Chasing Summer

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

  1. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Oddometer:
    2,238
    Location:
    San Francisco, USA
    Yes, we’re still in <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Dawson</st1:place></st1:city> :huh

    But it's not as bad as it looks: technically we moved forward since we crossed the river in what’s called <st1:place w:st="on">West Dawson</st1:place>. So there is progress! :wink:<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    This morning we woke up with the firm intention to go to <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Alaska</st1:place></st1:state> but had to stay a bit to upload pictures and continue the thread at the Internet Café. The guy in charge is a Frenchman who’s been living in <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Dawson</st1:place></st1:city> for 5 years. He was a mechanic in <st1:state w:st="on">Alsace</st1:state> (East part of <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">France</st1:place></st1:country-region>) and “could never find time to do things”. Now, he seems very happy here, has plenty of time in Winter, did a dozen different jobs and even built his log house in <st1:place w:st="on">West Dawson</st1:place> himself! It’s a rough borough with no electricity, running water or sewage so some houses look very much like in the old days with wood stove and propane oven. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    In the café we also met Igor, a Russian photographer in <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Dawson</st1:place></st1:city> for years. When we discussed about what we had visited so far and our plan he was really adamant that we should visit <st1:city w:st="on">Tombstone</st1:city> on the Dampster Hwy. Dampster is almost the only road we had decided to pass on since like the <st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Dalton Hwy</st1:address></st1:street> it goes North for many miles (<st1:place w:st="on">Inuvik</st1:place>) and then you have to go back the same way. Igor insisted that the most beautiful part of the road was the first part and “not seeing <st1:city w:st="on">Tombstone</st1:city> was like going to <st1:state w:st="on">Alaska</st1:state> without seeing <st1:place w:st="on">Denali</st1:place>!”

    Always trust the locals: We backtracked East to get to the <st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Dampster Hwy</st1:address></st1:street> and then rode 1 hour or 2 to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Tombstone</st1:city></st1:place> and didn’t regret it a bit.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>First, a quick detour to the "Dome" with Dawson City on the lower right corner.</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>

    Then on our way to Tombstone Park. We felt blessed to be here in fall!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The park is gorgeous! And the light (a mix of dark clouds and sun) made it even more dramatic.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    No worries, even if helmets are not mandatory in Alaska, this was only for a couple of hundred feets.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Definitely a "big sky" place

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Rain is okay when it offers such beautiful skies...

    [​IMG]

    Going back to Dawson we decided to camp on the other side of the river, using the free ferry.

    [​IMG]

    Nice campground on the river, with rainbow and all...

    [​IMG]

    A quick dinner with fresh food for once :deal and then we hike to Dawson to listen to Florient's musician friends who played their first gig that night, at the Bombay. Such a small city (about 2,000 in winter) but many artistic talents it looks like.:thumb
    #61
  2. R-dubb

    R-dubb Dubbious Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2001
    Oddometer:
    5,307
    Location:
    San Francisco
    You know.....

    Those photos are not so good. Are you having any problem with the camera?
    #62
  3. joder!

    joder! joder!

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    58
    Location:
    San Francisco
    You kidding Rick! as usual Jean Luc high quality pics!
    will see how we do down south!![​IMG]
    Great Report :norton
    #63
  4. Pundy

    Pundy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    413
    Location:
    North of North New Portland
    I'm speechless.........:eek1 Those are breathtaking pictures! Keep it up guys.
    #64
  5. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Oddometer:
    2,238
    Location:
    San Francisco, USA
    :lol3

    That said it's true that I could only bring a small camera for this trip but so far I'm pretty happy with it.
    #65
  6. RMac

    RMac Cheese!

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,840
    Location:
    Stumptown
    No problem with his camera at all. Simply amazing. Keep it up JL.

    :lurk
    #66
  7. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Oddometer:
    2,238
    Location:
    San Francisco, USA
    We had a lot of ground to cover today to catch up. We left <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Dawson</st1:place></st1:city> with the nostalgic feeling that it would be hard to find such cool people in the rest of our trip.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    But at least we were starting with a beautiful road &#8220;The Top of the <st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">World Hwy</st1:address></st1:street>&#8221;! It&#8217;s a dirt road, following the crest at a pretty high altitude. Surprisingly I didn&#8217;t feel like taking pictures. It was sunny but I guess the light was not beautiful or the scenery not dramatic enough. So we just enjoyed a spirited riding. There was almost no traffic but we passed on the way 10 BMWs from the Edelweiss Tour, it was fun to see mostly motorcycles on the road&#8230;<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    After crossing the border (strange feeling in such a remote location) we soon arrive to the &#8220;town&#8221; of Chicken.

    [​IMG]<o:p> </o:p>

    Chicken Facts: Winter population around 15; 30 to 50 in Summer. No flush toilet, no cell phone, pretty remote life especially in winter when the road closes and the temperature drops sometimes as low as 80 degrees Fahrenheit below zero (- 62 C). They have a lot of wild animals in the area including black bears, grizzlies, wolf and lynxes. People really do gold mining here. <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>The famous saloon</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The road South to Alcan was fine but afterwards, the Alcan (<st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Alaskan Hwy</st1:address></st1:street>) going west to <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Anchorage</st1:place></st1:city> was painfully boring and straight for miles and miles. At least there was barely any traffic in it.

    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Nothing was appealing along the way so we decided to push to <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Fairbanks</st1:place></st1:city>. We needed tires and chain but we couldn&#8217;t reach the KTM dealer by phone so we started to be a bit worry.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    It was already late when we arrived in Ester, a small town a few miles West of Fairbanks. We wanted to get there because that was the address of the KTM dealer and our good friends Tiny and Whammo had told us about camping there, close to a cool saloon. The issue was that what we found was barely a town. Yes, there were a couple of saloons but that was about it. :confused

    We checked in anyway at the &#8220;campground&#8221; close by, filled with school buses but no other customers or amenities. :bluduh <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Then it all went bad, really bad. Teryk had smelt coolant on his bike since we arrived in &#8220;town&#8221; but couldn&#8217;t identify where the leak was from. Well, from my side it was pretty clear: Even if the 640 engine was off I could clearly see at regular interval a very thin burst of coolant coming directly from the head gasket, a little like a heart still pumping blood trough a leaking artery. :yikes <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Head gasket kaput. Kind of catastrophic when you are on the road: 2 bikes that could hardly run in a small town with no services to be seen. That&#8217;s when you need to not despair but focus on trying to find a solution while keeping hope. Well, hope has a color: it&#8217;s orange.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We heard and saw a KTM 300 EXC that went through the side of the campground. We ran to stop the rider: it was Duke going trough dirt trails for a beer at the Golden Eagle saloon. Duke is just the nicest guy! As soon as we asked him if he knew a KTM dealer around he pulled his cell and called. Unfortunately that was the same number we were calling and there was still no response. That didn&#8217;t stop Duke who decided to take us to the KTM shop since it&#8217;s where the owner leaves. I was not too sure about bothering a dealer at 8:30 PM at his house but Duke seemed to know him well. Duke went to pick his 640 Adv and took Teryk on the back while I rode the 950 with the chain re-adjusted.

    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    No luck: no one at home. Duke decidedly helpful took us to another place where he thought we could find Bob (the dealer). On the way we see a BMW sidecar 1966 coming the other way: it&#8217;s Bob going back home. Teryk explaining the problem:


    [​IMG]

    No hesitation from his part: yes, come with me I&#8217;ll look at the bike and we&#8217;ll see what to do. We follom him to his place a few miles out in the woods, on a dirt road certainly very difficult to find when you are from out of town. Here is Bob placing orders over the phone to overnight the parts ASAP...

    [​IMG]

    ... While Teryk (with Duke) started to work on his bike to have it as ready as possible.

    [​IMG]

    We just couldn&#8217;t believe our luck! Just an hour ago we were desperate, not knowing if a KTM dealer was still in town (the next one is <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Anchorage</st1:place></st1:city>) when suddenly we meet 2 great people and we have a plan to solve our problems. :rayof

    We wanted to thank them for their huge help so offered to take them to the saloon.

    [​IMG]

    We had a great time! The Golden Eagle is a very cool saloon where you cook yourself your hamburger, have a beer on the porch or listen to the guitar players practicing their music. We had a long day so we were ready to go around midnight when someone told us "Hey, you should stay, there is a total full moon eclipse tonight. It starts at 1:30 AM". We thought we couldn't miss that so we stayed for more beers and talks. The locals were really interesting again. It takes a different kind to leave in Alaska and it was great to meet them.

    Here is a picture of the eclipse

    [​IMG]

    The eclipse was awsome but I have no pictures for the most extraordinary part: Aurora Borealis :eek1.

    It was a first for us and we couldn't believe our eyes. At the beginning the old-timers were saying "Oh, we see that all the time in winter" but soon they realized that it was an exceptional night with extraordinary colors and sharpness, especially when the moon was dark. It's also rare to be able to contemplate that in summer in mild temperature because the nights are usually too clear.

    Anyway, there are no words to describe it so I'm not even going to try. But one of the amazing things is how quickly they move in the sky; and the size; and the way they spiral around themselves. They really look alive. I think that must have been the most stunning vision of my life. :nod.

    Again, a bad situation turned out to become a wonderful one.
    <o:p></o:p>
    #67
  8. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Oddometer:
    2,238
    Location:
    San Francisco, USA
    No riding for those 3 days so I&#8217;m condensing them.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Bob has a one-man shop and so was pretty busy. However, to help us &#8220;travelers&#8221;, he suggested that Teryk would do most of the work while he would give advice, loan special tools and take care of the trickiest parts. Teryk had worked a lot on his bike to prepare this trip but had never got as far as removing the top of the engine but felt confident that with Bob&#8217;s help it would be fine.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The 1<sup>st</sup> day Teryk removed and cleaned everything.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Then, while waiting for the parts we went to Fairbanks to pickup the tires we had ordered and changed them.


    [​IMG]

    For my part I also worked on my bike to change the chain and sprockets, oil and tires. But I was mostly trying to work on the thread to catch up as much as possible. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The parts finally arrived but it was already late on the afternoon so we had to abandon the idea of leaving the next morning to <st1:place w:st="on">Prudhoe Bay</st1:place>.

    [​IMG]

    Time to put the bike back together

    [​IMG]

    And that's when Bob's guidance was invaluable :thumb

    [​IMG]

    It's only at the end of the 3rd day that everything was completely ready and the bike fired up right away :clap. Congrats to Teryk for handling most of the work without making an error!

    Hey what about a quick test ride now? The Dalton Hwy maybe? It's only 1000 miles (roundtrip) with no services :huh.

    A huge THANKS to Bob for helping us so diligently! We feel proud to have him now as a friend :freaky.
    #68
  9. shay

    shay reading is hard

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Oddometer:
    337
    Location:
    Ireland
    Subscribed, this is going to be a great thread :clap
    #69
  10. R-dubb

    R-dubb Dubbious Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2001
    Oddometer:
    5,307
    Location:
    San Francisco
    You guys are awesome. Great job making it all work. :freaky I surrender...
    #70
  11. doc riverz

    doc riverz anatra di seduta

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Oddometer:
    4,353
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    Dear Jean-Luc,
    Greatest. Report. Ever!
    Have fun!
    Dave
    #71
  12. Ooobah-Moto

    Ooobah-Moto Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,809
    Location:
    Toronto / London
    Look's like you guys had an epic ride!!:wink:

    AAA+++ on the report. Awesome pics. Nicely done men:clap
    #72
  13. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Oddometer:
    2,238
    Location:
    San Francisco, USA
    Woke up early this morning but lost a bit of time reshuffling our luggage: we will leave my top case and Teryk’s bag at Bob’s place to be lighter. We keep however our camping gear because we’re not too sure yet how the trip is going to be. This is after all the real test ride after a complete ‘rebuild’ of the 640 engine. But everything was fine after yesterday's quick test ride.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    It’s cold but it’s still sunny: perfect for our last ride towards the North!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    At the gas station Teryk smells coolant on his bike :arg.

    [​IMG]

    Does it means that we have to go back? Could it be a gasket issue again? Luckily it’s just one of the radiator’s hose that was not tight enough. It’s even accessible without removing the tank. Cool!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The first section of the road is paved with some nice turns, then it turns to a hard-packed dirt road. It will alternate sections of dirt and pavement until Cold Foot. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    It feels good to be riding again. The scenery is nice but not special: forests of black spruces mostly. In some sections the trees don’t seem to be in good shape previous fires or harsh conditions :dunno
    <o:p> </o:p> Close to the Artic Circle but still pretty far from Dead Horse.

    [​IMG]

    Other sections are more beautiful with the mix of bright yellow (yes, autumn is coming) and different shades of green. It’s only before Cold Foot that the scenery turns really nice with a view on the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">Andicott</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Mountains</st1:placetype></st1:place>.

    [​IMG]

    Cold Foot is only a truck stop but is very conveniently located right between <st1:city w:st="on">Fairbanks</st1:city> and <st1:place w:st="on">Prudhoe Bay</st1:place> and has all we need: food and gas. There is something wrong with Teryk’s bike that gets a poorer mileage than usual. He had to use the reserve even with it’s 7 gallons tank. My bike at the contrary did it longest run with 236 miles on a tank. It’s true that I had to baby-sit my tires and we kept the speed around 70 mph. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We eat outside; it is surprisingly warm. I’m kind of disappointed by how casual the ride has been so far, it doesn’t feel adventurous enough. :evil <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Here is the pipeline loosely following the road.

    [​IMG]

    It’s already 3:30 PM when we finiah our lunch so we’ll see what the 250 remaining miles (only dirt) have to offer.

    Thirty minutes later the sky becomes threatening.

    [​IMG]

    And surely enough we end up under a heavy rain on a road filled with muddy potholes. Hey, where has our casual ride gone??? Luckily the rain doesn’t last and our fresh knobbies provide great traction.

    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    On our way to Atigun Pass.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    On the other side of the pass the weather improves and the scenery remains beautiful.

    [​IMG]

    Everything is fine and so we decide to push to <st1:place w:st="on">Prudhoe Bay</st1:place> tonight, either camping just before the city or stay in a hotel.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Most of the vehicles are either big trucks or hunters’ pick-ups. They’re mostly hunting the reindeers that we sometimes see from the road. Here is a view of Galbraith Lake.

    [​IMG]

    <o:p></o:p>[​IMG]

    We meet this cool couple from <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Australia</st1:place></st1:country-region> traveling on KLRs.

    [​IMG]

    It seems like the only thing they forgot at home was the kitchen sink. :evil

    [​IMG]

    They tell us about their Prudhoe Bay experience and their disappointment for not being able to touch the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">Artic</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Ocean</st1:placetype></st1:place>. It appears that several polar bears have been seen around and since the visibility was too low they had to stay in the bus, just peeking at the ocean.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    An hour and a half before reaching Dead Horse the sky fills up with very low and dense grey clouds. It’s getting colder and misty. Added to the fatigue of the ride, we’re getting impatient to arrive. We are at low elevation now, it’s flat, with limited vegetation: not really appealing.

    The ray of light at the horizon is where we came from. But facing us was only mist and fog :vardy.

    [​IMG]

    <o:p></o:p>We decide to go to the hotel tonight: it will be expensive but we want to be in the 8 AM ‘tour’, the only way to go to the Ocean. And being already cold and wet, we’re not looking forward to camping.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We’re about 20 miles from Dead Horse when Teryk stops, completely out of gas. I already used my reserve gas can so the only way is for me to get gas at DH and come back with the gas can for Teryk. I so wanted to be done and get dry! Arriving to Dead Horse is quite an experience: it’s dark, foggy, wet and the shapes of the industrial buildings and vehicles seem to come directly from the Blade Runner movie. Finding the fancy gas station is not easy but at least it’s 24/7.

    [​IMG] <o:p> </o:p>

    I get back to Teryk, then we both enter town and check the “Prudhoe Bay Hotel”. At the entrance a group of guys set the tone: “Welcome in Hell!” It looks like it’s the name commonly given by the people living in this town. From what I’ve seen, it’s a well deserved name.<o:p></o:p>

    <o:p> </o:p>
    Problem is: Hell is expensive. The cheapest of the 2 hotels is $90 / person. Damn! And it’s definitely not for the luxury of it:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We feel a bit better when we learn that the price includes any food available while we stay there. The feeling is almost like being in a cargo boat. People day sleeping, cafeteria always open, people wearing heavy rain suits crossing others half naked coming back from the shower. Very special atmosphere. We try to get the most out of it and enjoy a basic dinner then showers and sauna.

    Ambiance...

    [​IMG]

    Those Lysol sprays were everywhere: we had 2 in our room, the rest rooms had several too.

    [​IMG]

    Dead Horse is a "dry town" meaning that no store or bar sells alcohool and if you work here you are also forbidden for bringing any with you.

    [​IMG]
    #73
  14. AntWare

    AntWare Lost In Translation

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2002
    Oddometer:
    16,483
    Road Karma...things always seem to find a way of working themselves out :thumb
    #74
  15. gothamAlp

    gothamAlp happy to be here

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    805
    Location:
    flagstaff and/or tucson, az
    fantistic friggin report. great pix and write-up. thanks, and happy trails :thumb
    #75
  16. boyscout

    boyscout sittin' down

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2001
    Oddometer:
    1,329
    Location:
    Corvallis Oregon
    OK, apologies for being MIA on this thread. I've been too busy reassembling my paint shaker each night while JL does all the heavy lifting on this thread :D

    Here's a few pictures of Jean-luc to help remedy the imbalance.

    One of the reasons JL has been able to put this thread together is he travels with more technology than a cyborg. Here he is working on the thread, while skyping with folks at home.
    [​IMG]

    One of the first things I learned on this trip with JL, is that running short of salt is much worse than running short on fuel.... plus we always dress for dinner.
    [​IMG]

    Here's another picture of the stylish adventurer for his wife at home. :wave
    [​IMG]

    Now back to JL's great photography
    #76
  17. rapiti

    rapiti IOR Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,959
    Location:
    On the island
    How cool is that! "The stars aligned" for you both to make this trip. I am sure you will cherish every moment. Do you think it is timing that has whacked the fuel economy on the 640? Bon journee! or quelque chose like that JL!
    #77
  18. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Oddometer:
    2,238
    Location:
    San Francisco, USA
    :roflI so wish that was true! My 5-year old Vaio is so sluggish that the simplest operation takes hours. :cry My bluetooth headset is pretty cool though :evil.
    #78
  19. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Oddometer:
    2,238
    Location:
    San Francisco, USA
    For 'safety reasons' no one is allowed to access the ocean by himself: you have to go on a bus instead for the 8 miles from Dead Horse to <st1:place w:st="on">Prudhoe Bay</st1:place>. For $37, it’s quite expensive per mile but hey, it’s not only a bus drive, it’s a 2-hours “tour”. So we have to sit at 8 AM to listen to a Safety guard / guide speech followed by a movie. It’s such an obvious propaganda on how careful the oil companies are to protect the environment, how every animal specie has been prosperous in the last years, yadi yada.

    This tour, like everything else around is owned by the oil companies. Except for a few tourists every job and $ is provided by the oil companies so impartiality can hardly be expected I suppose. He described in much detail how they don’t disturb the animals at all. For example “If that 'xyz' bird makes its nest on a vehicle then we have to impound the vehicle for the whole summer.” Hard to believe when some of those vehicles cost millions. Or “You see sometimes a traffic jam in town because you have a few ducks in the middle of the street. We are not allowed to honk or frighten them”. Yeah, right. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Anyway, for him Dead Horse is not ‘Hell’ it’s just a “working environment”, meaning that everybody is either working or sleeping/eating. The 5,000 workers or so have usually 2 weeks shift and then flew back home for 2 weeks. When they work it’s 12 hours a day, every day, sharing their room with someone in the opposite shift. The companies provide the planes and accommodations. If they’re sick they have to leave and are not paid. Same thing if a storm prevents the planes to bring them back to work. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    It was foggy when we finally left for the tour and I was getting worry of not being able to touch the water. The scene, especially with this weather was particularly not attractive: it looked like an organized junkyard. The explanations on the microphone were just hilarious in their own way: “So here is where we clean the polluted gravel, here is a pile of pipes from a bad patch that are being replaced…” Fascinating.

    I took this picture as a joke but other people in the bus took it 'for real' :huh. It's one of the 'highlight of the tour' where the bus stops for a minute: the 'forest' created by the 'Halliburton workers who were missing the trees so much'.

    [​IMG]

    One of the oil drills

    [​IMG]

    Finally we arrive close to the water. Good news, the bears are not around so we can finally do what we came so far to do: touch the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">Artic</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Ocean</st1:placetype></st1:place>!

    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The tour over, we’re really looking forward to get out of this oppressing town and see the sun again! Before to leave though I took a few pictures of the vehicles over there.


    That's in front of the hotel. As you can see our bikes seem a bit out of place :wink:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Those tires are meant to be run around 6 PSI!

    [​IMG]

    See the ducks? The wild life is undisturbed!

    [​IMG]

    The town is mostly built of containers-like blocks.

    [​IMG]

    The weather didn't clear for a long time and it was cold and wet. It was funny to realize that we would only be riding South from now on...

    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]

    One of the 5 or 6 pumping stations along the way. Even if you know that there is nothing 'man made' 1,000 miles on each side of the road, seing the pipeline and those stations make the Dalton Hwy not 'remote' enough.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Despite the clouds the colors were still impressive.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We arrived at 9 pm in Ester, where we stopped at the Golden Eagle again for dinner and drinks.

    [​IMG]

    We’re almost ‘regulars’ now and it feels good after a long riding day to see familiar faces, including Bob who came to join us there.<o:p></o:p>
    #79
  20. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Throttle committed

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Oddometer:
    2,238
    Location:
    San Francisco, USA
    Hey Rapiti! Timing was one of the things we thought about but when we described the bike&#8217;s problem the previous night to Bob he thought it might be a choke issue and he was right! Teryk initially tried to clean the air filter and other things but finally discovered that the rubber end of his choke cable had been broken when he put the carb back in place. So there was a play that was slightly pulling the choke a bit. Not having the part in stock we just used JB Weld to keep the cable in place and the problem was solved.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    It was now time to say goodbye to Ester, Bob and some of the other great people we met:<o:p></o:p>
    - Duke who&#8217;s piloting ex-military planes from the 70&#8217; to cargo fuel and supplies to the remote villages in the West part of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:state w:st="on">Alaska</st1:state></st1:place> where there are no roads at all. It&#8217;s a dangerous job to land on a short runway with a plane loaded with fuel, especially in Winter but Duke just loves it.<o:p></o:p>
    - Dave, a forester and avid hunter and fisherman who so generously invited us for a gourmet BBQ with wild halibut beer battered and reindeer tenderloin.
    - JW who just came back from heading a group of firemen in <st1:state w:st="on">Montana</st1:state> and <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:state w:st="on">Utah</st1:state></st1:place>.<o:p></o:p>

    <o:p> </o:p>
    But first we had to wash our bikes because we heard that the product they put on the <st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Dalton Hwy</st1:address></st1:street> to stabilize the dust is very corrosive.<o:p></o:p>

    [​IMG]

    We arrived late in <st1:place w:st="on">Denali</st1:place> and went first to secure a place to stay. The plan was to stay at the Teklanika campground in order to be able to ride at least 29 miles up the road. We had not made reservations because we try to avoid hard scheduled dates and the park had told us that the 1<sup>st</sup> week of September would be fine. What we didn&#8217;t anticipate though is that we would arrive just for Labor Day weekend! So most of the campgrounds were full and we stayed at the Riley CG, just as the entrance. It was fine BTW and pretty quiet. While making the reservation for the CG we also had to decide in which tour to go since one cannot drive through the Park besides the first 15 miles (except if staying at the
    Teklanika CG). We finally went for the 11 hours tour :huh that goes all the way to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">Wonder</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Lake</st1:placetype></st1:place>, 85 miles further.
    <o:p></o:p>
    #80