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 28
    Miles: 436
    I stopped back in to the same place for another breakfast and thanked the waitress for the Hatcher pass recommendation and another great breakfast. I then went south. As I entered Anchorage, there was a haze from the fires. I rode toward Homer, AK and was worried if the road would be closed from the fires. I stopped at Anchor Point, AK being the most westerly road in north America. I then asked the guys in the marina if I could ride onto the beach (signs noted access was only for marina) and they were good. As I pulled onto the beach, there was a big tractor pulling a boat from the Gulf of Alaska out. They had really big tires, drove a half mile out into the ocean, scooped up the boat (with people still on it) and drove back inland. As they were coming, I pulled off to the side so not to get in their way as I felt my bike sinking quickly in the sand. When they went by, I turned off my traction control, gave a big push and tried to find any traction I could. There were some bits of gravel I was going towards and worked my way across to a 2nd beach entry pushing as I went. As I got close, there was more rock than sand and I stopped sinking. I took a quick photo and got out of there. I guess I was about as far west as I could possibly go.
    I turned back before going to Homer because I knew I could make it back to the split between Homer and Seward that evening. I was hearing the road to Seward was not in danger of being closed so I made it back to it. A bit smoky sleeping that night but I felt better that I shouldn't be stuck on a closed road.
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    #41
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  2. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    June 29
    Miles: 118
    I finished returning from Anchor Point without any road closures. The road there and back I feel would've been very nice if it wasn't covered in smoke. Maybe another year I will go back??
    I saw a road for Arctic Valley/ Ski Bowl road on my map that looked fun. It had a military base on both sides of it so any side roads were closed without permission. The road was a steep, rough climb and nothing much at the top. A nice 1 hour distraction but that was about it.
    My mom was flying into Anchorage on the 30th so I found a campground and called it an early day. The campground was large and several people staying for multi-days. I got set-up and chatted with a few. All of them were in cars/ SUVs. I ran into town for some dinner supplies and made dinner. The other campers said a bear was in camp the prior night. At 5:00AM, there was someone driving around the entire place and never stopped honking. I'm not sure if the bear just kept running around the campground or they were over reacting. This would be my last time at a campground.....
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    #42
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  3. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    June 30
    Miles: 105
    Best day ever, I met my mom for lunch. We live 25 miles away from each other and have lunch every week but when I've been on the road for a month, it was very nice seeing her. Crazy that we both live in Minnesota but are meeting to have lunch in Anchorage.
    Before her flight showed up, I stopped at the reginal airport. I found it a bit odd but I can see how the modified truck would work nice. After lunch and talking with mom and her girlfriend about my trip, we parted ways. They were just starting a 2 week bus and boat tour of Alaska and Canada. I found a nice camp spot and called it a night.
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    #43
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  4. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    July 01
    Miles: 448
    I was feeling good and well rested. It was good taking a few easy days from riding and visiting with mom. I was ready to get some miles in and some exploring. I decided to go south to Valdez. I figured it was just another road but it was one of the nicest scenery for a tar road that I had been on. The 1st half was okay but the 2nd half was going thru Thompson pass. I'm very happy I rode it. After getting to Valdez, I stopped for some halibut, gas and headed back. About 20 miles out of town, I saw a few side roads that were fun. I then got to the summit of Thompson pass and found a small jeep road that turned into a foot path. No reason a 820 pound super tenere can't pretend to be a little bike....
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    #44
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  5. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    July 02
    Miles: 349
    I want to take the South Canol going from North to south so I headed back towards Dawson City and rode the Top of the World again. I found a few side roads that were just mining access roads. Some had some old equipment that was fun to look at. After I crossed back into Canada, I found a road going to 40 Mile (Clinton Creek road). A wonderful, winding dirt road that was going on forever. I finally pulled over, turned on my tablet and hooked up my GPS to figure out where I was. I was almost to the end. As I got to the end, there was a "T". I first went left and came up on some cabins (ClintonCreek Hideaway) and a sign of where the office/ owners were. I talked with the owners (Earl and Sandra) for some time and loved them. They are in their first years of doing the cabins and if it would've been later in the day, I would've considered staying. Looked to be a nice set-up with modern cabins, showers and even a sauna.
    They told me about the history of being a large gold mining town that was 10+ years before Dawson's gold rush. They told me about the other roads I still need to ride and I was off. Another half hour and I was at a provincial camp area. It had signs that it was a 1 kilometer foot path but there were ATV tracks so I took my bike. It ended at the Yukon river. It was the original 40 Mile town and some of the old buildings. There was a lot of camping sites and even several chairs in front of the Yukon river. If you want some cabins, they are there. If you want a remote camp area to yourself, it is there also. I enjoyed the ride just as much as going to Eagle. The road to Eagle is a bit more to look at but the end location of 40 Mile was nicer to me.
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    #45
  6. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    Sorry, I left again riding around lake Superior then over to Montana and Wyoming for a few weeks. I got home July 31 and I'll finish getting my trip posted shortly....
    #46
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  7. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    Feb 18, 2017
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    July 03
    Miles: 397
    Back in 2017, I rode the South Canol from south to north. I figured I have been riding about every road in Alaska and western Canada that I should ride the South Canol on this trip so I ran up to Ross River and went north to south this time. I love the northern end of the South Canol and as I started, it was very impressive. The entire road is breathe taking but the northern end has more high climbs and tighter turns.
    I made it to about the half way point and found a nice camp spot. The river was so clear that it looks like it's only a few inches deep and you can walk across the river. And a few million mosquitoes.....
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    #47
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  8. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    July 04
    Miles: 290
    With so many mosquitoes, there was no making breakfast. I rode south a bit and came up on Quiet Lake camp. There was a sign at the beginning of the South Canol that the camp was closed but there were 3 trucks there so I pulled in. Not many mosquitoes so I pulled up to a table and made some pancakes and coffee. Two guys came over and had a nice conversation. The lake was so clear that I walked out a bit and was amazed at how clear the water was. I guess I'm from Minnesota and not use to clear lakes and rivers.
    I finished the South Canol, headed towards Watson Lake after a bit of road construction and had some dinner and got gas. I headed back to 37 and went south. About 10 miles in, I found a pull-off area and put my tent up for the night.
    My original plan was I wanted to be in Hyder, Alaska on the 4th of July. If I would've skipped the South Canol, I would've made it but I'm very happy to have ridden the South Canol again.
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    #48
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  9. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    July 05
    Miles: 580
    Today was just to ride to Hyder, Alaska. I wanted to pick up a steak in town, ride up to the summit of Salmon Glacier and have a relaxing afternoon/ evening. I was there in 2017 and knew the area and where I would camp. I also remember there were no mosquitoes and was looking forward to relaxing there. As with all plans, I made a few changes after seeing the 'shinny toy' of a dirt road going to Telegraph Creek. This was the craziest, most fun road I rode on my entire trip. It was a road I never heard of and I thought it would be a hour or two distraction at best. The first half was okay. There were fires that went thru there last year and now a lot of mushrooms.
    As I continued to ride, I got into more winding roads and 20% grades. One part of the road was cut into the mountain with some overhang above. Almost like going thru a partial tunnel. I wish I could've got a better photo but I was on a 20% grade and a long climb to get to it. With a heavy bike and narrow road, I wasn't about to get off my bike for a better photo. At the end of the road was a nice camp area and river. I talked to a few locals and enjoyed the area a lot. I would like to spend more time there in the future but I had my head on getting to Hyder for a steak dinner.
    I left, rode to Hyder but it was 9:30 PM and too late to make dinner. I had a nice view of Salmon Glacier but the mosquitoes were out.
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    #49
  10. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    July 06
    Miles: 379
    I had a really nice view from my tent in the morning. Not many mosquitoes in the morning and I enjoyed some coffee and oatmeal.
    Garmin doesn't have any roads mapped after you cross back into Canada. As you go up the summit of Salmon Glacier, you cross back into Canada. I added a 2nd screen capture of Garmin zoomed in on my tracks. The flag at the bottom of the image is the summit of Salmon Glacier.
    I continued to ride the north side of the summit. In 2017, I found my front fork seal leaking at this spot and I never explored any further than the summit. This year, I wanted to ride every possible road. As I headed north, there were two side roads just past the summit. I think they would make some great camp spots as there is a lot of area and a few streams. Where I camped at the summit, it was a small area just off the road. Next time, I will pick one of these side roads for camping. There were a few roads that went just below the main road and in front of Salmon Glacier but at a lower elevation. The roads had some rocks that had fallen. I was able to get around many of the rocks and found some great places.
    As I continued north, I was able to get down to the bottom of the glaciers. I also found an original tunnel for the road and was closed. I could fit between the rocks but going into the closed tunnel just didn't sound interesting. Maybe if I was with a group but not being on my own.
    I was going to stop at the bus for lunch but no luck as they were closed.
    I then went to a camp spot I was at in 2017 and was nice to camp at the same spot I camped at two years prior.

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    #50
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  11. Bearded Hooligan

    Bearded Hooligan Moto Addict

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    Thanks for taking us along with you. You photos are bringing back many great memories of my trip in the same area. Some photos are even in the same spots on the South Canol.
    #51
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  12. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    July 07
    Miles: 610
    This was a sucky day. It was nice riding thru British Columbia but there were a few times of rain here and there. Not a big deal but it kept me moving. As I got further south, I had a route going on 1/5/97C/97/3. In the afternoon, I was on a very high mountain pass and 6 lane road with no side roads/ camp areas to be found. As I got to Peachland, I came up on the west side of Okanagan Lake and it was getting later in the evening. I was looking for a camp area but the area just kept getting more populated and with very nice homes. Not a chance of finding a remote camp site here. As I continued, Skaha Lake/ Vaseux Lake and again, many nice homes and no camp areas other than crowded (and over priced) campgrounds. I still continued and nothing but fruit stands. Every 1/4 mile was another stand selling cherries. I was coming up on the USA border but I stayed in Canada and took #3 east. As I crossed Osoyoos Lake, #3 started up another mountain pass. It was now 12:30 in the morning and I'm hungry and very tired. I saw a small pull-off with bolders in front of it. I was narrow enough to fit and went up the path a bit and pulled over. I was out in the open so I covered my license plate and tail light to hide a bit more. At 6:30AM, I was woke to a truck horn. I was on a driveway to a new house being built and they needed to get past me. I had my tent down in all of 10 minutes. That evening was my low point of my trip. The video journal I recorded every evening had a lot of 4 letter words spoke....
    It was a crap day and I never took any photos.
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    #52
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  13. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    July 08
    Miles: 515
    Getting woke up early, I was on the road early but found a place to have breakfast and coffee. Life is better....
    I did enjoy riding #3 in Canada and glad I didn't drop into the USA early. And even better that I rode it during the day rather than the night before. I crossed the USA at Roseville, MT. I try to take a different border crossing every time I come/ go from Canada. It was my first time crossing here and realized it was the same border crossing as Long Way Round used. Coming across #2 into Hungry Horse, I saw a hotel that looked like the one they stayed at. Not trying to backtrack their trip but nice to pass the same places they were in the show.
    I wanted to avoid Glacier National. I rode Going to the Sun in 2017 and there are just too many people that just stop in the middle of the road to look at the little baby billy goat or and other critters. I would honk or yell at them in the past and get a stupid look as they think everyone would want to stop.
    I continued to just past Piegan, MT and found a side road with a field with a big hill. I saw some bad looking rain clouds and wasn't sure how bad it would be and I wanted to get up onto some high land.
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    #53
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  14. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    A beautiful area. I wish I took more time to get better photos but when I'm there, I just want to keep riding and see what is around the next bend.
    #54
  15. Bearded Hooligan

    Bearded Hooligan Moto Addict

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    Same route I took on my way up, except that we came from Vancouver Island. That Fraser River is amazing to watch. It was raging when we went through that area.
    #55
  16. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    July 09
    Miles: 594
    The storm I had been chasing had moved to the east and I again had clear, cool weather.
    I had a few side roads I was going to ride but the thought of getting out of bear country, a warm shower and sleeping in my own bed was entering my mind. Home sick or not, no way I can ever pass up Bear Tooth Pass and Chief Joseph Hwy. These roads are about 14 hours from my house and I will run over on 3 day weekends just to ride them.
    I have a lot of photos of both these roads so I didn't stop and take many. If I look back, I'm sure I have over 100 photos already. The snow at the top of Bear Tooth was a lot for July 09. The main pass was open but the summit pull off area was all snow. Reminds me of when I went to Bear Tooth 2018 on Memorial weekend. The pass was closed but coming from the Cody side, I was able to get my bike past the closure and kept riding. I can't say I will ever get another photo like the last one below. It was very cold in the upper elevation so I came down Chief Joseph and found a camp area just outside of Dayton, MT.
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    #56
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  17. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    Feb 18, 2017
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    215
    July 10
    Miles: 859
    I was in cold weather this entire trip. I would rather have that than being hot but I again had a very damp, cold night in the 40s. I can stay warm at night or comfortable ant night but not warm and comfortable. I had 850 miles to a climate controlled bed, mine....
    With a hearty breakfast, I made the push home today. I rode 857 miles in 13 hours 45 minutes with 1 hour of stops during the day. I should've split the ride into two days but I go on a group ride on Thursday evenings and wanted to be home on Wed night so I could unpack and wash my bike before the ride.
    The Continental TKC 70 tire went 8500 miles and has some life in it. Before removing anything, I again weighed the bike with a digital, calibrated load cell. My weights were:
    Front 330
    Rear 488
    I was happy with the Continental tire after being an 80°-85° day and 850 miles of interstate on the last day as well as doing the Dalton Hwy and many more with a very heavy bike. I'm very disappointed in the Mitas E07+ Dakar lasting 6200 miles. The Mitas E07 Dakar front tire held up great and went 14,000+ miles and ready for more.
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    #57
  18. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    Feb 18, 2017
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    July 17
    Miles: 370
    So I saw a post from @motobiko going to Newfoundland and decided to throw a tire on my bike and head out again and go around the great lakes. He had a nice camp spot that was 370 miles away. I didn't have a new tire on hand so I threw one of my Mitas E07 on. It was their original tire that gets a lot more miles than their new version that I feel sucks. The tire I grabbed was from my 2017 Arctic ride and had 9500 miles of Arctic and a total of 14,000 miles on it. I mount and balance myself so no problem throwing on a tire for a week. I was going to stay on the tar and just needed something to hold air. In the morning, I found the tire was flat as I was getting ready to leave. I forgot that in 2017, I picked up a nail on the Dempster. I found the nail at Dawson City and put a plug in. The plug worked perfect for 8,000 miles. I figure the plug got dry so I pulled it out and put in a new one. Aired tire up and no leak. Sweet!!
    The weather was very hot and humid in Minnesota and I was looking forward to getting on the north side of Lake Superior. Not much for roads until you get to Duluth. The temps dropped as I got to Duluth. It was overcast/ rainy and I was craving some blueberry pie and a coffee. I'm a baker and was a bit taken by a slice of pie and coffee costing $8.50. I can make a pie for about $.50 and a pot of coffee for even less.
    I got to the camp site that @motobiko recommended and it was perfect and very few mosquitoes.
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    #58
  19. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    Feb 18, 2017
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    July 18
    Miles: 357
    Being on the north side lake Superior, the humidity that I left behind became fog (hot weather was blowing north). The fog turned to rain and then heavy rain. That turned to pure water falling. I pulled over to switch to my rain gloves and it was pure water being dumped on myself. All good, my KLIM gear is doing its job.
    This was now my 2nd time riding around Lake Superior. The 1st time sucked and now the 2nd time, not looking so good. The rain stopped after about 1 hour later. I have TPMS with my Garmin and I was about 5 miles before Wawa when I saw a warning about 0 PSI in my rear tire. During my trip to the Arctic, there were a few times my sensors would disconnect from my GPS. I would turn it off, back on and all was good. Because of that, I thought that I would look into it in 5 miles when getting gas. Then a bang and the rear of the bike fish tailing. OH SNAP!! The plug pulled out of the tire. With the Dakar version of the Mitas E07, the side wall is very stiff and never felt like it was low so I didn't think much of the tire pressure warning. I pulled over quickly and there was about a 12" gravel shoulder. I knocked the tire off of 1 bead but not the other side. I was pissed at myself because I normally have an inner tube with but this was a casual ride and I left a few items at home including the tube. I carry a small air compressor so I grabbed that and tried to get the tire to bead. I couldn't get a uniform contact with the tire to rim and I was going to grab a ratchet strap when a group of 6 bikes pulled over. With 3 of us pulling on the tire, we got uniform contact and the tire beaded easily. I was happy that I use an o-ring grease for mounting my tires and it was still nice and slippery. All of my tires will bead at around 15-20 PSI when I grease them and my portable air compressor had no issues doing this.
    From there, off to get gas and re-group.
    I decided it would be better to say Lake Superior just isn't for me. This was a 2 for 2 sucky rides around it and I decided to go home rather than the remaining great lakes. Maybe if the weather would've been better but it was 90%+ humidity.
    I wish I would've taken a photo of my tire but when something like this happens, I don't look for the entertainment of it but rather what I'm going to do and get it done. Looking back, I wish I would have.
    I did find a nice camp site about 1 mile off the road. A lot of mosquitoes but very quiet and private.
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    #59
  20. Bearded Hooligan

    Bearded Hooligan Moto Addict

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    On your Mitas E07, was it the Dakar model? The one with the yellow stripe? Two of us ran those on our trip north and easily got 9k out of the rear. Could have gone another 1-2k possibly. I have found there is a big difference between the two models.
    #60