Planning for a Birthday in Prudhoe Bay

Discussion in 'Americas' started by black 8, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    ~ The Embarcadero

    One of the benefits of getting out early - you have the place to yourself! Had I waited later in the day, the Embarcadero would be full of tourists and vendors.

    Since I had the place all to myself, I pushed the KLR in front of the "Kissing Statue" appropriately placed by the Aircraft Carrier - USS Midway (CV-41).

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    gssurfer and 2tires like this.
  2. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    ~ Mt Soledad

    Mt Soledad is one of the prominent landmarks in San Diego, it is home to one of the most unique Veterans Memorials in the United States.

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    The sky was still overcast by the time I got to the top of Mt Soledad. On a clear day you can see the horizon in all directions. The photo below is looking south towards the city of San Diego and you can barely make out the outline of the city skyline...

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    This photo looks to the north with the I-5 on the right side of the photo...

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    A shot of the coastline looking north...

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    Total mileage was 96 miles and the KLR took 1.95 gallons of gas at an average of 49.23 miles per gallon. Good enough for my trip to Prudhoe Bay!
  3. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    ~ Two week countdown...

    I've been monitoring the temps both in South Central and the Interior of Alaska. It seems the average temps will be the low to mid-60s during the day and mid-40s at night. I'm OK with the cooler temps during the day and that will make for good riding/exploring weather. However, a different story for Prudhoe Bay. The average temps are in the mid-30s during the day and about 26 deg at night. I was given a tip by a fellow rider that made a run for Prudhoe Bay in 2016 and I'm going to try it out. He used a poor man's heated jacket with heated back pads and hand warmers placed in chest pockets to regulate the body core temperature. I even found heated insoles and bought a couple of those for use while on the Dalton. They generally last for 6 hours or more and when they have expended - toss in a new set. That should get me through the coldest part of the ride until I back over Atigun Pass.

    I've also decided to use my Adventure Rally jacket and pants for the trip, I know it's probably overkill but; (1) it gives me an added level of protection since I'll be riding solo (2) the Adventure Rally has added armor/pockets in the chest and the top of the thigh that I can hold the hand warmers for added heat.

    Finally, Lake Louise doesn't seem like it will thaw out anytime soon from today's camera shot so I need to be Semper Gumby with my photo opportunities while at Banff. I've also been monitoring the road condition on the DriveBC and the FAA cameras throughout Canada/Alaska looking to see if the roads are clear of snow. The roads seems clear so far...

    This will most likely be the last post for my trip planning thread. In about a week I'll transition over to Epic Rides to start my Ride Report for Alaska.

    Catch you on the flip side....

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  4. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way...

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    I just flew over NorCal, and Idaho this week. Plenty of snow left in the high country. But that has little to do with the road conditions.
    My son Monday rode from Spokane to Seattle and encountered plenty of blowing snow. Nothing sticking though.
    black 8 likes this.
  5. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    Thanks for the update Zubb...

    I'm preparing for snow to be on the sides of the road at the higher elevations like Banff. I just need to be mindful for the possibility of black ice in the early morning and late evening hours before the heat tab in the sky starts doing it's magic.
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  6. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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  7. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    Don't worry too much about the temperatures up this way. The days are still lengthening substantially, and it is warming up rapidly. While it can get quite chilly at higher elevations in the wee hours of morning any month of the year, as soon as the sun is above the mountains the temp climbs quickly. This morning at my place (about 70 miles SW of Tok) I saw that it had dropped to 19° overnight, but by 09:30 (07:30 by the sun) it was up to 42° and getting warmer fast. Have seen quite a few motorcycles on the highway already, one or two obviously long distance travelers.

    Up north on the Dalton, this time of year it is usually pretty warm until you get out onto the coastal plain and the wind off the Arctic Ocean hits you. Atigun is generally pretty mild, thanks to the elevation and temperature inversions. Northbound, just put on your warm clothing at the last outhouse at Mile 354.6 as you will be exposed to more wind just a little farther up the road. The wind is generally coming from the northeast, and you will be traveling at a reduced speed, so your windshield and any fairing will be relatively ineffective.
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  8. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    Thanks for the tip Jack.....

    Just looking at the weather forecast for a dry window when I make my run to Prudhoe Bay to mitigate as much of the calcium chloride as possible. I know I will have deal with it either wet or dry but trying to keep it to a minimum as possible.

    I appreciate the Alaska and Haul Road Primer you've written and I re-read those post every now and then to keep it fresh in my mind.
  9. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    You will probably run into DOT crews spreading fresh CaCl2 on the road somewhere along the way. That is one of the things they do beginning in the spring in order to keep the dust down throughout the summer. Another is filling in potholes that occurred during spring break-up. Just watch for the red warning flags (and any other warnings that might have been placed near washouts, etc.).

    Being that the round trip - Wiseman to Deadhorse and back to Wiseman - isn't too difficult to accomplish in one day (unless you opt to take the bus trip out to the bay), you can get an early start northbound and get back down around the time the DOT crews are heading back to the garage. This is especially advisable on Wednesday evenings, as the crews change on Wednesday/Thursday. Six days a week they are scheduled to work 11 hours (often more), but on Wednesday they usually knock off after 9 hours so they can get back home before too late. Or... you can do as I often do and just ride all night, leaving Deadhorse after enjoying a hearty supper in Deadhorse. :dukegirl This makes for some good photo ops (unless it is raining :().
    black 8 likes this.
  10. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    Good to know...

    I've seen some of your photos of the Dalton in the late evening as the sun was setting and a one with half rainbow over the pipeline.... Amazing shots BTW....