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

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

  1. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    After setting up camp we strolled along the lakeshore to watch the beautiful sunset.

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    The mosquitos chased us back to the tent.

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    #81
  2. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    Helen packed up the wet camp while I crawled around in the weeds with a camera.:D

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    Doesn't sound fair? Well, I had to do all the riding.:deal

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    Wildflowers Beautify the Cariboo Highway​

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    We stopped for breakfast in Prince George. I wanted to try the Tim Horton's, but wow! That place was way too crowded.
    We had McDonald's breakfast instead. We liked the free Wi-Fi at McD's and ate there more than we should on this trip.​

    We hung a left at the Yellowhead Highway. We got to use the rain gear again today.​
    #82
  3. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    AteamNM & Rainier_runner, Thanks for following along. Bucket List Dreams do come true.:thumb
    #83
  4. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    We are getting used to the nice little rest stops every 30-40 kms.

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    Many of the rest stops have informational signs with interesting historical facts of the area.
    I walked over to take a look at this unassuming sign... Whoa!:eek1

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    Helen's signaling for me to get moving...:ddog


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    #84
  5. chelo5sur

    chelo5sur Been here awhile

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    Pentax and you are workink very well.
    Waiting for more.
    #85
  6. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    After hours of riding in the cold rain...


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    on the Yellowhead Highway...

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    We stop for a late lunch/early dinner. We are already chilled.

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    I was excited to see a tiny sliver of the mountain through the clouds as we had only been seeing the bottoms of the mountains.

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    #86
  7. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    I think there are mountains somewhere around here.

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    The rivers are all in a big hurry to get somewhere else.

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    It was almost 5pm when we reach the famed Cassiar Highway.
    I opted to skip this fuel stop as I have at least a 400 mile range.
    We'll have no problem reaching Stewart...

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    #87
  8. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    After a short delay...

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    We thundered up the Cassiar Highway!

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    We feel like we are leaving civilization behind as there are no more homes and farms.
    I get the sense we are finally getting to the areas I was so looking forward to, but I was
    disappointed the landscape was obscured by the rain and clouds.

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    Bears were everywhere along the edge of the road. A couple even walked across in front of us.
    At one point a big black bear stopped in the middle of the road and stared us down as I slowed
    us down to a crawl. I honked the horn and he took off into the bushes.

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    The wooden bridges are probably slick when wet, but we had no trouble on them.
    The metal grate bridges were sketchy feeling though.

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    Hey little buddy!

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    #88
  9. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    Even though it's out of the way, everyone recommends visiting Hyder, Alaska.
    "You must get Hyderized!" Whatever that means.​

    So that's what we do. We turn down the Glacier Highway towards Stewart, BC and Hyder, AK.​

    I'm pretty sure the reason for riding left of the centerline here has something to do with bear avoidance.​

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    It's still wet and cold, but WOW! What a scenic ride!​

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    Helen tries to capture some of it while we zipped past.​

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    The ice is sliding out towards the highway.​

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    And there are bears galore! ​

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    #89
  10. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    At one scenic location along the route...

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    We stopped for a view of a beautiful glacier.

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    The rain clouds conceal many of the peaks.

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    With what we've seen, we now understand why it's named Bear Glacier.

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    #90
  11. 10/10ths

    10/10ths Road Trip Fool

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    ....sonofabitch!!!!!

    :D

    :lurk

    As a rider, and as an ex-photojournalist, and as a married guy with a job, I salute you.....BRAVO!
    #91
  12. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    The scenery continued to be awesome.​

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    One bridge was being replaced...​

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    Wonder what took it out?​

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    We roll into Stewart and up to the only gas pumps in town (I think). Oh no! The station closes at 7pm. It was 7:20!
    No pay-at-the-pump! This might be a problem. What to do? Stay here or Hyder overnight?
    If we leave tonight, will there be gas back at the Cassiar before to much further.​

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    We crossed into Hyder, Alaska uncermoniously. It was raining pretty steady. We are cold and wet.
    Wanting to put a few more miles behind us tonight, we really only wanted to stop for a break and
    snacks, but the General Store was also closed. We weren't hungry enough to sit outside to eat fish.
    We roll through "town" and 5 minutes later are... ​

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    ...begging to be let back into Canada. :lol3 Were we "Hyderized"? I still don't know what that means.:hmmmmm

    I do know this guy takes his job very seriously. I mean we had only been out of Canada for 5 minutes and
    hadn't even gotten off the bike. He asked lots more questions than at our first border crossing and
    even wanted to see the bear spray. Helen said later, she thought he was going to do a full search.
    I'm not complaining, as we got right back in with no extended delay. At least we were stopped under the roof out of the rain.:D

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    We race all the way back down the Glacier Highway. This time with more rain and less light. (But, just as many bears). ​

    Back at Meziadin Junction on the Cassiar Highway I looked for and found the gas station. Most highway junctions are opportune
    spots for fuel station, right? Problem is, this one doesn't appear to be in use. The weeds are taking over around the rusty pumps.​

    Oh no. Should I risk turning north? I really have no idea where gas will next be available. If there is a gas station before
    I run out, will they be open late at night? I might be the first fool with Safari Tanks to run them dry in the middle of nowhere. :rofl
    I remember Helen asking me after we left the Yellowhead Highway, "Shouldn't we have stopped for gas"?
    My reply, "Nah, we've got enough to make it to Stewart"...:shog

    (Sorry for the lack of pics here. I guess I don't take any when I'm scared.)​

    After a little while we reach the location of Bell 1. There appears to be nothing to Bell 1 but a parking lot/rest area and
    a large billboard. The billboard had a sign on top identifying the location as Bell 1. The rest of the billboard had a
    large map listing all of the fuel stops along the Cassiar. Just what I needed! Hopeful news of gas!
    The next fuel stop north is listed as Bell 2. I think it said the distance was 35 km or so. Okay. I think we can make it that far.
    Problem is. The same sign also says there is gas at Maziadin Junction. This info is out of date!
    Also, If Bell 1 is so small, how big can Bell 2 be?​

    So off we go, knowing if we run out of gas we'll be sleeping along the highway with the bears.
    If we make it to a gas station we'll likely be camping in the parking lot until they open in the morning...​


    Whatever happens, we can now say we rode all the way to Alaska!:rayof
    #92
  13. sarelp

    sarelp Been here awhile

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    Awesome report, I wish you guys all the best and I'm very jealous!
    Subscribed for damn sure !
    #93
  14. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    Hey! I resemble that remark! Well, all except the photojournalist part, unless you consider 23 Ride Reports to be photojournalism. I even grew up in the Bayou.:D Thanks for following along!
    #94
  15. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    We reach Bell 2, which was a really nice heli-skiing lodge. We were soo lucky! They do have gas and we got there 10 minutes before the clerk closed up for the night. We filled up the Safari Tanks with an impressive amount of fuel. At least, the clerk and a Honda Shadow rider were impressed.:lol3 It had been 380 miles since we last got gas. The low-fuel light wasn't even on.:wink:

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    This Honda was piloted by a young man trying to move from Alaska to Florida on a shoe-string budget.
    He was like so many Alaskan riders we met, woefully unprepared for cold, wet weather. :huh
    He said he would camp, but didn't have a decent sleeping bag. He said he was near hypothermia already,
    but had a warm bed waiting for him in Hyder. It was 11PM when we heard him head south. I hope he made it.​

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    The lodge had one tentsite left, so we took it and set up camp in the rain and mosquitos.​


    This was a pretty long day considering it was raining and cold all day.
    Helen doesn't do cold, even though she grew up in the Netherlands.
    However; she really impressed me by hanging tough all day without complaint.
    In hindsight, this day is remembered as fun. Funny how the brain works.​

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    #95
  16. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    Thanks, sarelp! Carpe Diem!
    #96
  17. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    We didn't really know this place was a heli-skiing lodge until the helicopters landed in the morning.


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    This is a nice place in the middle of nowhere.

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    We are invited into the dining area to get breakfast. It was set up buffet style.

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    The food was excellent! So that is real Canadian Bacon?

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    Silly me. I thought the meal was included with the lodging, until Helen got up to go pay.
    38 dollars for breakfast!:eek1 If I had known I wouldn't have felt so guilty about taking seconds.:D

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    Back onto the wet Cassiar! I loved the metal grate bridges. Just hang loose and let the bike wiggle all over the place.


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    The previous night I asked Helen if she had ever looked straight down. She hadn't.

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    #97
  18. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    For much of the Cassiar we missed the scenery due to the clouds and rain, but eventually the weather
    began to improve. The bears were still out in full force. I would slow down to allow Helen to get a
    good picture, but didn't realize until later she couldn't operate the zoom with her gloves on. ​

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    I don't know why they bother placing warning signs for the bumps. They don't have enough signs and the bumps without
    signs are usually much worse anyway. Of course, we are on a KTM so slowing down was never even considered.:D

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    Some of the rain refuses to go away.​

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    Just when you think you are doing something adventurous, the non-motorized 2 wheelers remind you otherwise. ​

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    #98
  19. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    We are not done with the rain yet.​

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    We managed to squeeze past this shower without getting wet.​

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    They use the term "highway" loosely up here.​

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    We stop for a look...​

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    ...at a pretty lake...​

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    and a couple moose on the other side.​

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    Notice the camera hanging recklessly from the lanyard?:wink:

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    #99
  20. BTL

    BTL No more snow!!

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    :ricky Lovin it....great photos...