Top of the World Weekend

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by Av8rPaul, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. Av8rPaul

    Av8rPaul Have bike will travel

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    589
    Location:
    Between Carson City and Topaz Lake
    After spending most of May and June in a classroom, I finally received a few days off and decided to load up my big KTM for a little weekend adventure. I had spent the weekend of the big D2D non rally sitting in a flight simulator in Atlanta so I decided to at least go run the same route, sans the big two wheel crowd.

    With the bike packed and some beautiful blue skies I headed out at the crack of dawn on Saturday. Okay, it's Alaska and dawn doesn't crack in the summer, and it was about 10:00am. I unfortunately am still learning to force myself to stop and take more pictures, so the shots of the Chugach Mountains and the Matanuska Glacier will come another time. But I did manage to take one at one my favorite places along the way, Eureka Lodge.

    Lunch break

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    After a great burger and Eureka's famous 25 cent coffee I headed on up the road. My plan was to get some fuel in Glennallen then Tok and motor up to Chicken and camp for the night.

    Gas stops always bring someone over to look at my big orange motorcycle.

    "What kinda bike is that?"
    "A KTM."
    "Oh, a Kawasaki."
    "No, it's a KTM."
    "Oh, yeah, those are made in America."
    "No, it's built in Austria."
    "Hmmm. Sure is tall. Have fun out there."

    Did meet a couple of ADV types in Tok at the Chevron. One fellow from Arkansas riding a 1200GSA that was on an extended tour of the north, and then another guy riding a Vstrom who had spent two days in Tok because his credit card had locked up on him and he was having a tough time getting it unlocked. I immediately called my card company and let them know I was traveling.

    It started to rain as I pulled out of Tok and pushed on towards Chicken. Convinced myself to take some more pics.

    On the dirt before she got dirty
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    The roads going higher and clouds are coming lower.
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    The road was fairly muddy, but the KTM's heritage is evident in foul conditions. There are so many good bikes these days but man do I think this thing is the cat's meow when it come to dirt x distance.

    By the time I arrived in Chicken it was raining buckets. Some south bound guys on cruisers were sitting on the porch of the store having just ridden through a big thunderstorm and dime size hail. They all looked a lot less then happy.

    Looking at the ever increasing amount of rain falling, I left my camp set up packed and rented a cabin.

    1st class accommodations!
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    Tisha's school house tours are conducted by a real sweetheart of a gal named Emily, who is also the storekeeper. She knows her area history and is great to chat with.

    I wasn't the only one taking shelter for the night. Florida plates on the Beemer.
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    Made it to the cafe 20 minutes before she closed up and had a little dinner (good thing I didn't stop and take a lot of pics). Tomorrow on to Dawson. Hot shower and good night!
    #1
  2. Av8rPaul

    Av8rPaul Have bike will travel

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    589
    Location:
    Between Carson City and Topaz Lake
    Poured rain all night. I was hoping that Chicken Creek didn't rise up and swallow my little cabin. Fortunately it stayed within it's banks and my bike was eagerly waiting outside my door

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    I wandered down to the cafe and ordered up a big stack of sourdough pancakes and some bacon. While sitting under cover and enjoying my free Chicken Creek coffee an 800GS pulled in with a GB plate and ADV sticker on it so I invited him over. His name was Mike and he was with a group of 10 UKGS'ers that were on a rather extensive west coast tour, starting in Santa Rosa, CA all the way to Deadhorse and then working their way back down in less than direct fashion. He had left the rest of the group in Tok so he could make a dash up to Eagle and then meet back up in Dawson.

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    After I polished off the pancakes it was time to get packed and hit the road. The weather experts were calling for 60% chance of rain and it had been raining 100% of the time, so I figured I would be able to find that 40% sunshine if I kept looking.

    The rain did taper off and the road while being muddy was a blast. The combo of my bike's great handling and the TKC80 on the front created a very confident feel and I pushed along at a very quick pace. The clouds were lifting some and the incredible expanses that this road is known for where coming into view.

    Quick photo op on a bridge over one of the many swollen rivers.

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    What's not to like about a road like this?

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    As I approached Boundary and the Border crossing the sunshine finally overcame the clouds.

    At Davis Dome
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    And the views from there.
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    After a quick border crossing I continued down the road. The Canadian side with it's broken macadam and pea gravel is quite entertaining.

    Still some snow up here at 4000+ feet above sea level.
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    There's gold in them thar hills...
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    To be continued....
    #2
  3. Alaskajeff

    Alaskajeff Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,261
    Location:
    Palmer, ALASKA
    Nice:D Looks like you hade quite a bit more rain than we did.
    #3
  4. Av8rPaul

    Av8rPaul Have bike will travel

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    589
    Location:
    Between Carson City and Topaz Lake
    Great ride the rest of the way to West Dawson to catch the ferry across the Yukon, other than one motorhome that while I was passing decided to move to the left side of the road. A quick squirt of power and I was out of harms way and gave the "what's up with that" wave (no obscene gestures here) to the driver.

    Here comes the ferry
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    Loaded up and away we go
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    My motorhome friend
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    The driver apologized to me as we floated across the Yukon, saying his left mirror was broke and he was trying to find me in the RIGHT mirror.

    While I was passing on the LEFT. Not good...

    I told him no problem, have a good trip...forgive and be forgiven, right?

    Being it was Sunday, the KTM wanted to get it's picture taken at church.

    St. Paul's
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    St. Andrew's in quite original state of disrepair
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    Enough posing, time for some lunch
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    The proprietor
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    Had a plate of dry ribs and caeser salad, sat in the shade and enjoyed the fruits of my labor.
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    #4
  5. chelo5sur

    chelo5sur Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    199
    Location:
    Chile.
    cool ride.Thanks for sharing.
    #5
  6. Av8rPaul

    Av8rPaul Have bike will travel

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    589
    Location:
    Between Carson City and Topaz Lake
    Thank you.

    It was definitely muddier than the D2D crowd had it.
    #6
  7. Alaskajeff

    Alaskajeff Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,261
    Location:
    Palmer, ALASKA
    It sure looks like it. Are you planning on making D2D 2013?
    #7
  8. Av8rPaul

    Av8rPaul Have bike will travel

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    589
    Location:
    Between Carson City and Topaz Lake
    After lunch I took a stroll around town. Lots of folks wandering about as it was a national holiday, the finish of the Yukon River Quest canoe and kayak race (over 700km in 40 hrs!!) and there was a gold miners event going on as well. One thing for certain, everybody was enjoying the sunshine.

    Strolling along the river bank

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    Great day in the Klondike
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    Two really cool sidecar rigs from Germany
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    I contemplated riding on down to Whitehorse and making a big loop back up the Alcan but decided to just kick it in Dawson for the rest of the day, grab a hotel room and enjoy a nice evening under the midnight sun. Went over to the famous Downtown Hotel and unpacked my gear.
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    After a shower and changing into some non riding clothes, I walked around town for a bit and then settled on having dinner at the Drunken Goat, a Greek restaurant with a great atmosphere and equally great food. There was a rather raucous crowd that added to the ambience with their Ouzo inspired mirth. Dinner and a show.

    Another stroll along the now nearly empty evening streets and river was in order.

    A very quiet Front Street late on a Sunday night.

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    Big wheel keep on turnin'...

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    The UKGS'er contingency has arrived in town.

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    Back to the room and a shot of the midnight sun.

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    #8
  9. Av8rPaul

    Av8rPaul Have bike will travel

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    589
    Location:
    Between Carson City and Topaz Lake
    After a good nights rest interrupted only by the sound of a pickup backing into the side of the bus pictured above (OUCH) I grabbed some breakfast and hit the now somewhat dusty road back home. Beautiful weather and scenery was the order of the day. I had spent a few years living back east and missed my wide open spaces that I grew up in, and the Top of the World Highway really answers the call.

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    As I rolled along the 480 or so miles home seemed like no big deal so I lined 'er up and pulled the trigger on destination Wasilla.

    Did stop at a little lake near Mentasta for a photo op though...

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    One more stop at Eureka Lodge, this time for a piece of blueberry pie and more coffee.
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    Pulled in the garage 10 1/2 hours after leaving Dawson City. Great ride on a great bike!
    #9
  10. CafeRacer99

    CafeRacer99 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    456
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Very cool. Good report!
    #10
  11. Alaskajeff

    Alaskajeff Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,261
    Location:
    Palmer, ALASKA
    X2 :clap
    #11
  12. Helipilot

    Helipilot Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    195
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Great RR Av8rPaul, I have been flying in Alaska since 1974 mostly on the fire contracts and when ferrying helicopters up from the lower 48 looked forward to stopping at Burwash Landing for their BLUEBERRY PIE. It was the best and was made from the local blueberry bushes in the area. I just bought a new KTM 990 and would love to take a ride up there just to see the locations I remember from the fires and other Part 133/135 flights. Guess I need to get to planning that trip. I retired from flying about two years when I turned 65. That is the one thing I regret about getting old and a few other things as well :evil

    Good luck in your career and fly safe. Alaska presented some of the most challenging flying I ever enjoyed.
    #12
  13. Av8rPaul

    Av8rPaul Have bike will travel

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    589
    Location:
    Between Carson City and Topaz Lake
    Thanks all!
    #13