North/ South Canol, Dempser, Dalton and Many More

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Bigguy136, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    167
    I'm just getting home after 5 weeks of riding about every road and goat path I could find. I posted about a few specific roads as I went but this will be the post with all specifics. Below is my Garmin tracks of my overall trip. I had great weather, bike had no issues and 1 bear attack at 3:00 AM as I was sleeping in my tent. A few river crossing that were deeper than I wanted and other highs and lows.
    It was a trip of a lifetime and will share the details of each day. I still have a lot of unpacking, cleaning and catching up to do but I will get the details posted soon.
    Some of my roads I took were:
    Montana #38
    Nahanni Range Road (road to Tungsten, NWT)
    North Canol
    South Canol
    Dempster
    Clinton Creek (road to 40 Mile)
    Alaska #5 (road to Eagle)
    Dalton
    Denali
    Collinsville (road to Cache Creek)
    Hatcher Pass
    Alaska #1 (road to Anchor Point)
    Alaska #4 (road to Valdez)
    Hyder Alaska/ Salmon Glacier
    And a few more.

    My overall route is below. More details to follow.....
    Sketch.png
    #1
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  2. wilsonjw42

    wilsonjw42 Long rider Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I'm in.
    #2
  3. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
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    Location:
    God's country, Western North Carolina
    :lurk:drink:lurk:drink
    #3
  4. Amphib

    Amphib A mind is like a parachute....

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2018
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    Wnc
    Yeppers!
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  5. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    167
    And so the journey begins.
    I rode to the Arctic in 2017 and 2018. 2017 was a good trip and I made it to Inuvik but 2018 was a lot of rain and mud. After loosing my brake pads from the mud, I turned back at Ross River. This trip was much better.
    My bike is a 2014 Super Tenere with Mitas E07+ rear/ E07 front.
    I had two 1.3 gal aux fuel cans on the back of my panniers but I was mapping out some roads over the winter and knew I wanted more fuel. I made two 2.5 gal aux fuel cans that mounted under my panniers. This really helped how the bike felt. I also took fewer supplies. I got the bike down to 327 lbs front/ 488 lbs rear.
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    #5
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  6. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    167
    I left on June 6, 2019. I didn't have any deadlines or schedules. I decided to start my adventure from the 1st day and take the backroads. Not much for riding photos but here is my camp with my dinner. I carry potatoes and tuna with. Always a hearty meal. Also, my Garmin track from the day.
    I also recorded a video journal every evening. I did that in 2018 and enjoyed watching the videos over the winter so I made sure to do one every night.
    Miles:554
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    #6
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  7. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    167
    June 07:
    I started looking for some side roads and found a few. Fun little roads that kept getting less and less traveled. I never knew there were such fun riding so close to home. I feel I could've spent a week just exploring these roads alone. I will definitely be back to ride more of these.
    I even saw some cactus. I never knew there would be cactus in northern North Dakota.
    Miles: 442
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    #7
  8. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    167
    June 08:
    Not much for the day. It was raining when I woke and rained all day. I was riding towards Cody, WY so I could ride Bear Tooth pass but it was in the 40s and raining all day. I didn't see much of a reason to go over Bear Tooth so I got on the freeway and tried to get thru the rain. No luck so I got a hotel for the night.
    Miles: 564
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    #8
  9. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    167
    June 09:
    Miles: 272
    I came across some really nice roads. I was heading to a road I found on the GPS but saw a side road that caught my interest. As I took it, I found an ATV trail. A bit steep but why not. As I was going up, I realized I shouldn't be on it. I found a spot to turn around and skidded back to the bottom.
    I got back to the main road I wanted to ride and saw a sign for vehicles with trailers over 20' not advised. A sign I love to see. It was a slow, curvy dirt road with no traffic. I got back on the main road continuing towards the border. I stopped in a grocery store a few hours before camp and picked up a steak, potato and an onion for dinner.
    In the morning, I made some oatmeal and coffee. I love cooking and enjoy being able to make some great meals in the middle of nowhere.
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    #9
  10. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    167
    June 10
    Miles: 481
    I was waiting until the 10th to cross into Canada so my travel medical insurance would be active. Thanks to everyone on this forum for helping me learn this. I have been to Canada in 2016, 17 and 18 without a special policy. I thought my USA medical insurance would cover me.
    I entered Canada at Porthill, Idaho. Some nice roads and a ferry crossing at the Kootenay river. I was looking forward to Mt. Revelstoke Summit Pkwy as my map showed it would be very curvy. I got part way up and the upper section was closed from snow. Maybe another time??
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    #10
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  11. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    167
    June 11
    Miles: 619
    Not too much today. Some beautiful scenery on all tar roads. I didn't feel like making breakfast and was looking forward to a pastry from Tim Hortons. Found a nice remote camp area and skipped dinner after all I ate for breakfast.
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    #11
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  12. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    167
    June 12
    Miles: 630
    Today, the real fun begins. I got to Watson lake and stopped at the sign post forest. Last year I put up a sign for Big Lake, MN (town I am from) and I added my card to it. Before leaving on this trip, I had business cards made up with the phrase 'everyone dies - not everyone lives'. I would hand them out to other adv riders I met along the way. I stopped in a café in Watson Lake and they had a large map of the area.
    I fueled up and filled my aux fuel tanks as I had a long ride before my next fuel stop. I punched out the top vent in my tank so I can hold about another 1/2 gallon in my tank and I also have 5 extra gallons in my aux tanks.
    I headed north on the Robert Campbell (#4) for about 70 miles. I then took the Nahanni Range road (#10) towards Tungsten, NWT. I stopped at what looked like a hunting cabin on a lake about 1 hour in. Other than a lot of porcupines, I had the place to myself.
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    #12
  13. GravelRider

    GravelRider AKA max384 Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,479
    Location:
    North by South
    In!
    #13
  14. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
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    167
    Here was my card I made up.
    1.JPG
    #14
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  15. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    167
    June 13
    Miles: 440
    Taking the Nahanni Range road was just to cross into the NWT. After riding, I was very happy I took the road. The first half of the road was just a nice dirt road but the 2nd half or maybe the last 1/4 was something. Steep climbs and tight turns. It was worth taking.
    I was met at the end of the road by a guard who made sure I didn't enter the mine road. Someone told me it was because of insurance liabilities and not that they are hiding or guarding something.
    I had some off and on rain for a few minutes at the very end. Nothing that even got my deer skin gloves wet.
    I returned to the Robert Campbell and up to Ross River. I didn't want to run back to Watson lake for more fuel so that is why I made the larger aux fuel tanks. From Watson Lake to Tungsten, NWT and to Ross river was a 470 mile trip.
    The Robert Campbell was in great shape. Both 2017 and 18, I had construction with a lead truck to follow. Both times, it was raining. This year, no rain and no construction. I was travelling at 60+ MPH with no issues.
    I got into Ross River at 4:45 PM, a quick fill and to the ferry just as he was closing. He took me across to the North Canol at 5:00PM and all was good.
    I rode for 65 miles and pulled over at the lake access. I had the place to myself.
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    #15
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  16. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    167
    June 14
    Miles: 237
    I was on part of the North Canol in 2017 but didn't ride much of it. The road was rougher than I remembered in 2017. I later was told that the road wasn't officially opened yet and has not been graded.
    Most of the bridges on the Yukon side looked to be new lumber and were in good shape. All bridges have been removed on the NWT side. I came across 3 people working and they were doing oil pipeline clean-up. They were the people who removed the bridges on the NWT side. They also said they are working at making the North Canol a federal park and would only be open to foot or bicycle traffic.
    I was able to get across two of the river crossings but there were two remaining before the lodge. I walked part of the 3rd river and it was too much to do solo so I turned back. I thought I could just ride the two rivers that I already crossed but got off my line on the last river. There was a large rock that I needed to stay right of. I remembered but didn't stay right enough and got on the left side. That pushed me to a deeper part of the river. The front of the bike went down in and the rear wheel started to spin. Oh snap, I'm in trouble. I got off the bike and pushed with everything I had as I let the clutch out. Move the bike 6", stop, walk forward 6", stop, repeat. I got the bike thru the deep area of the river and got onto some rock base. Finished getting the bike across and I was trembling after it was over.
    I rode for 11 hours/ 240 miles and forgot to stop for water. The North Canol lived up to everything I was hoping for.
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    #16
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  17. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    167
    And a few more from the North Canol. I'm 6'3" and the water was above my knees. I probably shouldn't have crossed these solo. I feel there is a fine line between being dumb and being stupid. I crossed this line several times on this trip.
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    #17
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  18. dovetailredux

    dovetailredux bakery hound

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    199
    Location:
    Ottawa
    What a great ride report, Bigguy! I look forward to further installments...
    #18
  19. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    167
    June 15
    Miles: 439
    The night before, I camped just prior to the ferry crossing as the ferry closed at 5:00 PM. I got up, took the ferry across to Ross River and found the gas pump was down (no cell service). I hung around town and had a really nice 2.5 hour talk with a native American about what she was dealing with.
    The next closest gas was Faro but the gas pumps were working by 9:00 AM. A few locals asked me to stay for a heritage festival but I wanted to get some miles on the Dempster with the dry weather. I really enjoyed Ross River this time as before it was just a gas stop.
    I got going and stopped in Faro to see what the town was about and pick up a few supplies being the general store in Ross River didn't open until 12:00. A bit of a surprise to find a gallon of water was as expensive as it was for being in a normal town with a larger population. I stopped at the hotel/ restaurant and had some breakfast.
    I moved on for the start of the Dempster and got to the start at 7:30 PM. The card lock gas station was out of order with signs on all gas pumps. Not sure if it's permanently closed or not??
    All good, I ran to Dawson City, filled and returned. Normally the gas stop in Eagle Plains (first gas stop on the Dempster) was 225 miles but now getting gas at Dawson makes the Eagle Plains gas stop at 245 miles. Make sure you have the range. I was on a loaded Super Tenere and the reserve light was on for 15 miles when I got to Eagle Plains.
    I rode about 30 miles of the Dempster and called it a night. I found a nice area with a river and put up camp. Mosquitoes were everywhere so I set camp up with all of my riding gear (including helmet) on.
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    #19
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  20. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    167
    June 16
    Miles: 429
    I woke and the skies were blue and I was hoping for a dry day. I rode for about 1 hour and as I started going up in elevation, the temps dropped and a light drizzle started. Nothing to make the road wet but enough that my face shield would bead water. I got to Eagle Plains, got gas and went next door for breakfast. It was 11:00 and they quit serving breakfast but they accommodated with a breakfast but missing the hash browns. I substituted a cinnamon roll with my eggs, toast and lots of coffee.
    I got done, went outside and the skies cleared. With a full belly with hot coffee and clear skies, life was good.
    I rode to Inuvik (with 2 ferry crossings) and got a spot at the campground just prior to town. There were other bikes there and always good conversations.
    With camp up, I ran into town and went to the bus for dinner. It was a great place where the kitchen is on a bus and the restaurant was all seating inside and patio outside. Dinner was good and met several people at the restaurant that were also at the camp ground. I got back to the camp ground, took a shower and did my laundry.
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    #20
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