The Gap Year complete

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

  1. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

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    George,

    If you ever come by The Springs (Colorado Springs), give a holler. A warm bed is waiting, and it would be nice to see you again, after crossing paths with you in South America.

    Monte/SalsaRider
    hartx2@aol.com
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  2. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    Hi Dad, As you know, I’m still a little behind. But thank you for following along. It’s an amazing World.
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  3. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    Hey Monte! I’m riding the Co-BDR mid August so maybe we can get together.
  4. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

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    George,

    Indeed! Send me an email so we can coordinate a rendezvous.

    Monte
  5. RhinoVonHawkrider

    RhinoVonHawkrider Long timer

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    OK Jorge I just finished - Wow unreal.

    I've read many reports from going to the bottom of SA and I thoroughly enjoyed your trip.

    Not sure if I'll ever make it via moto but Colombia is a must ride for me.

    Keep the rubber side down

    Rhino
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  6. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    Vermont was one of the few states left that I hadn't spent a night in so I rode down to Burlington and visited with a colleague from work. Nice town, nice food and expensive hotels. But my buddy sent me NorthEast to Smuggler's Gap and a backroad route south. Smugglers Gap.jpg Seems those sisters from the musical relocated to the USA and opened a brewpub. Von Trapp.jpg And why not take a factory tour at 10am? Ice creme comes from milk and milk is a breakfast food! B&J.jpg I don't always drink whiskey. Sometimes I like beer...root beer. RootBeer.jpg Continuing south I entered the town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts. I had no idea it was the home of Norman Rockwell. I only knew it as the "Quote, scene of the crime, unquote" from Alice's Restaurant. So I was immediately on the lookout for Officer Obie. Obie!.jpg I went into the General Store and ordered breakfast at the counter. The interior and exterior had been used in Rockwell's illustrations, copies of which were exhibited on the walls. I was more curious about Alice but wasn't sure how the locals felt about the song. Finally I asked and one said "Oh sure, it's just around back. And it really is a half a mile from the railroad track!" Alice.jpg
  7. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    From Stockbridge, I headed West and crossed the Rip Van Winkle bridge into Catskill. Hmmm. CatSkill.jpg Then rode back to my buddy Rob's house where he was prepping a fleet of Honda's for Americade. He has invited me to Americade for years so I finally took him up on it. First we had to load the trailer and this owl didn't want to move. Owl.jpg And this little fawn was staggering around in the yard looking for it's mom... who showed up after we quieted the dogs down. Fawn.jpg I had a chance to ride the 2019 Honda Goldwing up to Americade. Perfect bike for a two hour run up the interstate in the rain. 7 speed. DCT transmission. Electric windscreen. Reverse gear. I can't ever imagine owning one but I've been told that the Wing is not for you, it's for the passenger on the back. Makes sense. And then Americade. I don't have a single photograph from Americade. It was good to catch up with some old acquaintances from the motorcycle industry and make some new ones. But these gatherings aren't much interest to me. I was, frankly, bored to tears.

    But I did manage to get Rob on some gravel with the Africa Twin! LakeGDirt.jpg Rob2shot.jpg

    Since arriving back in the U.S.A I've been struggling for a mission. A destination. Some kind of loose plan to dive into. Trans- Labrador just wasn't exciting me. And then one night at Americade, I was poking around on ADV (when I should have been updating this ride report) and discovered D2Dawson, a gathering of like minded folks in Dawson City, YT. It sounded kinda cool and I was very anxious to be back out West. It was exactly two weeks away so finding a campsite or hotel was gonna be tough. I started calling around and everything was booked...except the host hotel. They just had a cancellation. So I booked a few nights and was excited to have a place to go. Then I looked at the map! ROute.jpg Holy Moly. I wanted a mission but ...whoa. Better have a sipper. BasilHayden.jpg After a little sip of Basil Hayden, a plan was hatched. I figured I had 10 riding days, 2 rest days, 1 maintenance/repairs day and I'd get there a day early. Next morning at breakfast, I filled Rob in, said my goodbyes and headed west. That night I was happily camping somewhere near Erie, PA. Camp.jpg
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  8. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    No better way to start the morning... WaffleH.jpg and burned fuel til I arrived in Mackinaw City where I checked into this place. WelcomeInn.jpg which just happened to be across the street from an Irish Pub that served Guinness and Jameson's, which I hoped would quiet the ringing in my ears and the buzzing in my hands. BeerNbooze.jpg I asked the waitress her thoughts on a route. North to Canada and West to ThunderBay or West across Michigan along the southern shore of Lake Superior? She had never been outside of Mackinaw City and couldn't even fathom going into Canada. I asked "Aren't you curious? It's just right there!" The thought scared her! But she had heard, from a friend of a friend who went hunting once, that The U.P was really nice. Okay then. West across The U.P. And it was nice. Lots of trees. Lots of deer. And a pretty Great Lake. GreatLake.jpg A couple days later, I reached the geographical center of North America. A milestone, of sorts. GeographicCenter.jpg
    I'd never been to North Dakota so I spent the night in Minot, ND. Box checked. I've now slept in all 50 States! (Well, maybe not Kansas. I've been through Kansas but don't really recall spending the night.) Little did I know, the nasty Perkins Pancake House was, most likely, infecting me with a foodborne illness that was to burn up the next few days. I got to Havre, Mt in the rain with the shakes and a fever. Crawled into bed where I would stay for two days, trying to drink as much water as possible to avoid dehydration and even considered going to the ER but couldn't manage to walk outside and get the clothes off my bike.

    Never in Latin America was I this ill! Finally, I managed to get up, eat a little something, and point the bike North. Alberta.jpg
    Fun times. LonelyRoaad.JPG
    Kevin S., thirsty 1, Pete S and 2 others like this.
  9. NewEnglander

    NewEnglander Been here awhile Supporter

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    Sep 9, 2007
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    Southern NH
    You are going to love it in Dawson. It’s an awesome place. Probably my favorite town on my ride to Alaska in 2008. Check out Diamond Tooth Gertie’s.
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  10. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    Feb 4, 2015
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    Having burnt up my rest days, I skipped Glacier in MT and the Icefields Parkway and went into Calgary to Blackfoot Motors and fitted a new rear tire. The Mitas EO7+ I mounted in Rhode Island had about 4,800 miles on it and was squared off from the long straight riding. It might have had another 1,500 miles in it but no way would the tire get me to Dawson City and back, much less farther north. So a replacement was in order. Also, I had worn a hole in the sole of one of my boots some time ago and on rainy days, wrapped my foot in a plastic grocery bag to keep it dry. That morning it was raining and I couldn't find a plastic bag. My foot was wet and I was unhappy. AdventureLowBottom.jpg These Forma Low boots are two and a half years old and have been great. AdventureLow.jpg I knew they were probably too low and didn't have the protection I needed for riding the big GS. But they were the boots I had on hand so they went South. Comfortable for sure, but your feet get wet any time there is a water crossing of any depth. And they just don't have the protection should a GS with hard boxes fall on your leg. One of the guys on the MA-BDR fell and was pinned under an Africa Twin with softbags. He was okay but his foot turned spectacular colors. I'm gonna miss these but time for them to go (and I could no longer bring them into the hotel room!)

    My new kicks look like something from Batman's wardrobe. SidiADV.jpg First time I wore them I caught the buckle on my seat and tore the vinyl. Yay!
  11. Velvetdogmom

    Velvetdogmom Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2018
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    16
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    Charleston, SC
    You know how I ❤️ shopping for new shoes! Those are awesome....sorry about your seat.

    My new kicks look like something from Batman's wardrobe. View attachment 1740707 First time I wore them I caught the buckle on my seat and tore the vinyl. Yay![/QUOTE]
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  12. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    8 days of riding and things started looking a little more Adventurous! AKHWY.jpg Met inmate "Outdoorsman" at the Mile Zero sign and he was headed up to Dawson too. So we rode together for a stretch. Bikes.jpg We had a nice pace going, eating the miles and then he was gone. I pulled over and waited, thinking he had stopped for pictures, but he never appeared. So I backtracked and found him on the side of the road. Broken.jpg The counter shaft nut and lock washer had spun off and the shaft was just spinning inside the front sprocket. He was really lucky he just lost power and didn't lockup his wheel! So we searched in vain for the missing parts with help from Ed, an Alaskan BMW rider, who was just driving by in his truck and saw us knuckleheads in distress. It was really cool that a stranger on the Alaska Highway stopped and offered to do whatever he could to help! Bikers! You guys rock! Finally "Outdoorsman" resorted to AAA and it worked. There was a tow truck operator in Wonowon about 6kms away and within a couple hours we were loaded up! Truck.jpg So we backtracked South to Ft St John and settled in to a EconoLodge. Unfortunately, the next day was a Sunday and it was slim pickins for parts. However, there was a multi-line powersports dealer just across the street from the hotel that would open Monday.

    So Sunday morning I said goodbye to "Outdoorsman" feeling he was in a good spot to hang until Monday. I hit the road and, eventually, had to stop for gas where I wandered into this unassuming place. CrookedCreek.jpg My gosh, the smell hit me over the head like a Keebler elf that had fallen out of the tree and landed on me. Donuts, muffins, loaves of bread, loaves of banana chocolate bread, honey, popcorn, caramels... I paid for my gas and got some banana bread (for later).
  13. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    Mar 11, 2008
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    we just missed each other ! I went through Ft St John yesterday where I had to buy a new rear tire for my Super Sherpa......Kawasaki dealer had nothing in my size except for a Dunlop front tire which would fit, so we installed it and away I went south! The worn rear tire prevented me from making my goal of Tuk, all 3 Whitehorse dealers said a special order would be about 6 days so I decided to head back home to Calgary. Not much lost as I rode to Inuvik a few years ago and have been to D2D twice
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  14. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    Sorry to miss you, Cal!
  15. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    I met a riding club of Romanian riders out of Vancouver who were making a dash up to Dawson City and tagged along with them for a couple days. We had a fair bit of cold rain along the way and when we stopped at Liard Hot Springs to soak and camp for the night, it poured down on us! No pictures from that wet camp! But the guys were kind enough to feed me. Thanks! It's no fun packing up your wet camping gear on a rainy morning! Luckily, the construction zones dried out pretty quickly and the riding was cool. AK HWY.jpg Truck Coming.JPG
    When we reached Whitehorse,I peeled off from the Romanians and found a hotel to hole up in for a couple nights, dry out my gear, and wash my laundry. The second night, I reconnected with Outdoorsman and we rode together the final day to Dawson City.

    Made it to D2D. Dawson City seems like a cool little town. Lots of Old West charm, dirt streets, saloons and dance halls. This could be fun. And today makes 300 days on the road! Wow. Tracks.PNG
  16. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    Dawson was a pretty neat place. Not a single chain restaurant or franchise store in the place. But the Illuminati is there. I guess for the gold and stuff. Illuminati.jpg This place is the home of the infamous 'sourtoe cocktail.' DowntownHotel.jpg If you're so inclined, que up at 9pm but don't swallow the toe or you'll get fined big time. Sourtoe.jpg The Triple J was the host of D2D and where I had booked a room. Nice place. Good restaurant/bar and friendly staff. TripleJ.jpg Midnight gathering of the Dust2Dawson crowd at the Triple J. D2DCrowd.jpg
    After a few days of bench racing, we headed up the Dempster Highway towards the Arctic Circle in hopes to glimpse the Arctic Ocean at Tuktoyuktuk. Dempster.jpg They were putting down calcium chloride and the accompanying water truck created some challenging sections for the motorcycles. Dempster Wet.jpg One of our riders went down in the snotty stuff and broke a few bits off. But we made it up to Eagle Plains and called it a 'long' day. Eagle Plains.jpg Eagle Plains was a nice rest stop with a great bar that had live entertainment! Sport.jpg Next morning, we headed north to get the picture at "The Sign." Dempster Arctic Circle.jpg
    JimmysXR, jowul, outdoorsman and 5 others like this.
  17. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    There was some discussion about where to go after the Arctic Circle. I wanted to press on towards Inuvik & Tuk but the weather reports showed Freezing rain and below 0c temps hitting Tuk, Inuvik and Eagle Plains. SO the decision was made to backtrack to Dawson City. I was disappointed but certainly didn't want to get caught in below freezing temps and we'd had a taste of what the road would be like in the wet. Just got a message to today that it took a group of riders 20 hours to get from Ft McPherson to Tombstone! Why would you not just hole up and wait for the weather to pass?

    Anyway...back to Dawson with my tail between my legs. DempsterDust.jpg After a night in Dawson, we headed west towards Alaska on the Top of The World Highway. First, a ferry trip across the Yukon. Ferry.jpg Beautiful ride along the crest of the mountains to the border crossing into the USA. BorderX.jpg Where they actually paved the road for about 10 miles so, I guess, the Caribou can walk on it. Caribou.jpg There's a place up there called Chicken where it rains, a lot. Chicken.jpg
    jowul, thirsty 1, Kevin S. and 7 others like this.
  18. Diceman970

    Diceman970 n00b

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    Jun 19, 2019
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    George it was great to meet up with you. Safe travels. Rick.
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  19. thirsty 1

    thirsty 1 Rider Supporter

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    Feb 9, 2009
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    Nice riding with ya George! The Pic came out sweet!! Safe and Happy Travels to ya! May the wind be at your back!
    Cheers, Matt aka Thirsty 1
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  20. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    Apr 19, 2016
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    Saw on instagram that you’re in the Columbia Icefields area. Swinging through Calgary or heading west? I’ll be on the road today - if you see an orange helmet on a Katoom waving like a madman...that’ll be me.
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