10 Days and counting

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by collettemary, May 20, 2013.

  1. collettemary

    collettemary Adventurer

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    We leave Minnesota in 10 days to head to Alaska. We are getting very excited now that the snow is gone here. We are planning on riding from Fairbanks to the Circle, but would like to go all the way to the TOP!. I have been reading and it sounds like to go up and stay and back may be a little too ambitious.

    I have read a few that say go to Wiseman, stop, next day to Top and back to Wiseman and then back to Fairbanks.

    We have a Yamaha Road Star touring bike with Avon Venom tires, not pulling the trailer for this part of the trip.

    Any suggestions? Warnings? Words of Wisdom?
    #1
  2. legion

    legion Honking the Horn

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    If the weather is good, go to the top.

    If the weather is bad, do something else.
    #2
  3. KHud

    KHud Survivor

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    You'd best be very sure that you won't get rain while you are up on the Dalton. Two-up on a cruiser with not very aggressive tires makes for a challenging ride in mud. I've seen just about every sort of bike ride the Dalton; Harley Baggers, Goldwings, crotch rockets of every ilk and a Vespa with two grannies on it. Many make it without incident, but some have problems ranging from minor to horrible. Even without any rain you are likely to encounter maintenance operations where you will see freshly graded sections soaked in calcium chloride (if you do, then I'd recommend you stop and wait until a few big rigs go through to pack down a lane). If you do go, then stopping in Wiseman going up and down is a good idea. You'll need reservations and there is no place to eat in Wiseman; eat in Coldfoot. There are two places in Wiseman: www.arcticgetaway.com/‎ and www.boreallodge.com. I think the Boreal Lodge offers a Continental breakfast.

    The most important factor concerning your decision to go to Deadhorse or not is the skill level of the pilot in riding on dirt and some mud. If you guys are confident in the rider's abilities then go for it, but if there is doubt I'd recommend you stop at the Arctic Circle. Much of the 115 miles to the circle is paved... not very well, but paved.
    #3
  4. FLARider1

    FLARider1 Long timer

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    +1 on what he said..........


    and Kevin.....

    IT IS SO VERY GREAT TO SEE YOU BACK ACTIVE!!! and giving out great advice and pointers and assistance to all us noobs traveling to the northland!!!!! Congrats on your victory!!
    #4
  5. legion

    legion Honking the Horn

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    Just so you have a good benchmark for weather being the go / no-go determinant, here are a few pics that illustrate weather changes. All were taken on the same day and heading in the same direction.

    If the weather is bad before you start then it is likely to get one hell of a lot worse before you hit Deadhorse.

    [​IMG]


    Here the wind is blowing so hard it's forcing Finger Rock to lean. There's an outhouse not far from where this pic was taken and the wind blew so hard that getting caught between the slamming door and the structure would have been very bad.

    [​IMG]


    Looks pretty good from here, no?

    [​IMG]


    That's snow and this was the 4th of July.

    [​IMG]


    You might be surprised at the size and speed of the trucks that come flying out of this misty muck.

    [​IMG]


    The road surface is great when the weather is great. When it's not, it's snot. They spray a fluid on the road surface to make it less dusty when it's dry. Works great but it also makes the mud very slick when that same road surface is wet. It's called calcium chloride.

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. KHud

    KHud Survivor

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    Great pictures that illustrate the possibilities you may encounter.
    #6
  7. legion

    legion Honking the Horn

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    On that same ride there was a family of three riders from stateside that duck walked their bikes from Coldfoot on until the weather let up. They were duck walking 'em into Deadhorse when I left. :puke1

    Street cruiser bikes IIRC. Bald fattie rears and bogus weather were the root of their problem. Be safe, Collette.
    #7
  8. iamafr8dog

    iamafr8dog n00b

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    Bottom line, I would go as far as coldfoot and head back. The road is mostly paved to there. After that, it is treaderous. Especially on a cruiser.
    #8
  9. Tom S

    Tom S Can I ride it? Supporter

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    :brow Emm, ... ? :uhoh Nah, .. nevermind ...
    #9
  10. legion

    legion Honking the Horn

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    Uh, not that bald fattie rear. :pimp
    #10
  11. Tom S

    Tom S Can I ride it? Supporter

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    The first image that came to mind was bad enough. Then it just gets worse, you use the 'Pimp' smilie?! :eek1
    Nooo! What are you thinkinÂ’, Legion! You know what that brings to mind. :fpalm:becca
    #11
  12. Kul Mom

    Kul Mom aka sKul Marm Supporter

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    Legion -

    I remember that day! :wave And breaking trail for you and Helikron from Coldfoot to Deadhorse. The trip back to Coldfoot was like a whole different day.

    - KM
    #12
  13. KHud

    KHud Survivor

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    Did you ever catch a glimpse of his "bald fattie' rear??????
    #13
  14. Kul Mom

    Kul Mom aka sKul Marm Supporter

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    Nope. I was on the wrong side for that particular perspective. I couldn't see it. Not even in my "rear view" mirror!
    #14
  15. legion

    legion Honking the Horn

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    BM Sent




    Call to schedule a private viewing. Not even one client has called back for a second session which means we have a 100% satisfaction rate.

    Operators are standing by.
    #15
  16. Kul Mom

    Kul Mom aka sKul Marm Supporter

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    Maybe I could check it out on the way to Whittier. I'll even let you break trail this time. Isn't time for Varley's?
    #16
  17. collettemary

    collettemary Adventurer

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    THANKS for all the great advice. We have living on gravle roads for as long as I have been riding. they use a lot of calcium chloride here and it does get as slippery as snot on a door knob in the rain. We have time. We leave in 4 days, and will have a few weeks to wait for good weather before we try to go to the top. I just hope its warm enough! I am not the hardiest of persons when cold worse when cold and wet, but what is...is. We leave in 4 days. At this time on Thursday we will be in Western North Dakota:D
    #17
  18. legion

    legion Honking the Horn

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    Damn straight. Making a couple of minor changes to the bike and am a tad slooow at this sort of thing. Glacial, really. New battery. Suspenders. Underseat tank. Blah blah blah.

    Also have to be in several different states in the next 30 so I've got excuses coming out the bald fattie. Bummer.

    ...and Collette; have a good time and post up if you run into a pickle.
    #18
  19. Rabon

    Rabon Been here awhile

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    If you get into a sizable store front in that area the temps will drop (often substantial) I tend to keep a heated jacket with me at all times. :D
    #19
  20. nuttynu

    nuttynu NuttyNu Rider

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    Looks like OP shall be on the road by now. Safe travel
    #20