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Fort Worth, Alaska, Tuktoyaktuk 2018

Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Messages
92
Location
Fort Worth
First Name
Ed
Last Name
Hess
June 21, 2018 Thursday 10:09 pm
Interstate 70 Frontage Rd, Fruita, CO 81521, USA | 86°F (This data comes from the cell app I used to journal. I was not here?? it is often incorrect based on cell reception. This is bizarrely random.)

395 miles today. The Campbell Highway remained isolated and deserted today... except for a massive road building effort near Watson Lake. Pilot Vehicle led me through 10km of sand. Fortunately, most of it was wet. Still a big pucker factor mess. Saw a porcupine.

Did shopping in Watson Lake. Met a First Nation couple and their young daughter, Amelia. Amal was his name. He said they were carpenters. I talked with them a long time. He invited me to come back and he offered to take me fishing or hunting. He said he could take me on his jet boat on the river. This guy was really welcoming and friendly. As I pulled away he said God bless you.

Started down the Cassier Highway. Asphalt surface with some fun twistys. It is also an isolated road. I did see half a dozen black bear. First leg was 165 miles for the first gas. I made it.

Went to Dease Lake with the idea I would get a room in the hotel there. No Bueno. Only hotel was full at 4:00 in the afternoon. I was on vapors so I got gas and back tracked 5 miles to a campground I had passed. It is right on the lake. My camp is on a high bank overlooking the lake. Beautiful spot although there is no drinking water. The out houses were spotless.

Met Frank and Sharon RVing from Denver. Met Ian from Calgary, car camping with his wife. He has a KTM 300 EXC. We talked bikes and riding for a good while. I don't think his wife liked that too much. He said there is a large group of dual sport riders in Calgary.

No water in the campground but the old guy running the place let me fill my camelbak at the sink in his RV.

Rain drops drove me into the tent. It was close to my bed time anyway. Drizzled for a few minutes then stopped.

Charging batteries and electronics is driving me nuts. All this 5 volt USB stuff is not durable enough for harsh environments. Neither the phone or the Inreach is charging correctly in its cradle or plugged in direct. Batteries for the video constantly have to be changed and charged. Arrrggh!!

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These were everywhere in the remote areas of Canada. Everyone I visited was spotless. Usually the mosquitos would try to carry you away at these spots.

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From the shore of Dease Lake in front of my campsite.

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Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
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Messages
45,963
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Huntsville
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Scott
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Friday
I use one of these,

https://www.amazon.com/RG1000-INTELLIBOOST-Charging-Emergency-Motorbikes/dp/B07HRYTHW7/?tag=twowhetex-20

It charges from a 12V socket on the bike and sits in my tank bag while I am riding. If needed, I can plug stuff into it to charge while I am riding, but more often I would use it to charge the phone and camera at night. In a pinch, it will jump start the bike. I've even jump started my RAM 1500 5.7L HEMI with it and had 70% charge left afterward (was 100% when I started).
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Messages
92
Location
Fort Worth
First Name
Ed
Last Name
Hess
I use one of these,

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HRYTHW7/?tag=twowhetex-20

It charges from a 12V socket on the bike and sits in my tank bag while I am riding. If needed, I can plug stuff into it to charge while I am riding, but more often I would use it to charge the phone and camera at night. In a pinch, it will jump start the bike. I've even jump started my RAM 1500 5.7L HEMI with it and had 70% charge left afterward (was 100% when I started).
I carried the Motion Pro motorcycle jumper cables with me. I think your solution is the better, more versatile option.
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
1,245
Location
Austin
First Name
Jeff
Those little battery / jump starters are amazing. I have one by 'anti-gravity' and they are so handy to have. The one I have charges via USB (probably slower than a 12v charger), then use it camping at night to charge devices, flashlights, etc. They easily jump-start BIG engines, so turning over a bike should be trivial (though I've only used it on cars).
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Messages
92
Location
Fort Worth
First Name
Ed
Last Name
Hess
June 22, 2018 Friday 07:29 pm
Telkwa, BC V0J 2X0, Canada | 72°F

388 miles today. Odometer 7355. Finished the Cassier Highway today. Immediately I am thrust back into civilization. Cities and cars and people. Sigh! Camping in Lake Tyhee Provincial Park just south of Smithers, BC.

Based on my best weather guess, I called ahead for a cabin tomorrow night. Tete Jaune Lodge - Campground.

Today I met Takashiti (probably not spelled correctly) from Japan. He left Japan 3 years ago on an around the world tour. After Alaska and northern extremes, he will ship his bike to Chile to continue. Nice, soft spoken guy. We mostly talked bikes and tires. He complained that hotels were expensive in Canada and the USA. I agreed. He camped much of the time.

Saw lots of bears today but didn't get any good pictures. Video camera continues to be a pain. If it isn't bugs, it's batteries.

Met a young couple today that had worked at a whale research center off of Vancouver Island. They were young, idealistic and very interesting people.

Bike seems to have mysteriously stopped using oil. It could be that I am just riding more conservatively. The speed limit in Canada is never more than 100kmh (61mph). I usually hover between 60 and 65. Inreach says my trip average is 57mph. I am even impressed. (later discovered that was not correct)

Twice today there was no gas where there was supposed to be. Had to use my extra can. I have used it every day since Wyoming.

It is warm here. The wind is blowing medium to strong. I suspect it will cool considerably tonight.

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Takashiti from Japan on a 700 Yamaha Tenere (not available in the states). He had been touring the world for 3 years.

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Yet another glacier.

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This trip story would be incomplete without this picture. Ever present, these diabolical creatures are a persistent source of minor irritation.

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Picnic tables in Lake Tyhee Provincial Park had a nice polyurethane finish. Cooking sauteed onions and jalapenos with canned chicken to be served on tortillas. I have a camp cooking segment in the video that covers this meal.

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Really nice camping at Lake Tyhee Provincial Park.
 
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Tourmeister

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When you are all done with the report, it would be cook to see a break down of all the stuff you packed. It is common for people to set out on trips like this with too much stuff, which they they pack up and ship home once they decide they don't really need it. Did you experience that? Anything you wish you had packed that you didn't?
 

JQ1.0

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Feb 15, 2013
Messages
405
Location
Graham, Texas
When you are all done with the report, it would be cook to see a break down of all the stuff you packed. It is common for people to set out on trips like this with too much stuff, which they they pack up and ship home once they decide they don't really need it. Did you experience that? Anything you wish you had packed that you didn't?
Yep, I'd like to see also.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Messages
92
Location
Fort Worth
First Name
Ed
Last Name
Hess
Yes, I had a small folding or collapsible chair that I carried the whole way based on the suggestion from a more experienced traveler. For me I never took it out of the bag. I did not need it. I also did not have a good provision for carrying extra oil. Next time I will add some tanks like you see above on the rear of the panniers on Takashiti's Yamaha. And, the big mistake, which I mentioned already was I needed warmer base layers. At your suggestion I will compile a list.
 
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Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Messages
92
Location
Fort Worth
First Name
Ed
Last Name
Hess
June 23, 2018 Saturday 10:12 pm
11957 L'Heureaux Rd, Fraser-Fort George H, BC V0E 2Z0, Canada | 64°F

Second time this crazy journal app has lost all I typed. Arrrggh. It is probably operator error.

392 miles today. 7746 on the odometer. Today I saw the return of telephone poles, fences, farms, crops and livestock. In the cities there are people, Kentucky Fried Chicken and 7 Elevens. I did not see a bear today for the first time in two weeks. Sigh.

Beautiful day with perfect weather. I took a little cabin at Tete Jaune Lodge - Campground. The cabin is unremarkable in every way but the location, especially the restaurant, is fantastic. The restaurant is on the bank of the Fraser river at the base of snow capped mountains. Wow! I had some great multi berry pie with an odd name. Like Bumbleberry but that is not what they called it. Orgona maybe?

Had to put a little dab of oil in the bike. I should not have bragged about it.

Need some way to record my thoughts while I ride. I get inspiration and then it's gone when I try to recall it to record it here. When I return I will investigate voice recording apps. I just do not want to add any more complexity right now.
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Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Messages
92
Location
Fort Worth
First Name
Ed
Last Name
Hess
June 24, 2018 Sunday 08:07 pm
Lat: 50.332, Long: -114.626

326 miles today. 8073 on the odometer. Mind blowing, sensory overload kind of day. Jasper and Banff National Parks in one day. Took mostly video after I had stopped for a dozen times to take pictures. I only have about a hundred mountain photos.

The farther south I came the more traffic I encountered. Cars, RVs and people everywhere. Highway turned into a busy freeway. Get me out of here. I thought I would be okay once I got to Canmore and got off. Not!

Totally surprised by the mass number of people going up the gravel road at Canmore. Very heavy traffic. Turns out a couple lakes up there are the go to place to be for weekenders from Calgary. I passed about 30 cars when I could.

Finally got past the mayhem and then went a long way with nothing. I had lost an hour today because of the time change and then I had stopped more times than any other day, mostly just taking pictures. I thought I was just going to have to hunker down somewhere. Finally came across Ederington Creek Campground. All spots were reserved only. It's Sunday evening and the place is almost empty. I talked the guy into letting me stay. $26 Canadian and there isn't even any drinking water. The guy slipped the money I handed him into his shirt pocket. Somehow I didn't care

This will likely be my last night in Canada this trip. I am fighting the misconception that once I am back in the States I will just fly right on home. Still looks like next Saturday or Sunday. Still, I imagine I will magically make up time. Hard to sit on the bike much longer each day and still camp. I expect I will take rooms when I hit the heat. I may be able to go longer then. Ya, right.

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Small stream ran just thirty or so feet from my tent site. I like to sleep hearing the babble of flowing water.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Messages
92
Location
Fort Worth
First Name
Ed
Last Name
Hess
I did give the guy my business card and asked him to e-mail me. He did not offer contact information and I have not heard from him.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Messages
92
Location
Fort Worth
First Name
Ed
Last Name
Hess
June 25, 2018 Monday 09:01 pm
Lat: 46.336, Long: -113.305

411 miles today. 8484 on odometer. Back in the USA today. Took a room in Philipsburg MT at the Inn At Philipsburg. Really nice little place for only $56. The woman even let me put the bike in a shed. I went to the Sinclair service station/restaurant for dinner. Rode there in the afternoon rain showers. Stopped raining when I got there. Had really good herb roasted chicken breast. Best of all, cherry pie.

Phone and Inreach are not charging. Phone barely functions at all. I transferred as much as I could to paper maps. I do not have a Colorado or Texas map. Didn't think I would need them. Other phone doesn't have the GPS apps. Does have Google maps.

Have calculated my ETA. Pretty sure I can make it home Saturday. It is 336 a day so I think I can do that for sure. 420 a day for Friday. Might make three 400 mile days and a long 480-mile day. We'll see.

Really needing a do nothing day.

(I guess I only took video today)

June 26, 2018 Tuesday 06:03 pm
925 Wilson St 1, Pinedale, WY 82941, USA | 76°F

426 miles today. 8910 miles on the odometer. Took a room at the Lodge at Pinedale in Pinedale Wyoming. Lady at the desk gave me a room with a window where I could park the bike. I did not ask, she just offered it up.

Another perfect day. The early morning riding is my favorite. Lots of beautiful back roads. Some curvy, twisty asphalt and some rugged dirt. The dirt had ruts to evidence that they may have been significantly more difficult in the rain.

Fishing access after fishing access. Fred (my brother and avid fly fisherman) would have a heyday in these endless mountain streams.

Saw the Tetons from the Idaho side today. I passed over Teton Pass.

Serious homeward planning now. Not looking forward to the heat. May make a push for home with an early start Friday morning.

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Tetons from their western exposure.

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Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Messages
92
Location
Fort Worth
First Name
Ed
Last Name
Hess
June 27, 2018 Wednesday 08:59 pm
297 US Hwy 285, Fairplay, CO 80440, USA | 71°F

434 miles today. 9344 miles on the odometer. About 75 miles of fairly smooth dirt road this morning in Wyoming. Day got significantly warmer by mid-morning. Had to shed everything I could.

Made it to Breckenridge in good time and started up forest road 355 to Georgia pass. It got rough right away. Soon it was very steep and rough with several long sections of nothing but baby head rocks. It was hot and I was plain exhausted. Did I mention I was at high altitude? This Is after 9 hours and 400 miles on the bike that day. I went a few miles in the rough, rocky steep. The gearing on the bike was demanding I torture the clutch more than I like. It was finally obvious. The mountain won on this day. I could not maintain the physical requirements to continue. At 10,740 feet I turned around, put my little tail between my legs, and coward down the mountain. Later looking at the Inreach map, I realized I was actually pretty close to the pass. Of course the last bit is always the steepest.

I continued south in search of a place to stop. I took a room in Fairplay at the River Side Inn.

My hands are seriously numb. Feet are but they recover each night after being horizontal. My whole body is just about done. I really need a day to do nothing.

Not crossing that pass meant I had to reroute. I picked a mostly direct route with all highway. Into damage control now. I booked a room in Amarillo for tomorrow night already. It will take much to make that. I need to be home.

June 28, 2018 Thursday 03:05 pm
1700 Interstate 40 Access Rd, Amarillo, TX 79103, USA | 97°F

436 miles today. 9780 miles on the odometer. Got up at 4:00 am and was on the road at 5:30. That's after filling with gas. Made Amarillo by about 2:30 pm. Staying in a LaQuinta next to, of course, a Denny's. It was 97 degrees when I arrived

High winds were the challenge today. Coming down the panhandle, the cross wind to head wind of course jostled me around some. The unexpected issue was my left foot. The cross wind directed the engine and exhaust pipe heat to roast my foot. Normally that heat passes out the rear and goes unnoticed unless I sit still in traffic. First time I experienced that phenomenon.

My hands and feet are taking a beating. I intentionally move my hands around as much as possible. I even tried using my left hand to operate the throttle. I was able to master throttle control immediately. Unfortunately, I could not overcome pushing the bars the wrong way first before correcting. I guess I have done it too long. Now it is just automatic.

I got to the room, took a shower and vegged out for a long time. The heat is debilitating not to mention the miles.

I ate at Denny's. Not too bad. I am going to bed at 6:15. Alarm set for the first time of the trip, 3:00 am.

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Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Messages
92
Location
Fort Worth
First Name
Ed
Last Name
Hess
June 29, 2018 Friday 11:21 am
Fort Worth, TX 76133, USA | 94°F

Home! 349 miles today. 10,129 total for the entire journey. How do I conclude this?

I was on the road by 3:50 am. I arrived a little after 10:00 am. The best thing is I managed to dodge the debilitating heat. The bad news is I-35 through Fort Worth still sucks. I am very happy to be home. Sharon is at work. I can't wait to see her.

I have lived with a profound attitude of praise and mystical adoration for God. I have exalted His Glory by daring greatly. I felt His good pleasure.

I did not drive or ride in a car for a month. I did not watch TV for a month. No computer for a month. I only ate two meals a day for a month. I could go on.

The trip was harder than I thought. My body is whooped. I am getting old. I pretty much collapsed exhausted at the end of each day. If I did this again I would take more time. I would take every few days off from riding the bike.

Epic journey!

Okay, play the movie.

About the video. It is really long. I compressed 30 days of riding into a little over 2 hours. I edited out 5 hrs of stuff. I would suggest watching it on the largest screen possible, like your TV. The scenery is amazing. I talk occasionally to break it up a bit. Sometimes the audio has wind noise. I left it in few places because I did not talk much unless I was at a landmark place in the journey. The music is not what I had in the original cut. I was forced to use YouTube legal music. Enjoy!
 
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M38A1

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North of Weird
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Scott
June 14, 2018 Thursday 09:39 pm
Lat: 63.888, Long: -142.242




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I have those same pics! You've brought back a flood of memories from my trip long ago. Funny story - on the ferry above, I was sitting on the bike on the side stand making the trip. I was just taking it all in, relaxing. Right up until I looked at my GPS and I WAS MOVING! Instant panic. Me feet hit the ferry deck so fast and I grabbed a handful of brake before I realized I wasn't going anywhere. The ferry was and the GPS showed it. Doh! I laughed at myself for hours after that. Well, some 18 years later I'm still laughing. Thx for the ride-along!
 

Tourmeister

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You were wise to turn around on the mountain. Fatigue is the biggest cause of problems. Getting hurt up there would have been bad news, especially since you were alone.

Truly an epic journey that I hope I can make someday. I've yet to have a chance to do a big solo trip.

I will definitely try to watch the video as I can get the time (will do it in stages).

Thanks for taking the time to write this up and share. I enjoyed your observations and reflections.
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
63
Location
Fort Worth
Im still amazed at how many miles a day you put on that saddle. You must have an iron back and rear end.

I'm Curious. Could you guess what the average speed was you generally traveled at?
 

StromXTc

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Dec 29, 2017
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George West
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Brian
I am not too sure about my phonetic ability but I will try. I went into this using the pronunciation that you describe. It seemed intuitive. I was corrected a couple times. So the locals say: 'tuck tee yuk tuck" with emphasis on the yuk. You will hear it on the video. I agree, I just like saying the word.

There was not really a campground or even a place to park in Tuktoyaktuk except for a small barren area on the point at the end of the road. There were a few RVs there and they all were running generators continuously. The road up from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk does not have any place to pull off. The road way is all hauled in build up and several feet thick (they said 12ft average buildup) almost everywhere. The tundra was too soft to support the bike without deep ruts and possibly getting stuck. Reentry to the roadway would have been up very steep loose gravel. I would have had to park on the edge of the road and camp on the tundra.
Sounds like a floating island with standing room only.

Great journal, thanks for your hard work documenting it all for us.
 
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Liteitup

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Oct 21, 2010
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1,429
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Waco TX
Wow! Awesome report. Pretty sure I've never watched a 2+hour video of a ride before. I usually bail out after a couple of minutes. Once I started, I couldn't not watch yours. Took me a few sittings, but I watched it all. Incredible job, thanks for sharing.
 

Montejay

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Jan 20, 2016
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Goldthwaite, Texas
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Monte
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Jernigan
Thanks Spokedoc for your great report. You’ve done what many of us are planning and hoping to do someday. Really enjoyed the video also.
 

Dutchman

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Aug 4, 2009
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Conroe
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Gerard
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van der Werff
Great report, incredible trip, thanks for taking the time to put all of this together, epic!
 
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