Traveling the USA, destination Alaska, I reckon!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by bush pilot, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. Slash5

    Slash5 I Should Know Better

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    127
    Location:
    atlanta georgia
    :lurk Love the pictures and can't wait for the rest!
    #21
  2. reed523

    reed523 To pedal or not to pedal

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    396
    Location:
    Perkins, Oklahoma
    Thanks for the update. Dad and I put 2200 miles on the ST's last week. Nice bike but i guess i'm more of a dual sport guy than i thought-kinda miss the KLR. Looks like your having a great trip!
    #22
  3. Cheap Ryder

    Cheap Ryder Ride for enlightenment

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    574
    Location:
    Montana great divide
    Nice talking to you all in West Yellowstone. Hve a great ride on your way north. Try the campbell loop on your way to D2D and don't forget the mosquito headnets.
    #23
  4. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,526
    Location:
    Thailand
    Had a significant mechanical failure while on I-90 just outside Big Timber MT.

    Just after going over some rumbly pavement my rear got all soft and swishy.
    I pull over.... flat rear tire.

    We begin to dig in to the prob.
    I have all the spares and stuff.(tubes ect)
    As we're digging in fellow adv rider "drew" stops on a nice KLR.
    I'd just replaced my tires and tubes in MN!
    The "heavy duty" Kenda tube failed at the valve. The valve simply separated from the tube. What a piece of fucking crap!
    Anyway thanks to being prepared and the grace of a fellow adv we were back on the road lickety split.
    #24
  5. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,526
    Location:
    Thailand
    Yep she was using zero oil until I overheated it. I didn't notice the fan wasn't turning on.

    Anyway I was kind of looking for an excuse to do the 685 upgrade.
    I'd like some more power. Up in the mountains it's almost as gutless as a FLHS Harley
    #25
  6. bgoodwin

    bgoodwin Got Parelli?

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,173
    Location:
    Eva, Alabamer
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    #26
  7. anitasanger

    anitasanger When your dreams won't come true, stop sleeping.

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Okie
    awesome report man! keep em coming! i'm from tulsa, tallys rules!
    #27
  8. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,193
    Location:
    Over the rear wheel
    Ewww... I usta have one just like that. A '53, brown w/cream top. Twin H power, too. The first car I ever owned was a coupe like the one beyond the sedan. A black '49.

    Yep, I admit it, I'm an old fogey.
    #28
  9. Dread

    Dread Putt-Putt Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    202
    Location:
    Moscow, ID
    I hope all is going well with your ride. It was me, Dread (remember the hair, at least while I still got it) that stopped and helped you out. I think you should still stop in a motorcycle shop and replace that duct tape with bona fide rim liner stuff when you get a chance. Good luck on your ride and I'll be keeping tabs on you guys in this thread!
    Dread
    #29
  10. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,526
    Location:
    Thailand
    We're in Smithers, BC and looking to be in Dawson for the D2D!

    Got the 685 kit installed by M-Tech in Bend OR. Mac was very accommodating fitting me in and working around my erratic traveling timetable. (the weather kind of sucked through WY MT ID)

    Had another tube failure (this was my spare tube which already had 9k miles on it) outside Cache Creek BC. Had a new spare tube and got it on relatively painlessly with a little help from a group of KTM riders heading for some local get together in Clinton.

    Somewhere around Williams Lake BC one of my worst nightmares happened!

    My chain broke!

    A fancy megabuck smart foking chain from Krause racing!

    I just stood the looking at it in foking disbelief! Less than 5k mile on the "smart" SOB.
    I tell ya I felt mighty stupid. It was a good thing the clowns who sold me the chain were in Chicago because I had a mind to string someone up with that chain.

    As luck would have I was prepared for my worst nightmare with the chain tool and spare links and master links.
    The failure destroyed three links, broke the front cover and clipped the wire for neutral light switch.
    Once I got over the astonishment over the failure I got the bike back on the road in about an hour. I was smoother after the fix because I think the faulty link which failed was locking up for a while prior.

    More photos soon. I haven't been taking too many with all these distractions.
    #30
  11. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,526
    Location:
    Thailand
    I'll try and catch up now that the traveling is done.

    The lad had his heart set on seeing Deadwood SD.
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    The place is a polished restored town with casino after casino lining the streets. Tour buses and rv's pile the folks in. I couldn't get out of there fast enough.
    We'd just passed through Mt Rushmore where they tried to extort 10 bucks each to park the bikes.(parking has sold out to private consensioniers) The mountain was entirely socked in with clouds and you couldn't see a thing.
    So I decline to pay the extortion and was instructed to drive on through.
    I do but being stuck behind a slow RV my engine is getting hot, so I stop in the parking lot to let the engine cool. The lad decides to go pee in the visitor center.
    So I take the chance to add a little oil while she's cooling down as the parking lot rent-a cops pull up carrying some attitude. They demand I pay right then and there. I calmly explain the situation a and point out the fact that the no one is seeing anything anyway. These idiots where really starting to bug me when they told me they were calling the park police.
    We get out of there before the police arrived.

    After an interesting and beautiful ride through MT we go see the Old Faithful geyser which is something to see.
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    When I first saw it it was march 1981 before the big fire and I rented a snowmachine and rode in by myself. A bit different in the summer I'd say.

    We didn't stay long in Idaho I did get a picture of the weeping springs.
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    This along the Snake river
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    Big trees in Mt Rainier Park
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    The Paradise Inn is an interesting landmark. (built in 1916)
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    Canadian customs
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    The first question from them was whether I was carrying a handgun. I told them no. They then wanted to know if I owned a handgun and where I kept it! WTF is wrong with Canada?

    The broken chain!
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    Good thing I bought a chain tool and had some spare links to splice in with my spare master links. This was a brand new extra heavy duty "smart chain" from sidewinder racing.

    Beautiful rivers in BC.
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    The Bentley folks were just exiting the Cassiar highway as we were entering. More than a 100 Bentley's. These guys were adventuring in their own way too.
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    Right smack dab in the middle of the Cassiar we come across an accident.
    The RCMP says the road will be blocked for 4 hours! Funny thing was the road wasn't obstructed at all there wasn't any hazardous material involved.
    Sadly the poor truck driver involved was dead. But the RCMP had the road blocked in both directions for hours. Fortunately we waited only about an hour before they began letting traffic through.
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    Heli-Skiing lodge in BC
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    Along the Cassiar
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    Sally's Cafe at the end of the Cassiar, really great place for a food stop. This was some the best food of the trip!
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    Dawson is next.
    #31
  12. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,526
    Location:
    Thailand
    This was at the entrance to the Dempster, no not this time. It was beckoning I can tell ya!
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    Now I really liked Dawson City.
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    They have a local ordinance where the folks have to keep the building painted nice.
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    Streets are still dirt.
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    Downtown Saloon
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    Don't bother with the Jack London Grill, where they charge $1.00 extra for mustard for your hamburger! WTF! Crazy!

    Klondike Kates is the place to eat, fantastic food and people.

    The Mighty Yukon river
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    View of Dawson from the dome
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    Robert Services cabin
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    This was one of the worlds largest gold mining dredges.
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    Got a private tour from the lovely gal. Private because it was the French s
    speaking tour and I was the only french speaker to show up.(I got the tour in English)
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    Cool train museum
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    The D2D gathering. I think I pissed off some BMW guys by parking my nasty looking KLR in the BMW GS dude parking spots!
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    I mixed up the dates for the D2D and arrived 2 days early in Dawson.
    After three days we were ready to go, afraid we missed all the wild stuff I guess.

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    Goodbye BC!
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    Welcome to Alaska!
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    We splurged and got the $10 wall tent at the Tok motorcycle campground, what a great place, truly lovely folks, and a sauna to die for!
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    Delta Junction
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    I forget where this was taken.
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    I hit 40K
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    The road north
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    Atigun Pass
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    Around 3am, every time we stopped to camp the mosquitoes would be intense so we get motoring.
    We finally camped at mile 40 in time to see the sun change from setting to rising. I'd never actually seen that phenomena before ever with all the time I've spent up there flying.

    We arrive in Deadhorse! This place has the best deal for buffet. $15 all you can eat.
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    Not too much to see around Deadhorse, I'd forgotten the oil companies have the beach closed to the public!
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    I get stuck and have to unload to get out
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    Broken sprocket at mile 85
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    Trucks
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    A short little old pipeline
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    Can you see the big mosquito?
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    Dust
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    Back at the Hilltop cafe in Fairbanks, oh gee that was a piece of riding!
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    #32
  13. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,526
    Location:
    Thailand
    Once in Anchorage I break out the old FJ40.
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    break out the SW629
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    And go chasing Caribou near Eureka.
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    Back to Thailand day after tomorrow. What a trip it's been! 18K mile in a little over 3 months.
    I'm sticking the bike in storage for a little ride down to Argentina next year.
    #33
  14. idea man

    idea man Plate Spinner

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,513
    Location:
    101 and 246, CA
    Awesome. :thumb Thanks for sharing.
    #34
  15. reed523

    reed523 To pedal or not to pedal

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    396
    Location:
    Perkins, Oklahoma
    Thanks for the pics and story. Great trip. How did old red hold up?
    #35
  16. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,526
    Location:
    Thailand
    Red did really well.(nearly 40K miles too never used any oil.) The sprocket failed after over 15K miles on it. We'd already bought a replacement chain/sprocket kit knowing it's days were numbered. I was hoping to put it on after the Dalton hwy.
    Had a really odd failure in the middle of the Denali highway. While I was using the BLM rest area the lad was squirreling around some and stalling the bike and restarting it.
    I come out and he say's the bike quit running and wouldn't restart......anyway I spend the 8 hours troubleshooting what turns out to be a shorted battery.
    Since I knew the battery to be new it was the last thing I suspected. I was busy testing switches, relay's, solenoids, by passing the safety switches and cutting into the ignition wiring.
    I was baffled until I came up with the bright idea of putting my battery from the green bike in. Vroom!
    That sealed POS battery just up and suddenly quit. Never seen that happen.
    I rig up a jumper cable with 16 gauge wire and get red started.
    We push start it back to Anchorage after that. I learned everything about the KLR electrical system that day!:rofl
    Fortunately we were stopped at a mighty nice spot to camp, met a nice German fellow bicycling the Denali hwy, and my son caught his first Arctic Grayling on a fly rod.
    Red is somewhere in CA. now on the way back to NM.
    #36
  17. locorider

    locorider Loco, pero no estúpido!

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,756
    Location:
    Puerto Rico, U.S.A.
    Great report for a great trip! :clap
    #37
  18. Northwoods Yeti

    Northwoods Yeti Almost house broken

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,782
    Location:
    La-X
    :thumb Nice trip! Thanks for sharing.

    If I only had the time and the money.....:cry
    #38
  19. Twistn'roads

    Twistn'roads Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    393
    Location:
    Cambridge, ON
    Good show Bush Pilot! Enjoyed your report.

    Not sure if you remember, but I stopped and chatted with you and your son at a rest area just south of Burns Lake, BC on June 20th. I was on my way to do the Dempster then carry on to Alaska. I was riding the black V-Strom. I think I remember you saying you guys were going to try and get to Smithers that night?

    You've inspired me to get crackin' on my own ride report!

    ~TR~
    #39
  20. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,526
    Location:
    Thailand
    ^yea I remember. I was napping in the sunshine on the lovely stone picnic table courtesy of BC.

    Get cracking on that RR. Don't forget the pictures!
    #40