The Rootbeer Run, Chasing the Sun, and other misadventures

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Parepin, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. FloorPoor

    FloorPoor Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    712
    Location:
    Spudville, Idaho
    I have driven past that igloo several times and often wondered what the story was. Thanks for filling me in. Keep it coming, your RR is a great distraction.
  2. Parepin

    Parepin The Filthy Nomad

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,163
    Location:
    That's... a tough one to answer
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    Took off fairly early this morning. I remember Ian telling me that a lot of people were doing this run in four days, from Fairbanks to Coldfoot, Coldfoot to Deadhorse, then the two days back to Fairbanks. He had made the middle two runs in one go, so this is what I was going for. Up from Coldfoot and back in one day. It was an awesome ride, with great views. I'll let the photos do most of the talking.


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    At one point, as I neared Deadhorse, I found an overturned vehicle in the Tundra. I pulled over to have a look and make sure it wasn't fresh. There were personal belongings thrown all around the scene. I imagine the gnarly washboards I had been fighting the past several hundred miles had something to do with the wreck. I poked around a bit and found an unopened roll of Ritz Crackers about fifty feet from the car. Lunch. I hopped back on the bike and continued north.



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    The last hundred miles or so leading two Deadhorse was actually quite lame. I was surrounded by flat Tundra with only the rare animal and semi breaking up the monotony. A good twenty miles outside of town the bike sputters and onto reserve I go. I'm a little nervous by this point, unsure as to whether or not I'm really gonna make it to town. With the staging area known as Deadhorse rising on the horizon, I welled with confidence. Then the bike stalled. Fuck... me.... I dumped what camping fuel I had left into the tank and hot-rodded it into town, following the poorly placed fuel station signs to the station. The people here were great and I scored some home made chicken soup and brownies while waiting for my turn at the pump. I topped off and ran over to the nearest hotel for some sticker searching, successfully I might add. With that I turned around and headed south. There wasn't really much to see around here, and I knew that I couldn't access the arctic ocean so there was nothing left but to make the return trip. It was getting late, anyway, and I had pretty much obliterated any chance of making it back to Coldfoot before nightfall, but I had to give it a shot.


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    It should be noted that I didn't, in fact, make it back to Coldfoot before nightfall. Not in the least. It got cold, it got lame, and I hadn't pulled back into coldfoot until well after midnight. I had bummed an empty methyl alchohol jug from a shop in Deadhorse that I had filled with fuel, so that wasn't such an issue. But the cold, holy christ it was cold. I pulled over several times to hover over my exhaust in hopes of warming my crotch and dethawing my digits. I hadn't taken into account the massive amount of construction on the highway that seemed to consume half the day. Oh well, the ride was well worth it.
  3. Motomedic

    Motomedic Over-caffienated Raconteur

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,598
    Location:
    Spokane
    :clap

    Been waiting patiently, man.
  4. Parepin

    Parepin The Filthy Nomad

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,163
    Location:
    That's... a tough one to answer
    Atigan Pass

    <iframe title="YouTube video player" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/VlMfZuHHDQY" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="390" width="480"></iframe>
  5. traindriver

    traindriver Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    Carl Junction M.O.
    been checking every day glad you back
  6. Ed Muggles

    Ed Muggles oh, the other left

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    250
    Location:
    Melb, Aust - land of coffee and rain
    amazing story and a great writing style... i look forward to following this RR:D
  7. kwakbiker

    kwakbiker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    712
    Location:
    Birmingham,UK
    It is good seeing this part of the world.....only time ive seen it is on ice road truckers:wink:
  8. Parepin

    Parepin The Filthy Nomad

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,163
    Location:
    That's... a tough one to answer
    [​IMG]



    Pulled into Coldfoot well after nightfall, and by now I'm shivering uncontrollably. I attempted to pitch my tent, only to be frustrated by my ever-numbing fingers and the stiff wind that caused my tent to tumble across the tundra like a tossed die the moment I turned my back. I dove in and weighed everything down with as much gear as I could gather, then proceeded to assemble my gas stove. This will be a good idea, I think, as I pressurized the canister and ignited the burner. With a WOOSH, a ball of flame licked my face and fuel began to pool beneath the stove where the catch-can had fallen off, without my noticing. Flames spread, I panicked and chucked the entire thing outside. I now had a tent with a nice hole in the floor and no eyebrows, shivering and miserable. Fuck this noise. I zipped the flap shut and crawled into my down bag. Morning couldn't come soon enough.


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    And then it was morning. I got up later than I had intended and high-tailed it to the cafe to stuff my face at the breakfast buffet. Good stuff. I even made it back out with a styrofoam container full of a good pound of cooked bacon. A snack for the road. I packed up my gear and shot the shit with my neighbors, all in fifth wheels. Most were here to work on the pipe line, and many had brought their families. I gassed up just as the rain began to kick in. The truckers on the deck laughed and commented on the miserable ride I'd have ahead of me. My reply was simply, “pot helps.” That got a chuckle. I geared up and headed south, battling the gnarly road conditions the entire way. With the rain pummeling me and the semi's keeping the mud churned and slimy I couldn't keep near the pace I had hoped for. Stopping at the Yukon river for a fill up and a burger (a damn good one at that), I got back out into the misery. One thing I wanted to mention about the restaurant on the river here. It was assembled entirely out of old construction trailers from when the road was originally built. Seriously. There were a dozen of them just kinda mashed up against each other and the entire roof was just spray foamed. From the interior, it was obvious that something was up. Plastic hung from the ceiling and formed interior gutters to catch the leaks, funneling the entire torrent to a rubbermaid trash can that was kept in the back corner. It reminded me of some Rube Goldberg contraption as gutters and catch basins were formed from plastic sheet and tupperware, funnels fabricated of aluminum foil and soda bottles, pots and pans strategically placed on specific tables. This is also where I met an older couple. The man, looking like Grizzly Adams, had a bandolier and large revolver on his hip, clad in animal hide. His wife apparently ran a small tent in the corner of the parking lot where she sold hand-made knick knacks and gifts. They tell me they live up river year round. There is no way to drive there, they boat in and out in the summer and walk the ice in the winter. Crazy.


    Anyway, so I'm back on the muddy trail that once was the haul road, dodging passing semi's and constantly wiping the liquified mud from by visor. At one point I hit the brakes to find that I've lost the rear. A few more pumps and they come back. I chalk this up to the vibration and beating that the road was delivering screwing with the fluid in the lines. I'll just hafta be careful. Several miserable hours later I hit the asphalt and am well on my way to the city. I came sailing into Fairbanks well after nightfall. A light rain was falling, leaving the asphalt a surreal shade of black, with a depth similar to obsidian. I hot-rodded it back to the campground I had used previously and picked a site off to the side, in the overflow area. Pitching my tent, the rain had begun to let up, but I just wanted to sleep. I left my gear hanging on the tree in hopes that the rain might wash off some of the mud and drifted off to sleep.


    Got up early and headed out, simple as that. I wanted to get out of the state and start heading south. The weather was turning and I just wasn't having fun anymore. Coming into Delta Junction, I could just feel that my rear brakes weren't right. Something was just off. A moose crossed the highway ahead of me, causing the large SUV directly in front of me to slam on the brakes. I too, layed hard on the brakes but to little effect. A lot of front end dive was the only result. Something was wrong. At the next gas stop I pulled over and investigated further. I discovered that, sure enough, one of the pads on the rear brake had sheared clean off, leaving just the metal backing plate on one side. That's what I get for buying brake pads off Ebay. I borrowed a phone book from the gas station attendant and searched desperately for a nearby Kawasaki dealer. It was late on a Saturday, and I just prayed that someone was still open. Unfortunately, the nearest dealer was back in Fairbanks. Ironically enough, it was located directly across the highway from the campground where I had spent the previous nights. I gave them a call and one of the tech guys picked up. He was apparently there finishing up his own project, and was the only one in the shop. He also didn't do sales... shit. The next time anyone would be available to help me out would be the following Monday.... shit.



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    So I doubled back along the highway, stopping at a state campground to have a smoke break and try to calm down a bit. I knew what I had to do, but I wasn't too happy about it. I had been heading for the Top Of The World Highway, and I really wanted to get going. It wasn't exactly getting any warmer up here. The campground attendant came out walking his dog, and we started talking a bit. He and his wife were up here just to look over the campground for the summer. He said they'd been doing it for years, and every year was a different campground. Sounds like a sweet gig. They got their own cabin, although they brought a camper as well. This is something I should look into some time. After probably a good hour of just shooting the shit, I stashed my contraband and got back on the bike, continuing on. I pulled back into Fairbanks, once again, quite a while after nightfall. I figured that, if I was going to be stuck at the campground I might as well do some much needed maintenance. So I stopped over at the local Wally-World where I got my A&W fix, a few quarts of oil, and some silicone water repellant. I doubled back to the Tanana campground and set up camp at a distant site. In dire need of firewood to dry my gear out, and with the main cabin closed for the night, I returned to the main drag where I quickly found a construction site. I pulled up to the dumpster and jumped in. Before long, I had a decent pile of lumber-ends stacked on the back of the KLR. It must have been quite a sight watching this abomination going down the highway.



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    Back to camp I find myself stacking and splitting lumber, ready to get a good fire going. I spread out my sleeping bag to dry, and inflate the thermo-rest. It's about here that I go for my stash, determined to just get blazed and have a good nights rest for once. But... it wasn't there. I emptied my bag, my pockets. I checked the tent and around my site, but I could not find my little stash container. I figured that I must have dropped it at the construction site while hopping in and out of the dumpster. Dammit. Back on the bike I go to double back to the dumpster. I searched around, in, and under, but to no avail. I remember thinking on the way back to the campsite that it's gonna be a long ride south. It wasn't getting any warmer, and without a good buzz to take my mind off the frigid cold, I knew I was in for a miserable ride. Dammit, I'm not looking forward to this...


    “Alex? Alexander? It's alright. You were in an accident.... You are at the FAIRBANKS MEDICAL CENTER. Everything's gonna be alright”


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  9. mac inger

    mac inger Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    672
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Holy shit man ! But alive and kicking :D

    Do tell...
  10. traindriver

    traindriver Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    Carl Junction M.O.
    Damn it hurts just to look at that. Bummer
  11. Flashmo

    Flashmo Whatever...

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,639
    Location:
    Vagabond Hippie
    I've been waiting for this point...
  12. trevhead

    trevhead Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    DOOOH!:lurk
  13. Mike92

    Mike92 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    356
    Location:
    South Texas
    Holy crap Batman!:cry
  14. kwakbiker

    kwakbiker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    712
    Location:
    Birmingham,UK
    Too state the obvious....that looks a mess:eek1:huh
  15. road_apple

    road_apple Hit the Trail

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    174
    Location:
    Sometimes here, sometimes there
    Let's see fuel tank looks last my last empty beer..front frame support now vertical..triple trees, forks strangely missing..but most of front wheel intact. Fork connection to front axle fooked up massive stress point..still doesn't look like a head-on. "spinning cartwheels thru the sky.." but back-end looks intact. My face hurts just looking at it but there's a pic of a decent helment and jacket. Man, I hope you're OK. I think I'll stop drinking and check my front end tomarrow...
  16. SleazyRider

    SleazyRider Desolate Loner

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    160
    Location:
    Long Island
    ...damn. that was unexpected.

    glad you're OK though dude
  17. Blagadán

    Blagadán Kevin

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    170
    Location:
    Ireland
    Did a truck run over it? I guess you're walking from this point on eh?.
  18. USAIR

    USAIR picking and riding

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,815
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky
    WOW didn't see that coming...You OK????

    Fred
  19. kwakbiker

    kwakbiker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    712
    Location:
    Birmingham,UK
    So...very heavy frontal andpossible side impacts, car in pic looks close but no battle damage...we must know more and if your relatively alright:deal
  20. MikeyT

    MikeyT Krusty Olde Pharte™

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,243
    Location:
    The Thumb of Michigan
    "Man, I was dyin' for a toke" :lol3


    Glad you're OK. Like others, I didn't see this coming.