Posts for July, 2018


Canada Day (Whitehorse, YT)

Journal entry for Sunday 1st Jul, 2018 (day 9, miles 1627)

I plan on spending the next two nights in Whitehorse in a hotel. This will give me a days rest from sitting on the bike, an opportunity to do a bit of planning for the next leg to Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk and get some food and a means of carrying some extra fuel. When Nina and I originally put this rest day in the schedule we did not really notice that today, July 1st, is Canada's national day. Hence when I arrived in Whitehorse this morning a little after 11:00 am the Canada Day Parade was ending.

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Yukon Rivers (Moose Creek, YT)

Journal entry for Tuesday 3rd Jul, 2018 (day 11, miles 1932)

I dithered about in Whitehorse a bit this morning before getting underway. I had to buy one of those red plastic fuel containers and then figure out how to attach it to the bike. I had expected to get a 2 gallon container but of course I should have realized all containers here would be metric so the choice was 5 liters (1.25 gals) or 10 liters (2.5 gals). After way too much deliberation I went with the 10 liter variety. Strapping it to the bike required a set of 4 lime green tie-down straps 3 of which were surplus to requirements; thus my load of unnecessary items is increased.

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Glorious Day (Eagle Plains, YT)

Journal entry for Wednesday 4th Jul, 2018 (day 12, miles 2278)

I could not get out of the campground fast enough this morning, I don't really like mosquitoes. Rather than hit the road I headed back towards Whitehorse about half a mile to Moose Creek Lodge for todays installment on the Traditional Yukon Breakfast; it also was good and too big. Thereafter I hit the road to Dawson City. The weather was glorious. Bright sun with temperatures sometimes in the high 70s. So I was keen to get to Dawson City to gas up and then head up the Dempster Highway with the hope of getting to Eagle Plains; the first fuel stop on the Dempster and about half way to Inuvik.

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Not so Glorious (Eagle Plains, YT)

Journal entry for Thursday 5th Jul, 2018 (day 13, miles 2372)

It was raining gently this morning as I pulled up to the gas pump to fill up for what I hoped would be a long day to Inuvik. I did not know it at the time but the guy that pumped the gas was prophetic as he said "you should not be going north in this weather". Yesterday was my introduction to gravel, today it was an introduction to mud. The first few miles were very tentative but within an hour the rain eased a bit and by the time I got to the rest area and monument for the Arctic Circle (25 miles from Eagle Plains) I was beginning to get hopeful.

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Retreat (Dawson City, YT)

Journal entry for Friday 6th Jul, 2018 (day 14, miles 2621)

Today my retreat from Eagle Plains was mostly uneventful. There was a dense cloud cover with some mist in the valleys but fortunately no rain. The road was mostly dry so my gravel experience of two days ago was helpful. The cloud and consequence poor light rendered the scenery less of a post card and more of a bland grey mush. But as I have learned to do from other adventures I took the time to stop regularly to take a mental picture my surroundings. There is a good chance I will never be back to this place.

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Top of the world (Tok, AK)

Journal entry for Saturday 7th Jul, 2018 (day 15, miles 2807)

I spent a little time in the downtown area of Dawson City this morning, noting the touristification that has taken place since we were last here. Main Street is now looking pretty cute and up market but the "behind" streets are still pretty basic and unpaved.

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Wind (Fairbanks, AK)

Journal entry for Sunday 8th Jul, 2018 (day 16, miles 3040)

I thought today would be an easy 200 mile ride into Fairbanks. It started out warm though a bit windy and initially I spent time stopping to get some photos of The Alaskan Range. But as the day progressed the wind picked up and by late morning a howling wind (mostly a cross wind that demanded careful attention while riding), lots of dust turned the ride into a survival event.

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New tires (Fairbanks, AK)

Journal entry for Monday 9th Jul, 2018 (day 17, miles 3040)

I got talking to one of the owners of the B and B that I am staying at yesterday and discovered that, he is a keen motorcyclist, has bicycled and mountaineered in South America, owns a Unimog and was able to give the name of a local guy that does motorcycle maintenance and provides parts and service. The web site for this local guy is http://www.advcycleworks.com/. Today he (Dan the owner of AdvCycleWorks) fitted two new tires and gave my bike an oil change. I should note that Fairbanks has a BMW Motorrad dealer but they are closed on Mondays.

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The Dalton (Coldfoot, AK)

Journal entry for Tuesday 10th Jul, 2018 (day 18, miles 3290)

To get started on the Dalton Highway one has to drive (or in my case ride) about 80 miles along the Elliot Highway north from Fairbanks. The Elliot is reasonable quality paved country road so that 80 miles is no big deal, just a bit tedious, because one is keen to "get started" on the great adventure to Deadhorse.

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Tesing my limits (Deadhorse, AK)

Journal entry for Wednesday 11th Jul, 2018 (day 19, miles 3525)

I felt very lucky this morning when I looked out on a bright sunny day. Maybe, I thought, I would have good weather all the way to Deadhorse. Yeh, right. But I was not to know the truth for a while. North from Coldfoot the road is paved for about 35 miles and one starts to get views of the Brooks Range even before the pavement ends. So note to future travelers. Go North of Coldfoot a bit as the road is paved for a while and the views are good (provided the weather is OK).

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A relief, or good luck (Coldfoot, AK)

Journal entry for Thursday 12th Jul, 2018 (day 20, miles 3770)

Last night at dinner I met a German guy who had flown in to Deadhorse with a bicycle in an airline box ready to start a bicycle expedition to Panama. I say ready but that is a qualified term as he did not have any food and planned on buying supplies in Deadhorse. The hotel staff did not quite laugh at him but close. I waved him on his way this morning as he was up and ready to start riding much earlier than I was ready to depart. Before getting underway I needed to get fuel and I wanted to have a look around the town. This is another one of those take a note of where you are and what you are seeing as you will probably never be back here again. I noticed a number of motorcycles around the town and took a few photos as reminders, as well as bought some "stickers" for the bike at the General Store. Then it was hit the road time.

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Done the Dalton (Fairbanks, AK)

Journal entry for Friday 13th Jul, 2018 (day 21, miles 4050)

There is not much to say about today. The weather was good, the roads mostly dry and riding easy. The only record of the trials of the struggle to Deadhorse was the mud covering my motorcycle. For the first few hours this morning there were noticeably large numbers of rabbits and prairie dogs on, and beside, the road. I don't know why. But that's why the rabbit photo.

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