Melbourne, FL to Yellowknife, NT

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by cberry, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. cberry

    cberry Been here awhile

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    Yesterday and today’s trip north fill in a part of the country that I have been missing on my other trips. I’m glad I included these places on this trip. I have a new rear tire waiting for me in Mancos, CO, and its right on the route. The ride to Mancos is replete with beautiful rock formations similar to the more well known “Monument Vally”. All shape and manor of rocks. Pictures do not do the area justice. They don’t show the nuances of changes in color and shape as one sees the formations from different perspectives.

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    Four Corners
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    The tire change was scheduled at Basin Motorcycle Works, an independent mostly BMW bike shop, and a very good one at that. New rear brake pads were also installed as it was apparent that the old ones were near the limit of their life, as was the tire. It proved to be a case of perfect timing. The staff suggested that I take a different route than the planned one to Ouray to avoid congestion along the route that goes through SilverCity. The route was typical mountain valley routing along a meandering stream with additional elevation changes up to over 10,000 feet, and included was the additional bonus of late afternoon scattered rain showers. I was glad that I had stopped to put on my rain jacket, for both the rain and the temperature, which briefly reached a low of 47 degrees.

    Ouray is a quaint tourist resort town where the main draw are the hot springs and the mountain atmosphere. I was too tired for anything but a meal and sleep. (Ride, Eat, Sleep, Repeat!) Tomorrow’s another day. On today’s ride of 288 miles the bike turned over 100,000 miles!

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    #21
  2. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

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    #22
  3. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    Hey Chuck. Great to see your logging the big miles again.
    I have a sister in Yellowknife so if you need anything let me know and I will get you her contact info. You know how we Newfies like company.
    #23
  4. cberry

    cberry Been here awhile

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    Been too long, 3 years since I visited the Rock, and I miss it, you, and all the gang at RTR. Hopefully I'll get back next year. I'm kind of waiting for the TLH to be completed hard surface. Solo last time on gravel was too risky for my old bones. I had to give it up. And, the year before that I was going to do it with Jimmy, but my knee gave out after we did some practice in a gravel pit the day before we were going to take the ferry.

    Your message is a godsend. Maybe your sister knows someone who would have the room and be willing to take on a boarder for a few days, starting around July 31st or August 1st. Schedule is flexible and I could stay maybe up to a week, but not at motel prices.

    I haven't kept up with this year's soiree. I hope its back at Mike's place. That West Coast one could not compare. Sorry I can't be in two places at once, or I'd try to make it, although timing makes it almost impossible. You know...Choices: I want to complete my map of Canada, and I only need Northwest Territory...Nunavut doesn't have any roads leading up to it that I am aware of. After Yellowknife I plan to swing down to Nakusp for the BeeCee Beemers rally and hope to again be the guest from the furtherest away place.

    Take care. Stay in touch.
    #24
  5. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    I sent her your contact info and let her know what you need. Hoping for you she can help but I told her how interesting you are.

    Edit....PMed you her contact info
    #25
  6. cberry

    cberry Been here awhile

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    Late yesterday afternoon a number of Harley’s arrived to spend the night. The next morning I heard them start-up and run for just a minute or less. This happened several times, and I couldn’t figure what the were doing until I opened my door and saw the owners diligently washing and detaining their bikes. When asked why I wasn’t washing mine, I just said that the rain I rode through and the additional rain last evening were enough.

    The stop at Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP was worth the time and distance. Another incredibly beautiful spot, not properly seen by individual photos. Two canyons in as many days. I’m so glad I came this way!
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    Route CO 139 out of Loma, CO is another of those over the top roads. My Spotwalla tracks 86 and 87 show the horseshoe curves very well, and that’s where I stopped to take pictures. The rest of the ride to Rangely was also terrific and could be ridden at speed with almost no traffic...none that passed me, anyhow. Again, motivation came in part from the Wx depiction on the GPS.

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    #26
  7. cberry

    cberry Been here awhile

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    Today’s ride started out fine and then got very cold as I gained altitude. I had to stop at 9AM to warm up and have something to eat. As the day progressed the temperature started to climb and it began to feel like I was standing in front of a giant hair dryer. The air was oppressive and, near the end of the ride I had to stop and cool off some. I was suffering from heat exhaustion and looked like a broiled lobster. Fortunately there were only 10 more miles to go.

    This was just a repositioning ride, but I did stop and get a couple of pictures along the way. It was another long day, about 500 miles and another 10 hours.

    Ridgway Reservoir State Park, CO
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    Ute Tribe Headquarters, Bottle Hollow, UT
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    The rest day was July 15th, and I had a chance to catch up on things, including an update on this Ride Report with photos.
    #27
  8. cberry

    cberry Been here awhile

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    This was a repositioning day with an oil change thrown in for fun. After the service the temperature had reached the high 90’s again, so the rest of the ride was uncomfortable. The route was about 30% interstate and 70% country roads with some nice twisties thrown in. No pictures were taken and the in-transit time was only 4 hours, but the delays made it another 10 hour day.

    At the end of these long, hot, grueling days I’m simply too tired to update the thread, in case you were wondering. Age, and the heat are my excuses. I love the thought of another 500 mile day...but wish I could control the weather.:kboom
    #28
  9. pauleknight

    pauleknight Need Cool Name Here

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    Chuck,

    SOO sorry I did not get a chance to talk before I left on my trip.

    I had the opportunity to "leave" town on Saturday instead of the following Friday , 6 days early, and head up to Chicago on the bike. This gave me a start from Chicago on Wednesday instead of Sunday as planned.

    Made it 8000 miles over 11.5 riding days and 14 days on the road.

    Have fun and keep us posted ..

    Paul
    #29
  10. Honkey Cat

    Honkey Cat Tailights Fade!

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    nice.
    #30
  11. cberry

    cberry Been here awhile

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    This was the final leg of my trip to the BMW rally to be held over the weekend. The total GPS mileage here was 4,148 whereas the estimate from my pre-flight planning was 4,375. Pretty close. There’s lots more to come...This was only the first leg of the longer trip.

    As the ride started early, the temps were cool and got colder. I had to stop along the road and add a layer.
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    I stumbled onto the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and stopped to visit.
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    This picture is from the Visitor’s Center at Spotwalla #23.
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    While there I met other BMW riders enroute to the rally. Returning to the highway I joined an impromptu ‘congo line’ of several other enroute riders and we rode loosely together for a while. Taking a recommendation from the gas station attendant I had lunch at Dad’s Place in Prineville, OR. Gas is expensive here, $4179/gallon for the 91 octane. Is that because the gas has to be pumped by an attendant?

    Along the way
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    The day’s ride at 342 miles and 54 mph average speed was scenic and had some technical parts too. All in all, a very nice route which had been recommended to me as a change to my original route from Burns by another customer at the BMW dealership yesterday.

    I’ll be here in Salem until Sunday when I move north to Maple Valley, WA, to stay with with friends met several years ago at the Nakusp, BC rally. We will jointly ride to Republic, WA for another rally weekend after this one, and independently arrive at Nakusp again for the BeeCee Beemers rally in mid-August. Between the rallies I’m planning to visit another friend in Montana and run up to Yellowknife, NT to complete the northern leg of this trip.
    #31
  12. cberry

    cberry Been here awhile

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    Met Meg and Doug at an agreed rendezvous point at 8:30AM for a ride to the coast from the Salem BMW Rally site that Doug had planned the night before. It consisted of several segments which were all great. Some ups and downs, some turns, and some straight and level work. Being naturally cold blooded, I had put on my heated vest at the hotel. We stopped shortly after launching so that Meg and Doug could also don theirs. As we approached the coast the temperature dropped to 49 degrees. Later, the TV Wx showed a High temp at Newport Beach, OR of only 61 degrees for the day. Nice! for mid-July. On the return inland the temps began to rise again to an uncomfortable level.

    We took several pictures to verify my coast-to-coast trip and serve as reminders of the day. Meg and Doug had dinner plans and so I proceeded to the rally site, arriving at about 5PM, and drifted around the vendor area before returning to the hotel for the night. The day’s ride was about 225 miles long. No ride is planned for 7/20, and on 7/21 I will reposition with Meg and Doug to their home in suburban Seattle.

    Coast toCoast, West Coast
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    Newport, OR Bridge
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    I’m saddened today to hear of the untimely death of a long-time friend’s brother, and of a serious car/motorcycle accident involving another friend and a woman who was texting while driving.:waysad
    #32
  13. cberry

    cberry Been here awhile

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    Meg, Doug, and I had breakfast at a Denny’s and then rode I 5 up to central Washington before getting off the freeway and taking some very interesting back roads to our destination. Passing through downtown Portland we were slowed by numerous emergency vehicles attending an auto fire on the side of the road. The heavy, acrid smoke had slowed traffic to a crawl, and there appeared to be no other vehicle involved.

    Antique Fords at Eatonville
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    Mt. Rainier from SR 161 at Clear Lake
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    The backroads were terrific. Lunch at one of their favorite stops was terrific. The views of Mt. Rainier were terrific, and...the weather, terrific! We will be resetting our equipment (doing laundry), and other logistic tasks before heading on to the next rally this coming weekend in Republic, WA.
    #33
  14. HPTuner

    HPTuner Been here awhile

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    Great report! Keep riding safe!
    #34
  15. steveWFL

    steveWFL Long timer

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    awesome read right here!
    #35
  16. cberry

    cberry Been here awhile

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    Doug and I fueled the bikes for Thursday’s ride to Republic, WA, early this morning and then went off for another form of transportation fun. Doug’s BMW Z3 M coupe took us to the Renton Airport where we pulled his beautiful Vee-Tail Beech Bonanza out of its hanger for the customary $100 hamburger...a flight to another nearby airport for lunch.

    Getting the equipment out of the barn
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    Short final to Jefferson County
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    We could see Mt. Baker up to the Northeast
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    After landing at the Jefferson County Airport we discovered that the restaurant had had a recent kitchen fire and was not open for business, so we were off again to another airport, Arlington Airport where we had a delicious lunch. After lunch we headed south, back to Renton on a direct course which took us east of downtown Seattle and Lake Union. The atmospheric haze limited our view somewhat, but the Seattle Space Needle was still visible and so was Mt. Rainier.
    Mt. Rainier from 3000 Ft MSL
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    #36
  17. cberry

    cberry Been here awhile

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    July 25th was a day devoted to getting ready for the ride to Republic, WA the next day.

    Early on the 25th we set out in chilly temps and clear air. The ride went well. We made one stop to cool off and fuel in a small town named Pateros along the shores of Lake Pateros.
    Break along the Lake
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    The day's ride took about 8 hours and 300 miles in some hot temperatures. When we arrived at our motel they had no reservation in my name, but were able to accommodate me by putting me in the “Presidential Suite”. Ok by me! I found out later that they had had someone with the exact same name the prior week and thought that had been my reservation because “There couldn’t possibly be two people with the same name two weekends in a row”. It was a nice mix-up.

    My "Suite" was upstairs, just under the fancy cupola
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    Sunset from the balcony of the Suite
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    #37
  18. cberry

    cberry Been here awhile

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    Today we had breakfast up the street at 8AM and were ready to ride by 9:30. Meg, Doug, and I were joined by a friend of Doug's named Curtis on a wee-Strom. Curtis led the ride and we went on back roads (paved) up nearly to the Canadian Border. We saw grasslands, rugged rock formations and mountains, including snow covered peaks in the distance. We didn’t stop for pictures until we reached an old schoolhouse which had been converted to a museum in Molson, WA.
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    The school dates from 1902 and still has some early graduates serving as docents. The furnishings and memorabilia were very interesting to me, and I saw several pieces that I still have from my grandparents.
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    The "Old Molson" Ghost Town
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    After visiting the school Meg and Doug took a different route to the rally and had a minor mishap, running into each other at a stop sign. Both bikes were dropped and significant damage occurred to the saddlebags and some of the other plastic parts. They were both fully protected by the gear they were wearing. ATGATT
    #38
  19. cberry

    cberry Been here awhile

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    When you go to a motorcycle rally what do you do? Ride! Another nice day with cool temps at the beginning of the ride followed by a nice warm-up to the high 80’s. I was riding today with lady from Vancouver, BC, Phyllis, who I had met the year before on my ride from Seattle to Key West. She is a friend of Doug & Meg and had been attending the same rally that we were that year. She has just purchased a used R1200RT of the same vintage as mine and was getting used to it. Nevertheless, she was an accomplished rider and we had a grand ride.

    First we rode over Sherman Pass, about 5500 ft MSL, then we got back to near sea level and rode along the Columbia River and the F.D. Roosevelt Lake, through a Native American Reservation and back to the rally site.

    Columbia River upstream of Grand Coolie Dam
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    Phylis and some very large cut-thru rocks
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    And, finally, Some of the bikes at the rally in Salem
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    #39
  20. cberry

    cberry Been here awhile

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    The day started out cool and clear, and stayed that way all day. I cleared customs about 7:10 AM with no delays and started my Canadian Adventure. I had left the 100 degree days and the heat of the States in the States and was entering some of the most beautiful scenery on our continent. Little tiny pictures do it no justice.

    The ride to Clearwater, BC, my overnight stop, was 338 miles for the day. I’m trying to reconstruct the ride on today, August first, and am having trouble remembering that day or the days that followed, 7/29,30, and 31, because I saw so many impressive sights and had little time or opportunity to organize pictures. Arriving at my destination for each night left me totally beaten. Too tired to anything but sleep. Those four days totaled 1,571 miles, and my 75 year old body is recovering today. I won’t start home for a few days, and by then should be ready to go. I noted Mike’s reference to another rider’s trip up this way...Those motel prices are a little out of date: Super’s now up to about $200 a night. When I stayed in Whitecourt the other night the cost was about $145. The high prices are what the market will bear...Oil roughnecks and miners are what drives up the price.

    Good luck and Providence are with me. My newest best friends are Al, and Faye and Faye’s brother Dave who lives in Newfoundland. They’ve made unsolicited offers to stay with them in their houses while I’m up this way! My good fortune is Super 8’s loss, all courtesy of the ADV website.

    Here are some of the sights along the way on the 28th. Identifying them and their location will have to await another day.

    The mountains near Osoyoos BC
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    A little further up the road
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    And, Evidence of Past Forest Fires
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    I haven't commented on the forest fire evidence I've seen so far, but there has been an incredible amount of it, some very recent, and some from years ago.
    #40