Just me and the DRZ, my first motorcycle tour

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Baise, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. Baise

    Baise Isn't scared

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
    Continuing up the Icefields Parkway

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    Quick hike up to Athabasca Glacier

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    Sunwapta Falls

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    The mountains never end going up this road.

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    Not quite as spectacular as the Going to the Sun road but about 4 times as long so it was a hell of a nice ride.

    Check out this beach on the north side of Jasper. That guy is out in the middle and only up to his knees. Lots of people were enjoying the day here.

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    I love seeing cool stuff like this going down the road.

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    Stopped in Hinton to buy a new memory card for the camera then headed up route 40. I thought Wyoming and Montana were big country but this place just seems to dwarf them. In Grande Cache I would meet up with a nice biker couple at the gas station. They asked me where I was going to stay the night and I told them I'd find a logging road between here and Grande Prairie. They said nonsense and offered to share their hotel room with me. Cool now I have someone to ride with but it was tough keeping up they rode fast.

    We seen someone in a pickup truck taking pictures of a bear on a pulloff of the road. He left and we figured we would ride up close and get some pictures of it. We sat there a second and got the cameras out when the bear made a quick move towards us :eek1. I couldn't believe how fast it was. Luckily for us it was just a warning because it could have taken some one off of their bike if it wanted to.

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    We boogied on out of there. Now I realize why they say don't approach the wildlife :rofl

    Kinda an odd couple don't you think?

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    #41
  2. Baise

    Baise Isn't scared

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
    Here we go!

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    Unfortunately for me now my front wheel bearings are starting to go. Guess I should have replaced them back in Montana when I did the rear bearings. Tried to find some replacements in Dawson Creek with no luck so I figure I can make it to Ft. St. John. They started getting real bad to the point where the bars would start shaking back and forth at random times going down the road. Long stressful ride to Ft. St. John but I made it. The Honda/Suzuki dealer said they could get me some bearings the next day so I had to stay behind my riding companions :cry and spring for a room for the night.
    #42
  3. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    12,037
    Location:
    Golden CO
    Often you can find wheel bearings at an industrial or bearing supply store. They tend to be pretty common sizes.
    #43
  4. mashrider

    mashrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    126
    Location:
    Cullman AL
    Ok OK I am ning my trip to AK, I am going on my XR1200, Thanks for the inspiration!!!!!!!!!!!!
    #44
  5. btretired

    btretired anal retentive

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,039
    Location:
    Blakely, GA
    :clap Great trip-- this is the way to do it!!
    #45
  6. alekkas

    alekkas Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,607
    Location:
    Far West Chicago Burbs
    Awesome. Looking forward to more.
    #46
  7. vguy

    vguy Rockhopper

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    117
    Location:
    High desert - Southern California
    A great adventure. Thanks for the excellent pix and report. :thumb
    #47
  8. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    281
    Location:
    Texas
    Thanks for the report, enjoyed it.
    #48
  9. Baise

    Baise Isn't scared

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
    After spending a day in beautiful Ft. St. John my bike was all fixed up and ready to go the next afternoon and I was ready to pound out some miles. Was a pretty uneventful day. I was given advice not to pass a gas station on the Alaska Highway but stopping every 30-40 miles was getting old :rofl. I ended up making it about 30-40 miles past Ft. Nelson where I found a pull off out of sight of the road to set up my tent.

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    Couldn't really sit out and enjoy myself because the mosquitos were horrendous here.

    Big country up this way.

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    Wildlife sightings becoming more frequent as I'm getting near Stone Mountain Provincial Park

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    Got about 5 feet away from these sheep, they were not scared at all.

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    Muncho Lake

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    Lots of bison herds along the Liard River

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    Made it up to Watson Lake, stopped to check out the signpost village real quick. I started traveling up route 4 north of Watson Lake for a short while thinking I was still on the Alaska Highway until I started noticing there is no traffic on this road and it is a lot narrower :rofl. I just said oh well I'll go with it. There was absolutely nothing on this road. No cars, no houses, no gas stations. Was hard to figure out why there was even a road here. When I figured out how far I was going to have to go before I'd be able to get gas I got a little worried. I knew it would be real close so I started shutting the engine down on what downhills there were and started riding in a aerodynamic tuck.

    Just dirt road, trees, and swamp land.

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    This road really boosted my gravel/dirt riding confidence. I was hauling along at 55-60 the entire way. Felt like I was a rally racer. :lol3

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    Hit reserve on the tank

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    Man was I glad to see this sign

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    No I didn't crash:evil Had to lay the bike down to get the gas from the other side of the tank. Luckily I'm only about 3 km away from town. The town of Ross River looked like a ghost town. The gas station was closed so I parked the bike and started looking around a bit. The people that lived here looked really poor. Seen a couple of old men that looked like they were living in an abondoned garage they didn't know how I could get gas and directed me to go talk to the bartender. The bartender was a white woman, the only white person I seen in town and she explained how I could use the gas pumps. On the way out of town a couple old ladies who turned out to be sisters stopped me and wanted to talk. They were nice and taught me a few words in their native language.

    Found a little camping area a couple miles out of town. Didn't see any signs or anyone to pay so decided to set up.

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    Lots of bugs in the Yukon

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    #49
  10. redpillar

    redpillar Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    904
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Good report great trip
    #50
  11. Gootch

    Gootch Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,701
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    Subscribed -- keep it coming. Great trip (with required close call for gas).
    #51
  12. Baise

    Baise Isn't scared

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
    Up and ready for another great day of riding

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    The Yukon River

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    Head into Carmacks to get some gas and some food. I met a guy there that was taking his KTM 950 back home in the back of a U-haul truck. Made me feel good about my bike :lol3

    I was told the top of the world highway was just reopened a couple days ago so I'm going to go for it. There was some flooding that had washed some sections out.

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    The ride up to Dawson City was very pretty.

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    Dawson was a cool looking town but I didn't hang around long. Hopped on the free ferry to cross the Yukon River.

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    Dawson from the other side of the river. I've seen this pic in a lot of other reports.

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    View from my campsite on the top of the world highway. Seems like you can see for hundreds of miles up here. Sun didn't go down until about 11:30-midnight.

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    #52
  13. derrickb

    derrickb Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    109
    Location:
    Texas, God's country
    Great report!
    #53
  14. Fictitious

    Fictitious Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    203
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Damnit stop making me jealous :p It's always nice to see people who don't think you need a gigantic bike to do some touring :D
    #54
  15. Baise

    Baise Isn't scared

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
    Getting close to the farthest north customs station on a road in the US.

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    I should've taken a picture at the customs house. There was a sign that said the name of the place and "Population: 2" for the 2 guys that worked it. :lol3

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    The expanses of burnt forest as I was heading towards Tok was pretty wild to see. It just went on for miles and miles.

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    The couple I had met and rode with when I started up the Alaska Highway lived in Tok and told me to give them a call when I get into town. I tried a couple times but they were out of town so I decided I'd make one last big push on up to Fairbanks where my cousin lives.

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    I didn't think the road from Tok to Fairbanks was that scenic compared to what I had been riding recently. These huge river plains were pretty cool though.

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    The water must come roaring through here when the snow melts. Coming into Fairbanks on multi-lane highway with all this traffic around really had me bummed out.
    #55
  16. yeuop

    yeuop Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    479
    Awesome! Super fantastic!:clap
    #56
  17. PHILinFRANCE

    PHILinFRANCE Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    S W France my little bit of paradise
    OUTSTANDING:clap
    Phil
    #57
  18. OhioAirhead

    OhioAirhead Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    Ohio
    Excellent ride report! Just what I needed to get me through a cold Ohio winter. Sounds like a great ride.
    #58
  19. Baise

    Baise Isn't scared

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
    I spent the next couple days resting in Fairbanks. Ordered a new rear tire for the bike. My cousin's husband's family came up to visit from Kansas so I would spend the next week on a trip down to Denali and to Seward on the Kenai Peninsula. Seen all kinds of really amazing things, but I won't get into that here since I didn't ride my bike down there. After coming back I rested a couple more days then decided to try to ride all the way to Prudhoe Bay. This wasn't in my original plans but I thought that if I came this far I might as well go all the way.

    The Yukon River again

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    I did it! :clap

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    After seeing that picture of the globe and also the display in the Coldfoot visitor center made it finally start to sink in just how far I've traveled and how crazy far north I really was. At this stop a tour group in a van gave me a sandwich, some fruit, a soda and some chocolate cake. I must have looked like I needed it :lol3 At Coldfoot camp I would fill the 2 2-liter bottles I had in my sweetcheeks with gasoline because I think it is 238 miles from there up to Deadhorse.

    This is awesome

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    As you can see it is starting to get a little bit wet.

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    Whenever a big truck would come from the opposite direction you would be covered in mud. I would try to put my face down to save my vision but usually would have to stop to clean the face shield off right after.

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    I believe this is the south side or the start of Atigun Pass. Probably not the best place to camp but it wasn't too windy and all the spots I'd seen to camp before this were taken by hunters.

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    Wild blueberries all over the hillside. They were yummy.
    #59
  20. Dadster

    Dadster I'd rather be ridin

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    211
    Location:
    Southernish , IN
    Where on that DRZ do you put your balls of steal? This trip is inspiring. Lots of those pics are breath taking. I'm looking forward to more. Keep it coming!
    #60