirty miles (48k) past Atigun pass. Or, 100 miles from Coldfoot.



    I knew I probably wasn't getting the best gas mileage, but can get from 280-240 (450-386k) per tank. It was time, I had to decide.



    Do I come this far, only to turn around? It was obvious what the smart thing to do was. I kept telling myself all the reasons why I should turn around. "You have gone so far, made it way past where most people make it, you still have to think about the Rat, you are just going to have to turn sooner or later, it is just a destination, it is just a meaningless destination......" I tried, I really did. I just couldn't, I just couldn't talk myself out of it. I tried for several miles.




    I was on a mission; so I spun the throttle, a fist full as some like to say, and blasted on knowing that there was no turning back until I reached the end. The highest dead end, on the map of course.


    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030609.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030609.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>


    After the pass, there was something different about the atmosphere. The sky closed in on me and the wispy clouds seemed to dance along, mile after mile.




    Just the humm of the engine, it would be KM after KM, but the hand-drawn line was a ways East.





    It was surreal, almost fake?










    Then..........................it sputtered, and the daze snapped back into reality.





    I was running out of gas, well, going onto reserve to be more precise. This usually happens around the 220 mile mark in the worst situations. Coldfoot to Deradhorse is only 240 miles (386 KM) or 9 hours and 17 minutes according to the all-knowing Mr. Google, the problem was I had only gone 170 miles (273k).



    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030610.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030610.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
  14. jessepitt

    jessepitt Ride More

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    Oct 20, 2008
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    993
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    Wow! I just finished reading this whole RR and all I can say is; Epic! Cant wait to find out what happens next. Oh, and great pics too.
  15. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
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    jessepitt, thank you thank you, I greatly appreciate it!
  16. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    496
    Location:
    Denver
    My heart sank when I heard the sputter, I was still 70 miles out (112k) and guessed I had 40 in reserve (64k).



    This was not good considering my horrid gas mileage up to this point.



    I thought ooooohhhhh shit, what did I get myself into.




    Needless to say, my moving average was no longer a concern.




    There were a few little hills, oil slick hill or some other equally un-imaginative name, I would speed up at the top then kill the engine and coast for as long as I could, almost wanting to push a little with my feet.






    All I had was a hope and a prayer, and a windshield washer container full of gas, but I still wasn't out of the woods yet.






    I didn't feel like pulling over right away, I just wanted to get to the gas station.




    Get to the gas station and keep from freezing my fingers off.




    Every moment I felt it get colder as I descended to the northern most point, feeling the bony grip of the Arctic air closing in around me.




    I ran into some more construction and had to wait 20 minutes or so for the pilot car to come back and get us, it was a nice chance to get a few cheap passes.





    I sat there and chatted with the guy with the stop sign, and asked him if he thought it was possible to make it there and back in a day. He said he thought it would be possible, said he heard of people driving from Anchorage to Fairbanks and back at least. I took the chance to empty the gas into the tank and calculated that I should have about 10 miles to spare, if I didn't rail it. He bid me good luck and God's speed, and I took off at a torturous pace after the pilot car.





    I knew I should make it, but I still had the feeling I may have gotten in over my head a little. Especially considering I wasn't yet half way. The "smarter" half kept saying; "see, see, you should have listened, look what you got yourself into now."





    I just had to tell the chatterbox to shove it, and rolled on the throttle, while trying to keep feeling in my finger tips.





    It is not that easy to throttle with our left hand.








    Finally, I started to see something in the distance. Could it be??? Am I really almost there I thought.






    By this time there were a few trucks on the road and I decided that passing a bunch on the way in to town might piss some of them off, so I rolled in looking for a big red Conoco sign or something, maybe a convenience store and a coffee?



    I thought I was going to run out just driving around looking for the gas. I finally pulled off and went up to some big building with a garage door and a couple workers and asked them to point me in the right direction.



    Finally, the sacred nectar was found.




    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030611.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030611.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>




    Once the most important task was completed, and I figured out how to use the vending machine gas pump, I decided I might as well check out the downtown scene a little.



    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030612.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030612.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>





    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030613.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030613.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>






    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030614.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030614.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>






    Now, I heard that there was some sign of a deceased horse that you are supposed to take a picture of, but I didn't bother trying to find it.


    I also heard that you are not supposed to actually see "Prudhoe Bay" from the end of the road either. But if that is the case, I am not sure what you are supposed to call this:




    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030615-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030615-1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>




    At any rate, maybe I should have stripped down to my boxers and jumped in, but I didn't want to do 500 miles with wet and frozen drawers, and the Halliburton tour was not something I was worried about missing.





    So, after a quick jaunt around the destination I dove back into the journey, but only had seven miles until my baby turned 20 at the age of three.





    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030617.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030617.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>





    And finally I actually pulled over for a picture.
  17. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    496
    Location:
    Denver
    After snapping a picture of my bike's 20,000 milestone I looked up and knew in my gut exactly why I did it. Exactly why I was there, it was like, for just a millisecond, the universe and all existence made sense.




    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030618.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030618.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>












    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030619.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030619.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>






    But there was no time to dilly dally, I as you might say.........I had a long ways to go and a short time to get there.





    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030620.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030620.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>







    ....I was going to do what they say can't be done????







    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030621.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030621.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>











    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030622.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030622.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>







    I just gazed into the atmosphere and I blazed down the dirt. The sky was amazing but the sun was falling fast and I couldn't keep stopping for pictures. So I didn't.





    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030623.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030623.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>








    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030626.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030626.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>



  18. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    496
    Location:
    Denver
    I wanted to, I really really did, but, I couldn't.


    I just couldn't stop.











    Have you ever sang, at the top of your lungs on the bike?















    I wouldn't admit to it, but, I was screaming at the top of my lungs......"I've got a looooooooooong way to go, and a shooooort time to get th.....I've got a loooooooooooooooong way to gooooooooooo but a shooooort time to.....YEA I've gooooot a loooonnnnnnng way tooo goooooooooooo and a shoooooooooooooooooort time......



    I wanted to, but I couldn't stop, so apparently this is what you get.



    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030628.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030628.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>











    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030629.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030629.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>














    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030630.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030630.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>





    CRAP!!!!!!!!!! CAN IT REALLY BE DONE???????



    SHUT UP!!!!!!! You've got a long way to go and a shOOOOOOOrt time to get there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




    No time for that shit now!






    <a href="http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/?action=view&amp;current=P1030631.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030631.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>





  19. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    496
    Location:
    Denver
    The tundra blazed by, mile after mile in an endless blur. I kept count 30 miles at a time (48k). It seems like the more you look at the ODO, or the clock for that matter, the slower it moves so I forced myself not to look down. As agonizing as it was, I used every inch of my willpower not to look down. Just keep going, no stopping, just go, go, go! ………….even though it wasn’t written on the side of my bike.



    No looking down and no full throttle, I couldn’t run out.



    Just the steady hummm of the thumper, mile after mile, hour after hour……




    Finally, I guess I had missed it on the way in, but this time saw the actual sign. Little Old Atigun Pass:





    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/Z_HARSH/library/ALASKA" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030632-1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>




    It was a relief to put the Arctic behind me and get back onto the familiar Southern Slope.




    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/Z_HARSH/library/ALASKA" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030633.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>




    Yea, sorry about that one, “cheap camera” raring it’s ugly little head I suppose.



    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/Z_HARSH/library/ALASKA" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030636.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>



    I had a little light left, but not much more than that.



    And I couldn’t dilly dally, and no looking for camp either.



    Because I still had a loooooooooooooooooooonnnng way to go and short time to get there.



    Honestly I wasn’t sure it could be done. But none of that mattered, I was committed. I had no choice.



    And I had to hammer it.




    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/Z_HARSH/library/ALASKA" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030638.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>



    But gas was still a concern, so I would speed up and kill it at the tops of the hills, I coasted almost all the way down the pass.



    30 miles, then another 30, and another and another.



    Finally I made it back to Coldfoot.



    I needed a break by this time. I had oatmeal for breakfast, a little beef jerky and trail-mix at a couple stops on the way up and some halibut in Deadhorse. I needed to refuel more than just the bike. I also needed some coffee, it was cold. Well actually, it was just starting to get cold. Obvious pun omitted.



    On my way into Deadhorse I passed an FJ Cruiser that was headed out. The truckers at the little Coldfoot Café didn’t seem to have much interest, but the guys in the FJ were chatty. We talked about our trips and this and that, we also agreed that it was next to amazing they didn’t have a broken windshield.



    But I couldn’t stay and chat forever, although it was not like the daylight was burning either. So, I had another cup of coffee.




    It was a blur, from there on out and it was back to the 30 mile regiment. That and praying nothing ran out in front of me.




    It seemed all the big game was long gone, since the first shot of the hunting season I hadn’t seen a thing along any of the roads.




    Riding full out mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after kilometer after mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after kilometer after mile after mile



    After mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after kilometer after mile after mile after mile.



    At one point, I had to pull over and stretch the legs and take a piss, I shut off the bike and black was completely and breathtakingly all encompassing. Like drive you insane in the depths in a cave pitch black.




    It was all I could do to stay warm and keep going. But even if I wanted to stop, I had no blanket, actually I did have an emergency blanket that I haven’t had the fortune to use yet in Baja, but I had nothing more to put on or shelter myself with.




    I had to keep going.




    Finally I made it to the Youkon River, and there were even a few of the workers still playing poker in the café.




    At first the guy in charge said I couldn't have any. It was too late and they were done for the night. So, I pulled out some cash and I had to beg and to tell them that if he didn' I would run out. Honestly, I thought I didn’t need it but I really didn’t want to worry about it. I had already done enough of that. I had to plead my case but he finally gave in.





    After I topped off and had a few more bites of trail-mix, it was back in the saddle and off down the road.





    But not until I had taken the chace to warm my hands on the engine cases.





    No stopping, just GO, GO, GO!





    And finally the dirt turned to pavement and I only had one more measly 30 mile stint, and there I was.






    I let the rat out, heated up some soup, and tried several times to get this picture to come out, just in case there were any doubters.






    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/Z_HARSH/library/ALASKA" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030648.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>



    Yea, who would have known a KLR could go that fast!


  20. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    496
    Location:
    Denver
    Well, needless to say, I was hurting the next day. I didn’t get back to the truck until 2:30 AM and it took me forever to fall to sleep, still feeling the rumble and vibrations coursing through my body and still hearing the hummm of the thumper ringing through my ears. Finally when I woke up the next morning and tossed and turned in no hurry to get up out of the comfortable bed and warm blankets.




    It was mainly in my shoulders, the muscles were tensed up like softballs, but my neck was a stiff as could be too.




    967 Miles, or 1556.24 KM




    All in 14 hours and 40 minutes of moving time, and only 2 hours and 38 minutes stopped.




    Max speed, 97.3 mph or 156.5 kmh, with a moving average of 65.9 mph or 106 kmh, not bad.










    And after all that, a hot tub sounded perfect, or better yet, an outdoor hot springs.






    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/Z_HARSH/library/ALASKA" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030650_zps7d3742d2.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>





    Yep, I was feeling good.





    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/Z_HARSH/library/ALASKA" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030651_zps46a9f4a9.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>





    And perhaps looking a little grizzled.

    Either way, it was an amazing place to be.






    <a href="http://s1235.beta.photobucket.com/user/Z_HARSH/library/ALASKA" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff439/Z_HARSH/ALASKA/P1030653_zps7203076c.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>






    Typically, I am not a huge fan of it, but on that day it was perfect. It was a perfect day to just be. Not to be doing something as I typically prefer, but instead just to be.





    A couple days earlier I had been exploring out by Circle, and I had ran across a little track that seemed like it went through all the way to Chena, so, since I was in Chena, I started talking to one of the local guys doing some maintenance around the site. He told me that he had been up on the trail, the Historic Fairbanks trial, on a hunting trip once and although he just went part way, he did seem to think that it may be possible. No big rivers at least, but perhaps a bog or two here and there. Honestly, a 80’s big wheel might even be the perfect tool for such a job. It could even be the perfect place to train for the Enduro Cross, or something like that.



    But what do I know, I'm just some dumb tourist from the lower 48.