Back to the Arctic - Tuktoyaktuk

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Rollin', Jul 20, 2019.

  1. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,766
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    WOW! Glad you survived the Dempster highway and was able to limp bike to Whitehorse to get it fixed to get you home. Thanks for sharing as I am planning to travel to Tuk in 2021 and this report gives me some idea.. any chance you might remember the name of the buffet restaurant in Jasper? :)
    #81
    CCitis and Rollin' like this.
  2. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,168
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    Enjoyed your report, thanks for taking the time to share!

    .
    #82
    Rollin' likes this.
  3. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,658
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Thank you! I hope you get a chance to go.
    The buffet was at the Jasper Park Lodge and it was downstairs.
    #83
    gpfan and WhicheverAnyWayCan like this.
  4. rauchman

    rauchman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    817
    Location:
    Northeast, NJ
    Rollin, thanks for this report and good to see you riding again. As always, your reports just rock! Sorry about your crash, but somehow that seems to be part of the adventure for this story. You are truly inspiring!

    Some questions if you don't mind.....

    Regarding the DL650, did you ever give thought to the DL1000? Any downsides on this bike for your needs?
    I've seen Corbin seats now on at least 2 of your bikes. Is it a perfect seat for you? Anything you'd change? Are you running leather or vinyl?

    And the biggie....I've never done a trip like this before, let alone....alone. Do you ever get moments of "I'm out here all alone in the vast nothingness. What do I do if _________ happens?", or something like that. Maybe because I haven't done it, I think I would get freaked out here and there. OTOH, I have to believe there is no greater way to get into your "oneness" that an adventure such as this.

    Again, great great report! Thank you!
    #84
    Perazzi, drsales and Rollin' like this.
  5. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,658
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Thank you!!
    After doing the other long rides on the Victory's and a CTX1300 I can say that I never thought I would do a long road trip on a 650.
    I looked at the DL1000 but at the time I wasn't sure if it would be used for a trip to the Arctic Ocean or if it would just be a grocery getter so I couldn't justify spending another $4,000 for the 1000.
    The DL1000 also weighed more and had a taller seat height, the DL650 had a good seat height for me.
    After doing the trip I think the DL650 was the perfect bike for a ride to Tuk and if I did it again I would use the same bike.

    The Corbin seats have worked well for me. I did seven IBA rides and one failed IBA ride on the CTX1300 and have done two IBA rides on the DL650 with the Corbin seat and the seat has been very comfortable. (never thought I would be doing IBA rides on a 650).

    I do like the solo rides, start and end each day when you want but the price you pay is if something happens you may be on your own.
    When I would do the early starts I would ride for a few hours before I saw another person. I have been very lucky. When I crashed there were people close that helped me, two of the riders followed me for a few miles to make sure I was okay but after they left I don't remember seeing another vehicle on that last 100+ mile ride to Dawson City. Very lucky!
    You do have to except that it is a remote area and if you need medical care quickly you're not going to get it.

    If I was going to Tuk again I would use the DL650, it would be a solo ride.
    What would I do different? I would carry a tent. I haven't needed one but on this last trip I almost spent the night outside a few times without any shelter. A tent adds weight and its more to deal with but you may need it.
    I hate spending time at a dealer on a trip but I think if I did it again I would do a tire change in Whitehorse and use a more aggressive mud tire to be more prepared for the worst.

    Thanks again!
    #85
  6. rauchman

    rauchman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    817
    Location:
    Northeast, NJ

    Great info.....thanks!
    #86
    Rollin' likes this.
  7. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts. Supporter

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,594
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    Really enjoyed your report. Thanks for posting. :thumb
    #87
    Rollin' likes this.
  8. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,867
    Location:
    Yellowknife and Norman Wells, NWT
    Excellent RR! Thank you :-)
    #88
    Rollin' likes this.
  9. AwDang

    AwDang Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,099
    Location:
    121 miles from Tellico Plains
    To me that desolation was a majority of the allure to making this ride. I went a few weeks before @Rollin' and had a very different ride. Being immersed in the landscape where the only evidence of humans is, you, your bike and the groomed roadway. Is an experience thats hard to replicate in the lower 48. Even outwest, if you look hard enough around you in desolate areas you’ll see signs of humans. Things like towers, power lines, air planes. Up there it’s nothing but nature.

    Thankfully tho, the Dempster is still a main highway. With the amount of traffic I saw, I don’t think you could be injured on the side of the road for more than 6hrs without someone passing. Just be prepared for mechanical issues with your bike. And carry a tent / shelter / food / water if you need to park for better weather.
    #89
  10. zachd

    zachd Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2018
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thanks so much for sharing! Awesome pictures, and I like your way with words! Certainly picked up some pointers for when I make my trip up there!
    #90
    Rollin' likes this.
  11. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,658
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Instead of a tent I had a small SOL emergency bivvy. If needed, it would get me out of the rain, wind and hopefully keep me warmer.
    Lightweight and didn't take up much space. I didn't need it but came close all this last trip.
    Story -
    I had bought the bivvy for the 2015 trip to Inuvik and was showing it to a co-worker and he says "so you would be a bear burrito?" :hmmmmm

    Also had a head net and two bottles of Ben's 100 insect repellant, 98.1% DEET. I didn't use the head net but the Ben's did a good job of keeping the mosquitos away.

    [​IMG]
    #91
    gpfan likes this.
  12. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,658
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Thank you! I hope you get to go, it is an interesting and very scenic ride.
    #92
    gpfan likes this.
  13. WAK

    WAK n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2
    Thank you for the great write up and photos! I've got my trip up to Tuk planned for next June. I've gone up to Deadhorse twice. It looks like very similar road, just weather dependent. The nice thing is you have a community at the end of the Dempster compared to a large industrial area at the end of the Dalton.
    #93
    Rollin' likes this.
  14. Buckeye Rich

    Buckeye Rich Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Oddometer:
    83
    Location:
    Southwestern,Ohio
    Nice ride report, I enjoyed reading it. Glad you ended up with just some relatively minor injuries. I'm debating a new DL650. However, my 2007 DL650 runs just fine and doesn't really cost me anything.
    #94
    Rollin' likes this.
  15. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,658
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Very similar to the Dalton Highway. I think the Dempster is more scenic and Inuvik and Tuk was a more interesting end of the road.
    Thank you and good luck on your ride. :thumb
    #95
    gpfan likes this.
  16. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,658
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Thank you!!
    All healed up. I still think about how lucky I was, that could have been a bad day.
    #96
    gpfan likes this.
  17. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,658
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    The Dempster Highway also has two river crossings and both have a car ferry.
    They do not operate 24 hours, if you get there to soon or late you will be waiting.

    [​IMG]

    When its raining the river banks will be rutted mud. The ferry deck will also be wet, muddy and rutted.
    If the ferry isn't operating because of high or low water level or there's an issue with the ferry...that's going to be a problem.

    [​IMG]
    #97
  18. kbuck

    kbuck n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1
    So impressed with this ride, your stamina is great. The joy of your success comes through too. I will never manage a similar journey now but love reading stories like this. Thank you.
    #98
    Rollin' likes this.
  19. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,658
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Thank you!
    #99
  20. sgio

    sgio Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    252
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Thanks for the great write up! I really enjoyed it.:clap
    I am happy for you that you could make this happen.
    Rollin' likes this.