I've never seen roads up there this bad - Yukon-Alaska 2016

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Northstar Beemer, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. Northstar Beemer

    Northstar Beemer Been here awhile

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    Day Seventeen – Eastbound and down..........After the world's best breakfast and coffee

    We broke camp in the quiet forest - we were nearly the only campers there.

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    We found, courtesy of Yelp, the coolest breakfast place on our trip called The Rookery/Toaster Museum. And they certainly served the best coffee EVER, probably due to the fact that all the tap water in Stuart was locked up in a glacier hours earlier! And yes, the décor of the restaurant actually consists of antique electrical devices from another era and world. And there were a few electrical toasters included...Vintage cars seem to have found their way to Stuart and are parked out front.

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    Service was good and the food beyond great. Did I mention the awesome coffee?

    We rode back up the Glacier Highway, somehow losing Fran who was lagging behind, he eventually caught up with us way down the highway.

    Due to our mandated day of rest, the blown seals and crappy planning on my part, we had to shave two days off the agenda and skip the road out to Bella Coola – with its 18 degree grades, endless open range and towering forests... it wasn’t possible this time as it would add two full days to our agenda. And we all had to get back to work. 2600 miles to go.

    I was the trip planner, but given the distances covered so far and the endless possibilities of human frailty and mechanical failure – I never actually plan these last days. We just program our Garmins for home and go.

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    Garmin directed us back through Prince George, we stayed at the same provincial campground and discovered that the staff had already changed, millennials escaping back to the connected world. The newest park ranger wasn’t quite as cheerful as her predecessor, and she made us pay for the firewood.

    Still - a pretty campground!
    #61
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  2. Northstar Beemer

    Northstar Beemer Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Frozen Prairies USA
    Day Eighteen through Day Twenty-two – Heat, prairies, sudden rainstorms..... and long days


    Programmed to head East – we hit it.

    Ice fields Parkway – it turns out – is somehow even more stunning when travelled North to South – I was floored – it was like we’d discovered a whole new amazing Canadian Highway!

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    Thomas on his more powerful Wasserboxer was wearing his rear tire pretty fast. He called ahead to Calgary and found a suitable replacement tire and a shop willing to put him to the front of the line. Craig offered to pick up the tab for a couple of rooms at a hotel just down the road – I was expecting a Super 8 with the smell of curry, but instead we spent the night in a solid three star hotel, complete with a good bar and restaurant! Thanks Craig!

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    Four days to reach Chicago – the prairies of the American West were shimmering with heat, two lane roads across Montana – isolated cafes that served big breakfasts – glorious dawns – and the freeways across North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin flashed beneath our tires – heat broken by violent thunderstorms in Wisconsin (which gave our bikes a much needed wash) we continued to make time, the last day was about 850 miles for me.

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    A story worth telling? Certainly a great bunch of guys and talented riders. I'd ride with any of these guys again!
    #62
  3. Northstar Beemer

    Northstar Beemer Been here awhile

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    Frozen Prairies USA
    Lessons learned –

    My Grandfather taught me “There aren’t any hard jobs, just jobs done with the wrong tools”. This trip proved the adage.

    Apart from the blown fork seals on my son’s 800GS, all bikes performed admirably, absorbing abuse and punishment no machine should ever be subjected to. We did the trip on one set of Heidi 60 Scout tires (OK, Thomas did extra mileage in riding in from Washington DC and had that rear tire changed in Calgary), no one changed oil, and we experienced only one flat tire – all of this on the worst road conditions I’ve ever ridden.

    Any bike can be ridden on most roads, but these were the conditions that Adventure Bikes were specifically designed for. There are a thousand design details – some seen, most unseen – that factor into these bikes being able to absorb the abuse and punishment we and the roads piled on them. Day after day. Note - Bryan's front shock gave up the ghost shortly after returning to Chicago - the rebuild guys shook their collective heads and told me I'd damaged it beyond repair, probably on the Dempster.

    We packed the right gear, though in my case I didn’t always wear it. Craig proved to be the Garmin guru and programmed each day’s leg in for us. Mileage per day varied, but there were several 800-900 mile stints.

    Human frailty was more of an impediment than mechanical failures this year – we’re all getting older. It is what it is. Fifteen hour days are harder now than they were a decade ago. The roads change every day, every hour. Whenever anyone tells you that such and such road is impassable…. take it with a grain of salt. Ten hours later, the same road may well be a snap.

    Team chemistry is always a crucial factor – this team worked together, smoothly and well. Differences were aired and then forgotten. Helmet to helmet communication systems are important and the Sena system worked well enough for us.

    Would I do it again?

    Well, Bella Coola still beckons, and I’d really like to see it………..

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    Thanks for taking the time to read this post!
    #63
  4. wanderlusting

    wanderlusting Adventurer

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    New Mexico
    Thanks for the great report! Thoroughly enjoyed being along for the ride.
    #64
  5. Vrode

    Vrode Procrastinate Now!

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    Great R/R! Thanks for the ride!
    #65
  6. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

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    Great RR!
    #66
  7. strsout

    strsout Banned Camp

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    Awesome RR. Very well written and informative.

    StrssOut
    #67
  8. Oznay

    Oznay Been here awhile

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    Lake of the Woods,N.W Ont,Ca
    Really enjoyed following along,thanks..
    #68
  9. Yooper_Bob

    Yooper_Bob Long timer

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    Da UP, eh! (Marquette, MI)
    :thumb
    #69
  10. oldgrizz

    oldgrizz Been here awhile

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    Thanks very well done. I like to see what folks think of my area of the world.

    Sent from my SM-N920W8 using Tapatalk
    #70
  11. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts!

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    Enjoyed your report. :thumb
    #71
  12. Mande92

    Mande92 Adventurer

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    Salmon Arm, BC
    Great report, thanks!
    #72
  13. radmeister

    radmeister not there

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    Here
    I really enjoyed this ride report. thanks, guys, for making it happen.
    #73
  14. Bigbob1

    Bigbob1 Rain Rider

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    Sep 20, 2009
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    Juneau Alaska
    Thank's for posting this great report!
    #74
  15. madmaximum

    madmaximum She said we're all idiots

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    Port Matilda, the poor side
    Great report, thanks so much for sharing! I really enjoyed your style of storytelling.
    #75
  16. Bearded Hooligan

    Bearded Hooligan Moto Addict

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    Great report. What was your total mileage?
    #76
  17. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    Great report, great Pics and a nice story line too. :-)
    #77
  18. Rider1807

    Rider1807 Love To Ride

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    Seattle
    The Salmon Glacier is VERY impressive. Too bad you missed it. Now you have a good reasonto go back.
    #78
  19. Rider1807

    Rider1807 Love To Ride

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    Another cool thing to do (Though its kind of pricey and you would miss the Ice Fields Parkway) is to go up to the tip of Vancouver Island and take the Ferry from Port Hardy to Bella Coola via Namu. Just make sure it's a day sailing. Pretty Boring at night. :)
    #79
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  20. bete

    bete misguided adventurer

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    kansas Flint Hills
    Thanks, great report!
    #80