Chasing Summer

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Jean-Luc, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    :waysad Too bad we were really looking forward to it!
    :ear :1drink
  2. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    We&#8217;re planned to take the next ferry in Haines that&#8217;s departing on the 13<sup>th</sup> at 5 AM so we have plenty of time to get there. We have a leisurely morning at the campground, waiting for the sun to warm us up a little. And of course, updating the thread :wink:. While almost ready to leave I check my tires pressure and realize that the rear tire is half of what it should be. Is it the same mounting issue than with the front wheel? :huh Not this time: it&#8217;s just an old nail&#8230; ADV salute to the nail!

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    Murphy&#8217;s law I suppose. One more patching exercise and we&#8217;re good to go.

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    The Alcan is not that bad going East of Tok and becomes even great after the <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Canada</st1:place></st1:country-region> border.

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    We stop just after the border, at Beaver Creek to have lunch and make reservation for the ferry. That&#8217;s when we learn that there is an additional ferry leaving Haines at noon on the 12<sup>th</sup>. The perspective of taking a ferry during the day rather than waking up at 3 AM is exciting, but suddenly we&#8217;re in hurry! :eek1 <o:p></o:p>
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    We&#8217;re still enjoying the road though and taking time to get some pictures.<o:p></o:p>
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    When we arrive at Haines Junction there is still daylight. However, we don&#8217;t want to spoil the road going to Haines because it&#8217;s supposed to be spectacular so we decide to stay here. We find a cheap hotel to be able to leave earlier on the morning. There is no risk that the night life in Haines Junction would keep us awake late tonight. :lol3 <o:p></o:p>
  3. kootenay kid

    kootenay kid Lets Ride

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    Nice time of the year to be in Alaska. The colors are awesome. Keep it coming.
  4. Zen Slug

    Zen Slug Spineless Adventurer

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    so how's the jacket in the rain... are the pockets truly "100% waterproof" as promised? :ear
  5. ABADV

    ABADV Been here awhile

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    Being the armchair adventurer that I am at this point in my life (two beautiful little ones under four), I look forward to every report. You boys are living my dream!! I am taking a twenty day trip to AK and YT in June of 08 and you are giving me a taste of what to look forward too. The scenery is amazing! Ride safe!!! Cannot wait for the rest.

    Tarmac :D
  6. BAGSTR

    BAGSTR BAGSTR

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    Jean-Luc,

    How is the seat working for your long days on the road. It looks to be the Rally model. James doesn't market the seat for Touring, but you are putting it to the test.

    BAGSTR
  7. ABADV

    ABADV Been here awhile

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    Hope the weather holds for you! I know here in Calgary we've had nights as cold as -4c and frosty mornings. The last time you posted was the 11th so for your sake I hope you are in sunny South now.

    Cheers.
    Tarmac.
  8. C-Dub

    C-Dub Clean Air Hog

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    Hey there buddy! Remember me, Chris from the Elko Rally!? I just stumbled on your great story. Sure wish I was riding along!

    Give me a shout when you get to So Cal! I can put you guys up if you need it. Maybe I can follow you South for a while as well.

    Keep up the great reporting!:lurk
  9. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    You're so right about that! Amazing colors, no bugs, very few tourists... It couldn't be better :D. Of course, it's usually rainy and cold at this time of the year but we've been very lucky so far.
  10. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    What a day! What a fantastic day today was. :smile6

    It&#8217;s not that we did so many miles but it was fun to get up in <st1:state w:st="on">Yukon</st1:state>, cross <st1:state w:st="on">British Columbia</st1:state>, then the border to <st1:state w:st="on">Alaska</st1:state>, take a ferry, cross the border to BC and end up sleeping in <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Yukon</st1:place></st1:state> again :D. But the best part is that the weather was great and the scenery even better. :nod<o:p></o:p>
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    We wake up early this morning with, for the first time on this trip, a schedule to stick to: the ferry we&#8217;re taking leaves at 12:30 pm and we&#8217;re supposed to be there 2 hours before.

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    We want to take our time on the way and so leave early. On the other hand we don't want to leave before the sun is out either!

    The start of the road is not spectacular and it&#8217;s so cooooold! But we&#8217;re soon rewarded with great morning colors and patches of fog rising above water.

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    We do many pauses, just contemplating the view


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    I think we picked the perfect time to be on the road!

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    At every turn we&#8217;re in awe on how beautiful the scenery is.

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    Even better, it&#8217;s changing and evolving while we&#8217;re climbing even more.

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    With all those picture-stops, we are getting worried about missing the ferry so I took the following pictures while riding :arg

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    If there is one word to qualify the Great Northern for me it has to be "Scale"...

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    I had never seen this kind of fishing boat (at least that's what we think it was) :confused


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    Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the road was fun and twisty and having a ferry to catch was a good excuse for a spirited ride :ricky

    Just before Haines is a reserve of Bald Eagles and we&#8217;re able to see 2 of them on our way. Yeah! No pictures of them, so just a last one of the mountains.

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    It&#8217;s just past 10 AM when we show up to Haines&#8217; ferry terminal. We get our tickets and are told that checking in at 11:30 AM would be fine. Cool, we then have times to visit Haines, just a few miles back. Haines is a nice little town. There were some tourists coming from the cruise ship in the harbor but it was not too bad.

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    There were about half dozen similar big white houses, remainings I suppose from a time where there was a military fort in Haines.

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    Not sure if those are authentics from the Chilkat Tlingit Indians who first established this settlement...

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    The real beauty of Haines comes from the high mountains surrounding it.

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    This dog adopted Teryk and followed him for the rest of our promenade in town.

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    He had very impressive eyes!

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    Not as beautiful as when they fly, but at least we were able to photograph this bald eagle in town...

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    It's funny to see how many themes museum can be about! This one is about hammers :huh

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    Funny also that within seconds of us stopping somewhere, there is always someone that comes with questions :deal

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    In this case, those people were in a cruise but had seen us a couple of times during their stay in Alaska. Sometimes it was "Hey, you've been all around the place: you must have passed me 3 times already!". It's true that we have seen a surprisingly small number of motorcycles on our trip so we must be somehow more recognizable to them.

    Most of the questions are about where we're coming from, where we're going etc. But our favorite is "What brand is your motorcycle?" KTM. Stunned look :huh. Sometimes another question follows before they get back to it: "You mean, it's a Kawasaki?". No :nah, they are K.T.M., an Austrian brand. "Ahhh... :confused ... I used to have an Harley..."

    :lol3
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  11. christian

    christian Long timer

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    HEy JL, what camera do you use ?
    Pics are awesome.
  12. gagnaou

    gagnaou Long timer

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    Stunning Pictures!!!
  13. kahoon

    kahoon who's yer daddy??

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    classic!

    :lol3:poser
  14. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    The jacket is fine and yes, the pockets are truly "100% waterproof". Tested under a heavy downpour :cry.

    The pants are not as good since both Teryk and me (we have the same model) had our crotch completely wet a couple of times. It doesn't happen in moderate rain though and they're using the same "Hydratex" material so I'm not sure what's wrong there. It's probably not waterproof enough for "standing" water like it happens sometimes on the seat :dunno
  15. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    The weather stayed rather nice but, you're right, quite cold! Teryk who has a lighter tent often had ice under his rain fly on the morning. :vardy
  16. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    The seat is awesome :nod That doesn't mean that my butt didn't hurt at times though :wink:. I bought my first Renazco seat in 2004 for the PCQ trip and I was amazed by how big was the improvement for the 10-12 hours riding days that we had for 2 weeks. Well, I got my new seat for this trip (I sold the previous 950) and it's even better :thumb.

    It's rather on the firm side (nothing like the stock one though) but with good support and softness for the pointy parts (if any :lol3). No matter how good the seat is, what's really important is to be able to move your position on the seat and change the pressure points. This one is narrow on the front (for off-road) and get's wider (and flatter) a bit further back. Moving from one position to the other was extremely helpful.

    Overall, its the best seat dual-sport seat I know and a great touring one too. :clap
  17. ABADV

    ABADV Been here awhile

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    Hey JL,
    How is Teryk making out with the 640? I am looking at one now for sale. I hear they are a bit of a "paint shaker"? But I'd like to hear his thoughts on logging major miles on a single? Riding positon? Reliable? I see he's had some problems. As I noted before I will be duplicating your trip in late June. How is the mileage? Does he have any problems keeping up with you on the LC8? What speeds are you usually cruising at?

    How do you like the 950?

    Sorry for the 20 questions, I am really interested to hear his response! :deal
  18. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    Hey Chris :wave

    Sure I remember you! I would love to catch up with you on our way South. We're thinking of doing Copper Canyon, would you be interested?
  19. Zen Slug

    Zen Slug Spineless Adventurer

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    :lol3 i got the same question from a trucker at a stoplight in los angeles today. i said "ktm" and got the dumb stare you describe. next time maybe i'll just say "it's a harley" :evil
  20. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    Most people who visit <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Alaska</st1:place></st1:state> take the boat, at least for part of their trip. We&#8217;ll now have that experience too, even if it&#8217;s just for the shortest trip available: just 1 hour to go from Haines to <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Skagway</st1:place></st1:city>.
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    <o:p>Here we are, waiting at the ferry...
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    <o:p>The problem with riding a motorcycle: it gets hot as soon as you stop :wink:</o:p>
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    It&#8217;s the first time I see a ferry with side doors&#8230; It&#8217;s definitely not the best option for some drivers like this one who spent literally more than 10 minutes backing up on a straight ramp, way larger than his camper (no trailer) and with one helper from the crew guiding him!

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    This time motorcycles were last to board but, hey, we&#8217;ll be the firsts to exit. :evil<o:p></o:p>
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    The ferry is kind of fun: it&#8217;s nice to see the scenery moving around you while relaxing on a lounge chair.

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    Since the whole ferry trip is going through a fjord we were expecting more spectacular views but it&#8217;s okay (we've been spoiled!).

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    The arrival in <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Skagway</st1:place></st1:city> is like jumping to another dimension. :huh The first (and only) thing we first see are 4 huge cruise boats, each of them with more passengers than there are people leaving full time in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Skagway</st1:city></st1:place>.

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    Oh, look! We can see what looks like a miniature town on the background...

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    Too bad, because the site is beautiful...

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    I&#8217;m sure the town could be nice too.

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    We stop a minute to regroup.

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    We were thinking of having lunch here. But in just a couple of minutes we had already so many people accosting us with the same questions than we just want to leave this Alaskan Disneyland.

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    <o:p>Ah... it feels so good to be out of this crowd! I'm sure cruises are great too but not if you're found of remoteness. We even heard that once, there were 9 cruises ships stopped in Skagway :uhoh.</o:p>
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    <o:p>What's amazing is that the scenery on the Hwy 2 was completely different from the one we had on the morning.</o:p>
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    But it's just as beautiful :nod

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    It's a very unusual landscape for us

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    The only things that remain the same are the fabulous colors of the trees!

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    It's late and we still haven't had lunch. On the map, 83 miles after Skagway, back in Yukon, there is a town called Carcross. Not much there I'm afraid...

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    Beautiful site though!

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    Carcross has a big general store and if I recall correctly it's the oldest in the Yukon province. Unfortunately they're only selling ice cream :huh.

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    We walk to the bridge and have a quick lunch from Ed's smoked salmon stripes and tortillas :dg

    It's been a full day and we're now looking for a place to stay, probably one of those great Yukon campgrounds. This one, in Tagish, seems a bit too close to the water :lol3

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    No luck in Jakes Corner either. Yukon is scarcely populated and names on the map don't mean much in reality. Plus, many seasonal places are already closed now.

    Finally we find what we want at the Johnsons Crossing campground. Nice site by the water, very few people and still plenty of fire wood.

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    But this one has something more!

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    A great pier, just for us on the beautiful lake :0-0

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    Teryk reminding of all the amazing things we saw in one day!

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    Perfect ending to a perfect day...

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