Back to the Arctic - Tuktoyaktuk

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

  1. MGV8

    MGV8 Been here awhile Supporter

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    I was the same after my crash, but I only lost the 5 seconds before it was happening, then it was slow-mo fixed in the brain. Years later I went back to the spot and seeing the layout brought back those seconds, Yeah I'm a stupi-doop but at least I know. Really it means you have to go back to the spot :D Seriously the road conditions change so suddenly on the Dempster and the fact that we are conditioned as riders to look way ahead your mind might have focused on the grader and missed the slight change in the conture of the road. The graded berm looks the same as the rest of the graded road until your on it. My experience was coming on to a wet Calcium spot that had been just graded then rained on. The low spot just after Eagle Plains. Came around the corner and some Bikers way ahead standing at their bikes caught my attention, didn't notice the colour change in the road. As I backed off the throttle the rig went totally sideways, ( yeah I cheat now) Slick as black ice. As I got to the bikes both riders were yelling to keep going and they were OK and that I would never get going again, They were right, with out the knobby I wouldn't have. Met them both a year later and got their story, they're both part of my riding club. Small world. Any ways just about every bike went down on that section that day, no signs or any warning. The Dempster is a wonderful road but it can bite you bad just about every other second. Glad you came out with only a bit of a bent bike and a bruise or two and many great memories.

    I am curious about IBA rides and have come close a few time, never planned and never recorded just wanted to get home. Now I don't think I could do one now, riding the rig changes things, oh I still pound down the miles from time to time but I stop and look more, reflect more. Start later in the AM and stop earlier. None of it fits
    But I digress, Congrats on Getting to Tuk, one of a few that has been able to see it before it changes.
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  2. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    I guess that is possible. It's just strange to not remember, no memory of any fear or any kind of input, just see a grader ahead and then standing on the side of the road.
    I will have to go back. :-)
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  3. GeezerLarryP

    GeezerLarryP Adventurer

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    Jan 7, 2019
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    Let me know if you plan to go back. Tuk is still on my list. Take care and best wishes for you in the new year.
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  4. jmclaren12

    jmclaren12 n00b

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    Here's the video just after the crash.
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  5. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    Wow!
    First...thank you for your help!!
    Did you see it happen? Strange to see me standing there and not remember standing up.
    Did I help lift the bike?
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  6. jmclaren12

    jmclaren12 n00b

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    You had just passed us about 5 minutes before so I'm guessing we were only a few minutes behind you if not less.
    After we pulled up we talked for a second but you were pretty out of it. Then you walked over to your bike and were about to pick it up and me and my friend jumped in to give you a hand. It's funny how I just posted that today and was looking on youtube and seen your video arriving at the ocean and I noticed Johns bike parked there. Then I seen the yellow tank bag and figured it had to be you.
  7. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    I don't think I thanked you at the time but again thank you!! Thanks to both of you!
    Was John the KLR rider (skinny dipper)?
  8. jmclaren12

    jmclaren12 n00b

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    No problem, just glad you made it out. Yeah John was on the KLR. We had met up with him all along the way. Last I heard he was planning on heading into Central America.
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  9. GRMFR

    GRMFR Adventurer

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    Great report, thanks for sharing
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  10. CanadianRocky

    CanadianRocky No Bucket List... a Bucket full of Lists

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    Great pics and write ups... I rode up to Alaska in '017, and it was interesting to see we stopped in the same restaurant on the other side of that grate bridge in Teslin... love that picture of the Arctic Ocean. I also stopped in Pink Mt, but I guess we all stop at the same places, as there really are not that many.... maybe you will remember this small bit of road... pretty sure I just crossed the Liard River and was heading into the Northern Rockies towards Muncho Lake.... but like it happened to you, you got to keep your eyes on the road for dips and potholes. Glad the bike and you survived the crash.

    img_0959_334468518559e03ed8b5eafee2c43326f1953b2e.jpg
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  11. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    Thank you!!
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  12. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    Thank you!
    I do like that area. Had rain there on the way up but had nicer weather on the way back.
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  13. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    I enjoyed talking to John, he is enjoying life.
    "Dead John" was that a nickname? Is there a story? :-)
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  14. jmclaren12

    jmclaren12 n00b

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    HaHa there's a story but I'd have get Johns permission to tell it.
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  15. GraniteState

    GraniteState n00b

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    Great story, Rollin'. I hung on every word and soaked up every picture. I've always wanted to do something like this and I am in a similar position as a caregiver to my adult autistic son. His mom and I can't get away for more than a couple of days at a time as long as his older sister can watch him. I do sometimes feel the pain of burnout and need to strike off somewhere but it's never too far or too long. I definitely live vicariously through adventures posted here and marvel at the places people go and their stories. Someday I might get the chance, even if it's only a week, that would be awesome. Thank you for sharing your adventure and glad it worked out for you, despite the fall-been there, done that! I have the repaired shoulder as a trophy. :D You did a great job getting the bike repaired and cleaned up, man after my own heart. Prayers for you and your wife. God bless.
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  16. AGIANT

    AGIANT n00b

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    Hi Rollin' Sounds like you have a great motorcycling life. A few years back, I crashed my DR 650, I have no memory of the accident and an entire week surrounding it, I had a broken wrist and a concussion, I've been told by the doctors, that the loss of memory is common in some people that have suffered a concussion. This July I'll be on the road to Tuk. With great respect, I wish you and your wife the best. "YABADABADUUU!"
    Cajunhawg and Rollin' like this.
  17. dman

    dman Long timer

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    I’m not too active here anymore, but a friend forwarded the link to your RR and I just read every word. Thanks for sharing, and glad it ended up OK ... well probably a lot better than OK. We rode from California to Inuvik, and went on to Tuk by small plane as there was only the winter ice road then. You see, that was back in 1987. But some things look about the same, though I think the lodging at Eagle Plains was just a couple of shipping containers. We camped, and had very little rain on most of the trip. I don’t remember exact dates, but we were still northbound with a small detour to Stewart BC and Hyder AK on July 4th, so probably mid to late July on the Dempster. We also returned through Jasper, but continued south through Glacier, Yellowstone, Moab etc. Obviously there was far less pavement in the far North then but we also made it a goal to ride as much dirt as possible. Thanks again for the post and pictures which brought back great memories. For those thinking about it, do it! Be prepared, be careful, but honestly we did it with tubed tires (and carbs and kick starters), paper maps, no GPS or Spot and it all went fine.
  18. michaellmcc

    michaellmcc Dudester

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
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    Austin, TX USA
    Dear Rollin',

    Great story, write-up, photos, etc etc. My congratulations and kudos to you! Like yours, my trip up the Dempster in June 2018 is one of my favorite memories.

    For anyone thinking about or planning a trip to the Arctic, two things (and I apologize for yelling!):

    SUCCESS IS HIGHLY DEPENDENT UPON PROPER TIRES for the dirt/gravel/mud/snow conditions! No, despite the old wives' tales, neither the Dempster nor Dalton cut my tires. Amazing how many riders you see in Dawson City, preparing to head north, on inappropriate tires. This last trip, I (on a 1200GS) rode Michelin Anakee Wilds and they performed admirably over every surface, Austin to the Arctic and back (new tires in Montana, then a rear in Fairbanks).

    JULY-AUGUST IS THE WETTEST PART OF THE YEAR! Both of my trips to Alaska began in late May in Texas, so hit northern BC in early June. Both trips we lost one day due to snow, once in BC on the first trip and then in Eagle Plains on the second. Zero lost days due to rain/mud. It appears as if riders in the Lower 48 think that the warmer, mid- to late-summer weather is better. Au contraire, mon ami! Summer weather means rain, road construction, and RV's out the wazoo! Prep for cold, and go early.

    All the best,
    Mike
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  19. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    I have been very lucky!!
    Good luck on your ride, looking forward to the story.
    Thank you!
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  20. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    I hope you and your wife are able to take a break, that's a tough situation.

    I think doing the trip was good for me. Will have no regrets. I don't know if this trip will be my last but if it is I'm glad it was the ride to Tuk.
    Good luck to you and thank you.
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