Dear God No, Not another Alaska Ride Report: Los Angeles to Alaska 2019

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AllSeasonRider, Aug 2, 2019.

  1. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
    471
    I hear that Harley’s made with kph speedometers have all metric fasteners.
    #81
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  2. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Feb 20, 2008
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    Los Angeles, CA
    Having a snack in Teslin, heading for Dawson City. Camped at Boya Lake last night.

    Hoping for a motel tonight - I need to wash myself and my clothes...

    More later.
    #82
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  3. AwDang

    AwDang Long timer

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    Location:
    121 miles from Tellico Plains
    I hate that bridge!
    #83
  4. txbear55

    txbear55 Been here awhile Supporter

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    May 15, 2009
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    517
    Location:
    Rowlett TX
    I second that! I pucker on those dang metal bridges!
    #84
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  5. daBum

    daBum Dave the Bum

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    Feb 4, 2013
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    962
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Third on that!
    #85
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  6. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Just keep it on one wheel, guys. Less to worry about.

    Long day. Got the last room at the Bunkhouse in Dawson.

    What's good for dinner?
    #86
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  7. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Los Angeles, CA
    Also, bummer city, dudes and dudettes. The weather is looking crap north of Eagle Plains for a few days. Looks like I need to rejigger some of the jigs and plan on being back this way after Alaska.

    So for now:
    20190814_195343.jpg

    Then laundry and two days worth of ride report coming up.
    #87
  8. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
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    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    So, yesterday...

    I got a much better nights sleep than I would have guessed. No bear maulings, I'm happy to report.

    It managed to not rain over night, but it didn't stop everything from being soaked from the condensation. The woman working the office for the campground said it's a rainforest, and I believe her. We also mused about travel, politics and the environment. It delayed my start, but I didn't mind.

    The other thing that delayed my start was how late-rising everyone in the campground was. Normally at 6:00am and the place is starting to stir, but not here. Even at 7:30 when I started packing up, hardly anyone was around. I hate to make a bunch of noise when everyone is still sleeping, but I needed to get moving.

    Leaving Stewart via 37A was just as good as coming. In fact, the light was a little (only a little) better at Bear Glacier, so I stopped for a few more photos.
    20190814_221337.jpg
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    Then I saw my first bear. A little black bear, just crossing the road and minding his own business. So I pulled up along side of him, and I said to the bear, "Hey, bear. Are you a vicious man-eater?"

    " Nah, man", he replied with a slight chuckle. "You guys aren't worth the trouble. They hunt us down and kill us if we try to swipe even a couple Oreos."

    "That's good to hear, I'm happy you're one of the good ones."

    And then I blasted him in the face with my bear spray.

    "What the hell, man!?" he yelled.

    "Go tell all your little bear friends not to mess with the dude on the filthy KTM, or there's more where that came from", I told him.

    " Yeah, I got it... Geez...", he mumbled.

    Anyway, the Classiar today has been delightfully free from traffic, and the weather has been beautiful. 10 degrees warmer and it'd have been perfect.
    20190813103310_IMG_2510.JPG

    Then I saw my second bear. Also crossing the road, but staring at me the whole way past. I yelled from my helmet, "Hey, bear. Do you know who I am?"

    "Yeah, you're the bad ass with the bear spray", and then he moseyed off into the woods.

    Then I saw my third bear. You get the idea. Anyway, 3 bears in about 45 minutes, but none the rest of the day.

    Oh, and a bald eagle, but he was too far away for a photo.

    I have to admit that, before yesterday, I wasn't really appreciating the significance of what I'm doing. Not that I find it particularly significant - after all, old guys on Goldwings do this all the time (no offense to old dudes, or Goldwings) - But starting with 37A it began to feel like I was really going someplace.

    Today that continued. The remoteness is impressive - so few other vehicles and hardly any towns. I'm impressed with the variety of the landscape as well.
    20190814_221455.jpg

    Oh, and it got 10 degrees warmer after lunch. Can't ask for more. Actually, it was a little warmer than I wanted, so I should have asked for a bit less.

    I rolled into Boya Lake around 3:30 and set up camp.
    20190814_221555.jpg

    I took a kayak out for a bit. I claimed this island - it's humble but it's mine.
    20190814_221843.jpg

    I was told Boya Lake is the prettiest in BC, and from what I've seen so far I must agree. Watercolor colored water.

    A quick dinner and, as I type this a fire is going. I watched a video on YouTube on how to be Boy Scout (I never made it past 2nd Class Scout) so I wouldn't suffer the embarrassment of the fire situation from last night again. It worked.
    20190814_221626.jpg

    Bedtime soon. There's a black bear in the area so everyone's being a little extra cautious. This campground is delightfully quiet, so hopefully it's another good night's rest.
    20190814_221752.jpg
    #88
  9. Phoenix101

    Phoenix101 Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
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    3,003
    Location:
    Right Side of WA
    Later that night at AllSeasonRider's camp site...

    Hi, you sprayed crap on my buddies... I am here to rip the tires off that crappy KTM (if you were on a BMW I would let you pass).. and BTW THAT IS MY ISLAND!!!

    upload_2019-8-14_22-48-4.png
    #89
  10. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,216
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    ...and today...

    So it turns out I didn't sleep as well I had hoped. I wasn't worried about the bear (yeah, right - I was totally worried about the bear), but something kept telling me to wake up and get moving. So at the ass crack of dawn, I did.
    20190814_222007.jpg

    Today was going to be a bit of a marathon - Boya Lake to Dawson, about 12 hours all in. The final miles of the Cassiar were as good as the rest, and I soon found myself heading west on the Alaska Highway.
    20190814_221942.jpg

    This is a much "bigger" feeling road. It has its moments, but I was bored of it rather quickly. It returned the favor by turning to rain at Teslin, and it continued for 3 hours or so. Next time I'll be sure to love the road.

    Things I'm thankful for: my heated jacket liner. Dear Lord that felt good today.

    Photos were light because I was trying to make time and also not stop and fart around in the rain.

    By the way, Whitehorse was nothing like I expected - it's a damned metropolis! I skipped right past it.

    Onto the Klondike to the head to Dawson. That was a poor decision. I'll share more in a bit.

    I finally got the camera back out, but this really wasn't the shot I wanted:
    20190814_221916.jpg

    The leaves were just starting to change on a lot of the trees and that's what I wanted a photo of, but this road has terrible shoulders and just enough truck traffic to cause me pause in stopping on the side.

    That, and I don't think the bears here got the message yet and I don't want to be a sitting duck.

    Speaking of wildlife, it was minimal today. Two caribou and a fox.

    I rolled into Dawson around 7pm and lucked out with the last room in the Bunkhouse. I have no idea if there are better places to stay, but this one seems like a must do, at least once, so did it I did.

    Shower, then pizza and beer for dinner, and laundry. Now writing.

    So here's the FUBAR - the weather is shit in Inuvik and Tuk for the next few days - enough that I can't hang around and wait for it. Had I bothered to look that up earlier today I would have headed for Haines instead. No worries, it just means a little backtracking in a few days.

    I'm going to let the weather drive me at this point, and this means not heading for my first planned stop in AK, Denali, as it's rain there for a bit, too. Instead, I'll head to Valdez and make a loop of AK counter-clockwise, ending up back in Dawson in a few days where the weather should be more favorable for a run to Tuk.

    This keeps me on schedule... though if it didn't it would just mean missing more work and maybe that's not such a terrible idea...

    Dawson is a terrifically weird place. I'm not doing the toe thing.
    #90
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  11. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

    Joined:
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    Location:
    God's country, Western North Carolina
    :rofl:deal:beer
    #91
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  12. reed valve

    reed valve Just ride.....

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    Durban,KZN Saffa land
    Dig your style man, keep it coming
    Those 1090's are dead sexy too
    #92
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  13. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Los Angeles, CA
    Guys - Google says it's 3 hours to get the border from Dawson City. I realize it's a lot of gravel, but is that true? Weather is beautiful here so it should go quickly. It's only 100km...
    #93
  14. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Los Angeles, CA
    He'd have been wise to leave that KTM alone. Boya Lake was beautiful, save for the bees, and they'd hardly let me near bike for some reason!
    #94
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  15. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    She's even sexier now, what with a cleaned chain and all. It's the only (marginally) clean part of the bike.

    I'd been a poor owner thus far and have neglected to check tire pressure or oil level until last night.
    #95
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  16. Lucky Explorer

    Lucky Explorer Traveled the world

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2001
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    343
    Location:
    Northern Arizona, usa
    You're probably on the gravel now, but more like 3 hours to Tok. The only problem with the gravel on the Top of World rd is motorhomes straddling the center and making passing a pain.
    Allen
    #96
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  17. reed valve

    reed valve Just ride.....

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
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    45
    Location:
    Durban,KZN Saffa land
    If you're gonna say your bike is sexy then you're gonna have to post pics.
    :D:D:D
    #97
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  18. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
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    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    In Valdez, having a beer and red Salmon on the way.

    Today was a GOOD day, but I've got some decisions to make for tomorrow:
    1)Homer, camp on the spit,
    2)McCarthy / Kennicott, or
    3)Stay another day in Valdez and do something touristy.

    Took about an hour to border. Traffic was light, and easy to get around when needed.

    Just wait...
    #98
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  19. ztaj

    ztaj jatz

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    Jul 22, 2008
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    Location:
    Nelson-ish New Zealand
    McCarthy/Kennicot was a pot holed goat track a couple of weeks ago, except for the 10 + miles of inch thick marbles the graders left behind. KatieM will love it :D , worth the trip too.
    #99
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  20. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Today, Part I.

    Running behind schedule because you woke up late sucks. Running behind schedule because the weather slowed you down sucks. Running behind schedule because your bike broke sucks. None of these things happened. I was behind schedule because I stopped to take photos way more than I was expecting to.

    I woke up early in Dawson to a bunch of still damp laundry. Damn. Thankfully there was a space heater in the room, so I cranked that thing up and left - definitely not a fire hazzard.
    20190815_215728.jpg
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    I grabbed a quick breakfast and coffee, took my time getting the bike packed and headed out. First stop, the ferry across the Yukon.
    20190815085503_IMG_2547.JPG

    As you may recall, this is going the wrong way from my plan. The weather is crap up north, so we'll head into Alaska instead.

    It's not the Dempster, but the Top of the World Highway was more than an admirable stand in.
    20190815_215826.jpg

    Some might find this weather lousy, but I found it absolutely perfect given where I was.
    20190815_215901.jpg
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    Despite the dampness, the road was running fast and there were very few RVs to get around.

    Crossing the border was no biggie. I thought I saw a restroom and asked the guard, but he said, "Nope, 43 miles down the road.". I can't wait, and you can ask my wife this, for women to take over the world. Men have had their way of things for a few millennia and have managed to mostly make a mess of it - gotta know when to quit. BUT, for all that women can do, men are still the undisputed world champs at being able to pee wherever we want. So I used the first pull off after the crossing, and then took a few more photos.
    20190815_220007.jpg
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    At a certain point, you gotta just put the camera away and ride else you'll be there for the rest of your life.