Shnizzle to Alaska/Dust to Dawson...5 years later

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by theshnizzle, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    Yep. We gotta promote that business. I like folks that make a career change and the motel business isn't easy. But it appears they are on the right track.

    See you guys at bell motel next time north!
    #81
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  2. black 8

    black 8 Been here awhile

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    Yeeeeaaaaaaah that was my bike.

    I was on my way back from the Arctic Circle and stopped at D2D for the 25th Anniversary. The Yukon Motel in Teslin was my destination for that day and I was 4 miles out when I started to slow down for the construction zone and hit a patch of loose gravel leading to a "tank slapper". I could not recover and went across the road into the ditch. I was OK nothing broken but the bike's instrument cluster, forks and front wheels were toast. Luckily MLA Stacey Hassard came upon me and took me to the local medical treat facility for a check-up and he went back to recover my bike for me. Took nearly four months for Listers in Whitehorse to get the parts in for repairs. I had hoped to finish my ride but winter had arrived and I recovered the bike by trailer...

    IMG_1497.jpg DSC00038.jpg
    #82
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  3. Gordon

    Gordon MC Rider

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    First time I was on the Cassair it was almost all dirt gravel and mud. Made for a magnificent adventure. Thanks for the memories enjoying your RR so much.
    #83
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  4. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    Oh dear. How unfortunate for you. I'm glad you were OK though. How can parts for a KLR be 4 months...even for whitehorse? Ho-ly.

    Can't you buy most parts at Walmart or staples? :D

    Unbelievable that here we are again,you and I. I' probably going to run into you at the grocery store today....or at the gas station. It doesn't matter we live in different countries. We will be running into each other ....it' just a matter of when and where... :-)
    #84
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  5. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    Thanks to all who have "liked" and followed along,I appreciate that you have chosen to give my puny rr some time out of your day.

    I'm getting close to the end but I have one or two more little incedents to share with you. I will also do some summing up of what worked,what didnt, camp kit ect,ect.
    #85
  6. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    Now I am just powering through the prairies. It has been another long day and i, again follow signs to a community campground. I don't use a GPS but I read signs and I pretty much find everything I need. I had stopped late, I didn't realize I had gone through another time zone. I was set up just before it got dark.

    I noticed the sky had some lovely colors and the cloud's were showing some cool colors and formations. I was just getting ready to take a pic when the wind suddenly picked up. I put down my phone and readjusted my tarp, lowering closer to my tent.

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    Then I thought that a couple more guy lines might be in order. Now the wind is picking up like crazy and fast. Once I had secured the tarp I started to tuck my things away. But,alas, I was going to experience a nasty prairies windstorm.

    #86
  7. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    Oh shit! wheres my tent? And my stuff? Gone,gone. I couldn't get the tarp down at that point, you know, cause I had extra guy lines on. I managed to grab that video before the wind REALLY kicked in. My helmet started to travel and the heavier things I hadn't secured yet. I was able to stuff some of my things into my dry bag and secure it underneath the bike behind the front wheel.

    Then I started scurrying around the campground looking for my mat,sleeping bags, pillow and most importantly,my packable down jacket. The tent,thankfully,had gotten hung up on a tree but it was a BITCH to try and disassemble it in that wind. I was able to find everything, a miracle! between the fencing and the motor homes there stuff had gotten hung up and stuck here and there.

    There was no way I was going to be able to setup the tent again and I was exhausted by the time I had found everything and secured it. So after many hops over this fence, more like heaving myself over since my boots were to big to tuck a toe in the the chain links, and I'm a size 6...every time I got on top of the fence I would kind of flop over and land in a ungainly pile. It was....ugly 20170621_050538.jpg

    See that porch over there? That's where I "slept". It was probably about 11.30 pm by the time I lay down and tried to decompress by reading a bit.

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    This is what my site looked like the next morning.

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    #87
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  8. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    And this...
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    Prairie camping!! Yay!! ( dunno if that linky worked for my little video, I have never done a video post before, I just fumbled around trying different things and hoping for the best)

    The next night of camping,again in a community campground, the first thing I did was put up a rude windbreak using my tarp so I could get the tent hp. See....I'm learning....

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    Look how happy and pleased that bicyclist is in the backround? You poor bastard. You have no idea what you are in for riding across the prairies on a bicycle on the trans Canada highway. Enjoy this moment. It's probably the last time you will smile for a week.
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    Instead of riding across northern Ontario I choose to ride across the UP,upper peninsula. I dropped down 10 south of brandon. Riding sideways all the way down to Rugby. Exhausting. After a long day I found a nice big site somewhere, dammit! I need my journal,need the info people!

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    #88
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  9. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    I'm not the most skilled rider in the world so I tend to park the bike where it's easiest for me to leave in the morn. I'm not interested to winding around trees and over roots and other obstacles. I had planned to stop at Aerostitch since it's right on the way. I happily wandered my way through picking out this and that andcediting,editing. Gotta watch that exchange rate you know.

    Without getting into details, but I tend to get a little frustrated with men who talk down to me like I started riding 5 minutes ago. ( despite my paragraph above, which makes it sound I DID in fact, start riding 5 minutes ago) . You don't need to speak slowly or raise your voice....sigh....I'm well aware of what bikes fit me and which ones don't after much exhaustive and expensive research. I know how to pack my bike, thanks. I am always open to learning something new,there is always a better way to do something but ......arghhhh

    Just the way the info was delivered was tiresome.
    Clearly my bike shows I have been around and I am all geared up so I must have some idea of what I am doing ,but thanks for your suggestions. Not to man bash, it's just a few now and then these days. Plus I'm a fat old broad so not much to see here. Anyway, a wee rant for a moment...

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    Oh man, here comes one of my favorite campsites of the trip. Rivals Smithers and kaslo only in comfort not scenery. This was yet another community campground in the UP. I was off in the corner ,under a picnic shelter, with a huge bathhouse to myself with a hot water shower that refused to run out. I had several picnic tables to spread my crap everywhere . I was almost praying for rain so I could smugly sit under the shelter and be mighty pleased with myself.

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    How sweet is that?!. I rather enjoyed the UP. It was a bit pokey at times but there were interesting roadside attractions to pass by and riding along the lake. I almost stopped for the night in Sudbury but I looked at my map and once you see the bend heading you southbound, home doesn't seem that far. It was far but I can justify anything.

    I left my campsite above at 6.10 am and rolled into my driveway,home again home again, at 10.50 pm.

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    My first pic I took I had a grimace of tiredness on my face so I gave a smile and took another one. I admit I needed some help getting off the bike at that point. I was pretty seized up, THAT was a long day the last one of many long days on my return ride.
    #89
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  10. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    I enjoyed riding with a partner this time around but I was was glad to do the majority of the trip solo. A bit of a dichotomy, I know. I couldn't have found a better riding companion than joe, THANK YOU for your company, generosity and sense of humour. I very much look forward to riding with you again in the future, if you will have me.

    What worked for me.....packing cubes and vacuum bags! The cubes were awesome because I assigned one for each purpose. Toiletries, utilities, food, cookware....I could reach in and pull out exactly what I need in the dark. I packed the bike the same way every day. Sometimes that would change, as you know, bike packing is a somewhat organic experience, it's never quite the same every day, but my cubes went in the same way,same side,every day.
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    The cubes has little handles on them that I usually packed handles up,super easy to pull one out. Mesh tops so I could see at a glance what's inside. Pink raincoat, msr cup, face wipes, flushable wipes ,shoes, jetboil, a couple other small items.

    20170625_104528.jpg
    I LOVE being organized and I hate in top loader bags you want to fish out one thing and everything tumbles to the bottom.

    This pannier has my tent,my sleep pad,sleeping bag, pegs, chair, couple extra dry bags,

    20170625_110523.jpg

    I put my clothes in vacuum bags that used a little plastic slider to squeeze out the air. I put the bags through he'll and I didn't have one tear. I packed lots of extra sliders, they are tiny. I couldn't have lived without my packable down Jacket from costco. As a luxury I brought a packable down blanket from costco.

    20170625_104837.jpg
    #90
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  11. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    You know I'm packing small and light when I can get my tent and sleeping bag stacked on top of each other sideways in a rectangular side case. The clothes in the vacuum bags were small, compressed and flat so they could slide and be snug in the sidecases laying lengthwise. ( not shown, this was all the next day) . The top box held my cooler, a jar of peanut butter, maps, headlamp, a extra sweater, various small and sundry items that I would need easy access to during the day. I try my best to keep the top box as light as possible, the cooler can get heavy so I tuck it as far towards the back of the box as possible.
    20161121_084458.JPG

    Looks like that but with less clothes. I didn't bring much in way of clothes. Just items that I could layer and poly and merino wool that I could wash and dry by hand and have it dry overnight...hopefully. I carried 2 msr fuel bottles with my tool bag in between to give a semi level platform for my drybag. I never used the fuel. Did use the tool bag...it's a BMW.....:D

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    The sidecar tops carried light items, my tent poles, my yoga mat and my gel seat pad that I made in whitehorse.
    #91
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  12. Gordon

    Gordon MC Rider

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    Thanks for the ride
    #92
  13. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    Sidecar.....sheesh....sidecase. ....I found I could do long days starting on the stock seat, then after lunch, put on the sheepie, then switch that out and end the day on the gel seat. I needed to be careful with that as it raised me up pretty high but that combo really relieved and changed pressure points. Each one aligns your body and adjusts your position so it's very refreshing.

    Stopping and stetching out with yoga really was awesome for enjoying the ride. I sat taller, more relaxed and aware afterwards. The yoga mat does triple duty as I used it for a pad just outside my tent door and rolled up under my knees when I was rolling and packing and to keep things clean and dry when they were on the ground.

    I needed a cramp buster just after leaving ontario. I have several at home. Safe at home hanging on a pegboard. Crap. I struggled with reading material. I really couldn't decide what books to bring. I ended up bringing three for chrissakes! !!! I may have finished one the whole trip but I couldn't bear to leaveany behind.

    I finally did at the book swap in Whitehorse but instead of lightening my load by one book, I traded a John Grisham book for one titled
    " how to be a optimist". Lol.

    I started the trip in a bit of a rush and frenzy, there was no need ,I was just anxious to get on the road. I almost bailed on the road and turned the bike south instead because of the cold and the rain and the fact that I was wet despite my goretex. In kenora at the mcdees I was wet down both shoulders front and back with my helmet saturated. Not fun.

    At least south I would be wet but warm. I also started to semi defeat myself when I thought about how far I had to go. I tend to push myself to often and lessen the joy of the ride but I just want to get to the "good stuff ". I'm not much of a sightseer. Nor am I terribly social I think. I still ate light on the trip and lost about 8/10 pounds. Gained back, boo hoo.

    I enjoyed more motels this time around since I was able to share the cost. I could get used to that. I think that I will probably be leaning more in that direction ,a mix of motel and camping. I say that now but when it comes time to open my wallet wide for a room I may bail. I have run out of tolerance to ride in the rain all day and then camp in the rain.

    I found riding a f6t0gs up there was to easy. It took away the interest of riding a mostly unsuitable bike where it should probably not go. The fuel economy was great and carrying ability super as was comfort level but it wasn't exciting. Really, most likely since it was my second time up and I knew what was in store. It lacked the wow factor of new territory to see. Or something, I don't know how to verbalize it.

    I guess since I am older now and the first trip up was my first multi week trip that will color everything a different shade. Perhaps unfair to compare one to the other. I will definitely go again.

    Sea to summit MC II sleeping bag........ Warm enough ,just, but packs down to nothing, and I mean nothing. A small cantalope.

    MSR hubba nx.solo...... Big fan. Again, packs down to nothing. Enough room...just.

    Exped down mat 7 short with shnozzle bag. .....super comfortable and warm. Hated squishing the air out in the am,always took a couple of tries to get it small enough.

    Helinox chair one.....I have a kermit, too big ,bulky and heavy for this trjp.

    Siltarp....great lightweight tarp. that I used cam jams with. No knots needed and super quick to get a tarp up and very easy to adjust tension. I'm converted.

    Exped inflatable pillow.....decent enough, better with the cover. I still prefer my Nemo fillo pillow but it was to bulky.

    Jet boil minimo. ....typical JB, overkill for what I needed. But I like how fast it boils and how stable it is.

    Sea to summit x plate and bowls.....love S to S products. The teakettle is the cutest thing.

    Sea to summit alpha light cutlery.......love,love.

    Tent pegs.....aluminum with the spiraly shape with the hook at the ends. The msr groundhogs....shite. bend and break.

    Kappa k venture side bags.....no leaks ever.

    Givi gravel t waterproof tankbag......no leaks ever.

    Givi 40 litre drybag.....no leaks ever AND lightweight. I don't want a kriega, they weigh a ton empty.

    Givi 45 litre E45 topcase.....I have the matching aluminum kappa k venture topcase BUT it was 7 pounds heavier than the givi plastic one empty. SEVEN POUNDS.

    Sea to summit compression bags.....yes please.

    Kreiga 5 litre bag that I used as a tool bag. Zipties, compressor, tire plug kit, chain lube, jb weld,

    Metzler tourance. ...installed just before I left. Lasted the whole trip and you know north roads are brutal on tires.

    Black diamond rechargeable headlamp. ..it was ok. A bit heavy.

    I have gerbings hested jacket andcgloves. Left them at home. To heavy and bulky. I did ok without them with good layering.

    KLIM overland jacket and pants.....really comfortable. I also have the misano and I reach for these every time.

    Daytona lady'stars gtx......waterproof and comfortable,easy on and off. Can get a bit uncomfortable to wear with to much walking due to hidden rise giving a extra inch in height. Toes kinda start to slide forward.

    2008 BMW f650gs....a bike I bought.....sold.....and bought back. Don't ask.......sheesh! I kept waiting for the stator to take a dump....

    Leatherman wave multitool with bit kit.....never used but obviously need to have.

    Shoei neotec....love the modular helmets. I'm a convert. Talk to a companion, ask directions, drink hot chocolate...all without removing your helmet.

    Sena SMH10....I hardly listened to any music the whole trip.

    Paper maps. Various dry bags, vacuum bags and packing cubes from winners/tj maxx. No name and worked perfectly.

    Adventure medical first aid kit. ....put some extra stuff in it.

    No PLB.

    Bear spray and bear bangers...


    What have I missed?

    Ah....next time I will use a real camera and not my phone. Or some sort of small light point and shoot. I found using the phone for pics a pain. Samsung note 3. It was big and bulky and a struggle to slide it in and out of my pockets easily plus I had to take off my gloves all the time for a shot.


    I kept only to what I needed, I didn't have backups for my backups for my backups. I carried only tools that I was somewhat confident I could use on my own. I shipped souvenir stuff home twice. If I hadn't used it in a week or so of riding, it was gone.

    Regular fuel. Never again will I own a bike that requires premium. My busas all saw regular as well. See, I should say.....I just bought another hayabusa because I'm a fucking mess. At least it's cheaper than crack....barely...and I'm not a drug addict or a alcoholic so there's that....but this is my 4th busa...... Someone help me.....

    Thanks so much for coming along. I hope you enjoyed the ride and maybe got a chuckle or two along the way.
    #93
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  14. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    Happy trails! Thanks Joe for the pic...

    Riding-with-theshizzel-1-of-1-1.jpg
    #94
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  15. black 8

    black 8 Been here awhile

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    Really enjoyed your RR and for bringing back some memories, hope to run into you again in a future ride to Alaska and D2D... cheers...
    #95
  16. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    Thank you black 8. Safe travels to you and let's' hope our parts cross again.
    #96
  17. Yooper_Bob

    Yooper_Bob Long timer

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    Da UP, eh! (Marquette, MI)
    :thumb
    #97
  18. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    Wow I was tired... our paths!
    #98
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  19. RevyRider

    RevyRider FXD Traveler

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    Nicely done, I enjoyed reading your RR. Some great pictures as well. Thanks for sharing. Cheers!
    #99
  20. RJ44

    RJ44 Adventurer

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    Fantastic stuff. Thanks for sharing.

    Rob