Our Life Behind Bars – Father & Son Doing Time in The Northern Frontier

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by GrizzLee, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. GrizzLee

    GrizzLee RubiKon Adventures

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    My best advice is to get him into a motorcycle safety class after he has driven a car a bit. Johann seemed to be a natural. But we took baby steps to get him there. He wasn't really interested at first.

    When the time comes... you and your son will have a blast. I cannot believe how much fun we are having. More than I imagined. I guess my big let down will be when I get home and see the Credit Card bill :eek1 So far, it has been worth every penny. Six months from now the bills will be paid up.... but.... the memories will last forever.


    Hey Mike. we just arrived in Fairbanks. We are at the University of Alaska "Adventure Rider" Hotel :evil
    There are a lot of folks going up the Dalton tomorrow. Us included. The weather from Whitehorse to here sucked!!!

    Regarding the bike wash... oh boy. We went through some nasty stuff at Burwash Landing in the rain. Our bikes look like we already rode up to Deadhorse. We could ride back home and tell everyone what a great time we had and it would be believable :rofl We did wash our riding gear in Whitehorse though. That was a waste as well. At least we don't smell like bug guts. We just look like we've ridden through s#!t!! and it stuck to us. Again, at least we don't smell like we look. At least that is what we keep telling ourselves :huh

    A quick check on NOAA says we should have 31/2 days of sunshine. I hope they are correct. We may see you tomorrow. For sure we will meet up again. :freaky

    We plan to ride the TOTW and Dawson on our way back. If we have time. We want to try the Denali Hwy as well. Too much too see and do.
    #41
  2. Yukon Johann

    Yukon Johann Adventurer

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    Some quick pics of an otherwise wet day. We did see numerous moose and had to watch the road carefully through our foggy and wet helmet visors.

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    Delta Junction visitor's Center.. This is the host.

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    Feeling like I am in some old B&W horror movie

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    Dad was next. It's not what it appears. They were offended by his zipper. It was not closed. So they closed it for him. He has been scratching down there a lot this evening though. :lol3

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    Wet, but not broken. It was fun ride. We saw numerous moose. Had to ride slow and cautious in the rain.

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    The University of Alaska Student Apartments. Not bad.
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    View from our dorm room. A lot of other riders from Europe were there. They shipped their bikes from the U.K.

    Time for bed. We take off for the road to Prudhoe tomorrow.
    #42
  3. kitesurfer

    kitesurfer Long timer

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    loving this ride report! I am so jealous. my 34 year old son could care less about a motorcycle even though he loved to ride when he was 4 :) You guys are very fortunate in so many ways. To have a wife and mother who is lettinig you get away with this is awsome--she deserves a paragraph :)
    #43
  4. theofam

    theofam Been here awhile

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    YJ, you guys have been getting soaked! Hopefully the rain gods will decide to take a few days' respite as you ready yourselves for Prudhoe Bay.

    mtncrawler, does this view spark any recent memories?

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    Dan Armstrong at Adventure Cycle Works is awesome! If any of you are in Fairbanks and need an oil change, tires, whatever, look him up.
    #44
  5. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

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    Great Ride Report thus far! Every time I see pics of the Salmon Glacier it amazes me - what a fantastic adventure!
    #45
  6. mtncrawler

    mtncrawler Long timer

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    It does! I'll be there tomorrow to change out the TKC s.

    Johann/Grizz - that was me at the bottom of Atigun Pass (south end) that you passed as you started up! Looked like you we're having a blast!

    Safe travels....back in FB to tonight for me. What an incredible 2 days up and back!
    #46
  7. Yukon Johann

    Yukon Johann Adventurer

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    We are back in Fairbanks. Had a great time up the haul road and back. It was hot though. 92 degrees in Coldfoot!!!!

    Pics coming soon. I think we saw you as we were setting up the camera for some video. Not sure we could ride that in 2 days. It was loooong and hot. You are the man :bow

    Bad news, we washed the bikes and now my dads bike won't start. Looking to call BMW or Dan Armstrong in the morning. My dad is very worried now. :eek1 We are staying in the dorms at the university. Oh, and a I had a animal-bike collision incident. But, that story has to wait until we can show some pics to fully appreciate :evil

    Stay tuned...
    #47
  8. GrizzLee

    GrizzLee RubiKon Adventures

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    Had a great time the past 4 days up on the Haul Road. Was all excited to post pictures and such when my bike died... And it was HOT!!!! 96 Degrees here at Fairbanks and in the low 90's above the arctic circle. I won't complain, because it made the road conditions favorable. Just confused as I thought I was in the arctic... not Arizona. :wink:

    Regarding my dead bike....
    We washed the bikes off a bit before turning in for the night and Johann's Dakar fired up just fine after the wash down, but my, my precious Gretchen gave me a EWS error. I pushed the bike out of the stall and tried again.. only this time the computer wouldn't even come on. So we are stranded at the University of Alaska. Sent emails off to Adventure Cycle Works and Trail End BMW. Will call both tomorrow ...

    I suppose we will be here in Fairbanks another day or so... Darn IT!!! Adventures like these are supposed to happen to the "other guy", not me :puke1 Oh well. nothing time and a credit card can't fix I suppose. We will miss seeing a couple of other things. But a day off the bikes is probably needed.

    BTW: Anyone have advice on a towing service in Fairbanks? (send a PM if you can help out) I am not a AAA member. I suppose my insurance may pick up the tab... after I pay it first and submit paperwork :cry
    #48
  9. Bigolechalupa

    Bigolechalupa Been here awhile

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    Jeeeez, that suck Grizz.... When you were washing her, were you being mindful of not pressurewashing certain areas of the bike?
    BIGO
    #49
  10. GrizzLee

    GrizzLee RubiKon Adventures

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    Not really :huh Never had an issue before... But my bike has never seen so much mud as this. Guess I need a primer on washing the bike. I may have been a bit aggressive on my wash. I didn't wash the dash or anything under the seat. I assume that everything else should be OK, considering these bikes cross lakes and rivers... at least that is what I've seen in the ads :D.

    Got a call into Dan Armstrong and The BMW dealership. We'll see how it goes... Hopefully it is something rather simple and doesn't require ordering parts. Not sure how long that would take (sigh?!?). At least I still have a bit more than a week to get back home to Seattle before the boss at work gets worried.
    #50
  11. Bark

    Bark Panic Dancer

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    Dang. Maybe it just needs a good nights sleep and will fire off in the morning.
    #51
  12. theofam

    theofam Been here awhile

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    I'm with Able - my money's on Gretchen firing up in the morning once she dries out.
    #52
  13. GrizzLee

    GrizzLee RubiKon Adventures

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    Gretchen got a ride over to Trails End BMW....

    She dried out a bit and fired right up. We did wait 3 hours for them to put her on the diagnostics computer. Everything checked out.

    Lesson learned... No power washes from now on... Only a soft loving hand wash for the big girl. :toney

    Darn women can be a pain sometimes. Johann's Dakar is still running like a clock. Now I and the boy need to get some sleep. We head out tomorrow. A day lost, but I am happy it all turned out and besides, we needed to get off the saddle anyways for a day.

    Hope to post some pics soon. The haul road is fantastically beautiful and a must see for all adventure motorcyclists. It is an unbelievable road and experience to say the least.
    #53
  14. GrizzLee

    GrizzLee RubiKon Adventures

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    Ok.. back to some more pics...

    On the road to Coldfoot... Above the Arctic Circle.

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    The start of something big..

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    Oh yeah!! Here we go.

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    Our first documented bike-critter collision on the Dalton. Little did we know that this was a sign of things to come. :eek1

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    A ways to go...

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    Ah yes... the Yukon River... A favorite of ours.

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    The Hotspot Café. We met real "Ice Road Truckers" here. Interesting characters and great food.

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    Fireweed... It's edible.

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    The road, the pipeline... the BEAUTY!!

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    Finger Rock

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    More Finger Rock

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    Finger Rock from an odd perspective... It's much taller than it appears here.

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    Taking a much needed break.

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    The view from Galbraith Lake.

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    Pump Station 5

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    The pipeline, the Dalton Hwy, Fireweed and good lighting.

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    Approaching Coldfoot above the arctic circle. Gorgeous!!

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    Our camp at Coldfoot... Actually Marion Creek Campground. Well water was still frozen, but the Bugs and sunshine were included free with the site. Wolves howling late into the midnight sun... Priceless!!!!!

    More coming. This was a photo summary of our first day on the Dalton Hwy... We didn't know what to expect. It was better than we imagined.:freaky
    #54
  15. Yukon Johann

    Yukon Johann Adventurer

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    Riding above the arctic circle.... Coldfoot to the Arctic Ocean. Brrrrr!!!!

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    Leaving Coldfoot
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    The mountains were spectacular thing to see up there.
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    We were both shocked that there was a paved road above the Arctic Circle.
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    The road was so much easier than people had made it out to be...although we got lucky, very lucky...:thumb
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    as we went, the views were getting even better
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    ANWR on our left and the Gates of the Arctic National Park on our right.
    The Haul road cuts a path right down the middle.
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    Cathedrals of stone surrounded us
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    At the basin of the famous Atigun Pass...while up there we were joking about taking a Bikini shot since it was so HOT!!
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    It was a blistering 85 degrees... No kidding!!
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    At the base of the south end of the pass
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    Looking South as we climb up
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    Even from our mirrors we had great views! talk about awesome :D
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    The valley sneaking just past Gates of the Arctic and ANWR.
    That opening leads to the open tundra all the way to the arctic ocean.
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    Unbelievable rocks
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    The north slope peters out on the Gates of the Arctic side. Awesome views.
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    The pipeline snaking past one more rocky outcrop
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    With the goal in mind, I press on while my dad stops to take a couple pictures of the final rocky slopes just before the flats.
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    Almost to the open tundra... Still around 85 degrees.
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    The open tundra and we encounter
    THE ABSOLUTE WORST BUGS WE'VE EVER SEEN IN OUR LIVES!!!!
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    We could only enjoy the beauty momentarily to take pictures as
    the bugs would swarm inside our helmets and down our jackets... what a nuisance :puke1
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    The temperature quickly drops to around the mid 40's and we stop to put on warm clothes.
    We notice that the headlight guard on the Dakar has been damaged. It did it's job
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    The road went into the endless horizon. It was a weird feeling
    like we were riding off the end of the earth. it almost felt like we didn't belong there.
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    Just before Prudhoe Bay we encounter this miniature mountain range of frozen tundra.
    Ice could be seen for miles and miles on the frozen tundra.
    The temperature began to drop below 40 degrees now.
    #55
  16. theofam

    theofam Been here awhile

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    I can't believe how beautiful those pics are up around and north of the Circle! The sky was like grey soup when I rode up there. My experience, and views, were quite different.

    Grizz, so glad to learn Gretchen just needed to dry out after all the drink you fed her! She's a bit similar to most of us after a tough night tipping a few too many back!
    #56
  17. GrizzLee

    GrizzLee RubiKon Adventures

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    We had 4 days of absolutely the best weather one could think of. A bit on the warm side, but as you can see. Not many clouds. More pics coming as connection speed and access allow. I was just looking through them and I still can't believe what we saw and experienced. I wish we could have stayed longer and even hiked back into the parks. Words and pictures just can't capture the experience.

    Yeah, Gretchen and I are back on speaking terms now. :feelgood
    Johann and I gave the bikes a good cleaning yesterday. They look good. One thing I can say to all... is that if you ride up there, your bike will never be the same afterwards. The calcium chloride is horrible, especially on exposed aluminum parts and mufflers. Add heat and water and it is a caustic cocktail. They were using ALOT of it on the roads as they are in a state of constant repair and up keep. My aluminum panniers will see a lot stickers now to provide validation of our travels and to distract the eye from the aging beauty scars. All good and worth it IMHO. :1drinkI'd do it again in a heartbeat.
    #57
  18. looksha

    looksha n00b

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    Lee and Johann - (it's me, the mom)

    I'm so glad that the mishaps you've had have been small and relatively painless in the big scheme of things. You've had some incredible experiences and I am enjoying the pics and reading Johann's perspective.

    I'm still waiting for details on the 'animal' incident???

    love you
    #58
  19. _Magoo_

    _Magoo_ master of disaster....

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    awesome pics! waiting to hear about the "animal incident" as well.....:ear
    #59
  20. Domiken

    Domiken Been here awhile

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    Looking like a great trip so far! :clap
    #60