Phillys Big Trip (Alaska to Chile or is that Argentina)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by dean10, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Whitehorse to Dawson City, Wednesday, 4 July 2012, Day 30


    Dawson City[/caption]

    It was a strange day and I was up and out quite early filled myself on Tim Horton’s for breakfast and thenI filled the bike and I hit the road. It was quite cold so I stopped and put on my new sweater (Moreno wool supposed to be brilliant against the cold and does not get smelly very quickly which is a bonus the jury is still out on its capabilities and whether it will live up to all the hype) later it started raining so I pulled out the waterproofs that helped with the cold. I did quite a few km today but I do not remember much about the day it seemed to wiz by. The scenery was pleasant but stark and I passed a lot places that had been damaged by forest fires and for each they had a sign with the year on so you could see the different levels of rejuvenation.


    5 Finger Gorge Yukon River[/caption]





    I finally I got to Dawson city and headed to a hostel I had read and heard about which was a ferry ride across the river from Dawson City with view over the Yukon to the City (strong word city more of a town or large village) No electricity water pumped from the river and heated by woodstoves but its cheap and cheerful and a great location. I got the ferry back to town to get some supper and the place has a nice vibe to it and looks like a film or museum or like an old town from the old cowboy films. I am going to enjoy wondering road this place tomorrow. I am only 100km short of Alaska and then I can commence the trip as per the title and tag line Alaska to Chile but that will have to wait for a while as I going to enjoy this place tomorrow then the day after I will be on the on top of the world highway into Alaska so close yet so far away and it is +-120 km of dirt track and I did some today where they where digging the road up single file behind a pilot truck which I struggled to keep up with in the dirt. I ended up loosing sight of the truck and was on the wrong side of the road following a huge road smoother which was leaving a berm of mud which I then had to cross. It is official Phill is a crap off road rider I do not have the confidence when it is muddy or deep gravel I can just about cope with harden dirt but that about it so it could be long drive ahead of me I must get more practise and maybe longer legs would be useful.












    Dawson City my room at 11.30pm at night!![/caption]
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  2. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Dawson City, Thursday, 5 July 2012, Day 31


    Above Dawson City[/caption]

    Another pleasant day just a quick add on to last night at about 11.30pm I was doing some tinkering with the bike and also went for a short walk at it was still daylight which as I have said before it is a mind f**k but in a nice way.

    A good night sleep and I was up at about 9.30.am Things here are a bit basic and if I wanted a hot wash then I would have to light a fire and wait for the water to warm up so I had a cold wash instead. The process was similar to the Indonesian showers with a bowl of water and pouring jug. The cold wash certainly woke me up. I got the ferry into Dawson City and made my way to the tourist info place which was the place for Canada Parks events that are dotted all over town the first event I did was a tour of the Old Playhouse then some lunch and then a Robert Service Cabin tour with some of his readings I must Google this guy whenever I get back on line as I quite enjoyed his poetry and would like to read some more. He is very famous here and has roads and schools and places all named after him and I had never heard of him until someone mentioned to me about the Robert Service Campsite on Robert Service Road in Whitehorse both of the Services I thought meant service not Service as in the surname so I have learnt something today. The funny thing is he was born in the UK and yet still unfamiliar to me and he had made millions with his poetry and his books and this was unintentionally as he was a vagabond for a large part of his life. After that bit of culture I did the historical walking town of the tour so quite an enlightened day. I got the ferry back to the Hostel and it started to rain again it had been going from beautiful sunshine to rain showers all day and this was also short lived. I then got the bike and went back on the ferry to get some fuel for tomorrows trip on the top of the world highway as there are no petrol stations until a place called Chicken in the USA which is 180km away and I was running on fumes already so with the bike filled up I headed to a lookout viewpoint place which had the most spectacular views over Dawson City and the Yukon and this was a great finale for my visit to Dawson City. I really enjoyed and like this place it was fascinating. Back on the ferry after grabbing something to eat in town and catching up on the blog even though I am unable to publish it. Destination Alaska via top of the world highway I hope the weather is good as it’s a dirt track but the views are supposed to be spectacular so I hope it lives up to it billing I am certainly looking forward to it. I also will have the cross the border into the US so I hope that goes well as well



















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  3. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Dawson City to Tok in Alaska yes I made it, Friday, 6 July 2012, Day 32


    ooh er miss's[/caption]

    I am sitting in an ambulance writing this on my right I have loads of buttons a beacon a flasher a horn etc. It is quite comfortable as well and away from those pesky mosquitoes. I am in Tok Alaska and my accommodation tonight is the back of an ambulance in great little place called Thompson’s Eagle Claw Motorcycle Park. I was aiming for Fairbanks but I ran out of steam and as there is nothing between Tok and Fairbanks and I got chatting with the old guy in the tourist info who directed me to the this place. I was hoping for a bed in a bunk house but that was full so I opted for the ambulance as the Tee Pee looked a bit cold yes you can stay in a Tee Pee as well! Why I had run out of steam well it had been a hard day in the saddle on the Top Of the World Highway which is about 80% dirt road and it had been raining a lot so quite muddy and sloppy in places. Every turn turned up a different road surface from mud to tarmac to pebbles to gravel to huge potholes soI really had to be on my game if I was going to stay upright. The upside to too all this was that every turn turned up a fantastic vista with magnificent views and scenery which I kept getting glimpse of when I was not keeping my eye on the road. So it was extremely knackering and tiring but in the end very rewarding.


    Top of the world highway[/caption]









    The border crossing into the States was very simple I was expecting it to be more complex and more paperwork for the bike but as I was not exporting all they needed to see was the papers and $6.00 admin fee and I am allowed to stay in the US till the 6<sup>th</sup> of October so that fits in with my current plans.


    Alaska I have made it![/caption]








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    Again I have no electricity and hot water but who needs it when it never gets dark but the batteries on my kit needs a recharge at some point soon. I managed to get 30 minutes in a shop but I am not sure If I was able to get this published and updated I also grabbed a nice Thai dinner from a stand next door sitting on the side of a dusty road I am very hungry as I only had a chocolate biscuit for lunch and breakfast as there was no place to eat all day except for a place called chicken but the lady in the café had a right attitude on her and I was not going to eat there and let that miserable cow spoil by good vibe buzz life is to short for people like that. All in all an excellent day and I am now off to chat with a guy called Hugh who been biking round Alaska for years and who knows all the good place to go. It turned out it was his first time in Alaska but a good evening shooting the breeze taking about all thing bike and travel related.


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    Home for the night :-)[/caption]


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    Last night I went to bed at 11.30pm but a latecomer arrived at about 12.30pm waking me up a young American chap called Matt and I stayed up chatting for him for ages nice bloke and an interesting dialog. He had left before I was up heading up the Dempster Highway on old CX 500 I hope he makes it but he had driven to Chile on old CB175 so I think he probably will.
    #43
  4. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Tok to Fairbanks, Saturday, 7 July 2012, Day 33


    Road to Fairbanks[/caption]



    A great night sleep in the ambulance I even managed a bit of a sleep in. I got up and the sun was shining and I had a cold shower no hot water same as the last place you need to light a fire to get hot water this was offered to me last night but I prefer me washing in the morning and a cold shower on a sunny day is invigorating. I was the only one around so slowly packed me kit and headed out I met Hugh as I was leaving and said Tata and was on the road. Decided I did not want breakfast yet and would stop up at the first place on the way which was 100 miles away I keep forgetting there are loads of distance here with nothing in between. Oh yes I have now converted my speedo and GPS to miles instead of km but this just make places a lot longer to get to and it seems slower I have no idea what Fahrenheit and miles per US gallon is in real money but it helps me know if I am breaking the speed limit and distances on the signs match the speedo and GPS but it will take a while to get used to this. The road from Tok to Fairbanks is fairly dull after yesterday it is straight and long and flat with a view of the mountains in the distance but the sun was shining which always makes a difference to my mood. I had a Philly Sandwich for lunch slash breakfast just because of the name and I have found something else that is fattening and bad for me to add to things I like oh my poor leathers. I got to Fairbanks at 5pm after a short stop at the North Pole where I saw Santa and his reindeer. This place actually exists and I had to chuckle when I saw the sigh and had to stop when I saw the visitor center. The story is that some entrepreneur wanted to start a toy factory in Alaska and he convinces the folks in town to change the name of the place to North Pole so that he could label the toys manufactured North Pole Alaska. The toy factory never materialised I think but the locals are making a nice little business out of the name there is Santa Claus House a huge Santa Claus and all the street lights are in the shape of Candy sticks. So well tacky but a most amusing distraction it made me smile.



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    North Pole[/caption]



    I found a hostel in Fairbanks but it was a bit out of town so I walked to Safeway to get some dinner about a 5-mile round trip and I have electricity and WIFI so I am charging up all my electrical equipment and updating me blog. I was going to stay in Fairbanks for another day but I am not sure if it it is that interesting and it did not grab me when I came through today so I may do a run to the Arctic Circle dependant on the weather so I will be doing the famous Dalton Highway.


    huskies in training![/caption]
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  5. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Fairbanks to Arctic Circle back to Fairbanks, Sunday, 8 July 2012, Day 34


    Cor Blimey guv Arctic Circle I made it![/caption]

    Wow what a day it was absolutely the bee bollocks. I was a bit apprehensive about doing the Dalton and I was going to pull the plug at any excuse but I did a fair bit of it and this is how it happened. The road out of Fairbanks to the beginning was great tarmac awesome scenery bendy with only the odd bit gravel and bumps in the corner so a biking nirvana (I exaggerate for dramatic effect) and then I see a sign for James W Dalton Highway and the road turns to dirt with a blink of an eye bugger and its been raining all night so muddy as hell I knock of speed ASAP down to about 25mph buttocks clenched bike moving around all over the shop. I Decide I will give it a couple of mile and if this is still bad I will pull the plug and turn round and give the Arctic Circle a miss. Then in front of me was a large duffel bag in the middle of the road with a couple of old bungee cords the few cars and RV that where around was just driving around it but as it was in the middle of the road so I stopped to check it as it looks like it had fallen of the back of another motorcycle.


    The Bag on the Dalton ![/caption]

    So I decided to see if I could find the owner so I strapped it to my already well loaded bike which I was already not happy with how she was handling the road never mind adding more baggage. So set of in hot pursuit well pretty slowly actually but over time as confidence grew I started picking up speed and as the sun was shining the road and the mud was drying making it a lot more easy going and soon in some place I was doing 60mph+ over the muddy roads Stefan Peterhansel eat your heart out a new Dakar star is born. The scenery was breath taking when I dared take my off the road or when I pulled off to take the some piccies unfortunately I am not sure the photos or my descriptions does not do it justice but take my word it is pretty shit hot nice up here.


    The James W Dalton Hwy[/caption]



    I did about 40 miles waving and signalling to any bikes coming down the road just in case it may be them looking for there duffel bag they must of thought I was mad. I got to the fuel stop place at Yukon River Camp there were a couple of bikes around and I asked if anyone had lost any luggage or knew somebody who had. Nope So decided to dump the bag in the restaurant as I was sick of lugging it turns out that an old Harley rider had lost it and had not realised till I walked in with it so one happy grateful chap and he insisted on giving me some money but I refused but he put some in my top pocket and would not take no for an answer turned out to be a $20 bill so my good deed got me not only lunch but a long way down the Dalton as I nearly thrown in the towel before I saw the bag. I filled up the bike with petrol and then grabbed huge burger at place called Hotspot which I was told was at the beginning of the Highway not 45miles in I was planning to have breakfast there it was now 2pm so it became lunch instead I was starving Marvin. I had seen a sign saying that the Arctic Circle was only another 60 miles so with me new found confidence I decided to go for it and I am glad I did a great ride on drying mud roads and a laugh with the folks all trying to get there mandatory picture of the artic circle sign. Bit of a party atmosphere there where 4 Argentinean guys who driven from Chile to here in old Argentinean built Renault so I had a good laugh with them about the Falklands and the Hand of God (Maradona) Building bridges me I got invited to one of the guys Raul birthday party on the 21<sup>st</sup> October in Argentina so I had better get me skates on. There was a couple who had a huge old Airstream Caravan and I love them but I have never seen inside one so blagged me self a grand tour off there’s. Nice way to travel me thinks when I get to old for the bike :-)









    I had decided I had pushed my luck getting this far so decided to head back to Fairbanks before it rained again and I got stuck in a muddy quagmire it was 4pm but as it does not get dark here I had plenty daylight left to do another 200 miles and I was in the zone. Got back to Yukon River Camp no problem found an info place I had missed on the way in and got a certificate saying that I had been to the Arctic Circle with loads of official stamps on it as well. I was getting all confident and then it started to rain bollocks my worse case scenario that I was trying to avoid just happened I struggled into my waterproofs and took a deep breath with all my confidence disappearing as the road turned to mush maybe no Dakar this year or only if it does not rain. The rainstorm was short but the roads remained muddy but they started to dry in places so I was doing varying speeds depending on the conditions then I hit the tarmac and I had lovely run in on the now dry roads back to Fairbanks 100 miles I was a tired little bear but a very proud little bear I had done a little over 400 miles in about 11 hours the bike was filthy you could not read the number plate as everything covered in mud including me but what a glorious day they do not get much better than this and I had just ridden to the Arctic Circle Cor Blimey Guv!





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  6. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Fairbanks to Denali National Park, Monday, 9 July 2012, Day 35


    Denali National Park[/caption]



    I got to bed quite late after calling Skypeing the folks at home I had a whole dorm (tent) to myself which was nice and was very tired so I did not wake up till 9am I had a shower which cost a quarter a minute and you had to feed it one at a time and you guessed it as always it stopped when you are all soaped up or at the most awkward moment. Leisurely load of the bike which is filthy and went round a couple of motorcycle dealers looking for some oil for my chain lubricator I got some eventually not sure that it will work, I did write a note to OSCO the manufacturer but as yet I have heard nothing from them and I am sure they are going to say that there oil is specially engineered and others will not work in the system but I have got some BMW branded Scott oil so when my does run out its going in and bugger the consequences. I have always hated chains and chain maintenance on a motorbike there has to be a better design I know how about a belt drive like on my old bike I do miss that low maintenance solution. I had a late breakfast early lunch at Safeway and also found a hose at a petrol station so gave the bike a good hosing down as it was covered in mud from yesterday.


    Nenana[/caption]

    A bit of a dull road out of Fairbanks but the sun was shining but a I guess after yesterday everything is going seem a bit dull however as I enter Denali National Park it went back to being spectacular. I spent the rest of day at the Park but unfortunately you could only take your own vehicle 15 miles into the park and if you wanted to go further you had to get a bus or a tour and it was late in the day and I did not fancy this so just mucked around in the area that I was allowed in which was very pleasant.







    I finally pulled myself away and headed to hostel down the road and unlike last night this is full I got the last bed in a dorm. I went for a pizza, which is huge so I guess that breakfast sorted as well. Tomorrow plan is to head back into the park and watch a sled dog show but after that I am in bit of a quandary of whether to head down to Anchorage and or start back towards Canada via the Denali highway which I heard excellent things about so its decision time I will decide on this in the morning.

    #46
  7. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Denali National Park to Tok, Tuesday, 10 July 2012, Day 36


    Bloody cold![/caption]

    What can I say about today except cold cold bloody cold. Brrrrr. I got up and it was drizzling so I got a shower packed the bike and had cold pizza and coffee for breakfast mmmm there is something about cold pizza. Plan A was to go and see the sled dog demo and after that I had not got a clue I had thought about going to Anchorage the long way round via the Denali Highway but the weather was not cooperating so I decided to wait till after the husky demo before deciding on what to do. The demo was great fun and you where able to get real close to the dogs and pet them and they are really friendly maybe I should get a dog when I get back as I do like them.





    It was dry at the Denali National Park which was 10 miles away from the hostels so I decide to do the Denali Highway and I will decide after whether to go North to Canada or South to Anchorage that does not sound right but its correct I have to go a long way north to get back into Canada. Denali Highway is another dirt track and I knew it was a bit rough for the first couple of miles in and the last couple of miles out well it turned out it was crap and hard going for the first 30 miles no real track to follow and huge stones boulder all over the place and they had let one of those stupid huge road smoother loose on the road which in my view make the road worse for motorcycles as if left alone there is a natural single track which is easily followed but when smoothed there is no track and it is like driving in treacle.


    Denali Highway[/caption]





    The road improved but then it started to rain so it turned slippery and then it started getting cold as I mentioned before I had changed all my gauges to American so my temperature gauge was hovering around the 42 Fahrenheit range but later as I started to climb and I went into the clouds when suddenly a big yellow light on my dash started flashing which shook me for a while as it was cold and wet and I was in the middle of nowhere and I realised it was ice warning light the temp had dropped to 37 Fahrenheit which I had no idea what that was in real money but I knew it must be near freezing as my flashing yellow light was telling me.I have just looked up the temperatures and 37 is 2 centigrade and 42 is 5 centigrade so its brass monkeys weather no wonder I had lost all feeling in my fingertips and to top it all cold wet slippery no visibility the rain had turned to sleet and the sleet had turned to snow.


    37 Fahrenheit 2 Centigrade![/caption]

    So this was supposed to one of the nicest roads in Alaska and I was trying to hang on for dear life except I had lost feeling in both me hands and had not felt me toes for quite some while and I was getting near to the end of 137 miles road which I knew was supposed to be bad and if anything like the beginning I was in for a hell of ride. I think because of the weather I could not see the road so I was just ploughed through everything and before I knew it was on tarmac again on the other side. First thing I did was find a café ordered a coffee and a Philly Sandwich and sat there dripping and shivering and trying to get some feeling back into my extremities.

    Decision time, which was pretty easy it looks like the weather, had turned cold and Anchorage was another 350 miles away I decided to head to the border which was North to get me back on a southerly trail and hopefully warmer climes. I had a name of a hostel which was 170 miles away so I put back on my wet gear and batten down the hatches and I just got stuck in. Wet and cold and road works but looks like my off road skills are improving as I was able to keep up with the pilot car through and a long stretch of muddy road works so all the practise I been getting is doing me good or I am just numb and brain dead from the cold and oblivious to anything the bike is doing. I got to the place where the hostel was supposed to be but I could not find so plan D headed for Tok and I hoped that the ambulance I stayed in before was free. This was another 60 miles down the road not what I wanted to keep on going but it had stopped raining and visibility had improved so I had a quite a nice run into Tok even though my legs had stopped functioning and I had no feelings in my hands and even though it had stopped raining my wet kit was starting to dry and as the water evaporates this causes cooling so I was cold to the bone when I finally reached the campsite. Bugger Ambulance taken but fortunately they had a walled tent which is a hut frame with a canvas skin empty and that is where I am now I had a sort of a sauna and poured a bucket of hot water over myself so feeling a lot warmer and the Hut is reasonably large so my stuff is hanging up drying all over the place. Two of my panniers had leaked I am not sure if that was down to me not making sure the seal was clear or they are just crap I will have to keep an eye on this but the inner bags and the waterproof computer bag did there job so no biggie. Back into Canada tomorrow so the Alaska part of my adventure is over. I would have liked to seen a bit more of the south of Alaska and would have liked to see Mount McKinley in all its glory but I did not fancy freezing my nuts of to do this and have to make a call and live with the decisions that I cannot do everything even though I would like to.
    #47
  8. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Tok to Whitehorse, Wednesday, 11 July 2012, Day 37


    Back in the Yukon[/caption]

    Well I am back in Whitehorse why? because they have two Tim Horton’s there that is why. Not really just a happy coincident. I had a great night sleep I had pulled my long Johns and thermals out as I was expecting a cold night but I was very toasty so it was difficult to get up. The sun was shining and it was warm a total contrast to yesterday I slowly pulled my kit together and headed to a place called Fast Eddies and I had missed breakfast by 15 minutes why is it that they cannot serve breakfast type food all day it is beyond me it cannot be that difficult and some of us can eat breakfast type thing at anytime of the day not only in the morning so I ended having a teriyaki chicken burger for breakfast. I missed the café when I was leaving town so had to do a U turn and the site I saw made me regret my decision on leaving Alaska so soon blue skies snow covered mountains oh yes that was the reason why I was leaving snow!


    Why am I leaving Alaska[/caption]



    A beautiful day in the saddle after a late start a good road except for the odd roadwork’s but you had perfect black tarmac, purple flowers on the side of the road, green forest, turquoise lakes and snow covered mountains either side of the road as well it does not get much better than this and it was like this for most of 600 plus km I did today.


    Back in the Yukon[/caption]



    Oh yes I am back to the metric system and it was between 18-22 degrees centigrade all day total opposite of yesterday but a most enjoyable day in the saddle. I headed for the same hostel I stayed in last time but this was full so went to another one just round the corner which was just as good it was 9.30pm when I got there but I had gained an hour coming back into the Yukon so I walked out to Tim Horton’s for my fix as its been more than week since my last one and I will be going there for breakfast tomorrow as well I am heading South to the Cassiar Highway to see how far I get along it but if anything like today I am happy to ride forever with scenery like I have seen today so do I regret leaving Alaska maybe but Canada is also tops as well








    Destruction Bay[/caption]



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  9. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Whitehorse to Boya Lake , Thursday, 12 July 2012, Day 38


    Roadworks queue[/caption]

    For some reason I am totally wired it has been another long day and I am beginning to feel the miles I have been putting in. I am back under canvas in beautiful campsite next to a crystal clear Boya Lake.I was out of the Hostel at a reasonable time but had a major faff in Whitehorse first port of call Tim Horton’s but do you know it was not as good as in my imagination I had been missing it loads and when I get it it is very mediocre how strange is that? Then I went to big super market to get some deodorant and then filled up the bike with some fuel which I seem to be doing an awful lot of these days 3 times today I am paranoid that I am going run out in the middle of no where and I am also doing a lot of km’s.





    I finally hit the road to Carcross where there was a Desert only a small one but desert never the less.


    Carcross[/caption]




    New Job![/caption]





    After that a long drive to Watson Lake already done this road in the other direction but for some reason it was not giving me much of a buzz as I said before I am a bit tired today but it is strange how one day you see scenery and go wow that is the bees bollocks then the following day same scenery you go that’s nice, following day same scenery that’s Ok and there after you do not really notice it and it becomes very déjà vu very quickly. I must not let this happen to me. At 5pm stopped for some food, as I knew I was camping and wanted to ensure I was good till tomorrow morning and on the menu was something called pirogues or something like that with bacon an onion. I asked what it was and they explained to me that it was some doughy things filled with potatoes and cheese. I am still none the wiser but as I like all of the ingredients I decided to go for it and it came with a whole load of cottage cream as well and it was rather tasty. So with a full stomach I filled the bike for the last time today and headed for a campsite I had seen on the map at the top of Stewart Cassiar Highway but as usual map reading not my forte so it was another 100km to go and as I said I was already tired and was intentionally planning on a reasonable early stop today ho hum. However highway 37 totally different from the road I have been travelling on all day a lot thinner with loads of blind corners and blind crests so I had to wake up quickly and concentrate but the km’s flew by as the scenery had also changed and it was quite eerie in places as there been a fire and the wood was all bare except for a weird moss growing between the trees very interesting and welcome change that I needed. I eventually got to the campsite and set up tent and its has taken me nearly 2 hours to relax like I said was totally wired but relaxing slowly as there is not a sound to be heard except the odd squirrel and you guessed it them dam mosquitoes even though I covered my self in chemicals that seem to work intermit ally but better than without the chemicals I am going to crawl into me tent and start a new book the picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I am looking forward to both my new book and me bed in me tent.


    Johnson Crossing[/caption]




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    Boya Lake[/caption]


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    #49
  10. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Boya Lake to Hyder, Friday, 13 July 2012, Day 39


    This is the road I did today no wonder I am tired![/caption]

    I am to tired to update this today so here is a map on the route I did today its quite a long way and distance me thinks!

    Well I was not in the mood to update this yesterday I am starting to suffer seriously from fatigue I am generally feeling a bit knackered I have been going hard for nearly 40 days and it is starting to take it toll on me so I need to start slowing down and smelling the roses before I knacker myself completely but knowing me I will do a sham of a rest day and then I will hit the road harder than before.

    Well another good night in the tent and was lying thinking maybe I should get up while it is still dry as I had a feeling it would rain and before I was just about to unzip myself from my cosy sleeping bag it started raining but fortunately only for a short while the downside of this was when I opened my inner tent I found that my outer tent was whipped with Mosquitoes who where sheltering from the rain millions of the buggers so made a dash to the loo and it was exactly the same there the bog was also filled with mosquitoes so trying to do my morning ablutions while fighting of millions of mosquitoes arrrrrrrrrh! No showers as this was a provincial campsite why they do not have shower facilities is beyond me as there is plenty of water and would be more than happy with a cold one. I went back to the tent and the mosquitoes had also got into the inner tent part as well bugger so a very depressing decamp which was a shame as the campsite and the location was great. I hit the road expecting a breakfast place soon but it was 150KM to the nearest civilisation that had fuel and a café and on these roads that is about 2 hours but as I said the roads very narrow but scenery gorgeous compared with yesterday it felt more intimate than the roads yesterday as the mountains seem closer and as I whizzed past a couple bears on separate occasion I felt I could reach out and touch them. Imagined giving them a high five as I went by which is a bit silly as this would break my hand at the speeds I was doing and I am not that sure that bears do high fives!

    Really in the groove finally reached some kind of civilisation at 1pm ish I queue for the petrol and after I filled up I got chatting to two police officers about all things motorcycles and I am not sure if they where interrogating me or just chatting with me as many a loaded question been thrown in every now again such as the state of my tyres when where they replaced etc. Good thing one of them was looking at my GPS holder and as he touched it the whole front screen moved. Seemingly the nuts holding this had worked loose and the reason I had not noticed this was with the weight of the GPS on it seemed and felt solid so his fiddling helped me out to notice this problem. So I first had some breakfast / lunch spaghetti and meatballs and then out with the toolkit and the Loctite for some maintenance to fix my front screen. I may have over tightened the bolts as I noticed a crack in the screen by two bolt holes bugger I am not sure this bike is going to be worth much by the time I get home (1 careful owner he only ever went to the shops and back on it please do not mention the fact that the shops where in Alaska!)


    Alaska Yukon Highway[/caption]



    I hit the road again and was heading for Stewart the next bit of civilisation on this road and it was more than 4 hours away so much for short day. I got to the Stewart crossroads at 8pm after a great ride well into the zone it is another 70kms to Stewart where there was a nice hotel I knew or camping round the corner. Well quite an easy choice actually I was joined by a Belgium couple in a van who I had passed about 3 times today who stopped for a chat in Dutch and while we were chatting we got to talking about flies and mosquitoes which where again out and about in abundance I decide to press on into Stewart. (plus I was sure that all the mosquitoes I had packed this morning where probably not dead yet and they will be mighty pissed off with me when I opened the tent bag again so I will let them stew for a couple more days me thinks) No room at the Inn so tried another one but to expensive but the receptionist mentioned a place in Hyder called the Sealaska Inn and even called them for me to see if they had an affordable room wow now that is what I call service.





    So headed over the border again into Alaska and I had a very simple room single bed a light and plug all for 40 bucks with a shared bog and shower why are there not more places like this as this is all I need at the end of the day I do not need all that hotel type of stuff. By the time I had a shower as I was a bit pongy as I had not had one today it was gone 9pm and it turned out that in this cool place no food is to be had after 8pm so it looks like I am going to bed a hungry as I could not be bothered to drive back to Stewart which would mean crossing a border to get my dinner. I went for a walk and I had a chat with a drunk who was also the local councillor member in Stewart as well as the lollipop man on the roads (man with the stop go sign) very entertaining than back to the room to veg.


    #50
  11. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Hyder to Smithers, Saturday, 14 July 2012, Day 40


    Wet day[/caption]

    Dry, Wet, Dry Wet, sort of dry nope-wet etc. That is how it went today I slept in till 10am today I am not sure if I am short of sleep but I am still feeling very fatigued. I packed the bike and headed up a dirt road to a bear-viewing place I had been to the last time I was here and it was heaving and I did see a bear however this time I was the only one there and they had not seen any bears yet this year so I did not hang around to long and headed back to Stewart for some breakfast in a nice bakery I knew from last time. And then it started to pour with rain and as I was only a couple of miles from breakfast I decided to keep going and not bother with me waterproofs. However this decision did not take into consideration a 10 minute wait at some road works and an interrogation at the border while crossing back into Canada so I was soaking wet by the time I got to the café. It had not changed so had great little breakfast and a dry out then I eventually decide to hit the road as it was not raining so hard as I hit the road but for the rest of the day it was either pouring with rain so I got soaked to the skin and then would dry out again only to get wet all over again 30 minutes later so as I said at the beginning.Dry, Wet, Dry Wet, sort of dry nope-wet etc.


    Meziadin Junction[/caption]


    Totem poles[/caption]


    New Hazelton[/caption]



    I had done this route before and it was wet then to so I was not very appreciative then and or now and I am just trying to eat as many km’s as possible but I ran out of steam at the first petrol stop after doing 360km it was about 5pm and I had no energy to go any further and I had spotted a Tim Horton’s so after fuelling up the bike I went to the info center asking about cheap accommodation this time the lad was none to bright as normally the folks in these places are really on the ball but this lad knew nothing about the town and pointed me to the brochures that is not what I wanted however another young lady there stepped in and I find myself in a Guest House which is a bit more than my usual budget but the cheapest in town and its very nice. I need to look after myself as I am such a tired little bear so a little posh every now again is just what the doctor ordered. I went to Safeway to buy my microwave dinner (save money this way) and I have been playing with the computer all night seemingly it looks like drop box has deleted all my old pictures which I was storing there as a back up as I reached my limit or something so I am now moving everything to Amazon Cloud instead this will take a while I am not sure about Drop Box anymore or maybe the stuff is out there but I cannot find it which is not much help. So folks who have got access to drop box can you tell me what you can see and if it looks like all the early stuff has gone and all you see is the latest? Beddy byes I cannot think straight anymore
    #51
  12. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    277
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    Smithers to Prince George, Sunday, 15 July 2012, Day 41


    Parking tonight in a hot tub showroom[/caption]

    Hot day it was 25 degree centigrade all day so again completely different from yesterday. I decided to take it a bit easier so I only did 380km today.


    Two of my favourite things[/caption]


    The Hills are alive with![/caption]


    Dandelions![/caption]

    Done this run before very pleasant country side and on the way I saw a sign for a car show so I followed it and I ended up by a small classic car show next to a lake which was pleasant I had a wander around and then made tracks to Prince George to a Hostel I had found in one of the many brochures I had been given by those helpful folks at the info centres.


    Bear Lake Classic Car[/caption]









    I arrived at about 5pm ish checked in and my bike is parked in a hot tub show room so she has got a better place than I have. A biker runs this place so bikers are well looked after here. I went for a walk to the Supermarket and the place is dead as we are right in the center of town and it’s a Sunday and gorgeous weather so everybody has headed out to the lakes or out of town. I brought a memory stick to make a copy of all my photos as I think drop box has deleted all the old ones and I only keeping the new ones as I went over my limit but no warning was given I am a bit pissed off with this so I am moving stuff to amazon cloud but this takes time as I have more than 8GB of photos so far so the stick is a temporary fall back option till I get everything on a cloud it would be bugger if I lost all my photos. I am not sure if I will keep up with Drop Box as once you have to start paying its not that cheap and I will look to see if I can share my stuff on Amazon Cloud once I get it on there. Anyone know if this possible? While we a talking geeky stuff was going to move my web site to blogger but I was having problems loading picture which had to be done via Picasa and there limits on how many pictures you can load and then I read that Google was going to shut down both blogger and Picasa and move it as part of the Google plus package so I had no idea what is happening there so its back to drawing board there. Not much to report today but I needed a shorter day in the saddle and plan another one tomorrow to Jasper I may have a rest up then



    [​IMG]

    Strange Flowerpots[/caption]
    #52
  13. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    277
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    Netherlands
    Prince George to Jasper, Monday, 16 July 2012, Day 42


    On the road to Jasper[/caption]

    I forgot to mention yesterday an encounter I had with a brown bear as I was zooming down the road I came round a corner and in the middle of the road was a brown bear I was doing some speed and he seem reluctant to move, now when this normally happens with the smaller animals you just brace yourself and hope they get out of the way and if not there will be a bit of squish and a small bump no problem so far no bump with the larger animals they normally have a bit of panic but eventually move however with this fella he seem reluctant to move and I was bearing down on him fast (get the pun) mmm what to do luckily he decided to move and I whizzed pass safely but scary and exciting all at the same time.



    Now on with today I pulled the bike out of the hot tub showroom she seemed reluctant to leave cannot blame her as she is in serious need of some serious TLC she already has 19,000km on the clock and as yet never had a proper service I need to think about new tyres, new brake pads and a bloody good service I am waiting till I hit the US for some reason I think it may be cheaper there. It was a hot day but unfortunately there was what I thought was a heat haze but I found out later that they’re where some huge fires in Siberia and this was the result so even if the scenery was gorgeous I was unable to see much of it. Luckily it cleared up when hit Alberta and drove into Jasper National Park.


    Mount Robson[/caption]



    I had checked at McBride to see if there any place at the Jasper Hostel the answer was no but I decided to try anyhow and hey guess what there was room there when I arrived as there had been a cancelation so quick drive back to town as it about 7km out of town in the mountains to stock up for some provisions for dinner and then spent the rest of the evening trying to get pictures loaded on Amazon Cloud and failing miserably I am giving up on technology and I just found there is a max of 5GB only on Amazon Cloud for Dutch users why it is beyond me so again I am reviewing the situation.

    The clocks had gone back an hour and this is a real hostel and the lights went out at 11pm which was 10pm for me so an enforced early night in a room with 42 other people which is a new record for me.
    #53
  14. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Jasper, Tuesday, 17 July 2012, Day 43


    Jasper[/caption]

    I have been whining about being tired a lot so I decided to have a rest day in Jasper well that was the plan I did have a bit of kip in or as much as you can with 42 other people getting up at various times. The plan was to go for walk up Whistler Mountain which was 7.5km what they failed to mention is that it is all up hill and you guessed it loads of flies I made it the top of the cable car in about 2 ¾ hours very hot and sweaty.


    Jasper[/caption]





    It was another 1.5 km to the top which I did at a very leisurely pace as I was knackered but worth it as the views were spectacular I could see storms further down the valley and I was just happy to soak up all the scenery it was breath taking I am a very happy bunny I was glad that I had done the walk even though was mosquito and fly food for most of the way.


    Jasper[/caption]



    I had decided to get the cable car down as I could not face the mossies’ and they do not check for tickets on the way down so I saved a few bucks on this. I got back to the hostel at about 5pm and had a little lie down as I was a little bit tired!


    Canada Rocks[/caption]

    I then had a shower and then got on the bike into Jasper for me supper KFC Kentucky Fried Chicken or PFK Poulet Frit Kentucky for the French among you I felt I deserved some grease after all the energy I had expended today I also went for a wander and I sat on a bench and watched the world go buy a lot less flies and mosquitoes here which was a relief. I also went for a bit of a spin on what was supposed to be a bike free day but it was a lovely evening and there were a couple of lakes I had seen from the top of the mountain that looked worth a visit and when you on the bike and moving the flies and mosquitoes are less of a bother. Back to the hostel and updating this I will be glad tonight for the 11pm lights out tomorrow the Parkway and I am staying in Lake Louise tomorrow night weather may be a bit stormy in the morning but sunshine later in the day. So that’s a rest day and I am tireder than yesterday but a happy tired :-)


    Lake Patricia for me Mum[/caption]
    #54
  15. Rutabaga

    Rutabaga Been here awhile

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    737
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    Southeast Lower Carolina
    Thanks for posting this wonderful story. I peeked at your blog but decided to continue with this source as long as you have the energy to continue the story here. I agree with your conclusions about Tim Hortons being a source of comfort on the road because they are familiar and predictable. I think that is a human need at certain times, meals and rest periods.
    #55
  16. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Jasper to Lake Louise, Wednesday, 18 July 2012, Day 44


    It Looks like a bear to me[/caption]









    There had been a storm during the night and some rain was expected today so I packed my bike very quickly as the mosquitoes where already out in there droves and I hit the road to Lake Louise. I had done this road 4 years ago so I was very familiar with it it was very pleasant but very familiar so maybe there is a lesson to be learnt here that I should not go back to familiar places that I liked in case they may not live up to my old expectations or I may have a to high of an expectations. Nice enough drive stopping of and taking pictures at the same places I had done in 2008.


    Jasper National Park[/caption]



    I had big plans to go out on the Glacier tour when I reached the Ice Parkway but when I got there it was crawling with tourists and the queue was enormous and I did not fancy mingling with all the tourists as I am not a big fan of mass tourism and I guess I had been spoilt rotten over the last couple of weeks as I had been in the far north where there are very few tourist who actually make it up there. I am going to have to get used to mass tourism, as I will be soon entering the mass tourism capital of the world the good old US of A so I have to get used to be amongst people again. It took most of the day to do the 230km from Jasper to Lake Louise as I was in no particular hurry and I was soaking in the views and latter in the day it was me who was soaking as it was raining again it had been just been keeping clear all day but it got me very briefly at the end I could see it up the road and behind me and it tried a few times where I nearly succumbed to stopping and getting the waterproofs out finally it had caught up to me but luckily it was only a brief shower.


    Jasper National Park[/caption]



    I had buggered my leg walking to a scenic lookout point it had cramped up solid in the left calf I did this a couple of weeks ago for the first time when I was in Whitehorse so I will be limping for a couple of days again as I am not sure what it is but when I am knackered my leg has a habit of stiffening up or cramping up its actually quite a good warning system only problem is that I end up walking like a prick for a couple days. I got to the Hostel at Lake Louise but its about 5 km away from the lake so not sure old stiff leg here is up to that today so went for a shorter walk to the local supermarket to get some food for my dinner they had very little choice so my feast for this evening is Heinz bake beans and pita bread. I am living like a king me.



    Spent a pleasant evening listening to 3 First Nation Elders talking about their relationship with the Banff national Park around a campfire. This was a session organised by the hostel and it was very interesting except for some young German prick asking irrelevant or not appropriate questions which I felt spoilt the flow a bit other than that a very civilised and pleasant way to spend an evening and dare I say it the mosquitoes situation does not seem as bad as it was in Jasper. Last night I was talking to a very attractive German girl at a camp fire and I could only last for about 10 minutes before been driven inside by mosquitoes so to sit outside for more than 2 hours is very pleasant as I was crawling up the walls after 5 minutes yesterday so those extra 5 minutes took some serious will power. I hate mosquitoes!!!! Hopefully there will be less and less here's hoping.
    #56
  17. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Lake Louise to Chase, Thursday, 19 July 2012, Day 45


    Lake Louise[/caption]

    Hot hot hot it was up to 33 degrees centigrade and around the 30 degrees mark all day so a hot and sweaty day however the route I did was gorgeous but I did not stop very much for photographs as every time I did I started to bake so best plan of action was to keep on moving so that is what I did. First thing I did was head down to the Lake to do the mandatory photo of the lake, me and all of the rest of the tourists it was so bad that people where actually queuing up to get a shot.


    Lake Louise[/caption]



    Yuk not my scene at all so headed up to another lake nearby and it was the same story there. Both of the lakes where absolutely gorgeous, but in my view there where far to many tourists for my taste.


    Moraine Lake[/caption]



    I had plan on how to get Vancouver and I had made my decision on where the 1<sup>st</sup> nearest Tim Horton’s was how sad is that I even went on the internet to locate this info (actually it was a lady in Parks Canada who said this route may be nicer more parks to go through not the lure of cinnamon rolls honest Indian) A long day in the saddle through some lovely scenery at one stage it was like driving along Lake Como in Italy only nicer National park after National park it was absolutely brilliant.


    Not Staying Here![/caption]

    Later scenery turned to rolling hill and farmland as I headed to Vernon where I heard there was a bike motorcycle rally on called Sturgis of the North. I seen pictures of the original Sturgis which is a small town with streets lined with motorcycle well this was not at all like this it was out of town and you had to buy tickets for it so I decided this is not my scene loads of fat old men with ill fitting leathers on Harleys (I have just described myself except for the Harley part!) I headed for a hostel I had read about the night before where you sleep in old worker railway carriages and an excellent decision that was as I am still here the following day. A real cool place next to a river were there are 4 old railway carriage that used to be used as sleeping quarters by the workers on the railroads and an old fashion general store a very eclectic place that I am staying another night after a great night sleep. Big boy toys playing at railways drivers Chu Chu I love it!









    [​IMG]

    I am staying here my latest digs :-)[/caption]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    Fun evening I met a mad (her words not mine) French girl called Matilda who wanted to do an interview of me why I have no idea but I spent a fun evening with me being filmed and interviewed I shall try and share this on the net if I can so that you can all have a laugh at my expense. And to top it all I spent all night outside and very few mosquitoes here and a gorgeous sunset what more can you ask for a very pleasant day.


    [​IMG]
    Nice Sunset![/caption]

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    #57
  18. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    <strong>Interviews off me with Mathilda Zeishen famous french Camera lady can be viewed on youtube unfortunately not yet edited!</strong>











    #58
  19. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Chase, Friday, 20 July 2012, Day 46


    Powwow[/caption]

    Well I had a sort of a rest day I had decided that I really liked this place as it had a really good vibe about it. I had also signed up for a pancake breakfast, which was at 8 am but worth it fresh fruit pancakes with lashings of maple syrup and loads of coffee so an excellent start to the day. I just lazed around the communal area chatting with anyone who was around I checked the videos that Mathilda had made and tried to load them to my Website but I think that this has killed it so have been working on getting this rectified for the last couple of days now but I think I am back in Business I am not sure how I am going to share the videos of my interview as they are quite cool I will get back to you on that. I eventually decided I needed to do something I can only hang around for so long so I went for a ride to Salmon Arm which was about 40km away so even on a rest day end up doing about 100km! On the way there saw a sign for a Motorcycle Museum so I had to stop there. Great little place the guy was showing about 60 odd bikes he had restored of different ages and types with a whole load more ready to be done and he also had theatre showing the Isle of Man races so as you can imagine I hung around there for a while.


    Motorcycle Museum[/caption]







    I finally tore my self away from this great little place deciding that I want a set up like this when I grow up :-) and I am headed to Salmon Arm. The weather had been dull and overcast all day and it started to blow a real gale and also started to rain so got to Salmon Arm and I took shelter at the Tim Horton’s there (No that was not the reason I went there it is just a happy coincidence) It did not look like it was easing of so headed back to the Hostel. It was pissing down and black as hell in the distance but I was fortunate that I did not get to wet where I was. I spent the afternoon chewing the fat with Mathilda and two German girls who where working there another pleasant afternoon.











    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Later on I went for short walk along the river where someone had hung a whole load of Barbie’s and other thing in the tree so it was like a bit of a discovery trail finding amusing things hidden or hanging in trees. That evening there was Powwow at the Indian Reservation around the corner so I spent a great watching and listening to the Native Indians do there stuff excellent entertainment and to top it tried the local delicacy Indian Chilli with there deep fried bread called bannock which was heel lekker.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Late night for a rest day was happy to be back in my caboose however I did not have it to myself this evening so had to keep my chew chew noises a bit quieter this evening. Great rest day even though the weather was crap needed it.
    #59
  20. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Chase to Whistler, Saturday, 21 July 2012, Day 47


    I do like locomotives[/caption]

    I woke up to glorious sunshine which lasted all day I had fruit pancakes again for breakfast and I was still debating on whether to stay another day as I had lot of affection for this great little place but the lure of the open road was pulling me so I packed me stuff slowly enjoying the sun Malthilda was filming this as well. Curious as to what this looks like when she puts it all together I have been quite the celebrity while I have been here filmed and interviewed I quite enjoyed the attention (British Understatement).


    Revelstoke[/caption]



    Heading was Whistler sun was shining and the roads where great so I was very happy.


    Lillootoe[/caption]

    The scenery was still mountains but instead of them being covered with trees it was grass, which had been in the Sun to long so not green but like those spaghetti westerns and later the trees came back and the mountains got more rugged as I reached Whistler.


    Pemberton[/caption]



    Gorgeous day got to the Hostel International about 4pm total contrasts from where I had stayed in my train last night this was dead posh and a bit more expensive. Last night had spades loads more character this place was sterile and missed any vibe it was to perfect in my view but all in all pleasant place to stay I just missed the charm of the trains, and the general store and the eclectic common area of the HI-Shuswap Lake (<a href="http://www.hihostels.ca/1096/Search.hostel?q=Chase">Chase</a>) Squilax General Store. That Good I added a link <a href="http://www.hihostels.ca/westerncanada/173/HIShuswap_Lake_Squilax_General_Store/index.hostel">http://www.hihostels.ca/westerncanada/173/HIShuswap_Lake_Squilax_General_Store/index.hostel</a>

    I went to the local store to get some food for dinner Whistler is a ski resort very modern not much to say about it other than the mountains, which are great all year round, it could be any other ski resort. I spent that evening trying to fix my Webpage and get FTP access to the site but I failed miserably but I did manage the following morning to delete my Website and later reload it all again so I think I am up an running. Another late night as was chatting to a nice Kiwi couple whilst working my PC issues.
    #60