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

    Joined:
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    Damn! That is a cool shot. :clap But why did you push that road sign into the snow like that. :wink:

    On this trip, If I had a buck for every time I said that I want to come back up here in the winter I could have bought one them sno-machines!!

    Great pic man. Thanks for sharing.
  2. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

    Joined:
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    I am not sure there could have been a better sight for me that morning than shadows on the inside of the tent. That meant SUNSHINE outside. :clap

    I dragged a bike out, strung a line and did my best impersonation of a white trash campground as I could. The moisture didn't do my camera any favors either even though it was tucked away in my goretex jacket.

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    Now when I said everything got wet. I mean everything. Chris was left to his suit and only put things on as they dried. Lucky for us it was very warm and dry at 9 am and everything dried out very quickly. If you look on the log, every piece of paper we owned is spread out to dry. It was one wet night.

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    A german couple came by, likely thinking that there was maybe something to buy at the garage sale. they had been traveling for about two weeks, and although they have enjoyed themselves, they were disappointed because the weather had been so bad that they have not 'seen' much of the beauty because of the cloud cover. I counted my blessing at our good fortune as I let them know that it would be steller clear for them in the rockies now that they have talked to us.

    Time to regroup and pack. I think he is helping...

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    Just before the Canadian Border there is a construction zone. As we wait for the pilot car I spy myself in the mirror. The first time in a while. Now I know why I have never had a beard before in my life.:D

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    We get to the Canadian Boarder Crossing which is about 20 miles south of the American Crossing, just at Beaver Creek. I asked the Boarder lady where was a good place to eat in town. She informed me, in a not too kind way, that if I went to the Visitor Center they would be glad to help me with that kind of information. It seemed that she would not stoop to be a lowly visitor center employee while she was protecting the country.

    I packed my passport back into the zip lock bag, slipped it into my waistband, put my gloves on and started to roll away. Then I stopped, and looked back and her and asked, " so if you were me and you were looking for some really good food where would you go today". "Buckshot Betty's just down the road on your left" Thank you. :D

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    Betty's is back off the road and I would have never found it or stopped. there were three other bikers heading north. they had been putting on some miles and were tired. I sold them my bearspray as we needed the money now more than we would be needing that anymore.

    OK guys and gals. You have to stop here for lunch. In my 50 years I have never tasted grilled sandwiches that good. Buckshot Bettys ding ding :clap

    Oh and the pie...

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    The three riders left. We warned them of the construction zone, and wished them luck. The told us the road south was in bad bad shape.

    As we were leaving I asked a local about the elevation as we headed south. I could not remember if there was a pass to go through or not. they said no, but he road is crappy be careful. ah ok, we have ridden some pretty good stuff already and I think we will be ok.

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    We fueled up, and an RV'er chats us up. He is heading north. Back in the day he use to ride. He looks at our bikes and I can see his memory ticking over. He smiles, wishes us luck and says, oh by the way the road is really bad. We laugh, ok, thanks good luck.

    So we head south and would you believe it. The road sucks. Holy Shizzle, this is the worst road I have ever been on. Heaves on heaves, huge cracks, pot holes, pot crevasses :eek1 If you hit these you would be gone. We were out of our saddle 10 x more than we were on any of the dirt. Chris had to stop to remove his sheepskin because it was getting in the way of the ups and downs. In most towns this road would be closed.

    I wish somebody had at least warned us!

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    It is about 8 pm. We are coming up to Burwash landing. We stop.

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    Grab a soda and take in the site.

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    So do you want to camp here I ask. How far to Haines Junction. About 80 miles. Nah, lets keep going.

    We head south and the cool evening light is on full. There is no traffic. We come to Destruction Bay and Kluane Lake. Now I was not expecting this beauty. The lake is glass smooth. The road winds gently, my god this is where I want them to spread my ashes. I said to myself 10x to stop and take a picture. I couldn't stop; the bikes purrred through and we sucked in the moment, uninterrupted.

    We fuel up in Haines Junction. The weather has been beautiful all Day.

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    We decide to head to Skagway and not Haines. We use our deductive skills to eliminate all of the other roads that don't go to Skagway and then we head out.

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    We stop at Pine Lake Campground and find a nice place with lots of woods and few neighbors.

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    We meet a single mom and her 15 hear old from Whitehorse. Great folks. Share a beer and chat for a long while. I can hear her thoughts take her to other times as she tells us that they have been coming here for the last 17 years. She shares with us that one of her favorite campsites is in Dyea, just before Skagway. It is in the heart of Grizzly country, but beautiful. Hmmm, did I just sell my bearspray?

    The lions know the routine and move themselves into place. We gather around the fire and enjoy yet another wonderful, wonderful night together.

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    Now I am not sure what was in those beers but I swear, if you step back from your computer, the coals look like Freddy Kruger in an army hat. ymmv :D

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  3. richleif270

    richleif270 Adventurer

    Joined:
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    interior of BC
    Ha, i love the bit about our border guard! You just have to remember they can be kind of cranky because they are in charge of keeping our border safe from all the terrorists and dangerous looking folks coming in on BMW's and they are still not allowed to have a gun!!! Great RR, keep it coming!
  4. Off Limits

    Off Limits Banned

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    loli see the freddy
  5. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    865
    Location:
    Northwet
    Kick that "could" make it a "will" and you will be on your way. You will both never forget it, And his 'never' is one hell of a long time :D

    We were challenged in our planning. Many things, heavily disguised as reason, will try to get in your way. But obstacles are things that get in the way only when we lose sight of the goal. It will take some arrangment, some sacrifice, some money and some effort to pull it off. But nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

    I hope to be reading your RR soon. GL
  6. dino2000

    dino2000 No Bad Daze

    Joined:
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    Great read! The game was the World Cup final Spain v. Holland
  7. Olslopoke

    Olslopoke Old but cunning

    Joined:
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    Alberta, Canada
    --Now I am not sure what was in those beers but I swear, if you step back from your computer, the coals look like Freddy Kruger in an army hat. ymmv :D


    Ohhh.. I see it too and I'm kinda creeped out. No more of these okay.:uhoh
  8. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

    Joined:
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    Oh, so close. But no cigar.
  9. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

    Joined:
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    Took a stroll down to the lake to eat; nice view. For some reason the granola tasted pretty good this morning.

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    We hit the road and I notice that we are now exactly 200 miles to Skagway. Hard to believe that we only have about 200 miles of riding left until we catch the ferry to Bellingham. Whitehorse splits the ride in two, and we stop there, to look around. For some serious Whatever, we hit a Japanese restaurant for some food.

    We have heard a lot about how pretty the road is into Skagway, and we are looking forward to it. As we get back on the road we are now 100 miles away, and I start to feel a little, well, melancholy. We still have some days ahead but this marks the end of the 'ride', and for those of you who are parents you know that this trip meant so much on so many levels.

    Given that, I refuse to let it go, and stop to take pictures as I have this weird feeling of having to capture every drop. The good new is that this is one hell of a stretch of highway.

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    Looks better than the day we left.

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    I wasn't prepared for the beautiful high alpine. Isn't Skagway by the ocean? We have to go way down pretty fast somewhere.

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    We stopped at the suspension bridge, and as a good tourist we spent about 3x what it was worth to go have a look. But it was still cool.

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    Downstream and up.

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    And no, the picture perfect beauty never seems to end.

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    The final boarder crossing back into AK USA. From here it is tight switchbacks, as it drops down to skagway at about 11%.

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    I had never heard of Dyea in any of my readings. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention. The turnoff is on your right less than a mile before town. 6 miles to Dyea. 6 miles of dirt :clap wow, just like a dessert you wern't expecting.

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    And it just keeps getting better.

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    As the road wraps around the bay.

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    I will have to do a search on this when we get back. I love this place, and we are not even there yet.

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    And here is our campsite. You can tell by the lions. These are the wonderful camp hosts, and Mr. Ranger Sir.

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    You might notice that the tent is not in the background. Cus actually this was not our camp ground, but out kitchen. We ate here, and used the fire pit. But with the permission of Mr. Ranger we were able to take our abode out to the empty beach that fronts the river.

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    All by ourselves, well along with the seal that kept coming up river looking for salmon.

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    We liked our beach. And would spend two nights here we liked it so much.

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    The light breeze kept all the bugs away. The white sand kept the light long into the evening. No earplugs needed at all tonight with the hummm of the river and the occasional rumble of the rocks tumbling on the bottom.
  10. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

    Joined:
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    Dyea is going to be an interesting place. This is/was the town where the gold rushers came into port; before Skagway and the White Pass railroad. It is the head of the Chilkoot trail that they used to 'climb' to the interior.

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    The Canadian government made sure they had 20,000 # of supplies or they could not get on the trail. the trail includes what are referred to as the golden stairs, stairs cut into the ice (safest to travel in winter due to avalanches) to the top of the pass. It is a good 4-5 day hike now with a 30 # pack. I can't imagine back then. This hike is now on my list.

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  11. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

    Joined:
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    No water in the campsite. So I make my way about 1/4 mile up the road to a nice stream coming down the mountain. We boil anyway.

    We hang and enjoy 'our' Taiya River.

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    And the tent is hidden in there...

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    Chris was amazed by the flakes of gold in the sand in the river. Me too!

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    After a morning of exploring we head off to Skagway to do some 'urban' exploring. Nice town, but in all reality it is simply there for the boat tourists.

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    And every town has to have its hmmmm.

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    Lunch for fish and chips. And nope, still not as good as Big H's in Wells BC. We see the 'campsites" in town. Boy did we make the right call staying in Dyea. Big open swaths of gravel and lotso RV's.

    The natural beauty just looking around is the jewel of the area.

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    We shop in some of the stores, stock up at the market and then head back to Dyea for a swim.

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    No keepin that boy out of the water, no matter how cold, no matter how fast.

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    Now it looks pretty tame in the photos, but here you can see, it is a movin.

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    This is one heck of a day. And we enjoy a little of the gold as we chillax

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    It is around 6 or so and the more we think about it, being this close to the Chilkoot trail and not hiking some of it would be a real waste. So we head out to find the Beaver Pond about 2.5 or 3 miles in.

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    The trail starts with Saints hill, which is nearly straight up and straight down. We are told that if you get over it without cursing, you may be a saint.

    The trail is great, and the views are better. It is really cool to think that we are walking, not in the same area, but in the same footsteps as all of those sourdoughs.

    The pic does not grab the steepness

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    Along the river.

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    Now as we are walking around, it is clear that we are in bear country. And Grizzly country to boot. And I can not believe I sold the bearspray just the other day. We make a lot of noise.

    We get to the pond, and it is very very cool.

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    The hike back takes on a bit more sketchy with bear scat, and the idea that if we run into a bear, we can make more noise, and likely it will go off into the woods, but since we are heading home, we need to cross where it was, and we can't just go back. We learn some new, and loud, camp songs.

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    And the photo "bear monitor/counter" just adds to our warm and fuzzy feeling. I would pay twice retail for that spray right now.

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    But we make it back about 3 hours after we left. Now around 9:30 and even the campground hosts were getting a bit worried. Nice to know they cared. :D

    We make the fire of fires, and make the most of our last night before the ferry home.
  12. makazica

    makazica Been here awhile

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    Great report!

    Game is Holland - Uruguay?
  13. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

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    WINNER WINNER :clap

    You can pm me your paypal address, :deal or better yet, post it here and others can send you money as well!
  14. YukonTracker

    YukonTracker Ride your Way

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    Yukon
    Darn!!! Just too late... Awesome and very detailed RR. Must be some special wonderful treat of life to be able to experience a trip like this as father and son. Looking forward for my little guy to grow up a little faster now:lol3
  15. triumphrat

    triumphrat n00b

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    Ive been reading your posts, incredible. I first want to say that you are having a wonderful experience with your son, but tell you son that he is having an even more wonderful experience with his father. If more people did this kind of thing with their kids, the world would be better for it. Keep the photos and write ups coming. You have me hooked for sure!!!
  16. makazica

    makazica Been here awhile

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    Nah, too easy. I'm from Europe and love football, I could even name the players in the pic......:D

    If it means something to you, I think that USA did very good at the tournament, you have some quality players and in future you'll be a significant force in football (yes football, learn it, memorise it and dump that silly other term:lol3).

    Great report. Wish I got a chance to do something like that with my dad.
  17. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

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    I figured Europe with your "holland" instead of "netherlands" as they would be referred to here.

    Naming the players. hmmm, I think you may need to get some help :D

    We were able to watch a few games while away, includeing both semi's in Dawson. After those games we knew we wanted to be in a place with a tv for the final. (Seward.)

    And without hijacking my own rr, my thoughts on the USA is that they are a country of almost endless resources, they have a huge talent pool, and when you add in that the country is beginning to love the sport, it could be a dangerous mix for the soccer world. Has the giant been awoken?? :eek1

    gl
  18. triumphrat

    triumphrat n00b

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    Sorry to jump in again, just realized I posted on the wrong reply!! This is intended for the dad guy riding with the son on their way to Alaska! Sorry for the mix up!
    Ive been reading your posts, incredible. I first want to say that you are having a wonderful experience with your son, but tell you son that he is having an even more wonderful experience with his father. If more people did this kind of thing with their kids, the world would be better for it. Keep the photos and write ups coming. You have me hooked for sure!!!

    ..... and yes I think the giant may have been awoken, could the USA become a world contender??
  19. makazica

    makazica Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Is that a challenge? :evil

    Yes, a giant has been awoken. Still sleepy, but the potential is huge.
  20. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

    Joined:
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    Well, the time has come. In memory of the incredible journey we ate smores for breakfast. We aired out the tent and our bags and hung out on our beach. Both sifting through our own thoughts. Sitting for a long time without having to say a word; I think it is a guy thing.

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    On most all of my trips the ride home is always different. I get very purposeful; I guess I smell the barn, no matter how far away I may be. I start earlier, I end later. The sites along the way seem to lose their intrigue and become nothing more than mileposts that I need to pass by to get home. It is all about clicking off miles to get home. This trip would be different. It would be awesome, right up to the point when we could get on the boat, and it would be awesome.

    At the dock a few riders make their way in. Quite quiet tho. But there was no shortage of stories.

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    Here is our home for next 4 days. We would be camping on deck.

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    Ah, I am likin' this. :clap Waiter, watier

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    See ya Skagway.

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    Interesting, in talking one of the Engineers on board, the low salinity up here, due to the glaciers, messes with their wastewater system. Also, it holds very little air and thus the 'foam' from the sidewash wake barely goes on behind the boat. Quite interesting.

    Took on some more riders in Haines.

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    Including the BOSS

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    Have you ever watched a football game, when the announcers finally shut up and you can watch. Or even better in Formula 1 when the stop talking and you get the camera behind the wheel and hear nothing but the Whine of the engine for a lap. Well lets do that here. Here is the first 5 hours give or take of the SE AK boat trip, announcer free. Enjoy.

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    In Juneau. sometimes the decisions are easy.

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    Night falls. The first real night we have seen in weeks. The boat, and the boat people make for quite an adventure all in itself. I will share more stories about what it is like on the floating Gypsy Barge in the next installment.

    Quite an experience, and our new trip has just gotten started.