Two Bob's Alaska 2016 - 30days/12k miles in pictures

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DYNOBOB, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. Irons593

    Irons593 Adventurer

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    Thanks so much for taking the time to put this together and post all these amazing photos.
    Great Job!!
  2. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    You know, I've watched the Kilcher show and wondered where it was located. Wish I would have known. I was aware of the McCarthy show (never watched it) and a guy walked in the Roadside Potatohead who came off like everyone should know who he was. I think he was driving the VW bus.


    Thanks man!

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  3. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    You're welcome...and glad you're enjoying it!

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  4. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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  5. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Monday Sept 12. Bell 2 to Hyder to Meziadin Campground. 160 miles.

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    It's a frosty 30 degrees this morning as I walk around Bell 2 for some pics. This is as ritzy a place as you will find out here. Rooms aren't cheap and even the camping was pushing $50. The shower house was first class though, with a supply of clean shower mats for you to step out on.

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    Given the number of bears we saw in the last 30 miles last night, I'd heed the warnings.
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    More beautiful road today. We're two weeks from the "winter tire" date..
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    Rt. 37a is a spur off of 37 (Cassiar) that takes you to Stewart, BC and Hyder, AK. It's a gorgeous road that winds between the mountains and passes the Bear Glacier.

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    Stewart and Hyder are tiny little towns.
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  6. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    You leave Stewart and pass around the bay to reach Hyder.

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    Looking back toward Stewart.
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    There is no Customs entering Hyder, only when you exit.
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    We covered 900 miles the last two days so we can have some time to hang around the famous bear watching platforms in Hyder, AK. We know the salmon are still running so our hopes are high.

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    Alas, lots of fish but no bears. The ranger informs us that the bears are burned out on fish at this point and they're down to about 1-2 bear sightings a day. We debating camping down the street to see what happened as it got dark (and in the morning). However it's calling for rain in the morning, so we shoved off about 5pm and decided to make the 50 mile run to Meziadin campground.

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    The Meziadin decision was a good one. We arrived and grilled some burgers with a fantastic view and a beautiful sunset.

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  7. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Tuesday Sept 13 and Wednesday Sept 14. Meziadin to Prince George, BC to Jasper, AB. 405 + 240 miles.

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    Tuesday was the least remarkable day of the trip. The remaining 100 miles of the Cassiar from Meziadin to its terminus at Rt 16 is not bad, but Rt 16 has a totally different feel. You're passing thru a lot of towns and it very much resembles driving thru Kentucky or Tennessee for the 300 miles to Prince George. Wednesday was better as the section of Rt 16 from Prince George to Tete Juane Catche is nearly uninhabited. Do not forget to fuel up in Prince George! I skipped fuel thinking there would be gas every 30 miles like there had been yesterday and had to add my 1gal Rotopax to the Wing to make it to McBride. It was the only time on the trip we had to use our spare gas/diesel.

    Meziadin is a little fogged in this morning, glad I took pics last night!

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    The Gitanyow Indian Reservation is at the intersection of the Cassiar/Rt 16. There was a cool display of totem poles (that I should have taken pics of) and this forlorn looking church.

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    We pulled over in Smithers and made sandwiches for lunch.
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    Prince George is a large city that feels like any downtown urban area in the Lower 48. We hit Walmart for supplies, and had dinner at a McDonalds where because of the vagrants hanging around you had to be buzzed into the restroom by the order counter. We escaped 10 miles south on Rt 97 to get away from town and camped at MaMa Yeh campground. It's a new facility and the oriental gentleman that owns it has put a nice amount of infrastructure (water/sewer/elec) in already and is planning more improvements. Hopefully this includes a shower house as we're doing another stretch of 3 days between showers.

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  8. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Wednesday we got up and beat feet toward Jasper Natl Park. The forecast for Thursday looks fantastic on the Icefields Parkway so we're hoping to finish this trip on a high note.

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    The scenery gets spectacular as you near Jasper.

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    Tonight we'll stay at Whistlers Campground just a few miles south of Jasper. Whistlers and Wapiti campgrounds are both really nice facilities and even this late in the season are nearly booked. There were no full-service hookups available so we took a primitive site. After 3 days showerless, we were happy just to get cleaned up.

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  9. Merfman

    Merfman Trustin' my cape...

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    Awesome report, thanks for bringing back some memories. At Bell2, I met this young lady on a bicycle. She was pedaling out as we were leaving. Intrigued, I had to hear her story. Everyone has a story in AK. I rode over and asked where she was headed. "North" was the reply. She was headed north until the weather got bad enough that she had to turn back. I asked where she was from "Washington. I left in May" - she'd pedaled that distance by mid July. She was headed north on the Cassiar, solo, with all her gear/food through some pretty ferocious and desolate terrain. She said she'd cover 20-30 miles a day. She was a good 3-4 days away from civilization. In awe, I wished her the best in her travels and bade farewell. She persists as one of the hardiest adventurers we encountered, true ballsy get out and discover life adventure IMO.

    Secondly, you should have made the trip out to the Salmon Glacier when Hyder, it was one of the biggest highlights of my trip. The IFP was socked-in, snowing and raining (Yes, in July) when we passed through so I must return there... someday.

    Thanks for the report, I'm enjoying it immensely!
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  10. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Thanks Merf. You know, I'd intended to visit Salmon Glacier but at that point I think I was suffering from glacier overload. Also I didn't feel like unloading the Husky or making the 30 mile gravel ride on the Wing.

    Taking the time to talk to folks while you're on trips can be one of the most memorable/rewarding parts of the trip. Visiting with our friends in Fairbanks, the repair guys in Prudhoe, and Alcan Rider will always stand out for Dad and I.

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  11. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Thursday Sept 15. Whistlers Campground to Etherington Campground. 290 miles


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    Well the end of the trip is near. :( However, we're finishing on a high note with a perfect day of weather on the Icefields Parkway! :-) After fueling up in Jasper we head south for Lake Louise.

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    The road was built right thru this awesome rock flow.
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    The recently constructed Glacier Skywalk, a glass floored viewing platform, is part of the Columbia Icefields tourist business. It's a very congested area so I stopped down the road and hiked back up for some pics.

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    Walking back to the bike...
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    Nearing the Columbia Icefields Visitor Center.
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    The outflow of the Columbia Glacier.
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  12. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    We didn't stop to take the giant bus ride up to the glacier this time but we did in our '13 trip. Here a couple pics to give you an idea.

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    There are glaciers everywhere in this area.
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    Leaving Jasper NP and entering Banff NP.
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    Looking south from Sunwapta Pass.
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    Just below the pass.
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    This one is my desktop right now.
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    Peyto Lake overlook, I stood here 26 days ago.
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    Icefields Pky upper right.
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    Last shot on the Icefields Parkway.
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  13. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Finally, after two prior attempts, we're going to drive Hwy 40 thru Kananaskis Country this evening. On our 2013 trip Hwy40 was closed due to flooding, and on the way north this trip we made the mistake of thinking it would be faster to go thru Calgary (a word of advise, DO NOT go thru Calgary unless you have a reason. There are no interstate routes thru the city, only surface streets, and it was SLOW). The Kananaskis Trail (Hwy 40) on the other hand is a fantastic road. Being that it's closed for the winter, there's a good chance of seeing wildlife. Its beautifully paved with very little traffic and we're going to camp just off the road at Etherington Campground tonight. (Note: Hwy 40 is a continuous road all the way to Longview)

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    We were loosing light/trying to get to camp and only took a couple pics. It's a fantastic road though! :-)


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    Etherington is a primitive campground about 5 miles up a gravel logging road and was nearly deserted. It closed for the season 3 days after we were there. This is a very remote area and the bear threat felt more present here than maybe anywhere we stayed on the trip.

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  14. stevee

    stevee Been here awhile

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    I was there two years ago with the wife and some friends - we flew into Calgary and drove west over the Rockies, ending up on Vancouver Island for three days before flying home from Vancouver - three weeks later.
    Fantastic weather, epic scenery, and the best holiday I've ever had.
    We are going back next year for more of the same.

    Steve
  15. infinityjellyd

    infinityjellyd Been here awhile

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    Excellent report, Bob. :thumb Makes me regret not tacking Alaska onto the front end of my trip. Guess I'll have to add AK to the list of future journeys.


    Ride safe and keep posting those beautiful pics!
  16. chrome bandit

    chrome bandit Wide footed adventurer

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    What a great RR - loved the photos and stories. Nicely done. I covered many of the same roads 5 years ago, even with the Aerostich 3 fingered overmitt, so it's great to see this from another set of eyes with such fantastic weather.

    Thank you for sharing!
  17. Phoenix101

    Phoenix101 Long timer

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    GREAT RR!!! Many places we have been over the past couple of years... Someday we will make the trip into Alaska as we have only gone to Hyder and then up to the Salmon Glacier... and there were no bears feeding for us either. Did you eat at the Bus in Hyder? GREAT food!


    We have had challenges with bears (as my wife sees one and says, "nope not camping here either") and yes the rooms at Bell 2 are expensive!

    One year we ran into this threesome.

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  18. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Definitely keep AK on your bucket list! Lot's of good fly and ride options if you can't devote weeks to getting there...

    If you go back, check out Hwy 31a between New Denver and Kaslo - fantastic road. Also, Ainsworth Hot Springs is a great place to overnight. And of course the Kananaskis Trail...

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  19. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Thanks Craig, I remember reading your RR a few yrs ago. It and others convinced me to try and avoid the skeeters by going later in the season.

    Those 3 finger gloves have kept my hands dry where everything else has failed.


    Unfortunately "The Bus" had closed for the season, a bummer since I was planning to have lunch there that day. Run-A-Muck campground was also closed - pretty much all of Hyder was a ghost town actually.

    Besides the crawling in/out of tents, Dad was concerned about bears (hence the camper) - I pointed out that in all the ride reports I've read no one has been eaten by a bear. When I ask the 6yr old in avatar if he wants to go to CO next summer "No, they have bears and rattlesnakes in Colorado!". We're working on that...

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  20. Phoenix101

    Phoenix101 Long timer

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    "Dad was concerned about bears (hence the camper) - I pointed out that in all the ride reports I've read no one has been eaten by a bear...."

    We carried bear spray (we nearly used it while traveling the Dempster) and legally carry a 12 gauge... it does not matter as we will ride all DAY AND NIGHT to find a motel... and we have spent $200 bucks for a crappy room just so the wife sleeps "with four walls and a door" but I am happy as I have a riding partner