The Gap Year: Alaska

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by 95Monster, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. boristhebold

    boristhebold Been here awhile

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    Brilliant read George. What really made it for me was you having your dad following along (and chipping in) I feel privileged to have been an observer on your trip (so far)
  2. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    Having had to turn back on the Dempster, I decided to try the Dalton. I've been on both these roads before, in a truck, in the dark, in the winter. This time time was different. The Sun was shining all the time and it was mostly warm, mostly. Dalton Sign.jpg Crossed the Arctic Circle again. And again, it felt pretty cool. Arctic.jpg Coldfoot Camp is the halfway point to Deadhorse. ColdfootSign.jpg They have fuel, food and rooms. ColdfootPumps.jpg This is what $200 a night buys you in the Arctic. Coldfoot Room.jpg Coldfoot Room2.jpg Hallway.jpg Now you do have the option to camp. But it's light out nearly 24 hrs a day and there are bears. I like bears from a distance but I did worry about getting bit by one. That would be bad.

    And Coldfoot has pretty decent food. It's buffet style fare for breakfast and dinner. The folks there are friendly and it's a nice place to recharge. And there's not really much for 250 miles in either direction. From Coldfoot, it's 240 miles to Deadhorse. (I'm on a standard GS and I've never managed 240 miles on a tank so I carried a 10 liter fuel can.) Just north of Coldfoot the road is paved! Pave1.jpg And there's this big pipeline that runs alongside it. You may have heard about it:) Pipeline.jpg
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  3. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    The pavement didn't last long and soon enough I was back on the dirt. There is a lot of commercial traffic on the Dalton so the road is kept in great shape. Hard pack dirt, sometimes gravel, sometimes dust and sometimes a mile or three of pavement. PipelineDirt.jpg PipelineBike.jpg I'm guessing that's Atigan Pass ahead. You go up over and through those mountains and down onto the North Slope where the landscape and the weather really changes for the worst (unless you are a polar bear!) Atigan Pass.jpg The North Slope seems to go on for ever.. NorthSlope.jpg and ever PipelinePermaFrost.jpg until you finally approach the lovely town of Deadhorse. PrudhoeBay.jpg I had planned to spend the night but it was wind and cold. Really windy and cold and not a very inviting place. And I made it all the way to the fuel pump on one tank! 240 miles... the farthest the GS had ever been on a tank. So I went to the general Store and got the obligatory shot. Deadhorse Gen Store.jpg added my sticker to the wall and high tailed it the F out of there! StickerWall.jpg Heading back towards the Atigan Pass anxious to get to the buffett at Coldfoot. Atigan2.jpg I saw a group of bikers in a pull out so I slowed down and gave them the thumbs up or down sign. They replied with a thumbs up and waved me on. As I was pulling away, I saw a green KLR way way out in the tundra! A few miles down the road, I passed an ambulance heading towards them. That ambulance was coming from a long ways away so I figure those guys were there for a few hours. After seeing the bike way off the road and the ambulance, I stopped to move my InReach from my tank bag to the pocket on my jacket sleeve! Atigan3.jpg
  4. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    Thank you! I'm glad you're on board and I feel privileged to have my Dad following along too!
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  5. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    Hey Matt! Great to ride with you guys too! Thanks for the photo! That cigar at the Circle sure looked inviting but I must fight that demon off : )))
    thirsty 1 likes this.
  6. thirsty 1

    thirsty 1 Rider Supporter

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    Haha! It was nice I must say! Yes keep on keeping on with that! Keep the demons at bay. I finally got some time to check out the RR. Nice work brotha! I didn’t know I was riding with a rock star. Hahahaha. It’s nice to see you got up the Dalton but that room doesn’t look nearly as nice as the one in Eagle Plains. I was a flea bitten mess after that!!! Thanks for getting a picture of me too. Epic stuff!!

    Here’s one of You and Gary and I’ll indulge myself in the same place as you!! Cheers Man!!

    BF9FF182-8B92-48DF-A68A-2A622F9F7516.jpeg
    AA45E267-3891-497D-8082-DC12FCA5595B.jpeg
  7. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    There is a stop between Coldfoot and Fairbanks that has fuel and food; the Yukon River Camp. I pulled in to top up and met a guy I had seen up on the Dalton. He was on an 800GS and was having to stop every 10 miles and add air. That just won't work where we were. He had a tube but no tools. I had tools but no spoons. Another guy on a KLR showed up with spoons and another guy had the actual skills to do something with our contributions. Flat.jpg Hands.jpg Any of you Baja 1000 guys need crew, look elsewhere : ) Helpers.jpg I made it to Fairbanks, had a good night's rest and woke up to a very hazy morning. The weather app on my phone said Dangerous Air Quality! I had no idea what that meant but got on the bike and headed for Anchorage down the Parks Highway. Once I started heading south towards Denali, I realized I was riding through smoke. I didn't know but there were many fires burning in Alaska and visibility along the Parks Highway was extremely limited. So much for seeing Denali. So I tucked into Talkeetna and checked into the Talkeetna Inn, where I met a very lovely bartender and fell in love. Drinkees.JPG Well, she worked way past my bedtime so I stumbled out of the bar at 2am into the daylight and went off to bed. Next morning I woke up to find a pizza box in my bed??? Anyway, Talkeetna Inn is good people. They make good drinks and, apparently, order pizzas for you. Talkeetna Inn.jpg It was too smokey for Anchorage, Homer, Sitka, etc so I headed back East to Tok and checked into the Three Bears Motel. I could tell I was on an amazing road through the mountains, glaciers and stuff but the smoke was too thick to see anything. Tok Motel.jpg From Tok, I hit Whitehorse, did my laundry, washed...oh wait... back in Fairbanks, I did go to Trail's End BMW and had the bike serviced and put on a fresh set of tires...TKC 70's! Forgot that bit.

    Since I came up the Alaska Highway, I wanted to go back down the Stewart Cassiar Highway. It's a little more remote than the AlCan and it goes by Hyder, AK which I was curious about. Junction.jpg But first, I took a run into Skagway. I had been told the ride into Skagway was one of the best and it did not disappoint. And the hotel I was recommended got a rise out of me. MorningWOod.JPG

    Attached Files:

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  8. thirsty 1

    thirsty 1 Rider Supporter

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    Good on ya for going down the Cassiar! Salmon Glacier is worth the trip!
    95Monster likes this.
  9. FlyingSkeet

    FlyingSkeet Adventurer

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    Great to see the Update George. Your exploits documented here are an amazing testament to your tenacious personality! Thanks for the picture of us in Eagle Planes Mat. You guys have no idea how you made my trip epic to me! Hope to meet you all again...

    Gary
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  10. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    Gary! It was great riding over the Top Of The World Highway with you! And I believe we came up with some great ideas to solve all the World’s problems in the bar that night. Too bad I can’t remember any of the details:)
  11. FlyingSkeet

    FlyingSkeet Adventurer

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    we should have written it all down! Next time!!
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  12. Bulldog Buddy

    Bulldog Buddy Adventurer

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    You must be headed South. The pipeline is on your right hand.
  13. Bulldog Buddy

    Bulldog Buddy Adventurer

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    Good to hear from you George. Mom and I are doing great, she's out tonight but will check out the your latest posts when she gets home. It looks as if The Boy is doing great in Hungary. He won the preliminary cup, the main competition started today, July 15. We'll be in touch. Hungary is about 7 hours ahead of us.
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