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

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,236
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona



    [​IMG]



    This is such a nice ride!

    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]



    Helen waits for me at yet another photo stop.

    [​IMG]



    The bears ignore us. Nom, Nom, Nom.... Clovers!

    [​IMG]



    Larger Than Life!

    [​IMG]


    Cassiar Done! We finally reach the Alaska Highway.

    [​IMG]
  2. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,236
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Thanks, BTL!
  3. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,236
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    The Alaska Highway​

    [​IMG]



    At the next stop Helen tells me she has good news and bad news.​







    The Bad!​

    [​IMG]




    The good, she says, is it still works. No honey, the good is that I hated this camera anyway. Now I get to buy a new one! That's Good! :lol3
    My response surprised her. She thought I would get mad, but I love buying cameras.​


    So how does one destroy an indestructible camera?​

    Waterproof!​

    Dustproof!​

    Drop Proof! ​

    Crush Proof!​


    NOT Helenproof! NOT Meltproof!:eek1​

    She dropped the camera while we were riding and it landed on the exhaust. Before she could reel it back in with the lanyard, it was toast! (literally)​

    She tried to blame me for riding too fast. Something about needing both hands to hang on.:huh​


    The really bad news: Where do you buy a camera up here?​



    The really, really bad news: That's all folks! No more pictures.​




    [​IMG]













    :DJust Kidding.:D
  4. Brian06

    Brian06 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    117
    Location:
    Vernon, B.C.
    Dave, I say good riddance to that camera. I took the same one on a vacation trusting that it was fully waterproof for under water photography. Turns out mine was defective and took on water. Unfortunately for me it was the end of the pictures on the trip :(

    Anyway excellent RR! Loving the HDR pictures.
  5. live2ridetahoe

    live2ridetahoe RN

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,515
    Location:
    Concord, CA
    Wow!!

    Amazing photos. I love that postproduction work and all of the effects. Great RR. Subsctibed.

    JG
  6. Olorin_the_13th

    Olorin_the_13th Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    56
    Location:
    Saxony
    I'm a wee bit late, but I'm in.

    Nostalgically recalling the greatest moments of the past while living a dream you had for so long with the woman, which enabled the great moment of the past in the first place...what more is there to say?

    Enjoying your report along with a Bruchladdich Single Malt Scotch Whisky from the Isle of Islay. You Americans did not manage to screw up everything, after all :cool:
  7. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,236
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    At the Racheria Market we stopped for fuel and met several other riders. In the background, Helen found a Dutch rider to practice her native language with.​

    [​IMG]


    Bob and "Reverse Gear"​

    [​IMG]



    Bob was just as passionate about the KTM as I am. We had a good time discussing the different mods to each others bike. It was the only KTM 990 w/Safari Tanks spotted all trip. They are a British couple coming back from Prudhoe Bay. They have ridden over 60,000 km and also did the southern tip of South America. ​

    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]


    The Dutchman and a Cool Old Ride​

    [​IMG]



    A little further down the road we were delayed slightly at the washout location. The big rusty culvert used to be what the small creek ran under the highway in.
    A week or so earlier this section of the Alaska Highway was completely closed after a flashflood didn't like squeezing into the culvert.​

    [​IMG]


    In Teslin, we stopped to dry off after riding through a big rainstorm at the Yukon Motel and Restaurant. We hadn't really planned on eating dinner yet,
    but looking at everyone else's big plates of home-cooked style meals changed our minds. We had probably the best meal of the trip here. We give this place 4 thumbs up!​


    I had the Turkey Dinner...​

    [​IMG]




    ...and some of Helen's Pot Roast.​

    [​IMG]
  8. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,236
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona


    The clouds open up enough to see some of the mountains.

    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]


    After a little while, the rain returns.

    [​IMG]



    We had hoped to camp again, but it was raining and we were tired as we rode our black horse into Whitehorse, YT. We checked into the Yukon Lodge at about 10:30 PM.

    [​IMG]
  9. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,236
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Thanks brother! It's always nice to meet another Aprilia owner here. We are outnumbered.


    Thanks JG!

    Brian06, I've heard of these cameras not always being leak proof, but mine worked well in the hot tub. I really only purchased this camera for shots while on the bike, since I was tired of dust ruining photos from my other P-N-S cameras. I never liked the image quality or menus and it was difficult to use one-handed without getting a finger in front of the lens. I say good riddance as well. Luckily we had 2 other cameras + the helmet cam with us.
  10. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,236
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Today is the day we plan to make it to Alaska (again).
    We need to survive the Alaska Highway in the Yukon Territories first.
    Holy Bumpy Pot-Holed Hell!:eek1
    In one rather heavily pot-holed construction zone we hit one big hole so hard I thought for sure we had crashed.
    When I opened my eyes and realized we were still upright, Helen was punching me in the kidneys.:lol3
    We hit that bump so hard her foot slipped off the peg and then her ankle slammed into the bike leaving a big contusion.
    Maybe I'll slow down for the next construction zone. Maybe...​


    It was cold and rainy most of the day!​

    The rivers were all swollen.​

    [​IMG]



    and the bridges a little sketchy.​

    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]


    As the highway was wrapping around Kluane Lake we were treated to extreme crosswinds, pouring rain and temperatures as low as 38 degrees. Ouch! It was painful. My faceshield was fogging and so I spent as much time as I could stand with it opened. We pull into the "She'll Breeze Inn" at Destruction Bay. I'm glad the place was there as we were badly in need of a warmup. The food was just okay, barely. ​



    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]



    We reach the border crossing to Alaska. There is a long line of vehicles. We sit in the slow moving line for over 20 minutes in the heaviest thunderstorm of the trip. We get a thorough soaking and start getting worried as the lightning gets closer and closer. Finally it's our turn and we are welcomed into Alaska!​

    We meet a Harley rider from Alaska and end up leapfrogging him at a couple other stops. We are in Tok, Alaska when he mentions maybe just riding all the way home tonight. He said it was another 7 hours. I made a remark about the safety of riding in the dark. He reminded me it never really gets dark here this time of year. Doh! I guess I knew that, but do you really believe it before seeing it? That's when I realized for the first time, we really are way up north! ​


    [​IMG]


    We made it to Tok where all of our crap exploded all over a room at Young's Motel.
    We are learning "waterproof" doesn't really mean it...​

    [​IMG]


    That's all for Day 10.​
  11. arjones

    arjones Roads and Waves

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Bahia, Brazil
    [​IMG]


    Bob and "Reverse Gear"​

    [​IMG]



    "
    Bob was just as passionate about the KTM as I am. We had a good time discussing the different mods to each others bike. It was the only KTM 990 w/Safari Tanks spotted all trip. They are a British couple coming back from Prudhoe Bay. They have ridden over 60,000 km and also did the southern tip of South America. ​
    "

    First of all, I'd like to say your "ride report style" is the best ever. Amazing photos, plus texts only when it's really necessary and well written too.

    Believe me or not, on the first days of January/2012 I was riding out of El Calafate, south Patagonia (going back home in northeast Brasil), and I had a little chat with this couple. They were happy to talk in English for a change, since they were far from home for quite some time and struggling with the Spanish. And to find them here in your RR?:huh This definitely proves to me that this advrider forum stuff is really amazing.:clap:lol3:clap

    Also is important to say that his wife is not only his "reverse gear", but helps him to throw his leg over his bike (I saw it and it was an example of "team work" right there):lol3:D I don't want "to hijack" your thread, but when I get home I'm gonna looking for some photos I took of them, just to check with you they are the same couple (well, I'm pretty sure they are:deal)

    Anyways, congrats on your photo work man, it's really beautiful. And if I could write a RR some day, I would do it the way you do it.:deal

    Thanks for sharing.

    Arjones.
  12. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,755
    Location:
    NorCal
    As others have said, amazing photos! :thumb
  13. max384

    max384 Bandaided

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,674
    Location:
    Sugar Notch, PA
    Wow. You don't happen to have the coordinates to this bridge, do you? I keep an ever-evolving list of places, big or small, that I want to see. This looks cool enough to make it on the list!

    BTW, I switch desktop backgrounds quite frequently... and this picture just made it as my new background for the time being!
  14. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,236
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    It's a small advrider World Arjones. He is actually a member here, but said he nevers posts. I hope I got his name right. I don't know his name here. Here's another picture of them. I forgot her real name, maybe Cindy or Sharon. Oops!
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for the kind words.:thumb



    Thanks vtwin! It's always nice to hear you guys are enjoying it.

    Here's a hint:
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    It's just off the highway. We didn't actually ride across this bridge.

    [​IMG]
  15. max384

    max384 Bandaided

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,674
    Location:
    Sugar Notch, PA
    Thanks for the info and additional pics!
  16. AZST

    AZST Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    31
    I'm so in.

    That coastal highway is pure magic.

    :clap

    --Bryan
  17. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,236
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Day 11: July 1st, 2012

    This morning I awoke in a strange bed and in a foul mood.
    I re-orient myself, Oh yeah, we're in Tok, and walk over to the window.
    Shit! It's still raining.
    I pick up my phone to check the weather forecast. Nothing hopeful.
    I check my iPod. I left it on the charger overnight hoping it would come back to life after it crapped out in the super-soaker thunderstorm.
    iPod is DEAD! Apparently they don't like water.
    My expensive "waterproof" "Rain" boots have dried, but I know within 30 minutes of riding my feet will be wet and cold.
    I'm not really looking forward to another full day of boring highways with clouds obscuring the scenery.
    My ass hurts! Really HURTS! Everyone complains about the stock seat, but it had never bothered me much before.
    Now with a passenger I was unable to scoot around or stand as much. I realize the thing is really an extreme torture device.
    I find myself snapping at Helen over everything. I'm irritable (more so than normal).
    I apoligize and explain my foul mood, then a few minutes later, I snap again.
    Are we stupid to just keep riding north in these conditions? If it's cold and wet here, how bad is the mud and snow gonna be if we continue?
    Maybe we should just turn tail and head towards warmer climates. Salvage our vacation together. Misery isn't fun. Is it?

    We struggle into the layers of rain gear anyway and load up the bike. Now I'm sweating like a pig.
    I get pissed again because it's taking way to long to get moving. I'm hot! Let's GO!

    We hit the highway and head out of Tok in the damned rain. Nothing but the ROAR of the wind to listen to.:cry



    The locals have all been telling us it's the wettest summer they can remember. I'm not sure if I should believe them. Maybe they just tell everyone that so they'll come back for another attempt next summer?:lol3

    I fully expected it could rain on us the entire trip. I just woke up on the wrong side of a strange bed this morning. I had hoped to get a few pictures of Alaska though.

    If I had only known what was in store for us today...




    After about 2 hours the rain stopped and the clouds began breaking up. We stopped to remove the rain suits.
    The rivers here are incredible. Are they always this high?

    [​IMG]


    By time we reached the Air Force Base it was a beautiful sunny day.:clap

    [​IMG]


    We make it to Fairbanks. Can you believe it? The weather is a sunny and warm 85 degrees! A supply run at Wal-Mart was the first priority. We dumped a can of "waterproofing" spray onto our boots. Will it help?

    [​IMG]



    My plans were to get new tires then run north up the Dalton Highway some before finding a campsite. Then I wanted to ride up to Prudhoe Bay to do the Arctic Ocean Tour in the afternoon. Sounds like a reasonable pace, right? They advertise a tour at 9 AM and another at 3 PM. The 3 PM tour seemed perfect.

    We were eating a late lunch at Boston Pizza (A chain restaurant we don't have in Arizona). I gave Helen the phone number to call for the Arctic Ocean Tour reservation. The reservations must be made one day in advance for security reasons. It's 4 PM when Helen calls to find out they do not have the afternoon tour on Monday. Decision time, either we can try to make it there at 9 AM or fall a full day behind schedule. We can do it. It doesn't get dark here. Make the reservation for 9 AM! :eek1 Helen said, "What!?! Are you crazy? Can we make it?" "Yeah, no problem." "I'm gonna kill you if it rains!":rofl


    Now that our schedule is set, let's go get the bike serviced.
  18. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,815
    Location:
    behind BigWan, trying to keep my feet tucked in :)
    Hi Dave!
    Matt just found your report last night (sorry we're late :(:) and we hooked the computer up to the tv...
    WOW. your photos are stunning.

    We just rode through some of those areas (Whistler, Lillooet, Squamish, etc.), but offroad and/or in the dark.
    It was great to see what we missed! well, maybe not "great," but you know what I mean...


    So, we're all waiting to hear what happened next, Mr. Crankypants...
    :evil
  19. shallowskiff

    shallowskiff Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    489
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Incredible!
  20. InTheMuck

    InTheMuck So it goes...

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    372
    Location:
    Amongst the has beens & the addicts (Verona, WI)
    People are really setting the bar high these days for report writing and photography...and you sir are at the top of the list :freaky

    I bet it is a little odd writing about how cold and wet you were, now that you are back in hot and dry Arizona :D

    Can't wait to see the rest of this one!