Pair of F8GSes: To Inuvik, Chicken - AK, Salmon Glacier, Vancouver Island

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by whuht, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. whuht

    whuht n(.)(.)b

    Joined:
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    Hello fellow inmates, I (Dave) have been dutifully assigned to write up a ride report of our (cabot and me) ride. I am several weeks late but better late than never? Chris and I rode out to Happy Valley-Goose Bay last year (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=563724) and for this year planned our trip to take us from Vancouver, BC to Inuvik, NWT to The Top of the World to Hyder, AK and back down to Vancouver Island, BC.

    Before I start, many thanks to other ADVRs for their RRs. Much of the information helped us (mostly Chris) plan our waypoints. Hopefully we’ll be able to share some novel finds, great pictures and new destinations for others. I’ll try to post and complete the RR over a handful of posts in the next week. I’ll likely start with more narrative and then fizzle out with just pictures. If you have any questions, feel free to ask cabot or me.

    Our adventure spanned 9,800km over 3 weeks. While many others have done this trip or equal and greater distances in less time, this pace was perfect for discovery and some long overdue rest and relaxation. Weather and temperatures ranged from cold (4C) and rainy to hot (34.5C) and dry. We camped about 2/3rds the time and stayed in motels/hotels for the rest. If you would like our GPX file, I can send it to you.

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    Most of our equipment including our F800GSes has been used on previous rides and canoe trips:

    - BMW and Metal Mule panniers/racks
    - Adventures Spec crash bars and bash plates
    - Bark Buster handguards
    - Conti TKC 80s

    For camping:

    - MSR Hubba Hubba tents (light and completely waterproof)
    - Thermarest pads
    - MEC (12C) sleeping bags
    - MSR stoves and water reservoirs
    - a gourmet selection of freeze dried, oatmeal and instant coffee

    For this year we added:

    - RotoPax fuel cans (which we thankfully didn't need)
    - a SPOT GPS unit (for our friends and family)
    - ass-saving Sargeant seats (Labradour learned us)
    - replaced our 8+ year old riding gear with some very effective Rev'It suits

    Feel free to ask about any of the gear... we stongly endorse any of the stuff we used.

    Enough chatting...
    #1
  2. whuht

    whuht n(.)(.)b

    Joined:
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    Day 1 - June 30, 2010

    Hailing from Toronto, we shipped our bikes to Vancouver for this trip (with the limited time we had). John Valk BMW (http://www.johnvalkbmw.ca/) received our bikes in Vancouver with only the windscreens having to be remounted. Many thanks to Ben from EMOTOS Transport and Jay Weir, Service Manager at JV BMW for making the start of our trip as straight forward as possible.

    We turned on our SPOT GPS tracker and were off shortly after noon. While we love the lower mainland of BC, we really just wanted to get out of the hustle and bustle of civilization. Vancouver, with its increasing density of people and cars, was soon a distant memory as we started up the Sea to Sky Hwy. This road has changed a lot over the course of the past 3 years. The 2010 Olympics injected many infrastructure dollars into the area and consequently the once winding 2-lane highway has now become a 4-lane highway in areas.

    We were soon past Squamish and Whistler heading into Pemberton and Lilloet. The views were spectacular... and this was only the first day!

    Google Maps

    <iframe width="640" height="480" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=d&amp;source=s_d&amp;saddr=vancouver,+bc&amp;daddr=V0N+1B5+to:V0K+1T1&amp;geocode=%3BFdlr_AId4ymr-ClVBKla0iKHVDGp4I6Aj1n32g%3BFVwKGAMdW7fB-Cnzee67i4eAUzHB1WCXSh3-iw&amp;hl=en&amp;mra=ls&amp;sll=50.600673,-122.277832&amp;sspn=3.138155,7.163086&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=50.604159,-122.277832&amp;spn=3.347145,7.03125&amp;z=7&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small><a href="http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=d&amp;source=embed&amp;saddr=vancouver,+bc&amp;daddr=V0N+1B5+to:V0K+1T1&amp;geocode=%3BFdlr_AId4ymr-ClVBKla0iKHVDGp4I6Aj1n32g%3BFVwKGAMdW7fB-Cnzee67i4eAUzHB1WCXSh3-iw&amp;hl=en&amp;mra=ls&amp;sll=50.600673,-122.277832&amp;sspn=3.138155,7.163086&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=50.604159,-122.277832&amp;spn=3.347145,7.03125&amp;z=7" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small>

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    Gotta have a little mojo!

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    We ended the day at Lac La Hache Provincial Park where we camped close to a Danish couple who flew to the States (Wisconsin), bought two bikes (KLRs if I recall) and have been riding for several months heading back to Denmark. I'm sorry, I lost my notes on their names but a big hellO! We hope you're doing well!

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    #2
  3. whuht

    whuht n(.)(.)b

    Joined:
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    Days 2 and 3 - July 1-2, 2010

    The day started cool, brisk and dry but soon turned very wet. We made our way up to Watson City, YT over these 2 days.

    <IFRAME height=480 marginHeight=0 src="http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=V0K+1T1&daddr=55.702355,-121.613159+to:Watson+Lake,+Yukon+Territory&geocode=FVwKGAMdW7fB-Cnzee67i4eAUzHB1WCXSh3-iw%3B%3BFZmGlAMddCVU-CmjLLNbqVn7UzFT7qZgOA0Bjg&hl=en&mra=dpe&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=8&via=1&sll=55.116085,-123.008423&sspn=2.940903,8.432007&ie=UTF8&ll=55.116085,-123.00293&spn=6.034857,14.0625&z=6&output=embed" frameBorder=0 width=640 marginWidth=0 scrolling=no></IFRAME>
    <SMALL>View Larger Map</SMALL>

    The scenery was something else; rolling foothills to the ragged mountain peaks. The wildlife was abundant on the roads, beside the roads, all around the roads! And finally, the traffic started to wean.

    Unfortunately we weren't able to capture all the wildlife (either it was raining or the opportunity passed) but it was a preserve of bald eagles, badgers, deer and bears. We pretty much cut our speed by half in many areas of northern Hwy 97. Did I mention the bears? Black and brown (stunning cinnamon colour) bears. Large, small, sows and cubs. Just amazing. We must have seen 10 over these days. We did pack some bear spray for camping but all these sightings were on our bikes.

    Then there were the moose. Many moose in the lakes and by the road - grazing. We stopped to watch a bull while the mosquitoes and flies ate us and soon moved on.

    And then, when we really thought we saw everything, we rounded a corner to see a giant (I mean gargantuan) wild bison bull on the road. We very carefully navigated around it while it kept one eye on us. It&#8217;s a very different and amazing experience encountering bison on a bike (rather than a cage). And then really then, around the next corner, a 40-50 bison herd smack in the middle of the road. The herd spanned the road, shoulder, forest, everywhere, WOW! It was too dangerous for a pair of motorcyclists to stop to take pics with the bulls, sows and cubs.

    For those who have never seen wild bison, I&#8217;ve linked an image from Eugene Reimer&#8217;s page (who appears to have a similar route).

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    Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake, YT

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    #3
  4. whuht

    whuht n(.)(.)b

    Joined:
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    Days 4-5, July 3-4, 2010

    The long, cold and wet days wore us out a bit (just getting our touring legs back) so we decided to stick around Whitehorse. We camped one day and stayed at the BW Inn. We also had to stick around for Yukon Honda to open so that we could get a fresh set of TKC 80s installed.

    <iframe width="640" height="480" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=d&amp;source=s_d&amp;saddr=Watson+Lake,+Yukon+Territory&amp;daddr=Whitehorse,+Yukon+Territory&amp;geocode=FZmGlAMddCVU-CmjLLNbqVn7UzFT7qZgOA0Bjg%3B&amp;hl=en&amp;mra=ls&amp;sll=59.175928,-125.971985&amp;sspn=1.31734,4.216003&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=60.299743,-131.879883&amp;spn=2.61326,7.03125&amp;z=7&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small><a href="http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=d&amp;source=embed&amp;saddr=Watson+Lake,+Yukon+Territory&amp;daddr=Whitehorse,+Yukon+Territory&amp;geocode=FZmGlAMddCVU-CmjLLNbqVn7UzFT7qZgOA0Bjg%3B&amp;hl=en&amp;mra=ls&amp;sll=59.175928,-125.971985&amp;sspn=1.31734,4.216003&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=60.299743,-131.879883&amp;spn=2.61326,7.03125&amp;z=7" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small>

    If you have a chance, camp at Wolf Creek PP. Most of the camp sites are very private and are edged by a babbling creek.

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    The landscape has flattened a bit... a departure from the Rockies and other ranges.

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    Yukon welcome (from the other side but more fitting in this RR order)

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    #4
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    61,694
    Gorgeous :clap

    :lurk
    #5
  6. whuht

    whuht n(.)(.)b

    Joined:
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    Thanks GB, you'll get to see your stickers in later days of this RR but for now... :D

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    #6
  7. whuht

    whuht n(.)(.)b

    Joined:
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    Day 6, July 5, 2010

    The folks at Yukon Honda were great. Fast, professional and busy! We met a trio of riders heading back to Pensylvania who were just swapping back to street tires. I can't remember their names (actually never got them) but I hope you gents are home safely on a pair of VStroms and a GSA relocating to Colorado.

    It was a coolish day but dry. We rode through Carmacks and had a warm lunch at the Klondike Cafe. We met a father and son pair who used their ADV ride to reunite from Utah and New Zealand (if I recall). Sorry, we didn't take too many pictures today. Just enjoying the ride and forgetting about everything else.

    Today, we arrived at the foot of the Dempster Hwy. From the Yukon Info site:

    <IFRAME height=480 marginHeight=0 src="http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Whitehorse,+Yukon+Territory&daddr=Tombstone+Territorial+Park,+Yukon+Territory&geocode=FXt2ngMd8Ezz9ymBU7yAmERUUTFLNdBk6rc95A%3BFRW80QMdtle-9yHWx4VGYio3IA&hl=en&mra=ls&sll=62.396735,-136.90066&sspn=4.768533,16.864014&ie=UTF8&ll=62.400551,-136.911621&spn=4.890166,14.0625&z=6&output=embed" frameBorder=0 width=640 marginWidth=0 scrolling=no></IFRAME>
    <SMALL>View Larger Map</SMALL>
    #7
  8. whuht

    whuht n(.)(.)b

    Joined:
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    It was overcast but appeared that a rain shower had moved through the area. Of course, the Dempster starts off paved but soon turns to anything and everything but. The first 50km are pretty benign and we ended up at Tombstone Territorial Park. This was one of the first moments when we felt like we were 'here'. We set up camp and it started to rain.

    The Race Trac gas station at the base of the Dempster.

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    Just getting to our campsite... what a view! More in the morning!

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    Link to park: http://www.environmentyukon.gov.yk.ca/parksconservation/tombstonepark.php
    #8
  9. whuht

    whuht n(.)(.)b

    Joined:
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    Day 7, July 6, 2010

    <iframe width="640" height="480" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=d&amp;source=s_d&amp;saddr=Whitehorse,+Yukon+Territory&amp;daddr=Dempster+Hwy%2FYT-5+N&amp;geocode=FXt2ngMd8Ezz9ymBU7yAmERUUTFLNdBk6rc95A%3BFXCY-AMdrCDg9w&amp;hl=en&amp;mra=ls&amp;sll=63.67014,-136.90066&amp;sspn=9.152943,33.728027&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=63.66576,-136.889648&amp;spn=9.389198,28.125&amp;z=5&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small><a href="http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=d&amp;source=embed&amp;saddr=Whitehorse,+Yukon+Territory&amp;daddr=Dempster+Hwy%2FYT-5+N&amp;geocode=FXt2ngMd8Ezz9ymBU7yAmERUUTFLNdBk6rc95A%3BFXCY-AMdrCDg9w&amp;hl=en&amp;mra=ls&amp;sll=63.67014,-136.90066&amp;sspn=9.152943,33.728027&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=63.66576,-136.889648&amp;spn=9.389198,28.125&amp;z=5" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small>

    Last night's rain evolved into rolling thunder storms with loud claps of thunder waking up even the bears! Despite the storming, it never got dark. Even though the sun technically sets, twilight and dusk overlap so it's a sensation that you soon get used to. Miraculously, we woke to blue skies and a beautiful morning.

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    We met a gent by the name of Joe who hails from Hamilton, ON. Friendly chap traveling via SUV and trailering his Yami.

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    Packed up and ready for a slushy day on the Dempster!

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    Today was a great picture opportunity... I have lots to post but the wife is calling me away. On to Eagle Plains and the Arcitc Circle!

    To be continued....
    #9
  10. Josh69

    Josh69 Uhhh

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    Looking forward to reading the rest of this one....

    :lurk:lurk:lurk
    #10
  11. suwee

    suwee Alledged Rookie

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    Looking forward to the remainder of this one! Awesome photography! If the camera used is not an SLR, I'd be interested in knowing which one it is.

    I've been debating on doing the Dempster but most ride reports are on the Dalton. This report may make my decision a little easier! Nice report.
    #11
  12. cabot

    cabot lurker

    Joined:
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    KW
    You should be able to get the camera details from any of the pictures (save to desktop, right click, properties, summary). It'll be one of 3 cameras...

    1. HP DSC CB350 (whuht)
    2. Canon SD1200 IS (cabot)
    3. Canon Rebel XSi with an EF-S 18-55 IS or EF-S 55-250 IS lens (cabot)

    From what I've heard, the Dempster is more scenic... but what do I know, I haven't done the Dalton. Do both! :)
    #12
  13. whuht

    whuht n(.)(.)b

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    Chris brough both his point and shoot and his DSLR with a couple of lenses and I bought a disposable point and shoot and left my DSLR at home. Chris definitely has an eye for photography and I'm his trusty sidekick. I'll post more of day 7 later tonight.

    Cheers!
    #13
  14. whuht

    whuht n(.)(.)b

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    Okay just a few before I return...

    Chris took this HDR just a couple minutes north of the campsite (it's a lookout).

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    Yes, this day was going to get sloppy.

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    Not too much further north at the aptly named Two Moose Lake (point & shoot and DSLR) :

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    #14
  15. Dai

    Dai New to Canada

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    Can't wait for the rest. Please send me the GPX file.
    #15
  16. cabot

    cabot lurker

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    Hey Dai... pm me your email and I'll send you the gpx tracks file.

    Actually no HDR... I gave up trying to get it working. All the post editing has been done in Lightroom. Here's a few more to match the ride report so far.

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    I just can't get the sky right in this one...
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    #16
  17. whuht

    whuht n(.)(.)b

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    Sorry 'bout that Chris, noob mistake. :1drink
    #17
  18. whuht

    whuht n(.)(.)b

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    Following the meandering river:

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    #18
  19. whuht

    whuht n(.)(.)b

    Joined:
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    Day 7 - July 6, 2010 (cont'd)

    The Dempster is a living (literally) monster. It has many emotions and its temperament is fickle. It is built on top of a berm above the permafrost with essentialy geologies that were proximally available.

    Storm's coming or rather, we're chasing it.

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    And the highway's complexion changes...

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    #19
  20. whuht

    whuht n(.)(.)b

    Joined:
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    The clouds part and the sun comes out long enough for us to enjoy the expansive fields of Yukon's flower, the Fireweed.

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    #20