Three old guys to Alaska - goldwings and a 300 versys

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Fuzzy74, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. rtcoker

    rtcoker Adventurer

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    Be sure to not miss Chief Joseph Highway after you do Beartooth Pass. it is simply a left turn after you come down Beartooth! takes you into Cody. Likely the second best road in the area.
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  2. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

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    Thanks, That is the plan then 14 a and 14 over towards Sheridan. After Sheridan may go up to I-94 to go east on northern route for less heat. Possibly south on river road starting around Minneapolis.
  3. rtcoker

    rtcoker Adventurer

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    If you take 14A then you have to go to Lovell and then take 37 north into Big Horn Canyon. There is even a campground on the lake there. It's a nice 3 hour diversion and really beautiful
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  4. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

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    Thanks. So you recommend 37 up into Montana towards Billings instead of back down to 14 towards Sheridan or round trip up canyon and back to 14? Google maps indicates 37 doesn’t go through?
  5. rtcoker

    rtcoker Adventurer

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    It's a dead end up into the park. Crosses into Montana. IT's a beautiful drive in the park. Canyon's gorges and lots of mountain sheep. I road from Cody to Deadwood in one day, including that stop and also Devil's tower. So doesn't take that much time. Worth it! and 14A is really great just east of there.
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  6. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

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    Sounds like a plan.
  7. fasteddiecopeman

    fasteddiecopeman Been here awhile

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    Here's what the glacier near Hyder actually looks like...

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  8. nuke65

    nuke65 Adventurer

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    A2A - Part 15 Hyder and Beyond

    The tire continues to hold air pressure. I bought the plugging kit way back in 2011 at a Goldwing Wing Ding convention. It uses a mushroom head type of plug instead of the typical plug strips sold in many kits. I had checked the kit out before I left to make sure the plugs were still flexible and useable. Glad I did.

    Our trip took us down the Glacier Highway toward Stuart, BC and Hyder, AK. There are supposed to be about 20 glaciers along this highway, but the overcast and foggy day didn’t afford us that many to see. However, Bear Glacier is close to the road and was spectacular. On the way in, we saw the low hanging clouds framing the top of the glacier and the lake completing the bottom border of the glacier. The way back, the sun and burned off the low hanging clouds and the view was dramatically different. Many of the glaciers are retreating.

    As we neared Stuart, BC, a black bear cub crossed the road in front of me from the left where the inlet is to the right where a rock wall was. I was far enough back that I simply slowed down while watching to see where mama bear was. Never did see her. The cub must have wandered off in the neighborhood, crossing the street by itself. I wonder if it got scolded like our kids did. My worry went up some when I realized that the cub may have to turn around and cross the road again because of the rock wall. Then in my wonderment, I watched, close up, as the cub simply climbed up this vertical rock wall about 10 feet high and then disappeared into the trees. His climb was graceful; something that Spider-Man would envy.

    Then came the border crossing that wasn’t. Rode right into Hyder. No border control agent. Left Canada and when right into the US. I guess that the USA figures that Canada does a great job keeping out ne’er do wells and that the only other way in would be to ride a bear so why bother with a border control. Now to get out, that is a different story. You do have to go past a Canadian border control. Hyder is a small town. By small, I mean there is one general store. That’s about it. Seems everyone goes to Stuart for what they need. The Canadian border control agent recommended that I eat at a restaurant called Toasterworks in Stuart. So I did, because I always obey Canadian border agents. The meal was very good.

    Fuzzy rode on to Salmon Glacier while I went to Toasterworks. The ride looked like it was all dirt road and I figured I would rather eat lunch than lose it. He met me a couple of hours later and pronounced that the view was fogged in. I had a pecan roll. Just say’n.

    We continued on the trek to Prince George. By this time, the wildlife that others were boasting about were lacking in our opinion. Fuzzy said it was because of me. The wildlife see me and run. In fact, he started polling people on whether they had seen any elk in Jasper. Everyone said yes. Except me. I told him it was due to my deer whistle on the motorcycle.

    So we are approaching Prince George on a four lane road with Fuzzy in the lead when a black bear decides it had the pedestrian right of way and bolted across. Yes, it ran. Fuzzy had an opportunity to test his anti-lock brakes and he pronounced them good. He commented that if the bear had stopped instead of continuing to run, he probably would have hit the bear. Fuzzy owes me for my dear whistle. Just say’n. Again.








    Riding along Glacier Highway.

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    More views on the way to Hyder, AK.

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    I never get tired of looking at the mountains.
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    We stayed at the Riverside RV Park and Camping in Smithers, BC. Arriving late, there was only one tent site open. The camp host arrived and she offered the covered gathering area because rain was approaching. Sure enough, it started raining after we set up. Very nice place to stay. Came from a recommendation of a follower of this thread that we ran into in Stuart. Thanks!

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    Riding on the Cassier Highway. Trying to give an idea of the road construction as well as a typical view.

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    Bear Glacier near Stuart, BC.

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    Attached Files:

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  9. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

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    0138573F-8DA0-4327-93E4-28E653E656F2.jpeg Day 30 - Canada Day

    Down day in Prince George

    Canada Day Monday celebrating 152 years of independence. Have tires and oil changes scheduled first thing Tuesday. It is good to take a day off riding to recharge.

    Took a walk and found a few stores open. I cleaned bike then threw away a bunch of cheap rags bought at Dollar Tree. Together we walked to park where celebrations were in progress. Similar to U. S. With music and dancing on stage, vendors hawking crafts, and food trucks many of them illustrating rich ethnic heritage in area. I had a hamburger celebrating North American heritage filled by some good Ukrainian perogies.

    I managed a total of 8 miles walking supporting an average of 4 miles per day on trip.

    Since we have gone way way south it was dark at 11:00 pm for fire works. I expect to see more Thursday with friends in Coeur D’Alene.

    After service I will head south to Penticton to visit with friends. Then down to Coeur D’Alene for another visit. Nuke will head Southwest to do the same in Seattle and Spokane. Friday or Saturday we will meet up and start east towards Beartooth.
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  10. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    Alaska portion of trip minus Hyder.
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    8,000 miles so far.
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    About 4,000 more to go. ETA at home July 15.

    Route down western Idaho, turn east towards Bearrioth and Chief Joseph then interstate from Billings to Minneapolis and south on River Road to southwest corner of Indiana and I24 home from there with Nuke continuing to Atlanta area.

    Lots more to experience on way home and 5 more states I have not ridden to on a Motorcycle.
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  11. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

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    About time for a valve check on that x300, just saying...
  12. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

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    Had them set them loose just prior to leaving. Most are not finding significant movement for second check. Will be overdue, but will do when I get home.
  13. 670cc

    670cc Adventurer

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    Hello to all! I'm Greg, AKA 670cc, the third man for half of this Alaska adventure. As Fuzzy mentioned, I bailed and I'm home now after having had the privilege of riding with Fuzzy and Nuke, and putting in 9000 miles on the Goldwing. Although I've been an Inmate here for some time, I don't frequent the forum and I had actually forgotten my password. That's a flimsy excuse, I know, but Fuzzy and Nuke were/are doing such a fantastic job on the ride report, there was little I could add anyway.

    There was one spot in the report with no pictures, so I thought I'd contribute a few of the Taylor Highway/Top of the World Highway, if anyone is interested. I took the route alone from Tok to Dawson.

    A cow moose and calves crossed the Taylor Hwy ahead of me. I got some pics of them coming out of the river crossing just as I came along side them.
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    Later, they meandered ahead of me, heading down the highway. The cow moose kept looking back over her shoulder to check on my whererabouts.
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    Coming to Chicken, Alaska, which was the farthest town away from home for me on this trip.
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    Chicken, Alaska post office.
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    Here is the modern paved section (approx. 9 miles) of the Top of the World Hwy near the USA/Canada border. I'd have to think this is the most beautifully paved road anywhere near this latitude in North America. Maybe the TotW will all look like this someday? For now, don't get too comfortable, as you have 100 miles of gravel ahead of you if going east.
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    Even the gravel sections are OK. Conditions ranged from loose marbles, packed/potholed dirt, newly graded soft gravel, you name it. I now fully understand the origin of the Dust to Dawson event name.
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    On Top of the World. A little snow still lingers in June.
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  14. Piper87c

    Piper87c Adventurer Supporter

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    I have been following your trip. Riding to Alaska is something I want to do, but the clock is ticking.
    I’m from Illinois as well, the southeastern part of the state.
  15. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts. Supporter

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    Aerostich is based in Duluth, MN. Isn't that in Canada?:jjen
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  16. LeMaitre

    LeMaitre Been here awhile Supporter

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    Just about. Look at all the Ontario license plates from people going shopping. :-)
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  17. MikeyT

    MikeyT Krusty Olde Pharte

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    Thunder Bay is closer to Duluth than Minneapolis is, innit? :lol3
  18. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

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    Day 31- Fuzzy - Prince George to North Thompson River Provincial Park.

    Started day by heading to Cycle North for service. We both had new tires waiting and received an oil change as well. If you are passing through Prince George, these guys are great. They had tires in stock for the Goldwing and an assortment of tires for me. They didn’t have the Shinko rear for me so I got Mitas E07 instead. It has done well and is larger diameter. The diameter makes the kickstand proper length and nearly fixes the speedometer error. I have done 30 kilometers of gravel and it handled it fine as well as 80+ mph on highway when passing.
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    At Cycle North watch out for the guard dog, he may love you to death.
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    Nuke had the longer ride so he got his tires first. I was done about 12:30 and my first stop was Ramen for lunch. A nice shop with good Ramen just a mile from dealer
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    Heading east on 16 from Prince George was a nice ride. Light traffic and good speed to cover ground. Never out of site of mountains, but never in them. The only semblance of mountain is crossing river valleys which can be 1,000 feet deep up here. Difference is down first then up. Towns that are not close to mountains build ski hills on the side of the valleys.
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    If you’re a local don’t even think about leaving your Slurpee cup here.
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    Just prior to entering the Rockies for the climb over to Jasper I turned south on Hwy 5, the Yellow Head Highway. Great ride through a valley with tall peaks either side. It flirted with being in the mountains and even warned of it on a sign, but climbs and descents were gentle. Lots of wildlife warning signs, I came to a conclusion that the kilometer number below the diamond warning picture has a different meaning than I thought. I had assumed it was how many kilometers one had to be extra careful of critters on the road but now realize it is telling you how far it is until there is another sign to remind you to be alert. All I saw was the rump of a deer entering the woods. That evening at the campground a fellow camper told me of coming by an accident site that afternoon. A BMW bike with German plates had literally split a deer in two. Rider expected to be OK but was carried away in an ambulance and BMW on tow truck. There is a reason for all the signs. I pray the rider is truly OK.
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    North Thompson River Provincial Park is a great camping spot. It is on the river with a few spots actually able to see the river. Across the river is a train track with trains running ab out every 30 minutes in the day and less frequent at night. They did not use their whistle so not a real bother for sleeping. Most of what I saw were grain cars hauling harvest from the prairies to west coast ports. Driving on 16 I had seen many trains full of containers to / from the west coast ports. After I set up my tent a couple ladies came by on a golf cart. It was $23 for site and another $10 for fire wood. They asked about my travels and told me I had to back track a few miles then head west in to Wells Gray Provincial Part to see the waterfalls. One of them pulled out a brochure but the only one they had was in German. I might have expected French in Canada, but not German as only option. I changed plans for the next day to make a short side trip to the first falls 11 kilometers off the road.

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    Attached Files:

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  19. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

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    Day 32 – North Thompson River to Penticton

    After a good night’s sleep I was having morning coffee and starting to pack up when this guy started chattering up a storm, apparently complaining I had not fed him.
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    Here is a video link with sound.


    After loading up I went north on Yellowhead to the traffic circle in Clearwater exiting to the west. An 11 kilometer climb and I saw the sign for Spahats Falls. I parked and took the 5 minute walk down the trail and was rewarded with a spectacular view. Then narrow canyon after falls was 1000’ deep with water from the falls descending to the Clearwater River.
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    Here is a video link.


    Returning to the parking lot I found the ladies from the campground the night before. I thanked them for talking me into seeing the falls. They asked if I had been up to Helmcken Falls yet. Since I hadn’t they insisted I do so. Not being one to disobey I headed another 30 kilometers into the mountain. I decided I was blessed to have met these ladies twice and smart of obedient enough to listen to them. Helmcken is 3 times the height of Niagara. Slightly less flow than Niagara, but spectacular none the less. I just couldn’t find where to catch the boat to go into the mist below.
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    Here is a video link.


    Many great picture spots on the road into and through Wells Gray Park
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    Leaving Wells Gray Park back to Clearwater I stopped back at the Spahats parking lot to see if the food vendor was in operation yet. A wonderful Belgian had fries, sausage, waffles and other treats. I got a sausage and fries from him for lunch and enjoyed a long conversation about motorcycles. His side starting with tales of trips on a BMW from Belgium to Spain. The food was also great.
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    I took the first exit in the roundabout heading back south on Yellowhead. I stopped in Barriere for gas and Google suggest a short cut to Salmon Arm. I asked a couple Harley riders about it and they thought it was gravel. I took the shortcut and am sure I beat them to Salmon arm taking 30 kilometers of gravel to cut trip by 60 kilometers. It was a pretty ride through a mountain pass with the last 30 kilometers descending a logging road towards Adams Lake. At the side of the lake was Adams Lake Sawmill that I had visited for work in the past.


    Just short of Shuswap on Trans Canada Highway, I pulled into Dreamcycle a motorcycle museum I took this Galimberti for a short ride in the Italian Village. . I really wanted the Galimberti which museum claims is the only one still in existence. I offered to trade my Versys but he wanted me to throw in my first born and my first born’s first born. Not willing to part with my granddaughter I continued on with my Versys. Museum is a nice stop and includes a gift shop and café.
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    Ride through the Okanagan Valley is always great and from the advice of many Canadians a must see. Apparently not on the Alaska route for many as nearly all the bikes on the road were form Alberta or B.C. Getting through Kelowna was crazy with traffic. I arrived in Penticton and stayed at the hostel. Didn’t want to take time for camping and hotels crazy expensive in lake side tourist town Met my friend for dinner on the lake and had a great meal and even greater fellowship catching up on old times and grandchildren.
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  20. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    Prince George, BC
    Always love seeing inmates posting pics from my old stomping grounds - I grew up in Clearwater and still visit family there when I can. Loving the RR, keep up the good work!
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