Whatever/Whenever. RR Father/Son to AK

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by GR8ADV, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

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    Wow, a kid that might not suck thousands of dollars a year out of my wallet. I am actually having a hard time with the whole concept of that. I will check with the missus. pics may be required... of the grandkids. :D
    #21
  2. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

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    Great pic!! so cool when you can ride with your kids. So cool.

    Where are you going on the Island? Canada is a great place to ride and the island portion is no exception. There is just so few people in canada. I am amazed at how folks want to blow through BC and the YT to get to AK. The country is beautiful and remote with lakes and mountians everywhere. AK is crowded in comparison.

    Would be interested in your plans, and a RR is coming right?
    #22
  3. TomTom63

    TomTom63 Motorradfahrer

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    That's how I grew up too...

    1967: ...4 years old

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    1981: ...18 years old, riding with dad :D

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    Those were cool times growing up. This will always stick with me. Dad passed away 12 years ago.

    And, yes, please keep it coming. I'm enjoying your report a great deal. Especially, since we met in Hyder :thumb
    #23
  4. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

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    Now Thomas, thank you for sharing. Those are some great pictures :clap

    I bet you have some wonderful memories. I do recall now you talking about being hauled around in the sidecar and letting Pia know she had it pretty 'cushy' on the back of and adventure :D

    What are you riding in that second shot?
    #24
  5. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

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    Woke today at 6. Not tired, just too happy to he out here. Blue skies with some low clouds in the river valley that would burn off quickly. What a day.

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    A routine is forming. I would get up a couple hours before Chris. Brew up some coffee, write in my journal and get some time to enjoy and reflect. I walked around the area this morning, making as much anti-bear noise as I could. Only yhe sound of the river encapsulated in intense quiet.

    We head out after a wonderful (really) boil in a bag bfast. Up the dirt road, which we both wondered how we would get up this if it had rained.

    the Backroad is a classic. Idk how long it is, 150 miles? An awesome well maintained gravel road through the Cariboo and into Wells Park. I am not sure I will find a more enjoyable ride than that. This is the road leading up to it.

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    Like always I should have taken more pics along the way. I generally take pictures when I stop, but when the riding is awesome, I have trouble stopping. Miles and miles of beauty. Here is my chance at art, but all I get is a nice picture of my mirror:D

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    The road passes many waterfalls and lakes. Chris who seldom passes up a chance to take a dip, regardless of the weather, looks over longingly at the stretch of the Cariboo lake and hits the radio.

    Chris, "dad, where are our swim trunks"
    Dad, "in the dryer at whistler"
    Chris, "that's what I was thinking too"

    We come across our first Bear as we round a corner. Big and black and right in the road coming towards us. Fortunately for us, he wants less to do with us than we want with him.

    Now next time someone tells you that bear sh$t in the woods you can tell them, no, they crap in the road. Because there are either a few bears here that have a digestive problem, or there is one hell of a lot of bears around here. We have to drive around the bear scat there is so much of it in the road. ALL OVER the damn place.

    We do take a side trip to Ghost lake and falls.

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    We meet a great guy there who is a professional photographer. He stops by as we are looking at the falls. He said he has come by to get some pics of grizzlies. Ah, what was that? He agrees with the coffin dodging propector in Likely that nothing would get him in a tent in the area.

    He does take a couple pics for us and will email them home to Ms. Adv and let her know, that at least up to this point we have not been eaten.

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    There was a campsite right there, and looking back, we should have just parked it. It was beautiful and it would have been fun to explore the area and lake. But we forged on. Off to Wells and had a late lunch at a dingy old trailer called Big H's I believe. We were not expecting much for fish and chips, but when he pulled out the fresh fillets and the bowl of home made batter we new we were in business. Now I know that Hunger Provides its own Sauce, but damn this was fish and chips to recon with.

    We head to Prince George, stop and pick up a couple new swim suits and head west. We miss a camp site and keep going and finally stop at I think Dave's RV. This is an urban RV jungle and lucky they are nice enough to send us into the campsite in Vanderhoof. Not remote, but quiet, quaint and too urban for bears.

    The guy who runs it is a blast and gives us a quiz out of a book. The better we do the cheaper it gets. We suck and he feels sorry for us $10.

    Chris looks at a map and sees with the big BackRoad detour that we have gone 1.5 inches today. And the Circle is, oh, about 2 feet north. Holy "shizzle" are you kidding me? The distance is starting to sink in. He is a bit put off after a couple long days. We agree to shorten them.

    Evening rolls around we relax and hit the hay. It's dark, and will likely not see much dark for some time.

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    #25
  6. TomTom63

    TomTom63 Motorradfahrer

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    The bike in the second picture was a 1972 Moto-Guzzi 850GT. I re-build it myself and got it ready just when I turned 18.

    You'll see in my signature that the Moto-Guzzi was my first bike. Back in my days in Germany, one had to be 18 years of age to make a car/motorcycle license.

    All the best,
    Thomas
    #26
  7. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

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    Woke up to hear it raining last night and expected things to be quite wet as I crawled out of the trusty tent. bone dry? I am so use to the Northwet where it is like a perpetual rain forest, I forget that with the dry air up here things dry out quickly.

    Ok Sleep is starting to get to us. The days are getting longer and we are staying up to midnight everynight. Chris being the teenager that he is needs sleep, so the earlier get ups 8 am :huh are killing him. He gets to sleep-in today. We have decided that we will not have any more L o n g days in the saddle as the norm so today will be short.

    Holy crap, we have been in Canada for almost a week now and have not been to a Tim Hortons!! We fix that this morning with a double:double and lots of sugar. We are well caffeinated and loaded up on enough evil to be fine for a few days. We hit the road around 11 with mild temps and broken clouds. My mirror is loose and I need to tighten it. I don't know who invented the two nut and left hand thread concept at BMW but damn, I always need two tools, three hands and do the work while looking in a mirror backwards and sideways to figure this out.

    We hit Smithers around lunch. Cloudy and a few showers. But it is quite a pretty town nestled in the mountains. We have been eyeballing A&W's for the past day or so and get our fix now. The skys clear quite a bit after lunch and we can see how beautiful this town is. Our end point today will be New Hazelton at the foot of the Cassiar. A short ride after a couple long days.

    Apparently the most photographed bridge in the country? I guess I can buy that.

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    I am deathly afraid of heights. And crossing this baby challenged me to know end. I stopped breathing, stared at the end and prayed I would get there. At the end I stop and look in my mirrors and Chris is up and down on the saddle, looking around like he is at the fair.

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    The Ksan reservation is at the fork of the Buckly and Steen rivers I think, and there is a nice campsite.

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    We are having too much fun here. Nice place, as we wonder from the historic indian village, over to the general store for a milkshake, off to the river to skip a few stones and watch the locals try their luck at trying to kill some fish. We tuck the tent away in a little forested clearing. The Lions guard the area. This would become the norm.

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    So far the bugs have been great! Quite remarkable, and we are glad. However sometimes it is not the amount of bugs, but where they bite you that matters.
    We may have been away too long, but somehow this reminds me of an old girlfriend from highschool.

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    One thing about camping is that there is time to really enjoy what is around you. The air is so clean and clear. A quick look up shows us just one more thing that makes this trip great.

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    Had some time today, so we took a lot of hikes and walks down by the river, had lots of time to just 'be' instead of 'go'.

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    Or grab a cup of tea and head down to the river(s). We be hangin' loose.

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    On one of these walks the squirrels 'jacked' Chris's corn nuts. This would be a bond that would last for the trip.

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    Strange how things play out. This is a place I have never heard of, never mind would have normally stopped at. Whatever/Whenever in full force. I am a bit giddy as we head to bed; the beginning of the Cassiar first thing in the morning and we plan to be in Hyder later in the day. AK here we come. :clap
    #27
  8. Jigo

    Jigo Westbound

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    Wish I could do the same trip as soon as I can save enough for a dual-purpose bike. Great pictures and story. Keep it coming. :clap
    #28
  9. gs211

    gs211 Adventurer wannabe!!

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    :clap Looks like a great trip. Someday it will be done with my son!
    #29
  10. C-Stain

    C-Stain Accredited Nincompoop

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    No Nipples in RRs! Oh wait....those aren't nipples... :puke1
    #30
  11. CalgaryKLR

    CalgaryKLR Been here awhile

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    The Cassiar is an amazing road for sure. Wish I was there with you guys now.

    Telegraph Creek is a good trip too, west out of Dease Lake, about 2 hours if I remember.....

    Enjoy...
    #31
  12. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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    Nice RR so far, can't wait to see the rest.

    Thanks also for the "Back road" map in BC! :thumb Any more inside tips like this are greatly appreciated, as I plan my Alaska trip for next summer.
    #32
  13. enumclaw

    enumclaw I just....don't know

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    Still working out the details, but for sure we're going to see how much of the coastline we can find and see. My wife's sister and her husband live in Ladysmith, and that will be the first stop. It will be a whatever/whenever type of trip as well. Keeping the option open to skip over to Horseshoe Bay and run up to Whistler and beyond, dropping to the south and coming back home that way. Definitely a RR forthcoming!
    #33
  14. Marathon Biker

    Marathon Biker Adventurer

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    Can't wait to ride with my son. He's only 12 at the moment but loves bikes and riding pillion on mine!

    Great RR :)
    #34
  15. gs211

    gs211 Adventurer wannabe!!

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    My son is 12 also and loves to ride w/ me on the GS. I sold it yesterday and he told me I shouldn't have. I read all the RR's about Alaska and he stands behind me at the computer and asks if he can go. He knows I'm planning an Alaska trip.:rofl
    #35
  16. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

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    1) You should not have sold the bike.
    2) You should take him on your trip.
    3) You need to listen more to his advice. He sounds pretty sharp. :D

    I hope you get a chance to do this.
    #36
  17. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

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    Cool morning, and need gloves today around the camp. At least there is lots of blue sky so no way am I complaining. Looking especially forward to the ride today as we hit the Cassiar and point north towards Stewart and Hyder :D

    As we approach the intersection of the Cassiar there was a couple sitting in their car in the parking lot by the Petro Canada sign. Just sitting there waiting for us it seems. This angel jumps out of the car when we arrived and asked for our camera. Go figure, I guess maybe we wern't the first to do this:wink: Now she won't take just one, she needs one with just us, then include the bikes, then one of just the sign without the Petro Canada sign. She is not a noob at this corner. And if she went to all of this trouble, I am not going to mess with going to hell by not showing them to you.

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    The Cassiar is amazing, as soon as you get on it. The road is relatively narrow compared to any real highway. The shoulders and cleared area besides the road is very limited. This is a great road. Strange but for the next two hours or so we see only a couple cars, both going the other way. We get to the turnoff to Stewart and Hyder and hang a quick left.

    Ok so you will have to bear with me cus I don't have any pictures along this road. What a ride. Twisty road pinched in between two high mountains and a creek/river that winds along with you. Steep faces at times. It is lush green with waterfalls that cascade. I did think about stopping for a pic, I really did, but I kept thinking that a picture could never capture this. It reminds me most of lush Kauai, wet, overly green, except that it is in the high 40's now and cool. Forget about getting to Stewart and Hyder, the road 'getting' there is worth the trip:clap

    Yup there it is, the Bear Glacier. Damn this is beautiful. We stop for the pictures I am sure none of you have seen before haha . But i tell ya, you may have seen them before, but if you come here you will take 20 of yer own. Stunning.

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    Yup we were actually there.

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    We arrive at Stewart, which is a pretty good size very small town. A going concern I must say. 2 miles to the Border. When we get there we, well we keep going cus there is no border. I guess there is nowhere for you to go so why ask you a bunch of questions.

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    Hyder, is not so much a going concern. dirt road and many places boarded up. But there is something about this place I like! We need some food so we stop and ask around. Turns out most things are closed today, well the restaurants are anyway, the bars are all open :D The only restaurant is the BUS; cool we are in.

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    Damn fine seafood and a chowder to write home about. We got the third to last bowl. People actually came by earlier in the day and reserved bowls for later. That should tell ya something.

    There is a huge RV group in town that apparently is taking over the campground :( We hear about them from the folks at the bus, and they are up at the Salmon Glacier today. Glad we are down here. don't get me started on the RV folks...

    We head off to the campground and wind our way around my favorite folks to find out that we can't camp there, this is for RV's only. Damn, if it wasn't for bad luck we would not have any luck at all. He points us to the campground down the road. We are the only ones there.

    While I set up camp Chris decides he wants to try out the Adventure. I give him some great Dad advice, like don't crash and he is off. He comes back with a poop eatin grin and says he loves it. As small and maneuverable as the 650 is and as big of a pig as the adv is, it is still a high end piece of technology and equipment. He loves it. And just to let me know, he will trade any time.

    We planned on just hangin around today and going up to Salmon Glacier tomorrow. But Chris has the idea of heading up in a couple hours after the RV folks are done. It is not like it is going to get dark or anything. Whatever, that's what we do.

    Nice gravel road, a few loose spots to stand up on as you climb, a few holes, fun to ride. the sun is at our backs. Now if you travel up to these parts, ya better get your butt to Hyder and the Salmon Glacier. Here are a few thousand words to convince you.

    Having Liard Hot Springs on his mind, Chris is sure that this is a Hot Pool.

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    I expect those cracks you see are hundreds of feet deep.

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    WOW

    As we head back to town we check out a couple of shops. It seems that making fudge must be a northern exposure kind of thing. Or maybe just a great way to make money, because every small town we stop in has a place that sells fudge. This one is no different and damn is it good. Caroline is also great fun to talk with.

    She says it is a great place to live, with the ocean it does not get too much below freezing. But they get many feet of snow. She loves to live there. By mid november the place shuts down and folks focus on enjoying themselves, winter life, and shoveling snow.

    Just in case you were wondering, we did laundry and took showers today too :lol3 Chris did laundry but I am not suppose to tell mom that he knows how to do that.

    After a bag of dinner we take a stroll to the general store to stock up on smore stuff. Every night ends the same way, a fire and smores. I will get to smores tomorrow, cus its getting late, but suffice it to say that smores are not just smores in our family. We could go on the cooking network. But smore later.

    On the way we run into John from 29 palms on a GS and his buddy on a klr I think. They are staying in the motel. We also run into fellow ADV'rs (T.Rex63) Thomas and his lovely bride Pia who are also staying at the motel. Now tell me, is there a better name for an off road riders wife than Pia?? Great folks and we share stories. They arrived today, and are heading south. They will be spending an extra day in Hyder to see the Glacier, and most likely eat some fudge. Thomas lives in Atlanta, and Pia in Germany. Now that is long distance. She is a real trooper to take this trip on the Pillion. I think it may have been her first big ride. Too fun to talk to a guy who's ride reports I have read.

    The store was closed. We walk back to the campsite.

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    Camping has been a real treat, and I can't imagine doing it any other way. It is almost the same difference as touring Alaska in a car vs a bike. When you are camping you see, feel, smell everything, and really feel a part of the area. We are enjoying it. Chris is becoming proficient with the hatchet and we have great, white man, (read huge and wasteful) fires every night.

    It is a little after midnight.

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    As the air starts to get cool, we both have that really wonderful feeling of anticipation as we think about slipping into those warm down sleeping bags again.

    Thanks for reading. I hope I am not boring everybody with the long posts.






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    #37
  18. wswartzwel

    wswartzwel Unsafe at any speed

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    Great report! Just got back from riding Colorado with my 17 year old son...

    Looks like I need to start planing an Alaska trip now.. :)
    #38
  19. kcbolt

    kcbolt n00b

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    Excellent RR and no, it is NOT boring. Thanks for posting it. It's great to see someone else from the Seattle area doing this ride. I hope to be able to copy large parts of it some day. Looking forward to the rest of your trip!
    #39
  20. TomTom63

    TomTom63 Motorradfahrer

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    Hey Ken, thanx for sharing :clap. Fantastic write up and stunning pictures. Keep it coming. It's my daily dose of Alaska, now that it has been almost 4 weeks that I've come back home :thumb
    #40