Chasing Winter and the Midnight Sun 2009
This trip across the North American Continent to the Arctic Ocean and back had a lot of elements;
- An International arms merchant in the Yukon - who operates in Africa six months of the year.
- Gold panners who claimed to average $900/day, selling their gold for (tax free) cash
- Herds of Arctic Caribou.
- F-150 sized Bison thundering across the road‘«™ in front of us.
- A cute 30 something Harley chick offering to show us ALL of her tattoos.
- Snowy passes - some with solid pavement and some with thick freezing mud - all seemingly with accumulating snow and blowing ice fog, often mixed with rain and hail.
- Achingly beautiful distant mountain ranges framed by dramatic skies
- Staggeringly huge Glaciers
- A still frozen Arctic Ocean
- Bears everywhere.
- Forest fires closing the Alaska Highway.
- Endless ribbons of dusty gravel and dirt roads stretching over the horizon.
- Provincial Campgrounds closed by rampaging Grizzlies.
- Free camping in open meadows
- Ferries plying the Alaska intercostal waterways
- Sunny days
- Rainy days
- Cold days
- Warm days
- Still frozen lakes
- A world where the sun never sets.
- First Nation people giving gifts to us as travelers through their tribal lands
- Ferries closed due to house sized ice floes being carried down stream after a record winter.
- Moose, Deer, Caribou, Muskoxen, Big Horned sheep, Mountain Goats and Antelope (some of whom 'misbehaved' and ran in front of our speeding bikes)
- A cheerful British Bicyclist riding the Haul Road from Deadhorse to points South at 4 MPH battling headwinds on gravel, mud and worse.
- Endless North American Prairies
- And‘«™. much, much more
The machines -
2003 BMW 1150GS, Rox Risers, Touratech skid plate, Cee Bailey Windscreen, Touratech kickstand foot pad, Wolfman Waterproof Tank bag, Touratech headlight protectors and oil cooler protector, Mags Bags, XM Radio with a Boosteraroo and noise suppressing earphones.
2006 Kawasaki 650 modified with a Buell Front fork, oversized tires... and a lot of gear.
Both bikes carried extra gas, tire repair kits, tire irons, comfort modifications to the stock seats. The GS had Conti tires strapped to the back, the Kawasaki rider Dave shipped his up to Canada in advance.
North of the Arctic Circle and the Brooks Range - The Haul Road, May 2009
I'll post the trip by segment over the coming days.