Solo to Alaska on a KLR-650 a Decade Later

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by black 8, May 6, 2017.

  1. black 8

    black 8 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    517
    Location:
    33.2295 -117.3711
    The banquet wouldn't start until about 6pm but the cash bar opened at 5:30. I would arrived at the Ice Skating Rink, big enough to hold all the riders, at 6-ish and everyone was still pre-flighting so I purchased a Yukon Gold and mingled about. They were also having a silent auction to raise some funds to women's and children's causes. The local Dawson City Firefighters and their spouses were the cooking crew for the evening and after having freeze dried meals throughout this trip; that grilled steak, potatoes, and salad sides were tasting' pretty darn good. Of course accompanied by more Yukon Gold...

    31 -1c - 1.jpg

    Like I said it was a "loosely scheduled" event so when we were done with diner it was off to the biker games.

    First - the Slow Race...
    31 -1e.jpg

    31 -1f - 1.jpg

    And yes there was even a Honda Ruckus competing all the way from Virginia. His license plates were "99 MPG" He won this event using one hand on the throttle and even did the "beep-beep" at the finish line...
    31 -1g - 1.jpg
  2. black 8

    black 8 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    517
    Location:
    33.2295 -117.3711
    ~ Stop on a paper plate.

    Object of the game was to stop near the paper plate while wearing a hood. The crowd participated by egging on the rider with "go-go-go-go", "STOP" to throw off the rider from the plate.
    31 -1j - 1.jpg

    31 -1h - 1.jpg

    There were spills here and there at each event, luckily there were bike wranglers to catch them or not.
    31 -1i - 1.jpg

    This rider won this event stopping next to the paper plate and 2 inches from the center of the plate!!
    31 -1k - 1.jpg
    Balanda, Caxny and Trip Hammer like this.
  3. black 8

    black 8 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    517
    Location:
    33.2295 -117.3711
    ~ Cone weaving

    Starts at 10 feet, then gets cut to 8 feet, and then 6 feet. The Honda Ruckus won again...
    31 -1k - 1 (1).jpg

    31 -1l - 1.jpg

    Next the Tennis Ball Toss - the four buckets get progressively smaller and the tennis balls tend to bounce out if you toss it too high. So slow and low is the name of the game...
    31 -1n - 1.jpg

    31 -1m - 1.jpg
    ShineySideUp, Balanda and Caxny like this.
  4. black 8

    black 8 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    517
    Location:
    33.2295 -117.3711
    ~ After the individual events - we broke for the official D2D photo at about 10:30pm because the lighting conditions were just right for the staff photographer.

    Next up on the games were the team events. Riders were paired with women passengers to toss a balloon. I didn't stick around for that event but went and took photos of all the bikes parked around the Triple J Hotel. You can see from this photo where the sun light was still shining shortly after we took the D2D photo at 10:30. The bikes were parked in front of the hotel, in the courtyard, the side, and around the hotel where I am standing taking this photo.
    31 -1o - 1.jpg

    The Hot Dog!!

    The object is to ride slow so the passenger can take a bite out of the hot dog, shortest left on the string wins.

    This passenger had great form, approach, and execution!!
    31 -1p - 1.jpg

    As good as this passenger was - she was beat by another...
    31 -1q - 1.jpg

    and the winner is.......

    She stood on the cargo rack and got a hold of that dog and didn't let go. She bit off over half that hot dog off!

    She had some mad skills alright then afterwards someone in the crowd yelled "Marry Me!!"
    31 -1r - 1.jpg

    and yes I have videos!

    Overall - we had a great time watching all the riders compete. You could tell some of these riders practiced for these games beforehand and you can tell which riders were competing for their first time.

    I'm glad to say that I attended the 25th Anniversary of D2D...
    bobw, oneway, ShineySideUp and 9 others like this.
  5. abambach

    abambach Just Ride!

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    237
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Awesome coverage, I see a news anchor in the making. I like your b&w photos. Very cool my friend...AB
    black 8 likes this.
  6. black 8

    black 8 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    517
    Location:
    33.2295 -117.3711
    ~ 17 June 2017 (Day 32)

    I departed at 7am this morning and Jill projected my arrival at Teslin, YT around 3:30pm; of course I added another hour or two for photo opportunities and drone flight along the way. It was a great day to ride, the temps were cooler than normal and the clouds were out ensuring it wouldn't wash out the photos. I opted to get gas 30 miles outside of Dawson City since I was told it was cheaper than the $1.33 per liter they were charging in town. The automated gas station ended up being $1.19 per liter - score!

    Statring off on the Klondike Highway - it would tease you with scenic views of the Yukon by having tress on both sides. The beauty of the Yukon would be revealed in glances rather than long stretches with roads like this.
    32 - 1.jpg

    What else is new, the chip seal still sucks and I'm just hoping that the tires last until I get home. Look how rough that chip seal is.
    32a - 1.jpg

    Every now and then scenic views would show itself and I stopped for the photo op.
    32b - 1.jpg

    32c - 1.jpg
  7. black 8

    black 8 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    517
    Location:
    33.2295 -117.3711
    ~ The views wouldn't open until you get closer to Carmacks. I couldn't fly the drone due to the winds and I was also charging the batteries and controller on the go.

    32d - 1.jpg

    32e - 1.jpg

    32f - 1.jpg

    32g - 1.jpg
  8. PsammonOfDoubt

    PsammonOfDoubt Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    55
    Location:
    Illinois
    excellent b&w shots!
    black 8 likes this.
  9. black 8

    black 8 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    517
    Location:
    33.2295 -117.3711
    ~ When I made the left turn back on the ALCAN headed towards Whitehorse, there was no sense in taking anymore photos unless the views warranted it. My last fuel stop was at the Fas Gas above Whitehorse and for some snacks at 2:15pm. Jill had my projected arrival at 4:30pm - early enough for me to get camp set-up, do some laundry, update the RR, and diner at Yukon Motel & Restaurant.

    Travel time to Teslin was two hours and everything was looking great. As I got closer to Teslin, the road conditions were wet from previous showers that had fallen. I was looking at Jill and she indicated I had four miles until I would arrive at my destination. I had been trailing this Burgundy Ford Expedition for a while and wanted to pass it but we were coming up on a construction site. We both slowed down from the posted 100kph to about 70 kph and I backed off a bit. The road swept to the right and as I have done in the past on the Dalton Highway, I went wider than normal to scrub off speed and avoid the loose gravel on the inside of the road. I'm careful around corners since Saki didn't have ABS or traction control. Well, I didn't notice the loose gravel in the center and Saki and I experienced a "tank slapper"! I didn't want to put my feet out to steady Saki for fear of getting my feet caught under the aluminum panniers and end up with broken legs. All I could think to myself was "this is not good" as I entered the ditch on the opposite side of the Road.

    I was thrown off Saki about three feet or so and I laid there and thought I was dreaming all of this and then reality set in - Saki and I were down. I sat up and removed my helmet to get more air and realized that I was seeing double vision. I looked up at the road and saw two riders (maybe one since I was seeing doubles) pass by and must not have seen me in the ditch. I went to Saki to shut her off and briefly looked at her noticing the dash was crushed. Saki was on her left side so I figure I high-sided off Saki. I started to collect the loose gear and staged it at the top of the hill. I went back to Saki to try and pick her up but I was breathing too hard so I decided to take a seat on Saki to control my breathing. As I sat there I noticed a pick-up back up and a gentleman had come down to me. It was a local from Teslin and he asked if I needed a nurse and I replied "I'm seeing double vision" and said yes since my left side was sore.

    So I get in the truck and his wife and dog were in the back already waiting. He quickly got on the phone with the local nurse and starts making things happen. At this point my vision had normalized and I was dropped off by this unknown gentleman at the Teslin Medical Treatment Facility. I didn't even know his name. The nurse, Lisa, would tell me later that I was picked up by a politician and member of the MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) - no clue what that meant. Then she explains to me like our Senators in the States and the light bulb comes on. The nurse had me strip down my top layer to see if I had incurred any external injuries and gladly there were none. The next step was to have me go wiz in a cup to see if I was peeing blood - ,YES, I thought to myself no blood in the urine but she tests it anyway and there were traces of blood. While waiting I finally broke out the iPhone and called Mrs black 8 and told her the news. I started off with "I'm OK" and that I had crashed. She was clearly upset but wanted to tell her I was OK. The decision was made to transport me to Whitehorse General Hospital for X-rays just in case of internal injuries. Just before we left I was handed the contact number for the gentleman that had helped me. He had gone back to the crash site to pick-up Saki and gear to store in his garage. I finally learned his name was Stacey Hassard. It was about 5:12pm by the time I would get transported by Ambulance to Whitehorse.

    It took two hours for the transport and I closed my eyes to get some respite and it felt good after going down. When I got to Whitehorse, I was taken to the ER - bed number six and Elisha took over as my nurse. My left side was still sore but no bruising yet so I figured tomorrow it would feel even worse like I got hit by a truck. Dr. Neal would come in and he starts poking at me checking my ribs, my spine, sides, and neck. He instructs Elisha that I needed to get some X-Rays and soon Jessica, X-ray tech, would take me to X-rays and back. When I returned Elisha asked me if I was in pain and I said yes so Dr. Neal prescribed a shot of pain killers and it was all good after that. After reviewing the X-rays, Dr. Neal said there were no broken bones or internal injuries and that I would likely be released tonight after some observation. Meanwhile it was about 10pm by now and I texted Mr Hassard and deeply thanked him for assisting me and that I would call him in the morning for Saki's condition. Not more than a minute later he calls back and asks how I am doing and gives me Saki's condition. He said he picked up Saki and that he would keep her for me until Monday when he goes in for work since Whitehorse was the Capital of the Yukon. I'm like thinkin' someone was seriously looking out after me in all of this!!!

    I was released around 11pm after the Doc road tested me to see if I could get around OK and I did. Elisha was even helpful getting me info for some nearby hotels and even calling a cab for me. So I finally made it to the Days Inn downtown and explained the situation to the night manager and due to my situation he gave me a reduced price for the room the entire weekend. He explained I was lucky because a week earlier an Alaskan rider had gone down but wasn't so lucky and passed away. After checking in to the room I asked the manager what time McDonald's was open till and he said 24/7 which was just directly behind the hotel. So you can guess what I had for diner that evening. Cheeseburgers, fries, and a large soda but I also added a 10 piece nugget - I hadn't eaten since my snack break at 2:15 in Whitehorse. I sat there eating and saying to myself "Holy Crap, I was lucky as f$#@ as I ate my cheeseburger and nugget meal thinking about what had just happened to me in the last six hours. Afterwards I made my way back to the Days Inn and finally got some sleep for the night...
    bobw, TheDecepticon, Ol Man and 6 others like this.
  10. DanBarwick

    DanBarwick Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2014
    Oddometer:
    83
    Location:
    Independence, KS
    Oh, man, glad you are ok!!!
    black 8 likes this.
  11. Project Mayhem

    Project Mayhem Moto Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Oddometer:
    125
    Location:
    Coal Creek Canyon, CO, USA
    Well SHIT! I'm glad to hear that you seem to be OK...you certainly fared better than I did. If there is ANYTHING I can do for you from here just say the word...I'll PM you my contact info now.
    black 8 likes this.
  12. black 8

    black 8 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    517
    Location:
    33.2295 -117.3711
    ~ 18/19 June 2017 (Day 33/34)

    I spent Sunday just hanging out and waiting until Monday when I would see Saki again. Luckily everything was within walking distance and I bought some supplies from the Canadian Superstore for the next two days. I was on the phone with Mrs black 8 coming up with courses of action and making plans if (a) Saki was in a rideable condition or (b) it would take weeks to get her back to working order.

    ~ Monday rolls around and I am supposed to meet Mr Hassard again at 8:30 in the morning when he would trailer Saki up from Teslin. So we finally meet again and he was gracious enough to take me to the local Kawasaki dealer and see what my options are. I kept calling him Sir and he said stop - my name is Stacey. He looks at me asking are you military and replied I was retired and that it was a habit whenever I meet someone of higher stature. We unloaded Saki at Listers Motor Sports and got an estimate. I was told it would take until 27 June just to get a new front hub in to get installed. I made the call to just let the insurance company handle it and get it fixed correctly and I would just return when Saki was fixed and at 100%. Stacey hung around long enough for me to take a photo with him. You can read about him here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/stacey-hassard-yukon-party-leader-1.3855373

    I was lucky to have a man like this to come to my aid!!! Oh, BTW he's a former rider himself; a Kawasaki at that!!

    Yeah - I need a haircut and a shave in that photo!! That's kinda long for me..
    32i - 1.jpg

    Here's what Saki looks like after she and I took a dirt nap..
    The front hub was broken along with some spokes..
    32j - 1.jpg

    The front fairing was crushed along with the KLR Dash. The SW-Motech crash bars did their job and protected the lower fairing - I was surprised there was no damage. The Rigid Industries LED lights also survived. Mainly the damage was localized in the front wheel and upper fairing/dash area...
    32k - 1.jpg

    Here's what the helmets looks like.. Look close and you'll see scratch marks across the top. I was lucky not to break my neck!
    32l - 1.jpg

    ATGATT, ATGATT, ATGATT!!!!

    I was lucky to have slowed down enough to reduce the injury (next to nil) and thanks to the Klim Adventure Rally for the D30 Zergo Level 2 Armor - I was able to walk away and ride another day.

    As I sit here typing, I've already made the decision to fly back home tomorrow and will fly back whenever Saki gets fixed to finish this Ride Report. Sadly I'll had to put it on hold until then. I asked Stacey to hold on to my tent and tank bag ensuring that I would see him again and I would buy him Coors Light, that's what he likes and he happens to live in Teslin...

    So until then inmates, keep safe and the rubber side down...
  13. ponytl

    ponytl even my new bike is old

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    151
    Location:
    memphis
    damn dude... you got a story.... glad you are ok and were smart enough to get checked out... I'm guessing less than half the folks here would have... hope the bike is as good as you and you get to finish your ride...
    would suck not to now that you have blood in the game
    cheers
    black 8 likes this.
  14. black 8

    black 8 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    517
    Location:
    33.2295 -117.3711
    Thanks, I'm all good!!
    windplay and Project Mayhem like this.
  15. black 8

    black 8 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    517
    Location:
    33.2295 -117.3711
    No shit! Like I said someone was watching out for me to be that lucky!!

    What are the chances that the Party Leader for the Yukon Legislative Assembly would be the one to help me out!
    bobw likes this.
  16. StayFrosty

    StayFrosty n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2017
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Spokane WA
    So glad you were able to walk away! I guess when you get to the end of an epic ride such as the one you have been on. The only way to end it is with a bang?? Really you didn't have to try so hard at making the end of the ride even more epic! jk. Just happy you can keep riding when saki is well enough.
    240ADV and black 8 like this.
  17. Nurse Ratched

    Nurse Ratched Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2016
    Oddometer:
    103
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Black 8;

    This will take an emotional toll. You'll have to deal with it. That's just how it is.
    black 8 likes this.
  18. rickj

    rickj Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    169
    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    Rudy,

    First, I'm so glad that you are walking away from this accident! I've been following your thread with great interest, and I fully realize how much work goes into producing a high-quality ride report such as yours. I was lazy and opted to write my 2015 RR after I returned, as I didn't want the responsibility of doing it along the way. I'm certain that you have a lot of followers as a result of the hard work you have put into this endeavor.

    I read your post above to my wife and she reacted pretty strongly. Our loved ones at home worry when we're away, and Marilyn does not want to get the phone call that your wife received. Again, so glad that you're OK.

    It's so amazing that Stacey just happened to be in the area and took it upon himself to help out a fellow brother in need. He sounds like a great person, and this is another story all by itself. I know that all of us that ride are fully willing to help a fellow rider that is down, but it's refreshing to see a local willingly get involved. My experience with our Canadian neighbors was likewise very positive.

    I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your ride report when you return to the Yukon Territory to complete your trip!

    Rick
  19. Gordon

    Gordon MC Rider

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    553
    Location:
    Ohio
    Sorry to hear about your misfortune. I am glad you are good to ride another day. Thanks again for taking us all along. I repeat I am so very happy you were not injured more seriously. AGATT why because the equipment saves lives..
    black 8 likes this.
  20. Dewey316

    Dewey316 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    346
    Location:
    PDX
    Man, glad you are in better shape than Saki! When you are the bike are back at it, I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of your report.

    Your photo's and drone shots have been great. The one word i left the Yukon thinking was VAST, the size of the landscape is like nothing else I have ever seen. I really look forward to your drone shots to show the real scale of the landscapes up there!
    black 8 likes this.