WAY UP NORTH - To The Arctic Ocean & Back to Arizona

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by dave6253, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Dave, it was a pleasure meeting you and Helen in Cameron AZ. You were on your way home, and we were heading to CO astride our R12 GSA.

    Just wanted to let you know we enjoyed your pix. Please keep in touch...perhaps we'll meet up down in AZ this winter or spring.

    Here we are...in Ouray, CO

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    cheers,
    Steve and Cindy
  2. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    Hi Steve and Cindy. It was nice to meet you on our last day on the road.


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  3. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Yep, I am heading down to Mexico this spring. Perhaps an opportunity to meet up over a cold whatever!
    Great photography, Dave.

    Steve
  4. Boj

    Boj Adventurer

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    Dave,

    I don't read too many ride reports anymore, let alone look at every page.... I just read this one cover to cover, excellent work! Now I am 2 hours behind at work :)

    Maybe I will see you on the road again, Kim and I are closing up shop at home and loading the trailer for another long term adventure.

    Chris
  5. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    Hi Chris. I find it hard to believe it has been over 3 years since we bumped into each other on the White Rim Trail. Good luck on your new journey. I enjoyed reading about the last one.


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  6. Mannen

    Mannen n00b

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    Very nice "pitchers", good to see, was in Valdez 1982 hitchhiking Alaska and Canada with a backpack and a fishing-rod, no colorful kayaks then,
    also saw Columbia and then went by train through the mountain with a crew from Lufthansa that had a big wagon. Now I like driving my Super Tenere, very nice to read your RR and you're Good Man you and DR.Rock, you Rock!:nod
  7. himv

    himv n00b

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    Dave, because of you I'm going to do it. I will come all the way from Israel thanks to your photos and your interesting story. My banker is not going to love me if I'll do it, but it's fine though - I don't like him either... Good marketing!
    Just curious- I can see you've got the Jesse side luggage. Can you please tell what model is it? And what's the size of it ? Do you think that I can handle without the topbox (I'm alone)??
    From your experience Was it durable ?
    Thank you, drive safely.
    Ophir
  8. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    Thanks Mannen and himv!

    himv, I'm not sure which model the Jesse bags are. I think they were the largest ones for the KTM. They don't have much info for the KTM bags on their website anymore. I love mine and yes, they are durable. I would never use the top box when solo and usually have no problem stuffing everything I need into the side bags on my previous solo trips. I'm happy to hear I helped you decide to come over for a ride. I hope you have as much fun as we did.


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  9. Skitch

    Skitch Riding the range

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    This ride report got me hooked on PicMonkey.... Thanks!
  10. 1200gsceej

    1200gsceej Long timer

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    Dave,
    I sent you a PM before I found/started this thread. Answers may be somewhere within! But as I have been reading I have come up with this serious question. How do you balance riding (for daily distance) and stopping (for photos, as well as rest or sight seeing)?
    As my miles/day has increased, my photos have decreased. And I don't like that. But there are stretches of road on which I could stop every 3-5 miles for a photo. Sometimes there is no place to stop, so do I skip it, do a double U-turn to get the shot and back on the ride, stop and walk back, or ...?
    Do you make quick stops for a snap from the bike, then ride on? Do you find a spot and spend 10-20 minutes in photo mode? I know that there is no pat answer to these questions, but could you 'talk about it' a little?
    thanks,
    -ceej
  11. 1200gsceej

    1200gsceej Long timer

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    Been on a number of those roads - movie took me back there.
    I saw you take some pix while you were riding - a point-and-shoot I presume. Where did you keep it for easy access and how was it attached? I have tried a lanyard around my neck, and have kept camera in outside pocket or sometimes just dangling. What do you do? Any special setting for those 'on the go' shots?
    I'm enjoying this - thanks.
    -ceej
  12. 1200gsceej

    1200gsceej Long timer

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  13. 1200gsceej

    1200gsceej Long timer

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    So you left Fairbanks around 6pm and arrived in Prudhoe at 7:40 am - 13.5 hours straight up the Dalton? After riding 225 miles from TOK to Fairbanks? Is 12 hours pretty typical?

    I could compute, but what kinds of general speed did you ride on the Dalton? On the Atigun Pass? How was the road on the far right when you had to move over for trucks? What was the worst road conditions you encountered?

    I know you did not ride in the 'daytime', but would you still recommend riding up in the 'evening' (assuming reasonable rest)? Where there any particular downsides?

    Re your tires - I take it you liked them. And you never had to air down anywhere?

    thanks again,
    -ceej
  14. dnorton

    dnorton Adventurer

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    In June/July it's daylight 24 hours a day north of the Arctic circle. Basically the sun spins around in a circle at the angle your used to seeing at 1PM in the lower 48 - all day long. The author stated as much in the ride report.

    I worked in Prudhoe/Deadhorse, summer and winter, seen both extremes.

    In Anchorage the sun briefly dips below the horizon in late June/July. The darkest it gets is twilight.

    If your going to do this ride, I highly recommend planning it such that you hit Fairbanks at roughly the end of June. You may hit a lot of fog in June. The clearest weather is early August, tends to be dryer. By Sept 1, the snow will be flying in Deadhorse.
  15. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    Hi ceej. I'm happy to see you are liking the report. I'll try to answer your questions as best I can.
    To me, a motorcycle journey like this is also a photographic expedition. Just like motorcyling, I love to shoot pictures and don't ever have enough time to do it. I also usually know I am writing a report, so I am always thinking of getting enough photos to document things that happen along the way and the ever changing scenery. Shooting photos while moving allows you to fill in the gaps between photo stops without taking time. My cameras are easily accessible and often I'll stop to compose and shoot a scene while still astride the bike. There were plenty of times I skipped photo opportunities on this trip in the interest of time. One thing that helps is the fact I no longer have to stop so often for fuel. I can instead, plan my breaks at a scenic spot. When I'm off the bike, I'm usually taking photos.

    That video does show me taking a lot of pics while crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and is kind of scary looking with all of the traffic around. I am not looking at the camera much though.

    Many of your questions (including details about how I shoot on the move and other photography stuff) are answered in this thread; The Art of the Ride Report... Based on the variety of your questions, I think you would like this thread. It has lots of advice from some of my favorite RR authors.

    The map was created from the GPS tracks. When in the Garmin Mapsource software you click on "show tracks in Google Earth". (Of course, you need Google Earth installed.) I used the Windows 7 Snipping tool to save a portion of my screen as a JPEG. I explained how to capture a screen shot using Paint in the link above as well.
  16. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    Hi dnorton! Thanks for contributing.

    ceej, I doubt what we did was typical, yet I'm certain we set no records. We were consistently cruising at 60 mph. Your speed will depend on how much suspension travel you have. We were frequently using all of the KTM suspenders. I rarely exceeded 60 because I didn't want to risk a speeding ticket by exceeding the limit too much. We were warned a wildlife officer patrols the road by airplane in a red and white Piper Cub. He will land in the road to write speed tickets. I also saw another RR here where someone was written for 70 mph this year by an officer in a grey SUV. A couple construction zones, Atigin Pass, and the slippery conditions on the way back kept our speed around 40 mph for periods. The only downside for our riding at night was getting out of synch with normal sleep patterns. I was extremely happy to be riding at night with the low angle sun and the window of excellent weather and magical light. Traffic was lighter at night, though the holiday weekend probably also lessened the truck traffic. The roadway was rarely narrow enough cause any difficulty with passing trucks. I usually slowed and rode close to the right as a courtesy. We had great weather and road conditions. The road can get slippery, but shouldn't be problematic for any DS rider. Street bikes make it up there all the time.

    I loved the K60 tires. Good enough everywhere. The front howls on the highway, especially under braking, but I don't mind that. I never air down. This bike is too heavy and the rims too soft.
  17. 1200gsceej

    1200gsceej Long timer

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    Finally finished! Whew - pretty emotional at times. The beauty of land and sky and life really gets to me. Difficult to describe to those who don't ride.
    I've read (part of) the Art of the Ride Report - but did not realize you were that Dave.
    I am so jealous of the weather that you had; on our Pacific Northwest trip (commentary by ol'badger) we got snowed out of Glacier and got rain and low clouds in most of the Canadian Rockies. So disappointing.
    I appreciate the camera and processing info - I have much to learn and sufficient desire, I hope. I'll see if I can apply them to my upcoming ride report about Eastern and Central Oregon.
    I'll use a lot of your notes and route information as I fine-tune my plans for an AK trip, originally planned for this summer but will have to be later. Given your experience and any info from others, is the end of June a good window? I certainly will not be able to match your mpd - I'm thinking more like 300. I don't have Deadhorse in my plans, but definitely the Arctic Circle. And Top of the World, too.
    There are more questions, but I'll do a re-read first.
    Sincere thanks once again,
    -ceej

    PS - people *have* to have told you that your pix looks like Hugh Laurie
  18. 1200gsceej

    1200gsceej Long timer

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    Yes, I've been to Fairbanks to referee the Midnight Sun Soccer Tournament there; had to drape clothing over the window of the dorm room so we could sleep. Did the same thing in Anchorage several years later.

    My question about 'evening' riding was more related to the light (for picture taking) and whether traffic or anything else is different/better. I'd not expect truck hauling to be different, but perhaps those in campers or vans.

    Thanks for the suggestion on timing of a trip. If August is dryer, then what are the downsides of mid-to-late July? Freak snowstorm?

    Once again, I/we appreciate all the suggestions and sharing of knowledge done by inmates to help make better trip experiences for others.

    -ceej


  19. dnorton

    dnorton Adventurer

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    I was on the North Slope from mid-May through late September, then again in the winter months after everything was very frozen. I worked on a seismic crew. There is another inmate http://advrider.com/forums/member.php?u=4161 , who also worked for the same company as I did, but we never worked together. He goes up the haul road all the time, to this day. He would be the best source of information amongst the people who frequent this forum. I haven't been up there for several years.

    From May through late August I never encountered snow. June, as I recall could be really foggy, I mean really foggy. Mid-July to mid-August the weather was generally the best. The temperatures could get well into the 70s. The thing is, when it decides to get cold, it goes from summer to winter in about 5-7 days. My crew camped about halfway between Deadhorse and Barrow during the summer, one night we went to bed and while ocean was it's typical self, in the morning it was frozen.

    Also be aware that haul road is slick as slick gets when it's wet. Which is why I'd want training wheels on a foggy day:rofl

    Another suggestion I'd have is to take the Alaska Marine Highway, either on the way up or down. You can get on/off in Skagway and then in Bremerton, WA. The ships are nice, if your into hard core camping they will let you set up a tent on the back deck. Hot food, showers, bar, you be styling. If you don't want to pitch a tent you can either sleep on a lounge chair in side or rent a cabin with bed and private bath.

    Have fun, Alaska is a great state.
  20. Cam123

    Cam123 n00b

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    Reiterating what everyone else has said - WOW.

    I was headed out from Philadelphia to Oregon, Washington and Alaska at the end of July and only made it to Forsyth Montana, where I tore a calf muscle while putting the fully-ladened Honda NT700 onto its center stand at a gas station. :topes

    What was supposed to be a three-week, 10K mile solo ride turned out to be 5200 in 11 days. Looking at your pictures and words, I am that much more disappointed with having to truncate my adventure. It'll be a couple more years before I can get the time (and my wife's permission) to attempt such a ride again.