Chasing Summer

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Jean-Luc, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. kahoon

    kahoon who's yer daddy??

    Joined:
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    more more!!

    :lurk:lurk
    #41
  2. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

    Joined:
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    We fill the gas tank to the max as well as my auxiliary 1.25 gallon gas can: today we're going up the Campbell Hwy and there is no gas (or anything else for that matter) before Ross River, 240 miles away.

    The Campbell Hwy is a nice dirt road that was in pretty good shape. The first part was not that fun though: mostly straight and with a dense forest on each side of the road blocking most of the vue. Then it got better...

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    It's hard to show the beauty of those regions because a lot of it comes from the scale; everything is so big! The sky seems bigger, the ever changing clouds, majestuous. All this cannot be shown on pictures (at least not on mines :wink:).

    That cloud was just a bit too dark for our taste and since it was lunch time we decided to have a break just before to leave the sunny zone.

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    It worked pretty good! We finished our sandwiches and when we left we just hit a very light rain.

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    There were also hundreds of lakes! From small ponds to big ones, in every shape or form. It was beautiful :nod

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    Seing a town's name on a map doesn't mean much around here: it often is only a gas station and a few houses. Despite its remoteness Fort Ross had several houses, a school and the gas station doubled as grocery/hardware and anything else that people might need.

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    I took the opportunity to adjust the tension of the chain. It's always a bad sign when you have to do it often. I better get one when I'll reach Fairbanks.

    The camping in Faro is one of those nice Yukon State ones. It was absolutely empty but for us. As usual, plenty of firewood was available.

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    It was really cool to be by ourselves there after a relatively short riding day. But it started to rain and it looked like it would last :(:. So our favorite Boy Scout gets in action :wink:.

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    He gets/cuts poles and strap them on the table on one side, the motorcycle on the other.

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    The problem is that our tarp is very small and so we have to sit on the table to be protected :lol3.

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    At least that protects our gear and it's better than sitting under that rain.

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    Luckily the rain stops after a while and we can enjoy the sunset on the lake.

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    A dragonfly is keeping us company

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    It's time to enjoy our "cow boy dinner": a big can of beans heated on the fire and a couple of tortillas :dg
    #42
  3. Slaniac

    Slaniac Martini elbow

    Joined:
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    Where's the envy smiley. I'm riding with you two from the comfort of my home. Looking forward to the remainder of your trip, and thank you for posting as you go.
    #43
  4. Rad

    Rad Done riding

    Joined:
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    Careful there buddy, ya almost spilled yur beer on their last section of dirt :lol3
    #44
  5. doyle

    doyle RallyRaidReview-ing

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    Wouldn't want to injure that Martini Elbow. :lol3

    Excellent report JL. Looking forward to the rest!
    #45
  6. Pundy

    Pundy Been here awhile

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    North of North New Portland
    Great report guys! Keep the rubber side up!:freaky
    #46
  7. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    7am, I&#8217;m sitting in my tent with the sound of the rain above my head. Rain is just part of an Alaskan trip; we had been warned about it. It rained everyday since we left <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">California</st1:place></st1:state> but luckily it was never a real heavy rain and we could often see a bit of blue sky somewhere in the horizon.

    This morning the sky is uniformly gray with no hint on how long the rain may last. It&#8217;s never fun to ride in the rain but when you&#8217;re already en route and with the right gear it&#8217;s not such a big deal. Packing and getting ready in the rain is a different story! So, we&#8217;re waiting, trying to evaluate if there is an evolution (good or bad) in the strength of the rain. I take the opportunity to type those notes in the moment, a thing that I cannot do often enough.

    Oh, I forgot to mention that last night a really big fox came to visit our campground! He approched and stayed at a dozen yards from us, curious and looking at us. We couldn't believe our eyes and kept staring for half a minute. When we went slowly to grap our cameras he continued his way with no hurry. Magic!


    The rain doesn't stop so we decide to get up anyway and pack. Here I am having our usual oatmeal under the rain.

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    We have to pack everything wet but when we leave the rain is much lighter. The road is still beautiful, especially the Little Salmon Lake, narrow but very long just on the side of the road.

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    I think that's the Big Salmon river...

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    Teryk admiring the islands on the river

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    We then gas up in Carmacks and hit the Klondike Hwy North. The traffic is definitely not a issue in this season!

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    I'm don't know why there were so many of those wood piles along the road :dunno

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    One of our attempts to find a dirt road along the way.

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    We finally arrive in Dawson City!

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    It's a legendary city from the Gold Rush era. People seem strangely dressed though...

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    At the visitor center we understand why: there is the Gold Panning World Championship in town! I had no idea such a thing existed but it seems popular with 20 countires represented :huh.

    The consequence for us is that most hotels are full but we find something in the annex of the Midnight Sun Hotel. The annex is on the right of this picture.

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    Here is the annex. The room was not great but still okay.

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    We take a tour in the city that has a very good feeling. Many buildings are still from the 'old days' and the streets are just dirt with wooden sidewalks. Sure, some have been renovated or even transformed in museum but it's not overly done, unlike many places in California.

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    There are also plenty of houses not renovated which adds to the charm.

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    A very nice city indeed, but we were wondering about those party stories we had read in this site. The town is pretty small and seems rather quite. Little did we know!

    Starting at the Bombay's pub and meeting some locals who took us to "Antoinette", a very nice small restaurant where we even shared a plate of escargots as appetizers. At the end of the dinner, we were the only ones left in the restaurant and Antoinette (the owner and Chef) who knew the persons we were with offered us a bottle of wine on the porch. It's always fascinating for me to discuss with people who decided to move up here in the Big North. Antoinette and her son (who was helping as a waiter) came from the Caraibs, quite a contrast with the Yukon!

    But like others she was really loving her life here including in Winter. That's maybe my biggest surprise: most people love the Summer but are also looking forward to the Winter when things slow down and the snow makes everything quiet and pristine.

    Then we went back together to the pub, then visited the Diamond Tooth Gerties but missed the last show. It's a sort of old style bar/casino with dancers show. We learned later that it's a 'non-profit' meaning that all the benefits go to the town. Then we ended up at the Pit a rough bar for locals, then maybe another bar where we played pool :freaky. Needless to say, it was late and we were pretty wasted when we went to bed...
    #47
  8. Vance

    Vance On my meds...

    Joined:
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    Ride on JL...:freaky
    #48
  9. Lone*Star

    Lone*Star Redneck loaned as SFITFN

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
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    672
    Location:
    Perham, MN
    Jean-Luc and Teryk,

    Thank you both for taking all of us on this ride. This really is a fabulous report and thanks for sending the updates periodically. This report is truly the essence of why AdvRider is so cool. :clap

    This brings back memories and makes me want to return again. I can't wait to hear all the stories after you are back to SF.

    Have fun and safe travels. :ricky
    #49
  10. R-dubb

    R-dubb Dubbious Adventurer

    Joined:
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    :lurk

    work sucks, FYYFF
    #50
  11. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    Ouch :waysad. Late wake-up this morning. I blame it on this city where so many AdvRiders already succombed. Who on earth forced me to drink Martini Expressos yesterday :dunno .

    Anyway none of us think it would be a good idea to ride our bikes today so we check-in for another night. It turns out to be a great idea: Dawson is really nice and we also spend a lot of time watching the Gold Panning competition.

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    There are different categories and all but this is basically how it works: each competitor receives a bucket of dirt/sand with from 5 to 10 small gold flakes. They are standing in a bassin of water where they can wash the sand in their pan. The faster you are to go through your whole bucket the better but if you go to fast and miss a flake or two (the competitors don't know how many were in the bucket) you receive time penalties.

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    It's pretty tricky since the flakes are really small and only their higher density keeps them (hopefully) at the bottom of the pan.

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    Depending on the competition you can either use the old metal one or a more sophisticated plastic one with grooves.

    It was surely and interesting crowd to watch and talk to.

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    A few more pics from Teryk...

    Training area
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    It was surprising to see many women participating and also a good proportion of young competitors.

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    Several US and Canadians for sure...

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    But the main country represented was Finland and I think they won most of the competitions

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    Many Europeans but also people from South Africa, Japon etc.

    We spend more time touring the little town. It's so quite during the day! We hardly see anyone, like at nap time in the Mediterranean countries. What adds to the illusion is that it's surprisingly warm and we're just wearing shorts and T-shirts. Hey, they even have a KTM dealer in town :wink:

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    The crows are incredibly big here

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    Dawson is located at the junction of the Yukon river and the Klondike river

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    One of the old steam boats that used to service the river

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    It's pretty neat to have several places dedicated to the history of Dawson. "The Klondike gold rush began in July of 1897 when two shipsdocked in San Francisco and Seattle carrying miners returning from the Yukon with bags of gold. The press was alerted and papers carried the story to the masses. Soon, miners of all shapes and sizes, called "stampeders", were on their way to the gold fields. Within six months, approximately 100,000 gold-seekers set off for the Yukon. Only 30,000 completed the trip." Dawson City was at the heart of the rush and at some point became the second city in the West behind San Francisco.

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    We're recovering slowly while starting this ride report at Bombay's.


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    Teryk works on his blog with this strange emailing device

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    The Bombay's gets alive only later so very few people are here but we just happen to be seated close to a very nice couple riding KLRs.


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    They were on the end of their own Americas trip, started 8 years ago when they leaved in Bolivia and spent several months traveling in South America. Then after after being back in the US for years they decided to finish their trip with the exact same bikes/gear etc. Awesome people and it was really nice talking to them and sharing experiences. However I had that thread to continue :twitch. Then we had that awesome piano player / singer who entertained us for a while, just for her own pleasure.

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    Dawson is really special.

    That evening was much quieter for us...
    #51
  12. R-dubb

    R-dubb Dubbious Adventurer

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    You're becoming soft. :wink:
    #52
  13. JimC

    JimC Long timer

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    +1

    But your report is great, I guess the guys going to Patagonia are getting a little antsy!

    Jim in Sacramento
    #53
  14. AntWare

    AntWare Lost In Translation

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    ...good luck lads
    #54
  15. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

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    well, besides R-dubb :evil
    #55
  16. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

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    Just super!
    #56
  17. Colorado Chris

    Colorado Chris ADVENTURE MOTORBIKING

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
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    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    Jean-Luc

    Great to follow along.

    :lurk

    Chris
    #57
  18. nurki

    nurki n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2
    Maybe time for another ride poster? :wink:

    This should be an epic ride! :thumb Good luck to all.
    #58
  19. Whammo

    Whammo Nature's toothbrush

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
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    Location:
    SF, CA
    Ah, Bombay's.......

    If you guys happen to see a hunk of my liver quivering in the corner, grab it for me, will ya?

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    #59
  20. PackMule

    PackMule love what you do

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    :lurk


    Great work, so far. :thumb
    #60