Back to the Arctic Circle-Inuvik

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Rollin', Aug 11, 2015.

  1. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    I had been planning an IBA ride in the southwest for 2015. The route was picked and I even had the gas stops planned and then it all changed.

    I had completed the UCC (Key West, FL to Prudhoe Bay, AK) ride in 2012 and for some reason I was thinking about that trip in early January and the fact that there are only two highways that cross the Arctic Circle in North America and I had only done one of them!

    2012 - http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/top-of-the-world.827740/

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    The plan started to change, now I would ride north from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and take the Dempster Highway to Inuvik, NWT, Canada, currently the northernmost point that you can ride to on a permanent road in Canada and I started to plan the route and do some research on the area.

    Then I started to think...well, if Inuvik is the northernmost is there an official southernmost point in Canada and (of course) there is!!
    On the mainland Point Pelee National Park is the southern point but wait...there's more.... a little more research and I found that there is an island south of Point Pelee N.P. and you can reach it by car ferry, Pelee Island. I decided that I would add both locations to my ride.

    Now the ride would be the northernmost to the southernmost points in Canada and it would be an all in Canada ride and would cover about 4500 miles. The full roundtrip ride would be about 8500 miles and I would start it in mid-June.

    The Dempster Highway is a 457 mile gravel road and there is only one way back. 900+ miles of gravel!
    The Dalton Highway to Prudhoe Bay on the left and the Dempster Highway to Inuvik on the right -

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    Southernmost points. Point Pelee and Pelee Island.

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    The route -

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    The bike would be a 2010 Victory Vision 8-Ball but I would need to make a few changes.

    The bike already had a full length lower belt guard, engine skid plate and headlight guard from the ride to Alaska but I would need to make a mounting bracket for the tour box. I have the factory trunk but it weighs 45 pounds and my Happy Trail box is only 15.
    Completed. Tires - A Dunlop Winter Sport run flat on the rear and a Shinko 700 Series on the front. I had to raise the front fender 1 1/8".

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    In the seat bag - Two gallons of spare gasoline, tools, tire repair equipment and a first aid kit.

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    I had a lot of tire repair equipment!!! Rope style, a Stop & Go Pocket Plugger and recently I had bought a Dynaplug kit. Also have an AreoStich mini-air compressor.

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    June 12th 4:30 PM. The bike was packed and had been for a few weeks. I had left work, rushed home, changed and after six months of planning and preparing I'm ready to go!!
    I didn't want to take the garage remote so I was going to push the bike outside and close the door (first mistake, I never push the bike, I always ride it out).
    As I was pushing the bike I decided to get on the bike (mistake number two), my foot got stuck on the drivers backrest and me and the bike went over.
    Now I have to lift a loaded bike and I'm hoping there is no damage! I lifted the bike, set it on the kickstand and then rode it out!! There was no damage. The tip-over protection worked but not a good start!

    I was freaked out and it took a little while to settle down but now the next destination is Regina, Saskatchewan. This will be an 1112 mile overnight ride. Things are going better.
    Riding north -

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    This would be problem when you want to start early and ride late and places with gasoline are closed.

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    Some pictures from the ride north. Dawson Creek, the start of the Alaska Highway.

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    In 1413 km - turn right.

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    On the Alaska Highway.

    Fuel stop. I had to complete an on-line training (left side of this unit) to use this pump.

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    Of course there is construction!

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    A gas stop on the Alaska Highway, one pump at an old lodge. I needed this stop, on the way back the pump wasn't working. Spare gasoline is a good thing to have.

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    Scenic highway!

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    Next a stop at the Forest. The Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake. More rain but I can stop there again on the way back south.

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    More rain.

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    No traffic. Park anywhere.

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    Breakfast stop. Elk sausage, they were out of Reindeer sausage. Also found some info on Inuvik.

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    A lot of rivers and bridges.

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    Sun! Soon there would be 24 hours of daylight.

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    More things along the Alaska Highway.... ?

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    In Whitehorse, Yukon I would leave the Alaska Highway and take the Klondike Highway north to Dawson City.
    Klondike Highway -

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    Gas stop on the Klondike. Long walk to pay but I need the exercise!

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    North to Dawson City.

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    What? Traffic? A little delay.

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    Dawson City!!! Going to stay overnight here and then start the ride up the Dempster Highway to Inuvik. A very busy city in mid-June.

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    Forecast - Smoke

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    Next the Dempster Highway -
    #1
  2. jlambo

    jlambo Long timer

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    Cool "adventure" bike! Keep it coming..........
    #2
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  3. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    Great to see you posting this ride here on ADV. You managed to get a huge number of really good photos, especially for a trip like this where riding took a major amount of your attention.
    #3
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  4. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    6/17/2015 - 5:50 am - Leaving Dawson City (All Spot Tracker map time is CST).

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    From Dawson City its about 25 miles to the start of the Dempster Highway and that's where the pavement ends. Another 457 miles to Inuvik.

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    The ride north starts with blinding sun. Missing pot holes will be harder to do.

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    Nice! No dust.

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    And then a few miles later - Fog!

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    Road conditions on the southern part of the Dempster have been perfect. Hard packed and no dust.

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    Rock slide. I stopped to take pictures and then noticed that I could hear more rocks coming down the hill. Time to leave!

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    You still have to be careful but this is fun!

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    Da bears. The first bear in the road was a black bear that had been walking up the middle of the road until he heard me and then he turned sideways and stopped. I also stopped! He stood there and I waited, we had this standoff for a while until a pickup truck came from the other direction and he moved off the road.

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    As I left the bear block the low fuel light came on. I was a little more nervous about stopping in the road. Watching and listening.

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    Using the spare gasoline, I had ridden about 230 miles. Next stop Eagle Plains.

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    The first gas stop on the Dempster Highway, Eagle Plains. 250+ miles from Dawson City. The rain also started here, time to put the rain gear on. The terror begins!!

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    Because of the rain I put the camera away for a while. I would spend most of the next 100 miles in 2nd gear. 3rd gear and the rear of the bike would start to fishtail. Hard packed dirt with a 1/2" of slime on top!

    I did have to take some pictures here -

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    Had 40 miles of steady rain, 60+ miles of on and off rain with a total of 100+ miles of mud.

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    Some areas still had snow -

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    Next stop - In-between the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

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    Drier -

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    And then more mud!!

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    On the slip and slide -

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    Next the river crossings. There are two rivers that require a ferry ride. The Peel and Mackenzie river. Getting on and off the ferry's with a heavy touring bike was terrifying! The river banks are steep, muddy and rutted. The ferry decks are steel, bent and rutted from heavy equipment and also wet and muddy.
    On the first ferry.

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    I survived the first ferry and now its sun and mud.

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    Made a fuel stop in Fort McPherson and then on to the next ferry. Not looking forward to this.

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    Waiting for the ferry. I hope the brake pads last, the mud is abrasive.

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    Getting dirty!

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    Getting off of this ferry was the closest I came to tipping over on the ride (not including tipping over in my garage). The ferry stopped short and as I rode off the front tire hit a rut, the bike stopped and started to tip over. As it was tipping over I twisted the throttle and the bike stood up, jumped over the rut, fishtailed up the bank and I'm just hanging on. When I got to the top of the bank I waved to the people in line. Yeah, I meant to do that. Wow, was I lucky!

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    Next stop - Inuvik!!
    The Shinko has worked well.

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    3669 miles just to get to the starting point for the next IBA ride. Inuvik, NT to Point Pelee N.P., ON.

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    Almost 16 hours to ride 480 miles.

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    12:07 am - Midnight in Inuvik

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    #4
  5. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    In Inuvik -

    Removed a few pounds of dirt at the local power washer. There will be new mud.

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    At the Our Lady of Victory - Igloo church.

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    Inukshuk

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    Western Arctic Regional Visitor Centre

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    Above ground heated water and sewer. It gets cold here!

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    No bar too far!

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    Inuvik has a population of about 3000. Very friendly town, I had a chance to meet a lot of people.

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    I also rode north of Inuvik to the end of Navy road and the start of the new road to Tuktoyaktuk, another 100 miles north. The road should be completed in a few years.

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    #5
  6. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    June 19th, getting ready to start the ride south to Point Pelee N.P. Will need to cross the Dempster Highway one more time. The IBA witness form is sighed and I have my start receipt. Bike is fueled, at the Arctic ESSO Service in Inuvik gasoline was $1.630 per liter. About 6.19 per gallon US.

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    The day starts with a fresh coat of calcium chloride. Nice! :)

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    No problems with the ferry's on the way back. Dry banks and they pulled in closer.

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    You can see for miles. Its dry, but I would find that dry, loose dusty gravel is also slippery.

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    Bad rocks. This stuff will cut your tires, its another thing to watch for while riding.

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    No leaks. I checked the TPMS a lot on this ride.

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    Back at the slip and slide. Less terror this time.

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    Another stop at the Arctic Circle.

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    Watch for pot holes, loose gravel and sharp rocks while you are distracted by the scenery.

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    When its dry, shiny dirt is good and the marbles are bad. When its muddy, shiny is bad and the marbles seem to add some traction.

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    Dry roads also equal a lot of dust. Big trucks and dust.

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    The next bear that owned the road. Kept walking down the middle of the road, I kept following until a car came and it left the road.

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    More bridges. Next stop the Dual Sport Rally in Dawson City.

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    I arrived in Dawson City at 9:00 pm PST, I had left Inuvik at 6:17 am MST so this was another 16 hour ride to go 457 miles. The first stop is the power washer, next I need gasoline. A few of the gas stations are already closed but after some searching I find an open station. This is an Iron Butt ride so I should keep riding but if I do I'll just run out gas on the Dempster Highway, places that have gasoline don't stay open late and no pay at the pump so I guess I'll go to the Dual Sport Rally.

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    D2D = Dust to Dawson

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    This is 10:00 pm in Dawson City.

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    The Vision was also part of the group midnight photo shoot.

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    At 1:00 am there were people sky diving - because they could.

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    Got up early the next morning and rode to Whitehorse, the bike needs an oil change. Made it there late Saturday afternoon, to late for an oil change. I rode to Canadian Tire and asked if they could do an oil change. Service manager says, "no, we don't work on motorcycles". I turned to walk away and he says "I will give you a drain pan and you can change it in the lot". Perfect!! I have tools and just need to buy oil.

    A parking lot oil change. Thank you Canadian Tire!!! This saved me a lot of time.

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    Next another stop at the Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake.

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    Along the Alaska Highway.

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    Time to leave!

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    Black bear everywhere!

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    A lot of scenic areas along the Alaska Highway.

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    Another lodge fuel stop.

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    More wildlife -

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    Moose crossing.

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    Caribou.

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    More dirt and gravel.

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    Money is no object, I'm staying at the Ritz!

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    Heading east. Start early, ride late.

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    #6
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  7. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    Fantastic!! Those trucks blasting by spitting up a wave of gravel and dust sure are a pain in the arse. Have a safe trip!
    #7
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  8. Swinefahrt

    Swinefahrt RooteR

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    You are hustling approximately 1300 pounds on slippery snot. I'm in awe.
    #8
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  9. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    Northwest Territories to Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and now Ontario.

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    Along the Trans Canada Highway

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    Near Thunder Bay.

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    More bears!!

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    Time for dinner. I'll have the lobster, the McLobster.

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    #9
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  10. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    The next stop is Point Pelee National Park. The southernmost point in Canada that you can ride to.
    I would also meet some very nice people here.
    Luck - They had a storm on Tuesday, a lot of big trees went over and the power was out for two days so the park was closed. It opened again when I arrived on Thursday.

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    I rode until I reached a gate in the road, had I reached the southernmost point that I could ride to?
    To the left of me was the parking lot for the visitors center. I went in to ask why the road was blocked.

    I am here -

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    I told the woman behind the counter about the ride from the northernmost point in Canada, 200 miles north of the Arctic and said that I wanted to ride to the southernmost point. She said "you're there".
    I said "there is still more road and I would like to go to the end". She says "you can but you need to take the shuttle". I told her again that I had ridden here from the Arctic Circle and I would really like to ride to the point and added "wouldn't you?" She stared at me for a while and said, "I'll ask my boss".
    Another woman came to the desk and I told her the story and she said......."okay, we'll open the gate".

    On my way to the point.

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    At the southernmost point that you can ride to in Canada. A 4478 mile ride from Inuvik.

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    From the end of the road its a short walk to the point.

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    At the point.

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    Open the gate, I want to leave. :-) Thank you Point Pelee park staff. They also signed my end of ride IBA witness form.

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    The documented Iron Butt part of the ride is done but there is still more to do on this adventure.

    Cleaning the bike but again there would be new mud.

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    #10
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  11. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    There is a place in Canada that is even more southern and I must go there........because its there...........and its southerner.
    This will be a 1.5 hour ride to Pelee Island and its only $12.75.

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    On Pelee Island.

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    Need to sleep a few hours and then in the morning a ride to the southernmost point on Pelee Island and a lap around the island.

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    Riding south.

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    The southern point that you can ride to and now it will be a one mile hike to the tip of Fish Point the southernmost point of Pelee Island.

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    I'm there ........ the southern point of Pelee Island!!

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    The southern points. (Spot Tracker map)

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    The southern route.

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    Next a lap around Pelee Island.
    #11
  12. Swinefahrt

    Swinefahrt RooteR

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    This has been a fun ride. Very clever. Thanks!
    #12
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  13. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Awesome! :bow Thanks for sharing your epic ride! Wow!! :clap
    #13
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  14. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    #14
  15. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    Thank you!!!
    This is my favorite ride.
    #15
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  16. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    Thank you!!
    The ride had everything I was hoping for with none of the bad.....no flat tires!!
    #16
  17. IBAJIM

    IBAJIM Been here awhile Supporter

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    Rollin' : Congrats on completing an epic, grueling ride. What an adventure !!!

    And thank you for all your work posting all your great pics !
    #17
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  18. orbiker

    orbiker Been here awhile

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    WOW
    Another great ride report. This time, you are creating an epic ride for others to do.

    Thanks for sharing.
    #18
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  19. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog Supporter

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    Yep, those people at the gate in Pelee are going to wonder why these guys on motorcycles keep showing up... :)

    Another awesome RR! The pics really give you a feel for the surroundings. Thanks for taking the time to share!

    .
    #19
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  20. 52wrench

    52wrench Adventurer

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    Great ride! Good to see there are riders who aren't afraid to get their big tourers dirty. How do the tires look after 8600 miles?
    #20
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