Canadian Arctic Winter Ride; Ice Roads and the Dempster Highway

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Northern Rob, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

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    Thanks Pete! I think (hope) that bear trouble would be pretty unlikely at this time of year - but I could be wrong. From what I hear phosphorus flares are quite unpleasant at close range. :evil

    I prefer to do my shooting with cameras though and maybe the smell of me soiling my pants will scare them off. :yikes I mean who would want to eat that? That's plan "B". Ruin their meal.
  2. Bib

    Bib Adventurer

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    Phil came to Canada from England.
  3. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

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    [​IMG]

    Eldon Aszman, Rest In Peace.

    My mechanic Mark has been telling me about another motorbike client of his - Eldon Aszman - and his winter motorbike trip to the arctic in 2005. Mark helped Eldon prepare his rig for the trip. He knew that Eldon had been turned back just at the start of the Dempster due to bad weather and then due to illness. Eldon was a cancer survivor, and unbeknownst to him it had come back and started making him sick on his ride.

    I was able to locate Eldon’s brother for an update and he informed me that Eldon passed away last February. I’ve pasted his comments below.

    ***************

    Rob, I am sorry to say that Eldon Passed a year ago Feb. Hi died from infection of some kind, contacted over Christmas that year. He left me his Guzi and his Ural. I had hoped to make the trip again with him as soon as I retired. Not to be either way.

    The two links below are what I posted for him and was picked up by Rider. It contains his complete log of the trip for as long as he was coherent enough to write in it. He was quite sick when he turned around and he later related to me that he didn't remember the last 1400 miles or so. Still it is an amazing story in itself, with the tales of the people he met and his, as MCN put it, McIver like fixes.

    He went prepared to spend each night camped out in the wild, but didn't spend a one.
  4. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

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    Tours/Travel
    Arctic Ambitions
    Vince Aszman
    Rider Report
    Friday January 7, 2005

    At about 8 a.m. on January 16th. 2005, a lone motorcyclist on a 2004 Russian-built Ural Patrol,
    begins an epic odyssey. Eldon Aszman, a Lymphoma cancer survivor and rider of motorcycles
    for 54 years, will attempt to become the first to ride a motorcycle to the Arctic Circle in the dead
    of winter.

    Eldon will be leaving from the Leukemia, Lymphoma Society parking lot, located at 65015 S.W.
    Macadam Ave. Portland Oregon, to raise donations for the society and in the process fulfill a 29-
    year dream. At every stop on his journey, Eldon will be educating people on Leukemia and
    Lymphoma, as well as handing out donation envelopes that can be mailed to the society.

    Hoping to complete the round trip in 30 days, Eldon will be leaving north on I-5 passing through
    Washington state into Canada.I-5 then turns into Highway1 N to 94 to 37 into the Yukon and
    catches Highway 1 again to Whitehorse. Here he picks up Highway 2 to Dawson City. From
    there Eldon takes Highway 5 to Fort McPherson and on into Inuvik, within the Arctic Circle, his
    final destination.

    Eldon's dream started to take fruit when he stepped into URAL Northwest and met with
    Stephen Mc Bee, the owner. After explaining to Stephen the reason for buying the Ural Patrol,
    Stephen immediately offered his support and offered generous discounts on the motorcycle and
    accessories. Stephen collaborated with Eldon on making modifications to the bike in such a way
    as to not void the motorcycle’s warranty. His shop is located in Bellingham, WA.

    Eldon modified his Ural Patrol by first removing the sidecar seat and windshield and replacing
    the seatback with a wall that he fabricated, thus separating the trunk from the passenger
    compartment. Eldon then fabricated racks to mount on the inside and outside of the sidecar, to
    facilitate the storage of an additional 10 gallons of fuel and an automotive battery, for plenty of
    starting power on those cold Yukon mornings. A 30 day's supply of dehydrated foods and cold
    weather clothing will finish filling up the passenger compartment, which will be covered. A
    removable rack is then fitted and a duffel of cold weather riding gear strapped on top. In the
    sidecar’s trunk goes spare parts, tools, flashlight, cooking gear and a pile of other little things. On
    the trunk’s rack sits the spare tire and tarped bag containing two sleeping bags, his tent and a few
    other bulky items.

    Over the motorcycle’s rear wheel another rack was added, to accommodate other bulky items. Though the bike came with leg shields and a windshield, Eldon had a lap blanket made by Carol’s Custom Canvas in Portland, Oregon. A dashboard was added to the windshield, mounting a CB radio, a power port and compass. Driving lights were mounted on either side of the
    front fork.

    Eldon had additional help from Bryan Knudsen and Deek Heykama of Next Adventure, located in downtown Portland Oregon. By also supplying generous discounts on cold weather camping gear that he needed, they also helped him prepare for the 30-day trip.

  5. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

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    Aszman Arctic Wrapup Eldon's Adventure Comes to an End
    Vince Aszman
    Rider Report
    February 4, 2005.

    It’s official, Eldon Aszman has been turned away from his goal of reaching Inuvik the Northern Territories, Canada. White out snow and winds approaching 150 mph. has terminated Eldon's bid to be the first man to ride a motorcycle to the arctic circle in the middle of winter. After consulting work crews and weather forecasters in Dawson, the Yukon, Eldon made the hard decision to turn back. The weather and winds had all work crews and traffic stopped North of Dawson, with no end in site. Eldon has not been able to send any pictures, because the temperature has been so cold that the digital equipment he took with him did not work. Eldon said " The people have been so open and generous to me, it really warms my heart and rekindles my faith in humanity.” This leaves us with the questions. Will there be another time?

    The following log was written by my brother, Eldon. On January 16th, 2005 he departed Portland, Oregon, in an attempt to go as far North on a road that you could go. He was traveling to Inuvik, the Northern Territories, Canada; 6,000 miles round trip. He did this on a 2004 Ural Patrol. He faced 1,500 miles of rain, ice and fog on his way up in temperatures -10 and below.

    The farther North that he got the colder, -20, -30, blowing powder snow. The truck and auto spray was terribly bad, turning the road in front of him into miniature blizzards. Accidents were common as well as big trucks being blown off the road. No matter where he went, no matter where he stopped, he found the people to have old time generosity. The pages only reveal just a small portion of what he received.

    Word traveled ahead of him, and he received all manner of help. Eldon got as far North as mile post 41 on the Dempster highway, before being turned back. He was already sick with Lymphoma at this time, and it is a good thing that he did turn around, although he was less than 400 miles from his goal. It in no way detracts from the effort and the adventure of it. He feels that the experience meeting the people that he did was more than worth the trip.

    Now the Arctic Adventure Log:

    Sunday Jan. 16, departed the Leukemia, Lymphoma Association parking lot at 08:30. Arrived in Bellingham Washington at Ural Northwest, Mark Watson was waiting for me. I got there about 1600, the bike was put in Mark’s shop. Mark took me to his home where I met his wife and daughter. We had a good Italian supper and they gave me a room for the night. The next morning we had breakfast and then Mark and I went to his shop. He had noticed that my headlight was out when I rode in the day before. A loose connection was the cause. That done, Mark took pictures to post on their Web site. The ride up to Bellingham was uneventful. Truck stop scales said that I tipped out at 1,420 pounds of rider and machine.

    January 17, here I sit in Hope Canada, all roads north are closed, two to weather and one to a burning wrecked tanker, so I am staying in the Hope Mountain Motel. The time right now is 22:41, I'll see what tomorrow brings.

    January 18, 10:30 am, the roads North are open again. I guess at the time, 17:10, a nasty accident happened in front of me. Four cars in heavy rain mixed with fog and huge amounts of road spray, coupled with excessive speed may have been the cause. I was running at 90 kph with the speed limit at 100, everybody blowing by like I was sitting still. Brake lights coming on, I backed off to 50 kph. The pickup truck in front of me locked up and lost it, at the same time a car passing me T-boned a car and the truck went into the ditch, with his bed in my half of the lane. I zigged around them all like an obstacle course, my dirt riding days saved my butt. I continued on the eastbound Canada 1.

    January 19, 13:30 on the road again, raining still. The rig started running crappy around 15:00. Stopped at Thomson River RV Park to seek a dry place to work. I rode through the snow, about 6 inches deep, up onto a covered patio. Found that the ignition was wet. Dried it out with a heat gun, sealed it up with silicone sealant, had coffee then left. Don was an old-time rider himself. He loved the bike.
    17:00 on the road again. About 9 1/2 hours later, I lost the left cylinder again, the first time to a bad plug, this time it was the sparkplug cap. I did a bit of brainstorming, electrical tape lining the inside of the plug cap, back on the road. Two hours later it started to happen again, this time I did something different, I quit for the day, 03:30. Could not see thru the rain and road spray and fog. Speed approximately 40 kph for six hours is just too much. Stopped at Cachcreek.

    January 19, 21:00. Stopped in Prince George for the night. Rain, freezing fog, road spray, was not safe to continue on. Hwy. 16 west is closed due to the weather. I will try again in the morning. Travel speed average, 60-70 kph. The people are helpful up here, they all think I'm crazy, but they wish me well. When I stopped for gas this evening, I had the usual questions and answer session and two photo shoots. Nighty, night.

    January 20, 10:00, the Ural is still running well. About 13:00 I stopped for gas in Vanderhoof. The left cylinder is acting up again. I pulled into the Polaris shop but not have enough power to get up the drive through 8-10 inches of slush. They pulled me up with a quad winch. I replaced both plug caps. Down the road again, purring like a kitten. At the Polaris shop, I met a man by the name of Ben. He and three others stood there and laughed at me, but it was all good natured. At Burns Lake, I stopped for gas and guess who showed up, Ben. He thinks I'm crazy. We jawed for a while. He invited me to his log cabin for Moose steak, yum yum. He also put me up for the night. He's still laughing. Bacon, eggs, hash browns and toast for breakfast.

    January 21, on the road again and still raining, going is slow, about 90 kph, damn fog and rain and road spray. It was warm, +3 degrees when I left. Pulled into Bell 2 at 23:00, expensive, too tired to continue, the weather is pure dog poop.

    January 22, up at 09:30, breakfast, gassed up, answered questions to a bunch of Italians for 20 minutes or so. The bike is running great. Approximately 30 K out of Stewart Junction, the conditions forced me to shift into two-wheel drive; rain on glare ice. Made it to Dease Lake on the back of a tow truck. Throttle cables froze up. I had to use the Kill switch on the downhill bend. Went to restart after getting the cables freed up and the switch was frozen, thus Chuck’s towing. Chuck Phillips suggested that I put the bike in his heated shop for the night to thaw out. He and his lady friend fed me carrots, peas, scalloped potatoes and ham with pineapple sauce, and topped it off with lemon marange pie. They gave me my own room for the night.

    On the way into Dease Lake I stopped at Isnut Motel for a bite eat. John Grove asked why the trip, question answered. Time to pay the bill, no charge. It was for the cause.

    January 23 we had pancakes, bacon, eggs and fried potatoes. (No other notes for this day).

    January 24, on my way to Good Hope Lake, the rain stopped and it is snowing. 60-70 kph with a temperature of -11. In Good Hope, I lost it and the rig wound up on top of me. We landed in a snow bank. Some of the locals helped me out from under. We flipped the outfit back up onto its wheels, it was upside down. Got it fired up, went and gassed up. Got 2K down the road when the rig started running awful. The air cleaner was full of snow. Limped back into Good Hope and got help right away. They let me stay in the fire house, bike and all. I tore into the filter, it was full of water, ice, and snow from the road, and oil from being wrong side up. Don't take your eyes off the road when it’s slick. I paid for it. The Woman at the store gas station gave me $20 Canadian for my next tank of gas. God moves in mysterious ways. By the way it is still snowing, at least it is not raining. Tomorrow I hit Watson Lake for an oil change and hopefully a new air filter.
    I am taking advantage of the heated fire station to get some things dried out. On the way into Good Hope lake, I had to wait for three moose to get off the road, a cow and two calves. After waiting for 10 minutes I fired up and slowly moved towards them, up the hill they went. The snow was belly deep on the cow and moose are BIG. I took some photos. Sure wish I had a long lens.

    January 25, I'm holed up in an inexpensive motel in Swift River, approximately 136 K from White Horse. I stopped at Watson Lake to change oil and filter, went to a lighter oil too. Synthetic oil is expensive, I was told that I would have no problem but my 20W-50 was showing signs of thickening at -11 temperatures. Now it is -15 F. and the forecast says -20 tomorrow. So far no starting problems. Tuffy 2 (my Ural) lights right off.
    Now for adventure. Yesterday in Good Hope Lake this Mother's son was rubbernecking. I drifted to the right, the sidecar wheel caught the edge of the road. It happened so fast. I suddenly realized the machine was wheels up and on top of me. Two of the locals helped me out from under. Then they went and got a couple of friends, and we flipped Tuffy 2 back on his wheels. I had to clear oil out of the left cylinder. Pulled the plug, blew it off, spun it over with the starter, and blew a huge amount of oil about 20 feet away. Swapped plugs, and he popped right off, I let it run and cleaned up the oil the best I could. My windshield got a chunk broken out of it, my left driving light was busted off and no injuries except for a few bruises on my part. Lesson learned again, keep your eyes on the road in all conditions, do your rubbernecking ahead of you, not to the side.

    I gassed up, and was amazed that I hadn't lost any fuel in the upset so I hit the road. About two hours out, my partner started running crappy. We limped back to town. I knew what was happening. Victor, who ran the fire department, allowed me and Tuffy 2 to stay in the heated fire house, where I pulled the air filter and it was full of water and ice and a small amount of road dirt. Cleaned it as best I could. A piece of cardboard box and duct tape took care of the windshield. It was so hot in there, I just slept on my matt and dried some things out. I also made supper then went to bed. Nighty night.

    January 26 I left Swift River where I stopped for the night. While eating breakfast, a truck driver came in and said “you’re on the bike?” Yes I said. He said that when he and another driver were jawing back and forth on the radio, about all the cars and trucks that were in the ditch and wrecked, the lead driver commented that he had never seen anything like it. The following driver commented the same then the rear driver saw me and almost ran off the road. This happened on highway 97. The driver that I was talking to. was the one who almost ran off the road.
    Rode into Whitehorse, and got shop space at the Harley shop, so I could do a little bit of maintenance, and replace the air filter. My mileage had dropped from 34 to 20 mpg. This afternoon approximately 50 K from Whitehorse, I met Don. I thought that he was stuck in the snow, and offered to pull him out, but he was not. He asked me where I came from and where was I going. I told him. Then he asked me to come to his house and we did. He also offered to put me up for the night when I returned. I met his wife, a very nice lady; she is of the "first people". They are supposed to be the first to come to the land. She is very proud of her race. Her name is Florence.

    I left Don’s and came into Whitehorse. I stopped at the Esso station to inquire about a motel. The Bonanza came up when I was fixin’ to leave, a cab drove in and a heavy set fellow got out and walked up and said that he had been looking for me. He had heard that I needed to work on the bike and was offering his shop. I explained that I had already accepted Yukon Harleys’ offer of shop space. I then told him that I would stop at his shop when I was done. I think I am becoming famous. He has a chopper shop, Clikoot Choppers.

    January 27, -20. Still in Whitehorse. Ruby, one of the owners of Yukon Harley, has bought supper for me and put me up for the night. This morning, bought breakfast, then went out and started Tuffy 2 and headed for the Harley shop, where the usual folks started showing up. They all said that I was crazy, but wished me the best and took lots of pictures, and then left. Started to start the bike, when a man showed up and asked if he could send a reporter over for an interview, and he said he was from CBC radio station. Word sure gets around! On the flip flop, they want me to stop by the studio.

    Got to the shop. When I pulled the air filter housing water poured out. Removing the filter, there were big chunks of ice frozen to the intake side of the filter for the right cylinder. With a bunch of searching, we found a Fram filter that fits better than the original and it is bigger, in the process eliminating two parts not needed. I picked up two spare plugs, I'm finding that deep cold does strange things to motorcycles. I also cleaned and lubed the starter motor and solenoid. Running good again, I think I'll get another filter, just in case. I took a few pictures. (The pictures did not turn out, it seems deep cold also does strange things to film.) Rode over to the Chilkoot Chopper shop, and talked to them for a while, took a few pictures of the bike in front of his shop. While I was there, a movie outfit took his place over to shoot a movie.

    This morning Tuffy 2 was white like snow, but it was caused by ice fog. I am not having any trouble staying warm, this is a very common question. I'm told that when I leave for the Dempster Highway, I will be getting into -50 degrees. Be back tomorrow.

    With Steve and Leigh at Braeburn Lodge in the Klondike I had the best turkey barley soup that I have ever eaten, along with a huge roll. Well to make a long story short, they suggested I stop there when I left, I figured to push onto Eagle Plains, but this gut feeling to stop here, it has been a pleasure being with them.

    January 28, -30 degrees. Had breakfast and good conversation, went to start Tuffy 2 and had a dead battery because I had left my electric gloves on at 77 watts. Jerry gave me a jump start, got the bike kicked started and was backing down his driveway in low gear but killed it. We tow started and put it in his generator shop and pulled the auxiliary battery to charge, back to the drawing board. When temperatures are about -10 the starter won't work. The relays for the solenoid work, but the solenoid does not work. I cleaned and lubed the connections and treated them with dielectric grease. This was also done when the air filter was changed. I suspect a connection opens when the cold is just right or tolerances are too close and seize when the temperature is right. Tomorrow another day.

    January 29, -20, still the same as it was when I went to bed. I'm still at the Kruse's, the battery should be topped off, will install it, finish loading and scram. I hope to make the Dempster Highway today. Pulled into Pelly Crossing, -14 degrees, I gassed up and had a cup of coffee. An R.C.M.P. named Splinter asked me to come to the R.C.M.P. office. I wondered what happened.. I think he figured what I was thinking. Then he said " as one motorcyclist to another, instant relief at the officer. We jawed for a while. There was also a school teacher there but I don't remember his name. Finally I told them that I had to roll. Of course they had to see me move in the snow and Ice. Tuffy 2 was in single-wheel drive. Put him in reverse, backed out and off we went.

    Stopped at the Dempster Junction, topped off, and went in to eat and pay my bill. I no more than walked in when I was told that I had a phone message. It was from Bill and Helen in Dawson city, they were worried as to where I was. Rudy from Yukon Harley in Whitehorse had phoned ahead. I wonder how many times he has phoned ahead of me. It seems that I have become famous up here in the North Country. Truckers, police, road crew members and people in general all tell me the same things to be aware of. I think I may be starting to feel the effects of the cold, (and the lymphoma). I must admit that I am not drinking enough water and eating enough food. Thus I fatigue more readily than I should. A 12-14 hour riding day should be duck soup, but I am down to 8-10 hours.

    January 30, -22 degrees. I stopped an oil leak; a cap nut on the motor had come loose. I tightened it and a few other nuts and bolts, and adjusted the gear slack on the alternator, it’s much quieter now. All the racks, lights etc. that I built are working great. I think I am going to have to make a separate article about cold-weather preparation, as I have learned in the school of hard knocks. Catch you all later.

    January 31,-25. Left Bill and Helens. had to stop at Bill’s Lumber Supply yard to pick up the radio telephone he insisted I take up the Dempster highway to Inuvik, in case something went wrong. Stopped at the Dempster Junction to fuel, eat and fix a fuel-flow problem caused by the -30 cold. On the road again. Stopped at the government road service station for road and weather conditions on the highway ahead. I asked if I could stay the night. The blowing snow in my lights made the road disappear and was pushing Tuffy 2 around, so I decided to hole up for the night. They gave me my own room. Tuffy 2 is parked in their heated shop. Dinner was real good, veggies, mashed spuds and gravy, turkey and spareribs with garden salad. I answered the usual questions, I'll see what tomorrow brings. I am at mile marker 41. There is some concern about high winds and snow drifts. If I can’t make my end point by Wednesday afternoon, I will have to turn around for home. Road closures sure hurt my time.
    February 3, -25 degrees. Today I have seen temperatures of -32, -35, -38, now a heat wave at -25. This morning I left the Pelly Crossing RCMP station. Constable James Splinter put me up for the night and Tuffy 2 was in the station’s heated garage, so I could torque the heads and set the valves, it took about 45 minutes.

    The folks at the highway maintenance camp said that I should not go any further because of high winds and 30 to 60 mph. and temperatures down to -50 or more. Their concern was, if I got blown off the road I would not be found until spring. Think about it, if 40-80 ton trucks get blown off the road or blown over, me and my rig at 1,420 pounds wouldn't stand a chance.
    Right now I am at Braeburn Lodge for the night. When I left the RCMP station, I got approximately 2 K down the road when Tuffy 2 started to cut out. Back I limped and in the shop I went. There was ice in the fuel filter, float-bowl and main jet. I cleaned it out and back on the road. The new Fram air filter is working well. I have a nasty cold tight now, I'll be glad when it goes away, the first one in six years. Beddie Bye.

    February 4, -25 deg. I sit here waiting for breakfast. A charter bus driver came in and said it was -57 degrees on the Dempster and high winds. Now you can see why the good Lord did not want me there, yet I feel at peace with myself, even if I did not make it all the way. One of the truckers told me that if I got hung up in the drifts that they would load me up and bring me and Tuffy 2 back. But I didn't make it that far. Maybe in the future.
    Breakfast was a big surprise, fabulous, and Steve only charged me for the two meals I had eaten and not the room. Leigh, his cook is great. They make their own breads and pastry, and all the meals are home cooked, one at a time.

    I'm in Whitehorse now, I think my starter solenoid is starting to fail. It’s -2 and my hands got cold working on it, I hope it gets me to Bellingham, Washington.

    In the morning, I have a live radio interview between 08-0830. Tonight I have an interview at 21:00. People looking for me, waiting for me, leavening phone messages. The producer at C.B.C. said he would give me copies of both broadcasts. I got a copy of the small picture and article in the Yukon Star. If I remember right, I have another interview for the paper in New Hazelton, at the bottom of highway 37 and highway 16.

    I went to eat at the restaurant in the hotel, but it was closed, so I ate at the bar and grill across the street. I've been under the weather for the last several days. The Aleve takes care of the pain in my back and hips, I think the damn thing has settled there. I've got that interview soon. Back tomorrow. -24, right now, will drop tomorrow.

    Note: At this time Eldon is quite sick and doesn't really know the reason. Though he doesn't mention it in his log, his vision is just starting to give him trouble. This is caused by a small tumor that is developing on the left side of the brain, in the fluid behind the eye. The fluid surrounding the brain is in a very fine balance, and the introduction of just a few cells to that fluid can cause problems.

    February 5, -21 to -25. Here I sit in Watson Lake, at Rick and Linda Harder home where I will stay for the night. Tuffy 2 is in their heated garage. Now I believe, that I have water and ice in the right carb. This ice in the fuel system is a real pain in the butt. Now if I can figure how it gets in, then I could do something about it. Getting this far was a snap, lowest temperature -25 at Whitehorse, up to -21 here in Watson Lake. Another reason for coming here besides maintenance was to deliver some mountain goat steaks to Chuck Nugent, owner of Collision Services in Watson Lake. I soon found out that he was out of town till next spring, so I am leavening them with Rick and Linda to give to him when he gets back. Tomorrow first job is to deice the carb and rotate both drive wheels.

    I must say, the people up here are sure wonderful. Coming out of Whitehorse, I stopped at Don and Florence’s to fulfill their "come back on your way out" request. I no more than walked in, when Florence held up the newspaper and said "you are in the paper, you’re are in the paper". There I was, on Tuffy 2 in color, on the front page. About the same time Don said "quiet, Eldon you're on the radio" and behold so I was and at the same time I look up and I was on the TV. Guess what, I'm a star, ta ta taa. I'm tired and want to go to bed.

    February 6, -34. I found water and grit in the right carb fuel line and filter and put in a larger filter. It’s running sweet again. I was fixin’ to leave when Rick asked me to stay another night. This was about 13:00. I was still feeling so rotten from my cold so I passed the rest of the day helping Rick assemble a floor model band saw for wood, he is building a sailboat.

    February 7, -34 deg. I left for Highway 37, my health and cold hands and feet forced me to stop in Dease Lake again. The fire chief came to the rescue. He gave me supper and a room, Chief Richard Mroch fell in step with the hospitality here in the North country. This is something that your rarely find in the U.S.

    I guess the word is still out, the truckers still slow down when they see me, then speed up when passed either way. Boy do they kick up a snow storm when they go by. Even I leave a mini-storm behind, so fine is the snow. Temperature now is about -40, the chief’s wife said it was to be -40 tomorrow also. On the way here I saw moose, two herds of caribou ansd fox grouse. Good night, see ya tomorrow.

    That was the last entry in Eldon's journal. Talking with him on his return, he told me that he was so sick with his vision and pain and the remnants of his cold, that the instinct to get home took over and that the rest of the trip is just a blur. He arrived back home in Portland Oregon on February 12, around 9 a.m. On the 14th. he checked into the Veteran’s Hospital, where he once again found out that his lymphoma had returned. Eldon is currently undergoing chemo therapy and can't wait to get back on a motorcycle.

    When I asked him if he would do it again, he said that maybe he would. That it would be nice to try again, maybe with a couple adventure loving Ural Patrol riders to go along. Who knows, maybe one of them will be me.

    Vince Aszman
  6. D-Mac

    D-Mac Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    613
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    Mid-Michigan
    Wow! That story was AMAZING. Thanks for sharing that. Aszman's ride is truly the stuff of legend. I can't believe he endured those conditons....the human spirit is pretty damn unstoppable.

    This thread just keeps getting better.

    Damn. I really want a Ural now.
  7. roninwva

    roninwva Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    467
    Location:
    Hurricane, WVa., USA
    Thanks for the story of Eldon's winter ride. What an adventure.

    tick,tock.... tick,tock.... tick,tock.... The clock is moving for your adventure Rob!
  8. Stranded in Iowa

    Stranded in Iowa couch adv`r

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Oddometer:
    300
    Location:
    Des Moines, Iowa
    I`m a bit confused. My first thought was wouldn`t it be easier to do this trip in July when it`s a whole lot warmer? Second, People ride there bikes to Inuvik all the time durring the summer months up the Dempster to Inuvik. I know there a ferry you have to take to get across the Mackenzie river. I`ve read all about it here on ADVrider? I don`t know what the landscape is like between Inuvik & Tuk but it`s on the same side of the river anyways. It`s probably all marshy tundra full of skeeters, I`m guessing? Good luck & dress warm. This RR is going to be good.:lurk :bow :bow
  9. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
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    644
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    Vancouver
    Thanks to the new guys for tuning in. I really appreciate your well wishes and enthusiasm.

    "Stranded In Iowa", the summer road ends at Inuvik. From there on up to the ocean, its swamp.

    Here's a few of pic's I took on my flight from Inuvik to Tuk at the Arctic coast in the summer of 06.

    [​IMG]
    It would be really tough to build a summer road through this kind of permafrost swamp - not impossible - but I don't think they'll do it while oil's at $40/barrel.

    [​IMG]
    Here's an example of one of the very cool geographic features of the Arctic....This mini mountain is known as a "Pingo" which is sort of like a lake that froze from the bottom up (not really accurate but close). Swamp that freezes from the bottom up... its expensive to build a road on that. By the way, you can see Tukotyaktuk and the "Arctic Riviera" in the background.

    [​IMG]

    Note the water all around the village of Tuk. This is a place that makes a lot more sense in the winter with a floor of ice :lol3 .

    [​IMG]


    And about that "wouldn't it be easier" bit... That's a profound question Stranded In Iowa. All I can say in self-defense is that you could argue your way out of your motorbike or doing anything fun really quick if you let yourself think like that for very long! :lol3 Don't go there my friend! Its a dangerous, boring part of a person's brain, and if you let it, it will take over and lock you up in your TV room. It will short change you and make you live a long, boring, uneventful life instead of the long experience-RICH life we all deserve. It will sell your bike and put you in a Camry before you knew what happened! Run my friend! Be silly at all costs! Laugh. Cry. Bruise your knee. High side (with gear on). But save yourself! Don't join the dark side! :pope:rofl :thumb

    Hey, what isn't fun about riding your bike on the ice roads?! Come on! You want to come, I can feel it all the way from here. Cariboo, igloos, sled dogs, ice roads, Northern Lights, ... it will probably be an Edelweiss BMW Tour in a few years!

    (and if that sounded like a rant, I was just messin with ya :smile6 :freaky ).
  10. idea man

    idea man Remote Plate Spinner Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,041
    Location:
    North Coast -California
    I could see your tongue in your cheek from here. :D
    You must be starting final countdown from the looks of it. You're not getting excited are you?:dg
    Best of luck on this. Seeing the water down below your bike sort of give me the willies.:huh I'd do it too, but I'd have the willies the whole way.
  11. Stranded in Iowa

    Stranded in Iowa couch adv`r

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Oddometer:
    300
    Location:
    Des Moines, Iowa
    How did you know I like to watch alot of tv and drive a Camry? :huh
    Yes, I do want to tag along, but unfortunetly my nutsack is only rated for 50F - 100F temps.
    :hide
  12. agplant

    agplant Ride Fast Travel Slo

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    365
    Location:
    High Level, Alberta
    Thanks for the additional RR in your report. Wishing you the best on the upcoming run.:wave
  13. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    644
    Location:
    Vancouver

    INTERVENTION!!!
    :pynd
    INTERVENTION!!!

    We're coming over and bolting you on a Hyabusa!





    (Ya, totally tongue in cheek Stranded In Iowa. Never mind a Camry, I've got a minivan filled with kids :lol3 !!! (And they force me to watch TV too!).


    2 weekends (18 sleeps) till launch! Still way too long to wait! :jive :jive :jive
  14. wiggins

    wiggins Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    125
    Location:
    North Central, TX
    Robert, I just made a contribution to the Punch Cancer in the Face organization, But I am affraid that I made it to the wrong cause?? the form asked for an event and I selected Vancover since that is were you are from, but I just received an email with the Transaction details and it shows I donated to another ride. I am sure it will still go to a good cause but maybe not to your goal. My mother has been fighting Cronic Lymphoma Leukemia for the past 20 years and she will celebrate her 74th birthday March 16th so I am fully aware of the need to find a cure.

    I really enjoyed the interviews with Phil, people like him are hard to come by these days and I would do everything he says to do to the bike to prepare it for your journey, I especially liked his idea of rerouting the oil blow-by line to keep the airfilter from freezing up.
    Please be safe and have a great time.
  15. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    644
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Wiggins, thank you very much for punching cancer in the face!
    I'll send you a DVD of the trip when I get back.

    Good news. I just looked at the pledge sheet and I think it did end up in the right place. "Punch Cancer In the Face" is the name of THIS ride but I'm running as a subgroup of Canada's "Motorcycle Ride For Dad" cancer fundraiser (Vancouver chapter). I hooked up with them because it's run by Canada's police, fire and ambulence departments and I wanted someone I trust to look after handling the money. They do really good work, and they also accept Visa via a secure on-line website. Way, way better than me accepting cheques and keeping track of everything.

    A sincere "Best Wishes" to your mother and her health.

    Rob

    P.S. The oil blow by thing will be done for sure before we leave.
  16. Stranded in Iowa

    Stranded in Iowa couch adv`r

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Oddometer:
    300
    Location:
    Des Moines, Iowa
    BTW, I really do wish you the best in your jouney. I`ll be living vicariously thru you upon reading your report. :D
    I just noticed that your ride is about fighting cancer? Hmmm.
    Last week I called called away from work to take my grandmother to the emergency room because she was feeling very ill (she`s 89). Three days later her doctor informed me she has stomach cancer (in the worst way)and told me that I need to have a meeting with a hospice facility. Well, I just put my grandmother in the hospice, things are looking really bad. She cussed me out for taking her to a nursing home. They have her all drugged up on morphine so I`ve been unable to talk to her since her arrival. Well, today she was speaking in tongues(?). I took FLMA (time off) from work so I could be with her. CANCER SUCKS!
  17. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    644
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Stranded, PM me your grandmother's first name and I'll add her to the list of people we're riding for on our dedication section at "punch cancer in the face".
  18. Oddball

    Oddball Faking it.

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    381
    Location:
    Inland Northwest USA
    Rob good luck and may your journey be successful. My prayers of a safe trip go to you and your family.
  19. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Dirt Farmer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,994
    Location:
    Eastern Washington State
    I applaud your adventure spirit...while I'm warm under my electric blanket typing on the internet you will be freezing your ass off. And I wish I was you! hehe
    Moderately off topic, I never could get the hang of riding a hack but would love to do something like this winter ride you are planning...if someone were to do this trip on an ATV :huh(just thinking out loud) would it still be acceptable to post it on ADV Rider?
  20. Yukoner2

    Yukoner2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    187
    Just a little up date for you, the days are getting longer up here in the North. Daylite starts about 8.30 am and lasts till about 9.00 pm. Temps are not bad either, so in 12 days when you leave here (Whitehorse) the weather should be nice.