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:
    215
    June 17
    Miles:207
    Off to Tuk (Tuktoyaktuk) today. I started with two pancakes and coffee I made at the camp ground. I stopped for a photo of the end of the Dempster. As you can see, the Dempster was very kind to me with staying dry. I was expecting the worse on my way south but I was able to ride it north in the dry. I rode it in 2017 with areas of rain and was really hoping I didn't have a repeat this time.
    The road to Tuk was good for the first ~20 miles but got looser and looser rock. There were areas of 3"+ of loose rock on the road with no binder. Just loose rock dumped. Not fun on a big bike. The last 20 miles going to Tuk was the worse. Very loose rock. Not sure who thinks it would be a good idea to just dump loose rock and let everyone drive it in but they have never rode a motorcycle before.
    I got to Tuk and stopped at the gift shop for a sticker for my bike. I went to the only restaurant I could find. It was called grandma's kitchen. It's a house with a 3 season porch. As you walk up, there is a kitchen and order area. You place your order, go upstairs and wait for your food.
    I was just finishing up and another guy came and wore swim shorts under his riding gear. He later jumped in the Arctic Ocean. It was all of maybe 35° air temp. I also sampled some Muktuk (cooked whale skin and blubber). Not sure I would order any...
    It was crazy to see many snowmobiles sitting in the fields. I rode back to Inuvik and stayed at the campground again and ate at the same restaurant.
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    #21
  2. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,074
    Location:
    God's country, Western North Carolina
    A friend once said "sometimes it's better to be lucky than good" and another commented no matter one's skill level we often rely on as much as 15% good luck. I know many times I've thanked my guardian angel as in hindsight what I had just accomplished involved my 15% luck and that of a bunch of others as I hadn't contributed a whole lot to the success of the moment :rofl Anyway, anything this side of "hold my beer and watch this" shows great restraint at times in my life and I am really enjoying your report. Love how you prepped and were able to take the road even less traveled than the less traveled with Mother Nature giving you a little love to help make it happen this time.

    Cheers
    #22
  3. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Good write up. Been hearing a lot about the deep gravel and the north end of the road to Tuk.
    #23
  4. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    It did suck. I have a photo above that shows tire tracks in the loose rock. It was like riding thru mud and leaving your wheel tracks but this was intentional made with loose rock. Makes you wonder what their thoughts were when they felt this would be a good idea???
    #24
  5. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,216
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Based on how things went last year for folks, I'm guessing the gravel is preferable to to biblical, ride-stopping mud that was there before.
    #25
  6. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    So true!!!
    #26
  7. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    215
    June 18
    Miles: 246
    Last night, I met Gilles (Instagram gillamoto) and he was riding a KLR 650. He was going to Tuk in the morning and then a 14 month journey to the southern tip of South America. He had a sticky rear brake lever so I gave him some grease (no need to buy a tub at the auto store and throw 99% of it). In the morning, he came over and we had pancakes, bagels and coffee. We talked a bit about where we have been, careers and what is next. We talked for upwards of 2 hours. He then left for Tuk and I finished packing up my camp. There was a group of Native Americans not too far away and they invited me over for lunch and tea. I had some tea but was still full from just having breakfast. We talked for another 2 hours. It was fascinating to learn about how the elders are passing their traditions down to their younger generation. I could've stayed all day talking with them as I find learning about other people and their way of life so interesting but the Dempster was calling.
    Not much along the way. I was very lucky to have another dry day and a perfect Dempster. I met up with some people at a ferry crossing that I talked with at the camp ground and got a fare well photo. I rode to Eagle Plains, got gas and went a bit farther and put up camp.
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    #27
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  8. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    215
    June 19
    Miles: 250
    I woke to clear skies and was wondering if I might make the entire Dempster in the dry. I had the occasional watering of the road but I made the entire there and back without any rain. A lot of the Dempster was travelled at 70 MPH as it was so nice.
    There was a group of 6 other KTMs that went by but later pulled over for a rest. I was going by them again and a few of them started back on the road. Up ahead, there were two bears in the road. I waited and signaled to the other bikes to hold up. I hit my horn and revved my motor. Typically, bears will run off. The bear closest to me still had its back to me and turned its head with a pissed look. That was enough for me and I was throwing gravel and grabbing gears hoping to get past the bear before it turned towards me. I later met up with a guy behind me in Dawson and he said the bear never moved off the road and was looking pissed. They all did the same as myself.
    Getting to Dawson, I went to Sourdough Joes for a burger. Still wanting something more, I went next door and had to sample a few of their ice-cream flavors. Life is good....
    I went to the campground just outside of town, set-up camp, returned and got a shower in. I hung around town a bit and called it a night.
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    #28
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  9. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    215
    June 20
    Miles: 273
    I went back to Dawson and found Sourdough Joes doesn't open for breakfast. There was a pastry shop that has a good coffee and ham/ egg sandwich. I talked to a few people and found the dog on the back of the bike interesting. A local that was going fishing with his dog.
    I decided that rallies and such just wasn't my thing so I left before D2D started. I started on Top of the World and decided to take a run to Eagle (I passed it by in 2017). WOW!!! impressive. If you get the chance, take the road. As I was heading to Eagle, I had two old Fords (1920s area) pass me going the other way. I later found out there was a car show in Eagle that day. I just couldn't imagine not trailering your old restored car.
    I got to Eagle, stopped for a late lunch and talked with two other groups of people heading to D2D. I finished lunch and back to Top of the World. I made camp about 2 hours before Tok, AK.
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    #29
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  10. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    215
    June 21
    Miles: 319
    I ran to Tok for breakfast at Fast Eddies. I continued towards Fairbanks and was thinking about my rear tire. I pulled into a rest area before I lost cell service and made plans with a dealer in Fairbanks later that day.
    A lady rode up and we started talking. She is riding her bicycle to the southern tip of South America. Now I feel like a real wimp...
    I got to Fairbanks and went to Northern for a tire. A bit disappointed with the Mitas E-07+ (okay, very disappointed). I had the original E-07 and I did this trip in 2017 with 9500 miles of the same roads on the same bike, then another 5000 around home and still a lot of tire left. I got 6504 miles and this was all that was left. I showed up at 3:00 on a Friday, pulled the tire in their parking lot and had a Continental TKC 70 mounted. It was $225 for the tire, $50 for mount and balance. Works for me. I got it back in 45 minutes. Great service!! Only question is how would it hold up to the Dalton?? I then pulled into Wal-Mart, dumped my oil into a 1 gal water jug and put fresh 10W-40 Mobil 1 in. I brought the drain oil back in and found they offer bikes an oil changing location with drain pan rentals for like $3.00. I wish I knew.
    Fresh tire and oil, I'm off.
    I was about 40 miles into the Dalton and got a camp spot. Very remote with a private river. Nice!!
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    #30
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  11. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    I will have to finish the remaining days a bit later. I'm leaving in the morning to go around the great lakes then over to Wyoming for Sturgis week (I will be in Wyoming Big Horns) but still a lot of adv riders in the area. I prefer a real keyboard and dual screens.
    #31
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  12. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    Feb 18, 2017
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    I made it around lake Superior (I was planning all great lakes) but had some tire issues. Shame on me for grabbing a used Mitaz E-07 for the ride. I was getting good life out of them and thought it had more life. I also didn't plan on any off road riding and just needed something to put 2,000 miles on. I forgot about a nail I picked up and plugged back in 2017. After installing tire, I saw the plug and it was leaking. I put another plug in (original plug went over 6,000 miles without issues) and all was good. I was about 500 miles in (north side of lake Superior) and the plug pulled out. My GPS flashed that I had 0 PSI. Just after seeing that, I heard a noise and the rear of the bike going left/ right. Oh snap.... I pulled over and saw the bead broke from 1 side and was still on the 2nd side. I had an air compressor and CO2 cartridges with. I hooked up the air compressor but couldn't get the tire pulled over uniform enough to start building pressure. I had a ratchet strap I was going to put around the tire but a group of 6 bikes pulled over. Asked if I needed a hand. Turned the air compressor back on and with 6 hands, we pulled the tire over and started building pressure.
    From there, I used my phone for GPS and my GPS was displaying tire pressures only.
    I figured with the high humidity, rain, fog and tire issues, it was telling me to head back home. I'll get better tires on and go over everything before heading to Wyoming.
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    #32
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  13. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    215
    June 22
    Miles: 368
    There were a few (a million) too many mosquitoes to make breakfast where I was so I rode for a bit and found an open rest area with a view. I pulled over for some breakfast with a view.
    My day was riding a combo of tar and dirt with many potholes on my way to Deadhorse. A very different road from the Dempster. The Dempster has a sharper rock but more consistency of terrain with some loose areas. The Dalton was more normal gravel but the potholes were harsh. You also go thru Atigun pass/ Brooks range. On my way north, I talked to a couple at Coldfoot. They travelled the Dalton several times and said there was some nice remote camp areas after the pass. It was early so I went for it. As I was going up the pass, the skies started to get bad. There was a wall of water ahead so I slowed and it passed before I got wet. The road was wet but I wasn't.
    I got thru the pass and lower elevation. The skies cleared and I felt safer pulling over and putting up camp.
    I found a side road and put up my tent. A few minutes later, a security guy pulled up and said that I was on a natural gas line area and had to move. He recommended an area about 3 miles further. A way nicer place with my own river.
    It sucked taking my camp down again but a much nicer location.
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    #33
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  14. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    215
    June 23
    Miles: 503
    I made it to Deadhorse and got gas and looked for somewhere to eat. I don't believe the town actually has what I consider a restaurant but there was a place with the hotel that is more of a cafeteria type place. I missed the breakfast opening so I grabbed a coffee and old pastry. Not much but not much in the town to see. I should've brought in some of my oatmeal, bought a cup of hot water and a coffee....
    With a full tank and not starving, I headed south after stopping at the general store for photo and panier sticker. Again, there was a storm brewing going over the pass but was able to miss it with only a wet road.
    I stopped in Coldfoot for gas and talked with a few other bikers and had some breakfast/ lunch/ dinner.
    I rode till I was about 1.5 hours from Fairbanks and pulled over for the night.
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    #34
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  15. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    215
    June 24
    Miles: 279
    I woke up at 3:00 AM from my tent moving around. As I was waking, there was a strong stink (other than myself....) and was going to pull my earplugs out to listen for the wind. Just then, a car horn. WTF, someone asking me to move my camp again??? No, it was a guy who just chased off a bear. OH SNAP!!!
    I thanked him and decided I will pack up camp being I wouldn't fall back to sleep. I finished packing and rode into Fairbanks. I stopped at a Perkins to collect my thoughts and warm up. When thinks like that happen, I react for the situation and later think about what really just happened. I also posted for help on this forum for suggestions of why it happened.
    From there, I went to the car wash and hung around town. I liked that my Continental rear tire held up to the Dalton.
    I didn't see any good remote camp areas so I moved to Delta Junction and again, not much for remote camping so I went to the campground. I wanted a good night sleep being I only had a few hours the night before. I was setting up my tent and saw two cuts in the rain fly. OH SNAP, the bear actually cut the rain fly. The closest I ever came with a bear encounter and the more reality set in as to just how bad it could've been. Not sure if it was a black bear or grizzly. I assume black bear being it easily ran off.
    I ran to the store and got some meat, a potato and onion. I was getting settled in and started cooking dinner. There was a 6 year old boy that came by on his BMX bike and was very talkative. I assume his parents owned the campground. As he hung out, he was getting into everything. He then knocked my food off the burner and spilled half of my food and spilled meat juice on the ground. Not happy to have that kind of a smell in my camp after what I just went thru.
    All was good and no bears came by that night.
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    #35
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  16. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    215
    June 25
    Miles: 340
    I ran south and rode the Denali hwy from east to west. Very scenic. Some tar on both ends and gravel in the middle. A few side roads I took but none went anywhere more than maybe a half mile. I was seeing some remote campsites but too early. I then ran south and saw a road going west with a sign for Cache Creek (Petersville Road). I had time so why not. This was one of the first roads that I took and never heard a thing about before riding it. As I began, my smile just kept getting bigger. It's mostly a 6x6 or 8x8 ATV road. Travel was slow and a bit rough. I went a few miles in and found an open area. I was still a bit spooked over the bear thing and didn't want to be buried in the trees for a camp site. Also not many mosquitoes. My original plan was just a spot to camp and turn around in the morning.
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    #36
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  17. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    215
    June 26
    Miles: 88
    I got a good night sleep and felt better about remote camping. This was my 3rd summer in the northwest and my first bear issue. If bear issues were typical, I would've had several other issues by now.
    I saw a few gun shells on the ground and found 1 really large shell. I couldn't imagine the kick from this thing. The small was a .22, the medium was a S&W .40 and the large said 45-70 GOVT.
    I decided to continue riding this road to the end. As I rode, the road became more rough and travel slowed. I got towards the end and found the Cache Creek cabins. I stopped for a snack. There is a husband/ wife team (81 and 75 years old) that owned the place. She told me all about the place and brought out photo albums of the history. It was amazing seeing the team of horses pulling in a dredge on a sled back in the day. Looked to be 25-30 horses long and was 4 horses wide. Parts of the dredge are still there and parts were used elsewhere. She also told me about the floods (2006 I believe) and how it washed out all of the bridges. This should be fun. She also said there was only 1 other motorcycle that has come thru there this entire summer.
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    #37
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  18. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    A few more images and the Cache Creek cabins. Nightly rate was $50. Just after the cabins were a few river crossings. 1st wasn't so bad but the 2nd one is the one that as I was walking it, the currents started to get a hold on me. Maybe I was getting tired, maybe the river was stronger than expected?? Either way, I dropped to hands and feet and worked my way to shore and felt best not to cross.
    Everything was so breathe-taking. Maybe it was that nice or maybe it was an unknown road without any expectations??
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    #38
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  19. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    Feb 18, 2017
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    And a last few.
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    #39
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  20. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    215
    June 27
    Miles: 198
    I continued to work my way towards Anchorage. I stopped just south of Houston, AK for breakfast. Talking with the waitress, I asked about a sign for Hatcher pass that I had passed 20 miles back. She highly recommended it.
    After breakfast, I went back and road Hatcher pass from the west, going east. The first half was mostly dirt and followed a river with several remote camp areas. The east side had a lot more people and was tar roads. I road the loop around, circled back and pulled over early at a camp spot I liked. It had a very steep dip down and back up to enter it. No cars/ RVs getting into here....
    The river water was so clear and cold.
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    #40
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