Monday, 31 August 2015

Day 27

The next morning I woke early with the sound of some other campers getting ready to leave the campground. However, I was in no such rush and just stayed in my sleeping bag for as long as possible as it was raining and I only had a couple of kilometres to go now that the road was open again.

I did go for a short ride before going to the motel I was booked into where the room was ready so I could check in and relax for the day. Fantastic!

A view of Dease Lake in the crap morning weather.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Day 26

Heading south down highway 37, otherwise known as the Stewart-Cassiar Highway towards my destination for the day, Dease Lake. Unfortunately, due to a tragic accident on the highway just outside Dease Lake, the road has been closed so am now staying at a campground 10km before where I was booked in to stay.

The weather today has been cloudy with rain on and off during the day and stopped raining half hour after I setup my tent, so I went for an evening walk along the shore of Dease Lake and took some photos.

The blue sky was often behind me!

Love it when I see a sign like this...

Dease Lake

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Day 25

An extra day in Watson Lake where I went to the Sign Post Forest and the Northern Lights Centre.
Then washed the bike and checked it over before getting on with blog updates.

Put my own sign up!

Friday, 28 August 2015

Day 24

The weather forecast was more rain and colder temperatures too, oh joy.
And the day did indeed start off very wet but at least I did have a few dry periods were I took advantage to stop and get some photos.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Day 23

It was another day riding in the bloody rain all the way to Whitehorse with no let up. Grrrr.
I did stop at the Yukon Transport Museum hoping that when I had finished it would have stopped raining, but no such luck. I then went to a McDonalds because I wanted to use their free wifi and had a crap meal in there.
My initial plan was to camp but I was so fed up I booked in to another motel. Bugger the budget.
No photos today.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Day 22

To my surprise it was not raining when I woke up so was able to pack up a dry and clean tent.

However once I began to ride, the rain started, only lightly at first but a bit later on I soon wished I had started the day with my waterproofs on!

It was a dull and dreary ride to the Canadian border control and although had to wait a little while it was soon my turn and I was dealt with very quickly. I then continued my journey to Destruction Bay where I checked into a motel for the night.

With the weather being so bad I didn't stop much for photos but after my evening meal it had stopped raining and even some of the low clouds had gone so I made the most of it and went for an evening ride to take some photos.

Destruction Bay in the evening light.

One of the highlighted routes on a Butlers Motorcycle Map.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Day 21

I have had a later start to the day than usual in order to let the worst of the mist clear so I can get some better photos from the 'Top of the World' highway this time when going back over it to Tok, and it paid off.

Top of the World !

The journey did take longer than expected due to a 130 mile detour I made when I decided to check out another place on the way back to Tok which meant setting the tent up when it was starting to get dark. Not a smart move.

Day 20

Today was another rest day in Dawson. I have grown quite fond of Dawson. It old fashioned appearance gives it a nice unique feel to the place.
I checked the bike over, stuck on another couple of stickers, then got caught up with some blog stuff and emails.
I even had time to watch a film on my laptop!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Day 19

From Eagle Plains Hotel I started the days riding in a light rain which wasn't too bad and had not made the road too wet either.
However, as the ride progressed, so the conditions got worse, but we made it back to Dawson City with only a couple of 'Oh Shit' moments!
I found a garage with a jet wash so treated the bike to another clean and top up with gas.

A thin layer of cloud half way up that left the top of a mountain still visible.
Once I got back on the bike I couldn't
get it off the stand because it was leaning to far over. So I had to get off and find a flat rock to put under the side stand first, which then made the seat even higher for me to kick my leg over and the first attempt didn't work with me nearly kicking the bike over.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Day 18

The MacKenzie hotel was OK, but I was not impressed with Inuvik town and glad I decided to spend only one night there.
Todays ride took me back to Eagle Plains where I would spend another night in their basic hotel accommodation.
The ride today was good and it was dry all day which was a bonus, this meant lots of dust, but heh, that's better than the wet stuff.

The MacKenzie Hotel sign was one of those optical illusions which when viewed close up you could see two faces side on together and when viewed from a distance just one complete face.
Yep, that is how interesting I found Inuvik, the signs were more interesting than the place itself.
Waiting for the first ferry of the day to take me across the Mackenzie river.
I bet you was wondering where the picture with my bike was, well here it is, posing in front of a lake!

Friday, 21 August 2015

Day 17

I continued on the Dempster again stopping after about 36km at the Arctic Circle crossing point.
Yes, this is the second time that I have crossed the Arctic Circle on this trip, so I have now crossed it at the only two places it can be done so by road in North America.
The ride continued on to the end of the road which is at Inuvik in Northern Canada.


No, I was not interested in the golf club, just the sign!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Day 16

I had this in my mind for several months that if time allowed, and I got on OK with the Dalton Highway, I might try the Dempster Highway.
After the tough time on the Dalton Highway and then another biker saying that the Dempster is twice as bad, I had decided not to do it.
However, I must have forgotten this decision as today I found myself riding on the Dempster Highway!

The first 170 km were good and relatively easy going, then the surface got worse and wetter too, but eventually I made it to the halfway point at Eagle Plains.

 At the start of the Dempster Highway


Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Day 15

Day in Dawson wondering around taking photos and looking into the riding options for the next few days.

This is where I am staying, The Bunk House.
Not every building is looking good.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Day 14

It was still raining when I went to breakfast at 6am in Fast Eddy's restaurant and didn't stop until I was about 10 miles from Dawson.
The ride today took me on the 'Top of the World Highway' which was part paved and part gravel. Not as rough as the Dalton Highway though, but because of the rain it was a bit slushy and it had less gravel, and more soft sandy stuff.
I briefly stopped at a place called Chicken, but there was nothing at the Café that I could eat so just bought a sticker and got going again.

Border crossing for Canada

Monday, 17 August 2015

Day 13

Today I left Leo's house in Fairbanks and rode to Tok (Alaska).
Leo and his family all made me very welcome and I really appreciated the time there as it made that part of the trip so much better by giving me time to sort things out and the opportunity of leaving un-necessary stuff in Leo's garage while I road the Dalton Highway.
It just proves what other adventure motorcyclists say, 'You meet the nicest of people when travelling'.

Not a long ride today, but I was cold and it was raining towards the end so I booked into a motel for the night and had a feast at the restaurant next door.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Day 12

Another rest day at Leo's.
Checked valve clearances again, all OK. But have a few other issues with the bike after the battering it got on the Dalton Highway.

Leo and I did go for a short ride today and ended up at a really good old American bar for lunch.


Saturday, 15 August 2015

Day 11

An early start at Coldfoot Camp as I needed to get back to Fairbanks to get the bike washed and pick up a few things before getting back to Leo's house.
It was -4 when I loaded the bike up, so I put everything on that would keep me warm! But at least this meant clear skies, so was good for the photos!

And I was thinking my R80ST was big and heavy,,,

Back at the Arctic Circle

Crossing the Yukon river

Back to the start of the Dalton Highway

I think it needs a clean ?

Friday, 14 August 2015

Day 10

The Aurora Hotel that I stayed in at Deadhorse was fantastic, far better than Coldfoot Camp and much more reasonably priced too. After a good breakfast I packed up my things ready to face the challenge of the Dalton Highway once more. After yesterdays tough ride I was a bit apprehensive, especially as it seemed to have rained all night and was still raining in the morning.

The gravel road was very slushy making the ride even more difficult than the day before, I spent a lot of the time standing on the pegs which seemed a better way of riding on the rough and slushy roads, but none of the other motorcyclists I saw were doing this. Each to their own I guess.

Unfortunately, the bike had several issues on the way back and at one point I thought, hell what am I going to do now!

Eventually the weather brightened up enough to encourage me to stop and take some photos.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Day 9

The day started of very damp with mist and low clouds, so I wasn't expecting to see such good views.
For the first 35 miles or so the road surface was paved and in excellent condition, then it changed to a gravel road only this time it was rougher than the gravel roads going up to Coldfoot. As the ride progressed it got wetter making the riding more tricky, especially in the road works areas.

I eventually got to Deadhorse and breathed a sigh of relief.

The R80ST looking dirty.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Day 8

Today I started to ride the very road that this trip was planned on, the James W. Dalton Highway, usually referred to as the Dalton Highway, or as locals call it, the Haul Road.
It begins at the Elliot Highway, north of Fairbanks, (Alaska) and ends at Deadhorse near the Arctic Ocean and the Prudhoe Bay oil fields.

I started riding from Leo's house in Fairbanks to Coldfoot where I stayed at the outrageously priced Coldfoot Camp.
The road was part paved and part gravel which made it an interesting ride with terrific scenery, although it was easier than I expected.

On the way to Coldfoot I also crossed the Arctic Circle.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Day 7

Today is a rest day. Well a rest from riding.
I still have to unpack that wet and dirty tent to clean and dry it out plus check over the bike.

Checked valve clearances and found the exhaust valves closed up a bit.
Stayed another night at Leo's and got some more route planning done.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Day 6

So after staying the night at Dry Creek campground, I again woke to the sound of rain.
But unlike yesterday where we had our tents on a  grass pitch at the Harley campground, today our tents were on dirt with pine needles and this made for a very messy tent that was now soaking wet and dirty so it just got shoved into the stuff sack as quick as possible. This camping lark is not as much fun as I thought, think I might be a fair weather camper!

The ride back to Fairbanks was a very wet and cold ride but eventually we got to Leo's house where he very kindly said I could stay until I was ready to head further north.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Day 5

I awoke to the sound of rain on my tent at the Harley campground. Not what I wanted to hear.
We packed up our tents and planned the route for that day going north towards Fairbanks but planned to divert off to see the Matanuska Glacier.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Day 4

Last night at the Homer Spit campground I met Leo, another motorcyclist who had ridden all the way from Fairbanks to Homer in one day by himself on a Kawasaki Vulcan S cruiser style bike.
We decided to ride north together and stopped at Anchorage where the Harley Davidson dealer lets motorcyclists camp for free on some land near their shop. Perfect!