Father and Son Ride the Dalton to Prudhoe Bay

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by isaac004, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. isaac004

    isaac004 Been here awhile

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    This RR may not be nearly as ground breaking as Sibersky Extreme 2012 or as insightful as RTW with Noah (two of my favorites this year), and will not have nearly as high of a dirt/asphalt ratio. While the motorcycle ride up the Dalton Highway is somewhat ubiquitous in today’s age, and not a very difficult ride by ADV standards, it still remains an important rite of passage to many motorcyclists riding resume. In my case, it is also an important trip to spend time with my father, which is why I’m spending the time to write this up. A bonus kicker is that he was born in Alaska and has not been back since he was 5 years young. I received some good feedback on the last big trip we did (Father and Son Ride the Divide) and I’m hoping more people will be inspired by this one, both to get out and ride and (even better) get out and ride with your father/son/mother/daughter (in no order of preference).

    First off, a few previews of what is to come:
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    The Trip:
    As you might guess, this ride is already completed. We rode the last part of June and most of July. While some people are pretty good at live RR’s (and there are definitely merits to this, especially when solo), I opted to do nothing more than just take photos and jot down notes at the end of every day (a journal if you will, but in bullet points) so that I could enjoy my time riding with my Dad, and worry about writing posts and organizing photos later. The plan is to post up a few times a week, as my free time permits, to rebuild this ride on this forum.

    This is something we have discussed for a few years now. I would say that last year it wasn’t even a big possibility, it was pretty low on the radar screen. But we started talking about it more, including a fellow inmate and one of my good friends in Michigan, Dom. As the end of 2012 approached it was beginning to sound more like a possibility, although Dom had to drop out has he had just started a new job and could no longer afford the big chunk of time off required. So then there were 2. My Dad is retired, therefore his planning window was easy. I had the challenge in securing time off, but luckily my boss is very understanding and holds a soft spot in his heart for motorcycle trips with my Dad. With a 3 week window secured, we planned the trip around that including my time to ride up and back from Los Angeles.

    My Dad had a no brainer choice to use his XR650L, which is the same bike he rode on our 2010 trip down the Continental Divide. It’s a reliable beast that has served him well. Most of his major trip preparation was completed for the CDT (luggage rack, wind screen, etc), but he did make a few upgrades. These include, but are not limited to:
    -Upgrading to a new Zumo GPS
    -Addition of Aerostitch Tank Panniers to better balance the luggage load
    -Volt meter, to better manage the charging system due to the heavy load of the Gerbings heated jacket and gloves (using both would dictate turning off the head light).

    I elected to take my F800GS. I had considered using my trusty and loved DR650, which I had ridden on the CDT ride with great success, but elected for the F800GS due to the high miles expected on the slab and the minimal amount of challenging dirt we would face. Mods that I installed in the months leading up to the trip include:
    -ADV Monster Model 60 LED lights with dimmer switch. These things are BRIGHT and well worth the money.
    -Touratech tool box for the BMW aluminum skid plate. Seemed good at first, not as handy as I would have liked. Will explain more later.
    -Shaved the factory seat down to provide a flatter and wider seating surface. A big improvement, but also still leaves something to be desired.
    -IKEA sheep skin, cut down to a seat pad
    -Kaoko throttle lock. A solid purchase, you may question dropping the cash, but once you hit the super slab and turn it on, you will love yourself (which you already should)

    I’ll explain packing and spare parts later on in the RR.
    #1
  2. isaac004

    isaac004 Been here awhile

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    Meet the Inmates:
    Myself (Isaac), a 29 year old mechanical engineer from Purdue University living in Los Angeles working at a major industrial gas and chemical company. I learned how to ride at age 12, and rode on and off until age 22 when I bought my own motorcycle and began riding more frequently.
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    My Father (Patrick), a 64 year old retired automotive test driver and mechanic from the Big Three, currently living in south east Michigan. He has been riding since high school. Now retired, he spends his time riding, and building bikes like this one.
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    One of our trips together, Titus Canyon in Death Valley.
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    And of course the rest of the crazy family that has embraced the love of two wheels.
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    Here are the GPS tracks from this trip:
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    #2
  3. Bluesjammer

    Bluesjammer Adventurer

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    Isaac, this should be fun following a long. :clap

    Steve
    #3
  4. isaac004

    isaac004 Been here awhile

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    Day 1, June 27, 288 miles, Los Angeles to Owens River Gorge

    I had a few options on how to get from LA to Seattle, where I would meet my Dad at my Aunt and Uncles place. These included shipping my bike, driving it up on my Trailer in a Bag, or just riding up. In the end I felt the right thing to do was drive it up. Flying was too costly and driving was fast but did not feel right. I had to pack all my stuff up 4 days prior, as I had to go to Edmonton, Alberta for a few days for work. Due to the constraints of my meeting up there, I was left with no choice but to fly back and land at LAX at noon on the day I was to leave. My flight made it on time, and so I got home in a timely fashion and was able to do my last minute touches and preparation. Around 3:30pm I was all set to roll and set out to my girlfriends house just 10 minutes away. Here I am with the loaded bike, all clean, ready to go.
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    After spending a bit of time with her, we said our goodbyes and hit the road. Here she is (Angie), still supportive of this ride!
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    Angie was nice enough to have gifted me with a SMH10/11 Bluetooth headset a few weeks before the ride, so I tuned it to NPR and headed out around 5pm. I took 210 West to 14 East to avoid the traffic on 5. Dinner was an excellent #3 meal at In-N-Out. It was pretty warm at this point in the mid 90’s, but I was moving at speed and it was not too bad.

    From 14 north, I jumped onto 395 north. It was a bit windy, I would guess 30mph cross winds. Enough to be a minor annoyance, but not nearly as bad as I had seen a year ago where it was gusting at 50mph and causing constant fear in your heart.
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    It continued to heat up even though it was around 6pm. The highest temp I saw was 99F. Here’s the first of many self shots.
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    395 is one of my favorite highways. By itself, it may not be too much for motorcycling since it is fairly wide open and fast, but I love it for two reasons:
    1.The view of the Sierra’s. You have a highway on the valley floor around 3k feet, and a bunch of 14k feet peaks to your west. Very beautiful.
    2.The access to all of the great things in the Sierra’s. Before a small finger injury, I would always head up here on the weekends for great climbing all up and down the mountain range. World class hiking, and motorcycle riding too.

    The Sierra’s are one of the best ranges in North America. Here is the sunset I was treated to.
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    Darkness came and I continued to push on. My goal was to make it to Bishop for the night, so I could knock down a good number of miles and also get out of the hot desert quicker the next day. The forecast looked clear but I saw big clouds looming north of Bishop, which is known to produce stormy weather when a small system rolls through. I briefly thought about getting a hotel room in case it rained, but figured it would clear out fast and continued with my plan to camp. I headed for some of the camp sites used by the climbers of Owens River Gorge. I’ve camped here a few times before and knew of some good spots. Gorge Road was pitch black and it felt kind of eerie, but luckily I had my bright as the sun ADV Monster Model 60’s to light the way.

    I found my camp site and went to make a u-turn in the large cleared out “drive way” when all of a sudden my skid plate was bottomed out.
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    Uh oh. Turns out in my u-turn, I found some talc like sand just 6 inches from the main drive way of this camp site. The bike sunk in FAST.
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    I took all my bags off and carried them 15 feet away to where I would pitch my tent. I could then lay the bike over and put some rocks in the hole for traction.
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    That worked, except I would quickly advance forward into a new hole of softer-than-sand sand. So I resorted to laying the bike over again, and then dragging it out a few feet so when I stood it back up, I was back on the firm drive way of the site. Perfecto. Finally time to get some sleep, as it was about 10pm by then. Due to the clouds seen earlier, I opted to put my rain fly up just in case, but it turns out I would not need it. The night was a perfect low 60’s temp with light winds and a clear sky. I even saw a shooting star overhead.

    Tracks from Day 1.
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    #4
  5. Dmarino

    Dmarino Been here awhile

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    Fantastic Isaac! Already living vicariously through your report.
    #5
  6. j-zome

    j-zome n00b

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    Looking forward to this ride report. I still go back and read "Father and Son Ride the Divide" on occasion. Youre right about just getting out there; especially with loved ones. I am looking forward to the day when my son and I can ride together. Oh and I see your father is still rockin that gorgeous windscreen.
    #6
  7. isaac004

    isaac004 Been here awhile

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    Thanks, glad you are still enjoying the Divide Ride Report!
    #7
  8. isaac004

    isaac004 Been here awhile

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    Day 2, June 28, 595 miles, Owens River Gorge, CA to Eugene, OR

    I woke up around 6am to a beautiful morning.
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    As quick as possible I rode continuing north on Gorge road which would dump me back on US395. I knew a small section (a few miles) would be dirt but did not expect it to be somewhat soft sand, so I had a little struggle as I still had my Anakee 2 front tire on. To make matters worse, someone camping off to the side had 2 dogs large dogs that ran out and insisted on trying to body block my progress so I had to slow my speed ways own. I finally got out of that OK and continued on to Lee Vining for a gas and breakfast stop.

    The Chevron just south of Lee Vining (at the entrance to the Tioga Pass) is an awesome gas station with good food at the restaurant inside. They had a simple bagel, but also have fresh squeeze orange juice. I sat outside talking with a couple that lives in Palm Springs, and was getting ready to hike a section of the PCT for a few weeks.

    I grabbed a quick early lunch at 1030am in Reno at Del Taco, party to get food to keep me going and partly to cool down and refill the CamelBak full of ice.

    I continued north pass Susanville and the scenery began to get a bit more green. The road also got a little twisty and more fun.
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    Then it flattened out some.
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    Off to the west here you can see Mount Shasta.
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    Enter Oregon. Remember to not touch the gas pump.
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    I stopped near Klammath Falls for a second/late lunch at McDonald's, also needing to cool down quite a bit. One of the customers there saw my gear and warned me about a local cop on OR-58 who often sits on the west side of a tunnel, radaring people and giving tickets for less then 5 over. Thanks for the tip sir, though thankfully I didn't see the cop at all.

    I considered camping but opted for a place with a shower since it was quite warm in the 90's and it had been a long day, so I ended up at Motel 6 in Eugene. I was even tired enough to just order Jimmy Johns for delivery, which was great since I hadn't had it in a long time and it was a college favorite.

    Tracks from Day 2.
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    #8
  9. isaac004

    isaac004 Been here awhile

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    Day 3, June 29, 288 miles, Eugene OR to Poulsbo WA

    Today was to be a simple super slab drone up I5, the goal being to arrive at my Aunt and Uncle’s house by noon so there would be a little time to relax and do some bike work. I hit the road at 6:30am, and got to Poulsbo around 11am. It helped that it was a Saturday so there was no commuter traffic, but there was still a good handful of holiday traffic. I did notice a lot of cops all over the freeway, as well as a lot of other motorcyclists.

    From left to right, my Aunt, Dad, Uncle, and I, taken from their backyard. It is quite the nice backyard…that is the Hood Canal and Olympic National Park in the background. Sometimes there are nuclear subs creeping up and down the canal.
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    My Dad and I.
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    Before I left LA, I had an old Anakee 2 that already had 6k miles, so I put the front one on again to get me up to Poulsbo where I had a fresh TKC waiting. I installed a new K60 rear before I left LA, hoping that would get me to Alaska and back to LA.
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    My Dad had installed fresh MEFO Explorers that he had waiting there as well. Those were supposed to get him up to Alaska and back to Michigan, but only time would tell! ;)

    Day 3 GPS Tracks:
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    #9
  10. isaac004

    isaac004 Been here awhile

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    OK, this RR is going along slowly, been pretty busy with work and other things. Here is another installment.

    Day 4, June 30, 368 miles, Poulsbo WA to 100 Mile House BC

    We had an early start to make the Port Townsend ferry. On the ferry we met a guy from San Diego who was on a 3 week road trip up to BC/AB in his 1950 Ford Wagon, which was pretty much all original. His specialty is wood work for cars like these, and his has a special bamboo wood job on it as his signature. Along with the car is a matching camper wagon from the same era. It’s pretty cool to see someone taking a car this old for a proper road trip.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/isaac_eos/9433937378/" title="20130630 Alaska 03 by isaac_eos, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2838/9433937378_ac2764f808_z.jpg" width="640" height="427" alt="20130630 Alaska 03"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/isaac_eos/9431169515/" title="20130630 Alaska 05 by isaac_eos, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5489/9431169515_b9165016fe_z.jpg" width="427" height="640" alt="20130630 Alaska 05"></a>

    Here is my Dad enjoying the car.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/isaac_eos/9431174785/" title="20130630 Alaska 07 by isaac_eos, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3695/9431174785_701324828f_z.jpg" width="640" height="427" alt="20130630 Alaska 07"></a>

    It’s nice how they let the bikes go to the front of the ferry.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/isaac_eos/9431181331/" title="20130630 Alaska 10 by isaac_eos, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7343/9431181331_0d1d216699_z.jpg" width="640" height="427" alt="20130630 Alaska 10"></a>

    We hit the border just after lunch. Nothing too eventful, just a few standard questions and we were through in under a few minutes.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/isaac_eos/9433955870/" title="20130630 alaska 18 by isaac_eos, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3790/9433955870_6bb39f4213_z.jpg" width="640" height="380" alt="20130630 alaska 18"></a>

    The road transformed to from flat land to rolling hills to mountains. The BC area is some nice area.

    Self shot.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/isaac_eos/9433962872/" title="20130630 alaska 22 by isaac_eos, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2845/9433962872_db3ecf321a_z.jpg" width="640" height="454" alt="20130630 alaska 22"></a>

    A pipe line bridge.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/isaac_eos/9431193931/" title="20130630 alaska 23 by isaac_eos, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5494/9431193931_4a2d638036_z.jpg" width="640" height="346" alt="20130630 alaska 23"></a>

    Rolling shot of my Dad.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/isaac_eos/9433969128/" title="20130630 alaska 27 by isaac_eos, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3679/9433969128_69318482c1_z.jpg" width="640" height="479" alt="20130630 alaska 27"></a>

    It became VERY hot, floating around 95-100 deg F. Even at 110 in Cali, it does not feel this hot…it’s dry enough to still get cooling from evaporation. The humidity was somewhat high and it just felt stifling hot. We had to stop every hour or so just to cool off. It also made us drowsy pretty quickly.

    Rolling hills into 100 Mile House.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/isaac_eos/9431200575/" title="20130630 alaska 34 by isaac_eos, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3800/9431200575_107530a329_z.jpg" width="640" height="381" alt="20130630 alaska 34"></a>

    We grabbed a hotel at 100 Mile House for the night. The guy at the counter said a lot of American’s will call in to make reservations, and ask them if they have running water. :rofl

    Grabbing money out of the ATM’s in Canada can prove to be difficult since the US does not use chips in our debit cards. All cards in Canada have and use chips, so you find that some ATM’s will not work.

    We also did some bike maintenance in the parking lot. I tightened up my chain on my F800GS, just a tad, as it was replaced before I left LA. My Dad discovered that the chain guide (the block that sits on the bottom of the swing arm at the rear sprocket) had ejected when the bolt rattled out…it then rode along with the chain until it jammed on the upper side of the countershaft sprocket near the block. Luckily there was no collateral damage and it was easily removed.

    GPS Tracks
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/isaac_eos/9434608032/" title="20130630 Day 4 by isaac_eos, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3673/9434608032_055cf8a4fb_z.jpg" width="327" height="640" alt="20130630 Day 4"></a>
    #10
  11. oldNbold

    oldNbold Been here awhile

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    Ill be following along. Sounds like a great trip. I would have loved a closer look at that station wagon on the ferry.
    #11
  12. HPTuner

    HPTuner Been here awhile

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    Great report! Trips to Alaska are always interesting for me. Looking forward to your adventure!
    #12
  13. Pantah

    Pantah Red Sox Nation

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    I'll follow along too. I rode the www.alcan5000.com in 2006 and 2010. I'm entered in 2014 too. I like riding up there. Particularly on a dual sport.

    The eastern slope of the Sierras have that cinder ash all over. At least I think it is cinder ash. I sunk my old 950 up to the skid plate just like you. It's like quicksand. My adventure was just off the road at Mono Lake. :eek1
    #13
  14. Too Tall

    Too Tall Been here awhile

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    Enjoying the ride report. Looking forward to more installments.
    #14
  15. isaac004

    isaac004 Been here awhile

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    That ride looks like a blast.

    Yes, the cinder ash sounds quite accurate. Almost like that fine silt (like talc) that is dotted around Death Valley and Baja.
    #15
  16. isaac004

    isaac004 Been here awhile

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    Here is more info about the owner of that Ford, as well as his woodworking company/shop:
    http://heidenswoodworking.com
    #16
  17. oldNbold

    oldNbold Been here awhile

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    Thanks. I really didn't expect that. I like those old woodies.
    #17
  18. mitchn06

    mitchn06 Been here awhile

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    Another awesome adventure!! i'm also looking forward to the next installment.
    #18
  19. isaac004

    isaac004 Been here awhile

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    Day 5, July 1, 435 miles, 100 Mile House BC to Smithers BC

    We woke up to a much nicer temperature, but knowing it would only be a matter of time before it heated up again. It felt refreshing for a change, instead of the usual draining heat.

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    Other than that, I actually did not take too many photos this day. The morning gave way to the heat of the day. We had lunch at a McDonalds just outside Prince George. The cold AC and free WiFi was a great way to escape the heat during the middle of the day. I also used the ice machine to fill up my CamelBak to the brim, for plenty of ice water while on the road.

    After lunch, I had the usual post food coma and felt a bit tired. At one point while rounding a corner, I thought it was funny that some dark patches of the road were moving. I then realized it was a mother duck with 4-5 ducklings, crossing the road. This was a fast section of 4 lane road where people were going at high speed. I knew I was not going to swerve and put my life at risk for the ducks, but I still did what I could to avoid hitting them. I had just enough time to hit the brakes hard and veer ever so slightly to the right (just a few degrees) so that by the time I got to the ducks (only a few seconds) I was able to get half a foot to the right of the ducks, as they continued to the left. It was a very close call and I was glad to have avoided them. I then wondered how they would hold up against the other trucks I saw going the opposite direction. Hopefully they made it. Note that this incident was not due to being sleepy while riding…rather, it was just that hard to register how the brown ducks blended into the road which was of a similar color.

    Later in the afternoon we stopped at a road side rest stop for a quick break and nap. We noticed an 18 wheeler going in forward, then reverse, then forward, then reverse, etc. He did this quite a few times over a 10-15 minute period, and then left. A bit after he left, we commented on this strange behavior to another trucker that just pulled in. He then told us about the Highway of Tears that we were riding on, which is Hwy 16 in BC, from Prince Rupert to Prince George, where a large number of abductions and murders have occurred. He said that the police cannot get any leads, and any strange behavior should be reported. This has been happening since 1969.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highway_of_Tears_murders

    Cloud cover increased and the temperature dropped some, which was a relief. We even had a few drops of rain, though not enough to actually call a rain.

    At one of the last rest stops of the day, we mentioned the truck backing up to someone else who had stopped. He then told a story about how his friends sister went missing on that highway, and she has not been seen since. There are a lot of other sad similar stories of disappearances.

    We stayed at a hotel in Smithers that provided free dinner and breakfast. Not a bad deal, except the service was a little slow at dinner to receive our food.

    GPS tracks for the day:
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    #19
  20. isaac004

    isaac004 Been here awhile

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    Day 6, July 2, 376 miles, Smithers BC to Dease Lake BC

    We woke up looking to take advantage of the free hotel breakfast, but unfortunately learned just why it was free. The service time was incredibly slow, and we could hear the waitress BSing with the cooks and generally trying to burn time. Finally our food came but it was not worth it. It was not worth it to leave a tip either.

    It was a cool morning, rather nice actually, compared to the heat we had been used to.
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    Not to far west of Smithers, we made a few miles detour to see the bridge that leads to Hazelton. Different variations of this bridge had occurred for many years. In one of its original forms, it was a rope bridge that natives built. To test out the strength, they would send the women across the bridge with a heavy load. I don't think that's how they do it nowadays.
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    On our way back to the main road, we saw one of these signs, tied back to the Highway of Tears story.
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    Back on the road, it's looking nice and green.
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    We stopped at the junction of 37 and 16 at Kitwanga for a bathroom break, and opted not to get gas. But we did get a photo. Starting to feel like we are making progress! I also discovered the $2 micro USB cable I bought on Amazon to charge my phone on the bike had died, so no more charging. A few days later I did find out I could tape a 180 degree bend with electrical tape at the phone end, and it would "fix" the short so I could keep charging.
    [​IMG]

    We later ran into a group of motorcyclists from Texas, riding a variety of BMW GS's and V-Stroms.

    Kitwanga is the start of the Stewart Cassiar Highway (37), which we would later learn is quite the gem. We pushed on to Meziadin Lake, also known as Meziadin Junction. Some will see this on the map as where 37 and 37A (Glacier Hwy) meet. Most obviously, this is the out and back highway that will take you to Stewart BC/Hyder AK. On our way up we opted to skip this section, saving it for more time on the way back. Our philosophy was to save as much time as possible for any weather or mechanical delays up north, and then explore more on the way back.

    We now realized we needed to either find gas or transfer gas to make it to the next known gas pump. I was carrying a 1.75 gallon Rotopax to supplement my 4.2 gal stock tank. My Dad was carrying two of the 1.5L Primus bottles using the Sweet Cheeks, in addition to a basic 1 gallon gas can on the back, to supplement his 4.7 gallon Clarke aftermarket tank.. Details for those interested:
    http://cycle-analyst.com/sweetcheeks
    http://www.campmor.com/primus-1-5-l-fuel-bottle.shtml

    Anyhow, back to the gas. Since we did not want to transfer, we decided to ask around and discovered the nearest gas would be a 120 km round trip to Stewart and back (would waste too much time) or try to continue north on the Cassiar to Bell 2. We were asking at a construction camp at the corner of 37 and 37A, where you could see the old gas station that had long been shut down. There was also a new construction gas tank and pump set up for the truckers. We asked a trucker who was filling up if regular folk like us can use it to fill up, and he said he did not know. So we tracked down a worker for that construction site, and discovered that there was a way we could buy gas with our credit card. Here is my Dad learning how to use the system. The guy in the blue shirt was training us, in addition to another employee (lady on the right) on the art of retail sales.
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    It's easy, you just have to swipe your card once to do an onscreen training on what not to do (don't pump gas on the ground, and other common sense items), and once you pass that you can swipe again to start filling up. 87 or diesel only, as will be come the norm.
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    Onward north we went. It really started to "feel like Alaska" at this point.
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    Feelin' the scenery.
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    We then came across this fresh accident.
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    The guy standing to the left of the truck with his hand on his head in a confused fashion is the driver. Luckily it was only his truck that was crashed and damaged, and that he walked away. It can be a deceivingly sharp turn, especially for these top heavy trucks that will often fly at 80-85 mph. Sure glad we were not in that outside lane as we were heading north. The truck was heading south, on the inside lane.
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    Next up was our first construction stop. Not very exciting, just nice greenery around us.
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    Coming up to another turn, we saw one of those German heavy duty RV rigs stopped on the side of the road. If you have been up there, you know what rig I am talking about, they are always driven by German's and Russians…I will post a photo of one later one. They had stopped to photograph a baby black bear, which we saw as we rode by. It was a bad place to stop, as there was little shoulder room and too much truck traffic.

    It was now time for lunch, and the Bell 2 Lodge was conveniently located right there some food. Bell 2 also sells gas, but we did not need any yet. The lunch was pretty good, much better then you would expect up here. Bell 2 is a fancy lodge that has pricey rooms ($200 or $300 per night, that serves heliskiers in the winter time. Looks like it would be an amazing place to visit in the winter for some board time, but also very expensive. There is also very cool and chill old black dog that wanders around the dining room.
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    As we were getting ready to suit back up, we talked to a few riders who were on there way back down from the Dalton. They were an older couple from North Carolina, on two BMW's. Some combo of F650 and R1200GS I think.

    We also talked to another small group who were coming back down from the Dempster/Inuvik as well as the Dalton. They were on a F single and 100GS. Check out these highway pegs!
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    Another person we met, and would keep on re-meeting, was a gentleman from Texas. We did not catch his name at first, so we dubbed him "Tex" when referring to him (later on we would learn his name is Josh). He was riding solo from Texas up to Prudhoe as well. He ate lunch at a table next to us, and while we did not speak much in the lodge we did talk some outside. He has a website documenting some of his rides: http://www.woodsmanrides.com/

    The Cassiar is good stuff.
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    We saw a lot of these power line poles going up. The story is that most of the towns on the Cassiar are off the grid, running on generator power. These power lines are primarily for mining projects, but also to put these towns on the grid and improve development and growth. Good for the economy, but bad for the beauty of this area. 2013 is probably the last year of real beauty before they start stringing the lines up and truck traffic grows more.
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    This motorcycle is a-rockin'.
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    More great views.
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    Protein shake anyone? There is actually a phenomenon that takes place where so many bugs have built up that alive ones fly in and land, looking for a meal. It is a self cleaning machine I suppose.
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    We stopped for an afternoon break, and enjoyed this view.
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    And this.
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    Yours truly and the Dad. Notice how clean the bikes and gear are.
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    At this rest stop there was a pickup and camper parked. An older gentleman came out and said he had stopped to take a quick nap. He lives not to far away in Smithers, and told us a quick story. When he was young, he was living in Edmonton and needed to get out to Watson Lake YT for a wedding and decided to ride his newly acquired Harley. He sad the ride was so cold that he sold the Harley in Watson Lake and sold it to find another way home.

    At some point, a beaver darted across the road and my Dad narrowly avoided hitting him.

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    We stopped for some gas in Iskut BC, a very small town with a gas station and small grocery store. A small boy asked my Dad what those "things on the side of the motorcycle where for", so he explained that that is where he stores his gear.
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    This small town is mostly natives. While paying for the gas inside, we saw a clipboard next to the register where status individuals could buy tax free gas. The lady running the register explained that certain natives have "status" and do not have to pay tax on certain items. With some disgust, she said only certain natives get this "status" and her native group does not. It does seem odd that the breaks they give to natives do not apply to all.

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    We hit Dease Lake BC just around dinner time. There are only two motels in Dease Lake, a small collection of cabins and a regular looking motel. Both were sold out that night, but the clerk at one suggested we try the small campground just 10 km north. We rode 10 km and saw a sign for Waters Edge Campground. It turns out the guy had one cabin, which was an old houseboat converted to a cabin. We made a deal, and then road back to Dease Lake for gas and dinner. The restaurant next to the Petrocanada gas station was not too good, but pretty average for these remote parts.
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    Another 10 km back north to our home for the night.
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    Just down the bank behind the cabin was this view of the lake.
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    The campground did offer complimentary wifi through a satellite system and generator. Just enough that I could Skype my girlfriend with my phone! More details on the cabin to come later.

    GPS tracks for the day:
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