Questor and Motoadventuregal goto Alaska

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Questor, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. Pussboy

    Pussboy 'Zed's dead, baby. Zed's dead.'

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    Subscribed! I am trying to get "The Mrs." to comprehend how far it is up there! What did you end up averaging per day over the 31 day trip? Nice report! Great Pics!
    #61
  2. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    Good question.
    While Tiger loves to do back to back 800+ mile days, I had to promise MAG to keep most of our days at around 250 miles.
    In retrospect this worked out well. This was actually more of a casual vacation and less of a military precision death march.
    We were able to sleep in, lounge, and stop at lots of interesting spots along the way, like pie stores and hot springs.

    There are lots of Provincial Parks along the way to spend the night, so there is not need to stretch the days out. Although the "midnight sun" effect of being near the north pole during the summer solstice took some getting used to. It never really got dark. If you wanted to you could ride for 22 hours a day and never have to turn your headlights on. This perpetual daylight eventually became a problem as it made it hard to sleep at night, and after a couple weeks we started to suffer from sleep deprivation. Although it was cool to be able to drink beer at 1:00am and have it seem like it was 6:00pm.
    But I digress... Wait till we get to Dawson and the "Dust to Dawson" party.

    Q~
    #62
  3. Tall Mike

    Tall Mike TAT Rookie (planning!)

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    Subscribed! (Gotta get my passport so I can do this too! ) :lurk
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  4. roadchick

    roadchick Been here awhile

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    You two really know how to tell a story!!! The pics are fantastic:clapLove reading about your escapades over my morning coffee.... can hardly wait for our trip this summer!!!
    #64
  5. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    It turns out we had another great evening.
    The next morning I discovered that Brandt drank the entire bottle of red wine by himself, and I drank all 6 cans of that 5% pilsner.

    But all the bikes had been corralled and hobbled so they would not wander off in the night as we slept soundly.
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    You may notice that Brandt's bike does not have a license plate.
    It turns out, that with all the extra weight of his luggage, the license plate made contact with his rear tire and was ripped off the back of his bike.
    But Brandt heard the noise, and circled back and picked it up.

    Here's how he reattached it. :rofl
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    It was late by the time we got Camp Snuggly all packed up.
    We needed food and more Internet so we went back 10 miles or so to Fort Saint John.
    Here's Brandt's bike parked in front of the super market.
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    I'm still amazed by how much he carried, and the fact that it all stayed on his bike. :eek1 Even on the dirt roads!

    So we stocked up on supplies for a special dinner
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    and headed back north towards our 'special lakeside camping spot" for the evening. On the map it looks like it was going to be an awesome place.

    Heading north to Andy Bailey Provincial Park.
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    More big trucks hauling logs.
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    Have you started to figure out that so far this trip consists of a lot of straight pavement?
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    A few hours later we stopped at an intersection and made some sandwiches.
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    "Your Lunch is served Sir..." :yum
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    While eating lunch, I looked at the front of my bike.
    It was covered with tons of bugs.
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    I guess that's to be expected.

    The skies looked like they were threatening rain, so we zipped up our vents and kept riding to our destination.
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    It did rain briefly.
    Later we stopped for gas. You could tell that there is not much population up here. The gas stations were far apart, and pretty minimal.
    They would get even more primitive.
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    By the way. Gas is also pretty expensive up here. About $5 a gallon.
    I can't imagine how much it would cost to drive one of the big RV's we kept seeing up here. I think later we stopped at a gas station and the vehicle before us had bought $400 worth of fuel. I think I took a picture. I bet I'll find if in future photographs.
    A typical day would cost about $35 to $40 worth of gas. Tiger averaged 42 MPG on this trip.

    On the road again.
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    Just can't wait to get on the road again.
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    Goin' places that I've never been.
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    Seein' things that I may never see again
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    Just can't wait to get OFF the road again.
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    Ahh... That's better!
    See, we had to ride about 10 miles down a dirt road to get to our campsite.
    Brandt, on his overloaded Kantana and bald tires followed us.

    Eventually we made it to our camp area.
    We unpacked and set up Camp Snuggly.
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    Had our victory beer...
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    Cooked our yummy dinner...
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    Ate the yummy dinner...
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    Off of newspaper since we forgot to buy plates.
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    Since we were in Grizzly Bear country we had to hang the Bear Bag.
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    It's actually a funny story. The first time we hung the bag, it was too heavy and the tree simply bent to the ground. We had to try another tree. :lol3

    Then we hid in the tent since the bugs were so bad.
    My notes simply read, "Mosquito Hell."
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    Later that evening the "ranger" came by. He told us that there had been a Grizzly that had been frequenting the camp, and recently tore the outhouse seat off.
    Then he asked if we had "bangers" or Bear Spray.

    "Nope".

    "So what are you going to do if a bear comes?"

    "Um... Lay here in our tent?"

    He was so unimpressed he just drove away without taking our money.

    We lay in our tent all night hiding from the blood sucking mosquitoes and Grizzly Bears.

    Stats for the day: 237 Miles Moving Average 54.5 Moving Time 4:21 Stopped 2:31 Total 6:52

    Q~
    #65
  6. Ze Red Baron

    Ze Red Baron Adventure seeker

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    Awesome narrative and pics Questor and MAG. Looks like you did it just the right way.

    Keep it coming:ear:ear

    By the way, I've always liked the nine-fiddies, but now I like em even more:evil:evil

    Gero
    #66
  7. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    I like them so much I decided to buy a spare. :lol3

    Q~
    #67
  8. hvilla

    hvilla Been here awhile

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    :lurk

    Subscribed!! Thanks!!
    #68
  9. MCRIDER1959

    MCRIDER1959 Been here awhile

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    Hey Edward, the trip is really unfolding great!:clap
    A quick question. What kind of super market was that in the picture with Brandt stocking up? Looks like they had a ton of dry goods. Did you just bag up the amount you wanted? :ear
    I have never seen a market like that before.
    #69
  10. riverbound51

    riverbound51 So many roads. So little time

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    Subscribed!:lurk

    Great story and ride report. I am planning to head to Alaska myself. I always hear about the Mosquito's. I guess that's the price to pay for the beautiful scenery.
    #70
  11. agplant

    agplant Ride Fast Travel Slo

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    Always love the Alaska ride reports. :lurk
    #71
  12. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    Hello. :wave
    I'm not sure what kind of supermarket it was, but your right, all the bulk food was a great resource. It was hard not to stock up too much. We have very limited storage space on the bikes.

    Q~
    #72
  13. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    Just wait...
    The mosquitoes become a major theme in this Report.
    We actually started a few games and competitions because of them.

    Q~
    #73
  14. Tall Mike

    Tall Mike TAT Rookie (planning!)

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    LOL! Oh Yes, went to Canada I was in high school...More like the Canadian National Bird, or the Royal Canadian Air Force!:lol3 They are determined to collect their tax from your hide! :becca
    Take the best Mosquito repellent and wear lotsa clothes! Is harsh when it's warm...some great water slides up there though too! :clap
    #74
  15. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    As you all may know, I pride myself on being prepared and having the best gear available.
    Two nights from now, wait till you see how I dealt with the bugs. :wink:

    Q~
    #75
  16. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    My notes read, "Woke up at 7:00am. Had to flee bug-land."
    With the swarms of mosquitoes still around, there was no way I was going to attempt to cook breakfast.
    Brandt was still asleep in his tent and we wanted to get going. So to wake him up, we set the alarms off on our bikes! He came crawling out a minute later.
    We quickly tore our camps down and started to pack, but the bugs were horrible, so we put on all our motorcycle gear, including our helmets and proceeded to pack the bikes in full ATGATT.

    Here's Brandt with his helmet on, packing his bike.
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    And here's MAG starting her bike. She would later slowly do laps around the campground to keep ahead of the clouds of bugs, while we finished packing the bikes.
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    My notes read, "Fastest ever camp tear down."

    Then we got the heck out of there.
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    We headed to Fort Nelson for Gas, and breakfast.
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    We stopped at "The Legendary Fort Nelson Hotel" for breakfast.
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    I had the Eggs Benedict. :dg
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    Then we spent some time catching up with the free Wi-Fi.

    It was after breakfast that Brandt started looking at the map, and realized how far from home he was. He had to turn around and head home. We tried to lure him into following us with promises of the Hot Springs at Laird, but he was resolute, and we were forced to part ways.
    We said our goodbyes. He went South, while we went North.
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    The road became more interesting with curves and mountains.
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    At Summit Lake Pass we stopped to admire the view.
    This is the highest point on the Alaska Highway at 1295 meters.
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    Moving on, we passed this gentleman on a Piagio MP3 "Adventure Scooter".
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    We found out later on that he had a very close encounter with a Grizzly Bear.
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    After his trip he decided to sell his scooter...
    Check out his link.
    http://piaggiomp3500.tumblr.com/

    I guess the joke was, a Grizzly Bear can run 35 mph, but the scooter can do 36 mph.

    We saw the same bear a few days earlier at a roadside pull off.

    A few miles down the road, the pavement turned to dirt... or more appropriately, dust.
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    There were a lot of gas stations that were closed long this section of the Alaska Highway.
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    The section around Stone Mountain was very scenic.
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    This was the Alaska that I was expecting.
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    We had to stop so I could get a picture of this Alaska Highway sign.
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    and of course we had to keep an eye out for these strange looking barrel shaped four legged animals with bent tails.
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    We stopped here in Toad River for gas.
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    Remember how I told you the gas stations kept getting more and more rustic?

    We went inside to pay for our gas.
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    That there is some darned interesting interior decorating.

    And check out this snazzy hat!
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    After filling up on gas, we hit the road again.
    Up here there was very little traffic.
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    But we had to keep an eye out for... Reindeer? Caribou?
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    Later we passed Muncho Lake.
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    We stopped and took a few pictures and had a snack.
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    Apparently you need to keep an eye out for Bison in your rear view mirror.
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    But the road ahead looked clear.
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    More "fun" pictures as we got bored... The road was practically deserted. Me might see 30 other vehicles in a whole day.
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    From a distance it looks like a sign warning you to look for Bison being beamed aboard UFO's.
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    The road went on...
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    But later, we did see a Buffalo. :thumb
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    And then a whole herd of them. :eek1
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    After 170+ miles we got to our destination.
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    I guess there are Bear problems here as well.
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    We had gotten to the campground early in the day so we could enjoy a special treat.

    We set up camp.
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    Got our towels and swimsuit and took a walk.
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    and here's our treat.
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    It's beautiful!!! :wings
    And here's what's up.
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    Swim and enjoy. :happay
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    After several hours of soaking and washing several days of grime off of us we headed across the street for dinner.

    But first we had to get past this vicious Polar Bear. :lol3
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    We ordered dinner.
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    And FED!

    After our feeding session, we went back to camp, and hid in our tent from the bugs. I had a couple of beers... and slept really really well.
    A perfect day.

    Stats for the day:
    215 Miles Moving Average 49.7 Moving time 4:19 Stopped 3:05 Total 7:25

    Q~

    Tomorrow the bugs get even worse...<input id="gwProxy" type="hidden"><!--Session data--><input onclick="if(typeof(jsCall)=='function'){jsCall();}else{setTimeout('jsCall()',500);}" id="jsProxy" type="hidden">
    #76
  17. MotoAdventureGal

    MotoAdventureGal Motorcycle Vagabond

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    I remember at Liard it was a good thing we got there early. After 6 pm they had too many campers, so they let folks set up their campsites in the overflow parking lot after the Hot Springs closed to the day-folk.

    I also remember that we set up camp next to Hippie-ville...there were about 8 people at the site next to us that had a perma-camp set up...evidently they were Morel mushroom pickers, which we saw in great numbers along our journey. (More info on morels here.) I guess morel picking can be quite lucrative as they seem to retail for about $160/POUND!
    <input id="gwProxy" type="hidden"><!--Session data--><input onclick="if(typeof(jsCall)=='function'){jsCall();}else{setTimeout('jsCall()',500);}" id="jsProxy" type="hidden">
    <input id="gwProxy" type="hidden"><!--Session data--><input onclick="if(typeof(jsCall)=='function'){jsCall();}else{setTimeout('jsCall()',500);}" id="jsProxy" type="hidden">
    #77
  18. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    Here's a couple of pictures of all the morel mushrooms our neighbors had picked.
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    As $160 a pound, that's about $2000 worth.
    Q~
    #78
  19. Tall Mike

    Tall Mike TAT Rookie (planning!)

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    On the topic of bear protection...I have heard that you can take Pepper Spray rated for bears, but not that rated for human protection.(across the border).. must be a volume thing..:rofl.. as if bear spray wouldn't deter a Human attacker!:lol3 You talked about bangers...?... is that pyrotechnic, or a big spoon and a garbage can lid?
    I like the option of being armed that we have in the U.S. ... but Canadian Bears are more civilized than American bears evidently...gotta go toe to toe with steak knives and your teeth.:lol3 (is a FAIR fight that way.:huh) For the bears maybe.:eek1
    #79
  20. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    You sure that wasn't bear scat ????:huh:huh:huh:huh

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    Ah--hell--you just kick those bears in the nose and they run away..........
    or so I heard :huh:huh:huh
    #80