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Opposites Attract! ...From South Louisiana to Arctic Alaska

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by slartidbartfast, May 15, 2018.

  1. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    Oddometer:
    13,188
    Location:
    Southern Louisiana or Southern England or ...
    Monday started out early and I fuelled up in Watson Lake before heading South on the Stewart-Cassiar Highway.

    Not a great day, for reasons I won't go into. The road was great but my head wasn't in the right place and when I got to Dease Lake, just 100 miles along, I chatted with a group of riders heading North and they told me about all the wildlife on the road. It was time to stop. The Arctic Divide Lodge was in exactly the right place and I spent a very comfortable afternoon and night there.

    There's a little hut in Dease Lake, about a block from the main highway, that serves fish and chips, burgers, ice-cream, etc. Highly recommend! I had a big portion of poutine for dinner.
    2018_06_11 10_45_47 P1070664.jpg
  2. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Stopping was a good choice. Tuesday was warmer and I was much better prepared to deal with the road and all the wildlife - and there was plenty of it!
    2018_06_12 12_23_08 P1070677.jpg

    This was not far down the road. There are multiple signs at the top of the hill, requiring trucks to pull over for a brake check and gear down, etc. Somebody clearly didn't pay enough attention! 2018_06_12 12_24_24 P1070679.jpg

    As on the previous day, I saw loads and loads of adventure bikes heading North but no others going South. Guess I was in the vanguard. About half the bikes were new 1200GS's. What happened to all the old ones I wonder?
    2018_06_12 12_33_34 P1070687.jpg

    Rode right to the lake's edge to take this photo. Realized too late I was ploughing through loose pebbles. Had a few tense moments as the bike clawed and slithered its way back up the few feet to "solid" ground.
    2018_06_12 12_57_48 P1070690.jpg
  3. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Southern Louisiana or Southern England or ...
    You almost get tired of taking photos depicting another magnificent snow-covered mountain with a twisty road snaking away in the foreground. Riding heaven!
    2018_06_12 13_17_09 P1070697.jpg
    2018_06_12 13_44_22 P1070706.jpg
    2018_06_12 15_58_41 P1070718.jpg

    Literally right around the next corner...
    2018_06_12 15_59_37 P1070719.jpg
  4. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,024
    Location:
    Fly over zone
    Pretty cool reflection of the mountain in the water. Obviously a pretty calm day weather wise. Lots of great pics. No idea where the older GSs are. I’ll be going next yr on a 14, went a few years ago on a 08. I’m sure my 08 was up for a return trip..
  5. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    I was strongly advised to take the side-trip to Stewart and Hyder and see the glaciers. Excellent advice I have since passed to others. This is the Bear Glacier, just a few miles off the main Stewart-Cassiar highway.
    2018_06_12 16_38_54 P1070726.jpg

    Some sort of "Spanish Moss" on a few of the trees 2018_06_12 17_07_40 P1070730.jpg

    There is about 20 miles of pot-holed gravel between Hyder and the overlook for the Salmon Glacier. The effort is well-rewarded. 2018_06_12 18_14_39 P1180610.jpg

    Headed back down. Apparently, the road was still blocked with snow a few days previously. It's plenty wide enough but a bit precipitous in parts and with some BIG rocks laying in the road that had clearly just fallen from above 2018_06_12 18_23_32 P1070738.jpg
  6. mqo233

    mqo233 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    486
    Location:
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Great photos, safe travels.
  7. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Wednesday started out well. I was still in the "wilderness" but passing through slightly larger and closer-spaced towns.
    2018_06_13 10_34_58 P1070751.jpg

    When I made it to Smithers, There was a Canadian Tire, selling suitable oil for KTM use, so, having done 8000 miles since leaving home, I stopped for an oil change. They were unwilling to let me change my oil in their parking lot but recommended a small shop just down the road.

    While inspecting the bike, it became obvious that the chain was not just part-worn (which I knew already) but worn very unevenly (which I had not previously realized.) Rather than rolling the dice on how far it might get me before something bad happened, with help from the shop, I ordered a new (very expensive) KTM chain and sprockets but had to wait more than a whole day for the parts to arrive - so I spent much of the evening and following morning catching up on photographs, etc.

    If you need service or tires, Eyecandy Customs are highly recommended and located just yards off the main highway in Smithers. They specialize in custom Harleys but do a bit of everything, including a lot of older bike repairs. They are also a Heidenau dealer and keep tires in "big adventure bike" sizes in stock. 2018_06_13 14_18_16 P1070753.jpg
  8. Project Mayhem

    Project Mayhem Moto Aficionado Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Oddometer:
    574
    Location:
    Coal Creek Canyon, CO, USA
  9. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    Location:
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    It was pretty late when I finally got out of Smithers to resume my journey. I made it 140 miles then pulled into the Municipal campsite in Fraser Lake. Didn't take many photos along the way. Nor did I get pics of the welcoming group of LEO's/ex LEO's from Eugene Oregon, who were riding North. One was on a new 1290 SA-R. Good guys and a lot of fun to be around.
    2018_06_14 20_44_01 P1070757.jpg
  10. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

    Joined:
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    After so many days of riding on near-deserted roads, it was a bit of a shock to see so many other road users now. LOTS of logging trucks.
    2018_06_15 09_47_49 P1070761.jpg

    Ugh! Traffic jam coming into Prince George 2018_06_15 11_16_44 P1070762.jpg

    I continued down the Yellowhead Highway which got me back into wilder country and heading towards the Rockies again. Lots more wildlife.
    2018_06_15 13_14_04 P1070765.jpg
    2018_06_15 15_17_45 P1070774.jpg
  11. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    The Yellowhead Highway has a lot to offer in terms of scenery and good riding. 2018_06_15 15_19_31 P1070776.jpg
    2018_06_15 18_36_20 P1070790.jpg

    Among the first deer I have seen. As I got further south, there were more and more of them. Deer are faster moving and, IMO, less predictable and therefore more hazardous than the bigger animals. Not wanting to ride after dark, I stopped in Vernon after 550 miles. I had a most enjoyable day and almost made up (mileage-wise) for the missed day of riding. 2018_06_15 19_57_06 P1070794.jpg
  12. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    One of the guys I rode with to Deadhorse is from Southern British Columbia and suggested a favorite route to ride. He definitely steered me right!
    Saw quite a few "fixer-uppers" along the way.
    2018_06_16 12_33_34 P1070796.jpg

    Being Saturday and excellent weather, there were lots of others out enjoying the same roads
    2018_06_16 12_53_38 P1070798.jpg

    Crossing Arrow Lake on the Needles ferry. As far as I can tell, all ferries in BC and Yukon are free.
    2018_06_16 13_44_31 P1070804.jpg

    2018_06_16 14_11_19 P1070807.jpg
  13. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    Something not right! No power over 1/4 throttle - gradually getting worse as the fuel warmed up. Seems I've heard of this problem before. Everything had to come off me due to the heat and off the seat to get at the tool kit. Drained fuel into the plastic 'soup freezing' bags all lined up by the grass and removed the crash bar to get at the fuel pump under the tank.
    2018_06_16 16_26_40 P1070816.jpg

    Clogged fuel intake screen, as reported by many other 1190 and 1290 owners. Fortunately I was carrying a spare screen, pump and filter. Replacement took about 3 hours from start to finish, including some time swatting at mosquitos and chatting with a couple of people who stopped to see if I needed help (most people drove straight past.) Most of the time was spent figuring out how to pop the filter housing apart without breaking anything and getting the pump back into the tank
    2018_06_16 16_41_35 P1070818.jpg

    ... Back under-way, enjoying the marvelous scenery and sinuous roads once again. Need to plan another trip just to explore this region. 2018_06_16 19_03_52 P1070830.jpg

    Flat valley bottoms had beaver dams all over the place, creating deep pools. 2018_06_16 19_06_11 P1070832.jpg
  14. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    2018_06_16 19_26_42 P1070838.jpg
    2018_06_16 19_50_59 P1070841.jpg

    Found a quiet cabin for the night - with an awesome view. Did not realize until the following morning that I was just four miles from Toad Rock motorcycle camp-ground. At least I was within walking distance of the hot spring 2018_06_16 20_06_07 P1070844.jpg

    Right next to the cabin was Ainsworth Hot Springs. The hot water emanates from a cave you can wade in for about 100m or so. It's like a Turkish Bath back there. Relaxing way to end a (mostly) fun day of great riding. 2018_06_16 20_40_52 IMG_1567.jpg
  15. Smokin Sam

    Smokin Sam Old Guys Rule

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    Smithers, BC, Canada
    Thank you for the kind words. Stay safe on the road!
    smilin jack, Project Mayhem and bobw like this.
  16. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    Crossing the river/lake in Nelson, BC, just a few miles South of Ainsworth. I stopped for a nice breakfast in Salmo.
    2018_06_17 11_04_04 P1070850.jpg

    Crossing the border into the Lower 48 took a while as I went through the small crossing at Nelway, with only one gate open and they were searching every vehicle. The road immediately South of the border is another great road for motorcycles: twisty and scenic with a decent surface. 2018_06_17 13_30_12 P1070854.jpg

    Continuing through Metaline Falls, the views and roads along the Pend-Oreille river continued to impress. 2018_06_17 13_32_57 P1070855.jpg

    Crossed into Idaho at Newport and then jumped on the Interstate 2018_06_17 14_42_40 P1070859.jpg
  17. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

    Joined:
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    I-90 is possibly the best Interstate highway I have been on. The scenery is great and there was hardly any traffic. A few showers and even roadworks/contraflow sections did not dampen my enjoyment or slow me down much.
    2018_06_17 18_10_30 P1070865.jpg

    I ended the day in Helena, Montana, after almost 500 miles. 2018_06_17 19_05_55 P1070867.jpg
  18. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    Awesome view coming down into Helena, right around sunset
    2018_06_17 19_45_53_P1180622.jpg
  19. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Set off South from Helena, toward Yellowstone. Could not work out if these were real horses or some sort of art piece as none of them seemed to be moving
    2018_06_18 12_23_08_P1070871.jpg
    The weather was miserable, cold and wet, for a good portion of the ride but cleared up right as I got to the park (the weather gods smiling on me again)
    2018_06_18 13_15_03_P1070875.jpg
    Had a fun ride through the park. Did not stop many times due to time constraints (I have been here before.) Not too many traffic hold ups for which I count myself lucky yet again.
    2018_06_18 16_52_58_P1070884.jpg
    2018_06_18 17_11_45 IMG_1582.jpg
  20. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    Oddometer:
    13,188
    Location:
    Southern Louisiana or Southern England or ...
    2018_06_18 17_25_42_P1180634.jpg

    2018_06_18 17_43_05 P1070892.jpg
    2018_06_18 17_52_52_P1070893.jpg
    The roads out the East side of the park toward Cody were pretty good fun to ride
    2018_06_18 18_06_17_P1070909.jpg