Two Bob's Alaska 2016 - 30days/12k miles in pictures

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DYNOBOB, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    The teaser shots. :-) (Note: I size the pics to mostly fill a 1920x1080 monitor when clicked)

    Dalton Hwy
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    Myself and Dad (Bob Jr, Bob Sr)
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    Homer Spit
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    The big dipper and aurora over the Yukon River, Dawson City
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    McCarthy
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    Kennecott Mine
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    Alaska Hwy
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    Seward
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    We overnighted at Alcan Rider's home near Tok.
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    Whittier
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    Richardson Hwy near Valdez
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    Valdez
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    Top of the World Hwy
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    Denali Hwy
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    Cassiar Hwy
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    Icefields Pky
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    Kananaskis Trail
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    #1
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  2. derekdeadend

    derekdeadend Long timer

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    Magnificent photos. Can't go wrong with an Alaska report

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
    #2
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  3. Acadian Rider

    Acadian Rider Adventurer

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    Awesome pictures so far.
    #3
  4. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    :lurk
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  5. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    I've been planning this trip for many years (my copy of The Milepost is 14yrs old). Scanning ride reports, building a waypoint file, and reading books (if you're considering this trip, I recommend "The Adventurous Motorcyclists Guide to Alaska" as it breaks down and describes the different highways). The research brought me to several conclusions:
    1 - It's 10,000+ highway miles, I want to be on a comfortable bike.
    2 - It covers 1500 miles of gravel roads (Dalton/Denali Hwys), I need to be on a bike I can handle comfortably.
    3 - It's so friggin far just to get there (two hard weeks of travel to and from the AK state line) that I don't want to skip anything major, therefore, four weeks are necessary.
    4 - This is going to be a camping trip to keep the cost for 30 nights as reasonable as possible.
    5 - I put some feelers out for trip partners but no one can take that time off. This will likely be a solo trip.

    While a big adventure bike would obviously fit the bill perfectly, I don't own one and wasn't going to add a bike to the collection just for this trip. A couple years ago I converted my cargo trailer to a bike hauler and decided this was the way to go. Slab it on the Wing, cruise the gravel on the Husky.

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    However... I've been keeping Dad informed throughout the planning and when I decided in Jan that 2016 was the year, he committed to go. He's only ridden his FJR a few times in the last several years because of knee problems so we knew riding was out. He could follow in the jeep, but crawling in/out of a tent for a month would be tough. A used FWC Hawk camper had been on my radar for years but they're almost never for sale east of the Mississippi. Urgency now an issue, a great deal popped up on Craigslist and we made a 3 day run to Montana in Feb for a near perfect 2010 model. That was the last piece of the puzzle.

    So we did it and had a great trip!!! Here are the numbers and some thoughts:
    - Traveled for 30 days. Aug 18 to Sept 18, 2016.
    - 11,853 miles on the truck.
    - 7,500 combined miles on the bikes.
    - Alaska is a long way away from Ohio.
    - Three tire punctures on truck - one blown out window on the camper - thankfully no major mechanical failures, accidents, or illness.
    - Rain on 5 of 30 days.
    - Temps from 28f to 78f.
    - Bugs a non issue.
    - Ate at restaurants only three times.
    - Marked all the Walmarts on gps ahead of time.
    - In Homer I hit 'home' on gps = 4360 miles.
    - Alaska is a long way away from Ohio.
    - 10 bear sightings, 1 black wolf, eagles, moose, elk, caribou, mountain goats, buffalo - lots of critters...
    - Witnessed a stunning aurora borealis.
    - Spent under $300 on lodging (campgrounds).
    - Consumed ~1000 gallons of diesel fuel.
    - Alaska is a long way away from Ohio.
    - Keep in mind that this was a trip covering a lot of ground, not a photo outing. That being said, I'm pleased with what we brought back.

    The route.
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    The .gpx waypoint file... https://www.dropbox.com/s/fxrfhx4eg6ngam5/ALASKA WAYPOINTS - CLEANED UP.gpx?dl=0

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    This is the rig.
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    Made some steps for Dad.
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    And a storage box on the trailer.
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    My strategy is to do big miles the first few and last few days of the trip so we could slow down in the good stuff. We covered 2476 miles (to Banff/Lake Louise) non-stop the first 50hrs and 1800 the last 30hrs home. The rest of the trip we did 150-450 mile days, getting going around 10am and stopping by 7pm. The camper was awesome, we could stop and make lunch wherever we found ourselves and camp almost anywhere. Showers were every 2-3 days when we were at proper campgrounds. Thankfully the pace was never too much for Dad (or me) - it was a concern I had.


    First installment of pics is home to Waterfowl Campground north of Lake Louise. We left Fri eve at 8:30 and arrived at the campground Sun eve at 8:30. Didn't take many pics as we had the hammer down. I suspect we might hold the record for Cinci to Lake Louise. :-)

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    Wildlife overpass near Banff
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    Icefields Pky, north of Lake Louise.
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    Peyto Lake overlook.
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    Icefields Parkway at the bottom.
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    Waterfowl Campground is a primitive facility with nice pit toilets. After two days w/o a shower, I tried out the outside shower on the camper for the first time. At 43degrees it was memorable...
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    #5
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  6. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Thanks guys!

    Dave, I still remember your trip. Much respect for making that run two-up and camping.

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    #6
  7. toy4fun

    toy4fun GET out of the way

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    Beautiful
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  8. boristhebold

    boristhebold Been here awhile

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    In, Wonderful pictures. :clap
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  9. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil

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    Bob,
    'Bout time you got busy and posted a ride report. :D
    Seriously, viewers are in for a real treat. Having already seen many of your photos I can assure everyone that they will be getting to see some of the very best shots appearing in any rr, as your "teaser shots" have already illustrated.
    Although I had the pleasure of hearing most of it direct from the participants, I'm still looking forward to reading it again as you post with photos. Gonna stay tuned to this one. :lurk Keep 'em coming, please.

    Jack
    #9
  10. staudio

    staudio Time to take a ride.....

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    great photos.....what camera you using?
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  11. jeepman63

    jeepman63 daplumber

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    very very nice report, keep it coming
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  12. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Thanks for the kind words and following along!

    Sony A7Rii for most/RX100 in my jacket pocket for snaps. Dad has a A7ii.

    Jack - Thanks again for all the advise leading up to the trip and generously putting us up for the night! Dad and I both agree that visiting with the "Frozen Fossil" was a highlight of the trip. :D

    If you are planning this trip, Jack's Alaska primers are a must read.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=599310
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=23085597#post23085597

    .
    #12
  13. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Monday Aug 22. Lake Louise to Dawson Creek (Mile Zero of AK Hwy). 475 miles

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    I intended to pull the Wing off the trailer and start riding the Icefields Pky today. However we awoke to rain and it's forecasted for most of today. So, decided to leave it on the trailer and cover as much ground as we could instead. The roads from Jasper to Dawson Creek are not the most remarkable anyway.

    Overcast Icefields Pky...
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    Athabasca Glacier
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    We stopped at Walmart in Grand Prairie for supplies at 7pm and decided to push on to Dawson Creek for the night. Fortunately, the rain stopped mid-afternoon and the forecast looks great going forward. 475 miles of two-lane with truck and trailer is a pretty good day.

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    #13
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  14. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Tues Aug 23. Dawson Creek to Tetsa River Campground (near Toad River). 368 miles.

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    We awoke to a beautiful day - time to unload the bike. After a visit to the carwash (bike was filthy after 3000 miles on trailer), we found the Mile Zero signs for requisite pics and got rolling. We stayed at the Northern Lights RV campground - it had clean, modern, private shower rooms.

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    Out the back door...
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  15. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Wed Aug 24. Tetsa River CG to Yukon River Motel/Campground in Teslin. 397 miles.

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    More blue skies this morning as we depart the campground. The scenery is improving a bunch today. The first 350 miles of the AK Hwy yesterday were pretty, but not so different than driving thru Tennessee (bigger spaces/straighter roads).

    Tetsa was a nice, primitive campground with pit toilets only. In hindsight, I think we should have pushed 15 miles further to Toad River and had showers.

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    Early in the day we're traveling thru the Stone Mountain area.
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    Dad stops to check out the Stone Sheep...
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    Cool, they're coming toward me...
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    The big one couldn't care less I'm 40ft away, the little one was giving me the stink eye though.
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    It was a little sketchy riding the bike the next 1/4 mile.
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    Yukon baby...
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    Today's cool stop is the Signpost Forest in Watson Lake. I came prepared... :-)

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    Scored a choice spot to the right of the entrance!
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    Yukon Motel is an OK campground/truck stop/restaurant with decent showers. We stayed here on the return voyage also.
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    #15
  16. Thirt8spl

    Thirt8spl Adventurer

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    I just got started reading the report and was impressed with the intro photos - read the setup and how big miles the 1st couple days and then low and behold, this is one of the pics included. Can I ask what prompted this stop? Stephen King fan maybe? If you are, that will make sense. I played on these streets as a youngster and still live about 20 miles north of there. Great start and I'll be reading the rest tonight but had to ask how this made a photo op.

    Thanks
    #16
  17. Tejas99

    Tejas99 Adventurer

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    All in!... Holy cow, those are fantastic pictures!
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  18. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    We just happened to stop there for gas and made sandwiches where I took the pic. It struck me as Everysmalltown, USA and grabbed out the camera. I wonder how many times the flagpole base in the square has been hit by cars? :lol3


    Thank you sir!

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    #18
  19. Thirt8spl

    Thirt8spl Adventurer

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    It is truly Everysmalltown, USA - the Stephen King reference is that the original 80's version of "Children of the Corn" was filmed there and that flagpole played an important role in the movie. It is a great small town, I look forward to reading more and thanks!

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    #19
  20. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    How little we knew..

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    #20