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$4000 for a picture

Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
13,843
Location
Arlington, TX
Day 4.....




Yep, that's all the pictures of day 4 that I have. You see, it was a particularly nasty day and I didn't pull the camera out one single time. Here, I'll sum it up though. Rainy, nasty, cold, lots of RV's, tons of frost heave, road construction sure, I'll have some of that, more rain, North Pole, search for hotel in Fairbanks for 2 hours, find one, go to bed.

Onward to Day 5!!!!!
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
1,529
Location
South of Houston
Fast forward a day to the next stop - Destruction Bay - which, to me, was the start of the road less traveled and in my top 5 of the places visited

Leaving Whitehorse with full tanks into a light headwind we worked our way up thru a broad valley and then decended into Destruction bay late that afternoon

It was surreal - kind of like dropping into Mordor with the rugged peaks and strange smokey plume at the headland of the bay

The breeze quickened into a gale and we fought our way round the shore of the bay and made our way North

Seeking shelter for the night we stopped at the gas station/motel and were redirected to a camp ground a few miles back south where we go a cabin for the night.

There was something spectacular about the light that evening - perhaps the only time in years I've wished for a better camera and lens. These pics were taken around 10:30 or 11:00pm local time


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Leaving Destruction Bay that morning I lead.....From there to the Alaska border is a riotous stretch of frost heaves, potholes, construction gravel and RV's. I had a blast but probably my mates were doubting my sanity.....

We crossed into Alaska in a scudd of rain and got our coveted passport stamps and with nary a pause hauled ash to Fairbanks where, after some searching, ended up in a Hotel in a downpour

Bike maintance under the portico, laundry, and questionable delivery pizza rounded out our evening & left us all tired and a little disgruntled

The next morning dawned.....dark and rainy ( a common thread for the trip) but we were all eager to get going as we had a date with the circle - our brass ring for the trip

50 miles of paved roads winding Northward and upward to the cross roads and, without a pause, we headed up the Haul road and further North

The Dalton, or haul road, turns to gravel fairly quickly and with sparky in lead we spun tires and took off

Of course a little pit stop half way - to look at the local flora and fauna (In Canada we call this stopping to knock the snow off the tires)

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The road was a slurry of mud, clay and chemicals and left the bikes covered in a crust of corruption

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The last 20 miles were like broaching the gates to Glory. The rain stopped and the brilliant Northern sun appeared and it was like going home to paradise

But we finally made it!!!!!

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We made our way back to Fairbanks and crashed for the night

The following morning we were greated by this sight:eek2:

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Well that's it for now
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
1,501
Location
Houston
Well since the guys are doing such a good job of telling the events, stories and maybe a few little white lies I thought I would just post up some action and mirror shots of them. After all it was all about the ride.

Due to the daily rotation of leading, it turned out that most of the action shots where taken when Bill and I were goofing off at the back to the pack.


Just some hills
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Bill and just some hills
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Bill and some other hills
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Bill going past some water
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Bill with some hills on the right
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Bill at Destruction Bay (I think this is my fav action pic)
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Bill Grand Standing or just standing on his pegs
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Bill on a tough part of the Haul Road
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and then on a not so tough piece of the Haul Road
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Not really an action shot but you can plainly see what Bill is thinking "Are we there YET !!!!"
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Bill just a cruising
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Sparky getting ready to coming along side for his photoshoot
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Sparky and some hills
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Notice how well his rain suit matches his bike
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Is that final drive fluid I see dripping on the road ?
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Sparky some where



Since Sparky does not grand stand he must be airing the boys
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La Moose in his home country
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Moose Racing to Tims
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His best ADVRider pose
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The CADS and some hills
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The sun setting behind us. A sign that the trip is almost over since we are heading East to Calgary :tears:
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Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
1,087
Location
Sugar Land, TX
Thanks for posting those up Graeme! I think those are about the only photos I have of me riding that were taken from along side. I appreciate it!
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
1,087
Location
Sugar Land, TX
Day 13

As usual, we were up early and on the road by 8:30. It was cool and overcast with some of the surrounding mountains shrouded in fog.

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We stopped in Prince George to fuel up, make some phone calls, etc. We were officially back in civilization - convenience stores, fast food places, Tim Horton's, cell phone service, and traffic. While stopped I snapped a few pics of the bikes. The wear and tear was starting to show.

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Classic temporary fork seal repair...

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We continued south along highway 97 through Quesnel and Williams Lake. As we went farther south, the scenery turned from lush green forests to a more arid and barren landscape. It was a sunny day and the temperature was considerably warmer as well. For only the second time on the trip, I shed my jacket liner.

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At one of our stops earlier in the day, we met a family from Scotland, and naturally Graeme had a nice chat with them. We saw them again at a stop later in the day, and the lad wanted a photo on Graeme's bike...

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Later that afternoon, we turned off the main highway at Cache Creek and headed up 97C toward Logan Lake. We were on our way to see the Highland Valley Copper Mine, the second largest open pit mine in North America. Just to give you an idea of the scale of it, this seemingly lovely lake is the tailings pond. It is several miles long and fills the entire valley!

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The dam at the west end of the tailings pond...

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The dam at the east end of the tailings pond...

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Here is a satellite photo of the mine and tailings pond...

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The view of the pond from the overlook...

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Some views of the mine...

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See that little dump truck in the center of the frame?

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Well, it's really not that little...

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This is a display of some of the mining equipment in the town of Logan Lake. The town incidentally was built by the mining company just for the miners. We spent some time taking photos of the huge machinery...

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It was getting late, so we headed on into Kamloops to see about finding a place to stay for the night. We stopped at a bookstore/Starbucks and called around to a few places we looked up in our GPS units, but no luck. We finally headed east out of Kamloops on Highway 1 with the idea of finding the first place that looked like it might have space. The first motel we stopped at had a vacancy sign, but only because they forgot to turn on the "No". We finally found an RV campground a few miles down the road. This was to be our last night camping. The campground had showers and a laundry, so we availed ourselves of those facilities, made dinner, and turned in for the night.

Mileage for Day 13: 466
Total bike mileage to date: 5,086
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
531
Location
Sugar Land
Thanks! I still have a couple of days worth of pics to post. I can't believe it's taken me nearly six months to write this blasted ride report.
:duck:
great job - such a beautiful job with everything -- aren't you glad you made this trip? :rider: :rider: :rider:

can I come next time?:trust: :trust:
 

Bob Dahringer

Forum Supporter
Joined
Jun 22, 2007
Messages
1,915
Location
Sugar Land Tx /NY harbor
Re: Day 12 - July 4th

Much to Bill and Graeme's disappointment, this bit of construction was regulated by a stoplight, and not a flag girl...
I noticed in Manitoba there was a tendency to use really cute girls waving construction sites.....college girls working for the summer..?:ponder:
.....and my pictures are where? :doh: :tears: :shrug:

Great pix, keep em coming. :clap:
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
1,501
Location
Houston
Re: Day 12 - July 4th

I noticed in Manitoba there was a tendency to use really cute girls waving construction sites.....college girls working for the summer..?:ponder:
.....and my pictures are where? :doh: :tears: :shrug:

Great pix, keep em coming. :clap:
Brian tolds us that they even have signs that say STOP and SLOW, can not say that I noticed :rofl:
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
23
Location
Plains, TX
Question for you guys that made this trip? Do you have an idea what the trip cost? You got me thinkin about trying this, the more I think about this more I realize the amount of planning that has to take place for this size of trip.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
1,087
Location
Sugar Land, TX
Question for you guys that made this trip? Do you have an idea what the trip cost? You got me thinkin about trying this, the more I think about this more I realize the amount of planning that has to take place for this size of trip.
Well, the title of the thread would be a good guess. :lol2: Seriously, though, I think for me it was more. I don't remember the exact amount, though. I do recall budgeting about $100/day for meals, lodging, and miscellaneous expenses. For fuel I estimated the miles we would ride, the average mileage for my bike, and calculated how much fuel I would use, then added about 25% for a fudge factor and calculated the cost based on current fuel prices in Canada. Then there was equipment purchases and whatnot, some of which I bought for the trip but will continue using in the future. If you want a complete packing list, you can download an excel file that Graeme put together on the resources page of the web site link in my sig.

When are you planning to go?
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
23
Location
Plains, TX
I thought if I did this it would be next June, thanks for the info.

Driven the Hwy twice, used to live in Alaska, about ten years ago, would love to go back. Do you mind if I PM you if I have other questions?
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
4,622
Location
Jennings,La.
Very good ride report and pictures. Looks like you guys fit well together for your trip. Neat when that happens.
Did any of you keep a daily cost journal? Something I always do/did to keep track for future use and comparison.
Like an '02 trip to Maine was right at 75 bucks a day, an '04 trip to Washington State was 90 per day. and my last long trip to Central California was right at 100 bucks a day. This is all motels and no camping by the way.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
13,843
Location
Arlington, TX
Did any of you keep a daily cost journal? Something I always do/did to keep track for future use and comparison.
I kept one, however it is used mainly for thoughts and such while on the trip. Cost is kind of a moot point, it's going to cost what it's going to cost, so I didn't really bother too much with it.

I think when it was all said and done, it cost me around 4 grand to do. If you factor in the repairs done to the truck to make it road worthy for a trip like this, then add in another $1500, and then if you add in the cost to board my puppies (which I didn't have to do lucky enough), then add another grand to the total.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
1,501
Location
Houston
For me, the actual trip itself was just under $5000 with fuel being exactly half the cost. Obvioulsy it would cost us a lot less if we did the trip today. I wouldn't say we cheaped out on anything but we didn't stay at the Ritz either

I used the trip as an excuse to get a new bike, new helmet, new tent, new..., new.... so I can add another 10K to the total trip cost.

Between planning, pre-runs, tech days, preping the bikes the trip kept me busy for nearly a whole year so spreading the cost over a year makes it pretty cheap

Was it worth ? absolutely worth every penny
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2004
Messages
10,429
Location
Flower Mound
Did any of you keep a daily cost journal?
I kept one, however it is used mainly for thoughts and such while on the trip.
I can see it now...

DFW_Warrior said:
Day 5...
Dear Diary,
Al is the dreamiest! Graeme and Sparky are SO jealous that Al likes me best!
This is the best day ever!

Day 6...
Dear Diary,
I take it back. Shared a tent with Al. He should NOT be allowed to eat any more chili on this trip. My eyes are burning. I think there may be permanent damage.
:rofl:
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
4,622
Location
Jennings,La.
Thankis for the replies on approx trip cost. I hope to do a Retirement Celebration Trip next Summer. Would like to do an over the Great Lakes trip and Central and Lower Alaska then meander myself back down the PCH.
So I was attempting to get a grasp on how much it would cost within 1000 bucks. IE Tire changes and bike service along the way. No camping planned but emergency stuff in case of need.
Again thanks.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
1,087
Location
Sugar Land, TX
Day 14

In the light of morning I had a chance to look around the campground a bit more. This isn't the first sweet looking classic we would see today...

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Our last camp :(

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Heading east...

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Since we were now back in civilization, we availed ourselves of an American classic in Vernon. There were several bikes out front all ridden by lady riders whose husbands were driving the sag wagon.

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Our waitress really had Graeme's number. He made some wise comment and she quickly surmised that he needed "special" treatment - she put a bib on him and brought out his pancakes already cut up in bite-sized pieces!

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After breakfast, we headed east on Highway 6 toward Needles and and the ferry crossing of Lower Arrow Lake to Fauquier.

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A few years ago Graeme had spent an entire summer riding the roads in western Canada, and he had billed these as some of the best in the country. I have to say he was right. We wound our way through steep mountains and lush green forests. There were stretches where we rode for miles where the longest straight-away was only a few hundred yards - it was marvelous! The roads were so twisty that I didn't take very many photos, I had to keep both hands on the bars and concentrate.

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We stopped for a break in the little town of Nakusp. We fueled up and had snacks from the gas station and made a few phone calls.

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I really liked this picnic table that was in the grassy area next to the station...

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After our break, we continued generally southeast on Highway 6 to New Denver, where we picked up Highway 31 east. This took us up over a mountain pass, where we stopped on the way up to check out a waterfall...

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After crossing the pass we descended to Kootenay Lake and rode south along the lake for several miles to Balfour where we boarded the ferry across the lake. This is a long ferry ride of nearly an hour, and the ship has a coffee shop and snack bar. It was nice to get off the bikes and be a passenger for a while and enjoy the incredible beauty of the lake and mountains. I imagine Graeme felt right at home - it felt like scene from a loch in the Scottish highlands.

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On deck I spotted this amazing Jaguar XK-E...

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Once across the lake we headed south to Creston, then turned back west to the mountain town of Trail. Al's in-laws live here, and his kids were staying with them for the summer, so it was a chance for him to reunite with family, even if only for a night. They had an amazing home-cooked dinner for us, real beds to sleep in, real showers, and covered parking for the bikes. It was postively luxurious.

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One of the coolest things about this trip was the different lodging experiences, we were guests in people's homes, we stayed 100-year-old motels, and we camped in the wilderness. It was neat to experience just about all aspects of traveling in one three-week trip.

This was indeed one of the best days of riding, and the twisty mountain roads left us all happy and very tired.

Mileage for day 14: 385
Total bike mileage to date: 5,471
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
1,087
Location
Sugar Land, TX
Day 15

Up early the next morning, we started our final day of riding with a hearty breakfast and fresh coffee courtesy of Al's in-laws. They are awesome people!

I think Al's youngest wanted to go with us...

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We headed west into town to get some gas and stopped at this over look where you can see the valley and the town of Trail...

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We headed back east along Highway 3 where we ascending another high mountain valley with breathtaking views...

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We passed through Creston then picked up Highway 95 north. We stopped in the little resort town of Kimberley where we had lunch and strolled around town for a while. I think they were having a polka festival or something like that...

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I saw this sign, and thought of one of our TWT members. Hey Poser, this is for you...

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From there, we headed north along 95 toward Radium Hot Springs, and stopped at yet another scenic overlook with spendid views of the valley, and the sleeping Moose...

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Yet another immaculate classic...

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Bill was getting a little concerned about his back tire. There were lots of cuts in it, and he wanted to take it easy the rest of the way to make sure we could make it to Calgary...

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At Radium Hot Springs, we turned east into Kootenay and Jasper National Parks. The entrance to Kootenay is a narrow canyon...

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In Kootenay, we crossed the Continental Divide at Vermillion Pass...

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From here it was downhill into Calgary. Heading east, we passed under several wildlife bridges that are designed to let wildlife freely move across the highways without any danger from passing cars. According to Graeme, they spent several million dollars on these and the camera traps they set up at each have yet to show an animal using them.

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The final stretch into Calgary...

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And finishing safe and tired at John's house...

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After a long 15 days of riding, we retired to the corner pub for some beers and dinner.

Mileage for day 15: 400
Total bike mileage to date: 5,871
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
1,087
Location
Sugar Land, TX
Epilogue

The remainder of the trip consisted of loading up the truck and trailer and the long drive back to Texas. We had some 2,200 miles to sit quietly and contemplate what we had just done. I think we each learned something about ourselves on the trip. Personally, I had a lot of time on the bike to think about my life and my priorities. I know that I returned a changed person. It is only now, six months later, that the impact of this journey on my life is coming into focus. I won't go into those details here, suffice it to say that my life is profoundly different.

When we returned my wife helped me put this image together of all of the SPOT tracks from Houston to Alaska and back to Houston. I'm not sure of the exact total mileage, but it is somewhere close to 10,000. When seen from this view, it is truly amazing. North America at ground level is the journey of a lifetime.

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This concludes my portion of the story. Thanks for reading.

P.S. I finished the ride report before the end of 2008 - just barely! :rider:
 
Last edited:

Duke

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2005
Messages
4,620
Location
The Woodlands & Woden, TX
Re: Epilogue

Personally, I had a lot of time on the bike to think about my life and my priorities. I know that I returned a changed person. It is only now, six months later, that the impact of this journey on my life is coming into focus. I won't go into those details here, suffice it to say that my life is profoundly different.
I have enjoyed this report and am truly envious of y'alls journey. One day I too will make that trek.

As for the life impact, I only hope that it is for the positive.

Thanks for taking us along.:clap:

Duke
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
1,087
Location
Sugar Land, TX
Re: Epilogue

I have enjoyed this report and am truly envious of y'alls journey. One day I too will make that trek.

As for the life impact, I only hope that it is for the positive.

Thanks for taking us along.:clap:

Duke
You're most welcome. The life impact is very positive. I'm probably happier and more content now than I have ever been in my life. Thanks for the comments!
 
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