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Thread: 'I've never, ever seen roads this bad......' - Alaska-Yukon 16

  1. #46
    Hangered... but aimed out flyhi2cfar's Avatar
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    Question

    ... miles so far? I'm thinking this trip... has long been over? On a second read, I can't determine when (what date) Beemer 01 & crew BEGAN this great ride!

    Will be interesting to learn; I know I spotted one dead JUNE Bug in one of the bike photos!!!

    A fine report regardless with excellent photography.

    "travel'n" john

  2. #47
    Registered User Beemer01's Avatar
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    Details-

    The entire trip for those of us from the Chicago area was roughly 10,000 miles. Thomas rode an additional 2,000 miles as he is based in DC.

    We left on June 11, 2016 and returned to Chicago 22 days later.

    The story is not done however.....

  3. #48
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Keep it coming!

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  4. #49
    Registered User Beemer01's Avatar
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    Day Seventeen – Eastbound and down..........After a great breakfast.

    We broke camp in the quiet forest - we were nearly the only campers there.





    We found, courtesy of Yelp, the coolest breakfast place on our trip called The Rookery/Toaster Museum. And they certainly served the best coffee EVER! And yes, the décor of the restaurant actually consists of antique electrical devices from another era and world. And there were a few electrical toasters included...Vintage cars seem to have found their way to Stuart and are parked out front.





    Service was good and the food beyond great. Did I mention the awesome coffee?

    We rode back up the Glacier Highway, somehow losing Fran who was lagging behind, he eventually caught up with us way down the highway.

    Due to our mandated day of rest, the blown seals and crappy planning on my part, we had to shave two days off the agenda and skip the road out to Bella Coola – with its 18 degree grades, endless open range and towering forests... it wasn’t possible this time as it would add two full days to our agenda. And we all had to get back to work. 2600 miles to go.

    I was the trip planner, but given the distances covered so far and the endless possibilities of human frailty and mechanical failure – I never actually plan these last days. We just program our Garmins for home and go.



    Garmin directed us back through Prince George, we stayed at the same provincial campground and discovered that the staff had already changed, millennials escaping back to the connected world. The newest park ranger wasn’t quite as cheerful as her predecessor, and she made us pay for the firewood.

    Still - a pretty campground!
    Last edited by Beemer01; 01-25-2017 at 02:31 PM.

  5. #50
    Registered User Beemer01's Avatar
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    Day Eighteen through Day Twenty-two – Heat, prairies, sudden rainstorms and long days

    Programmed to head East – we hit it.

    Ice fields Parkway – it turns out – is somehow even more stunning when travelled North to South – I was floored – it was like we’d discovered a whole new amazing Canadian Highway!













    Thomas on his more powerful Wasserboxer was wearing his rear tire pretty fast. He called ahead to Calgary and found a suitable replacement tire and a shop willing to put him to the front of the line. Craig offered to pick up the tab for a couple of rooms at a hotel just down the road – I was expecting a Super 8 with the smell of curry, but instead we spent the night in a solid three star hotel, complete with a good bar and restaurant! Thanks Craig!



    Four days to reach Chicago – the prairies of the American West were shimmering with heat, two lane roads across Montana – isolated cafes that served big breakfasts – glorious dawns – and the freeways across North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin flashed beneath our tires – heat broken by violent thunderstorms in Wisconsin (which gave our bikes a much needed wash) we continued to make time, the last day was about 850 miles for me.





    A story worth telling? Certainly a great bunch of guys and talented riders. I'd ride with any of these guys again!
    Last edited by Beemer01; 01-25-2017 at 02:35 PM.

  6. #51
    Registered User Beemer01's Avatar
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    Lessons learned –

    My Grandfather taught me “There aren’t any hard jobs, just jobs done with the wrong tools”. This trip proved the adage.

    Apart from the blown fork seals on my son’s 800GS, all bikes performed admirably, absorbing abuse and punishment no machine should ever be subjected to. We did the trip on one set of Heidi 60 Scout tires (OK, Thomas did extra mileage in riding in from Washington DC and had that rear tire changed in Calgary), no one changed oil, and we experienced only one flat tire – all of this on the worst road conditions I’ve ever ridden.

    Any bike can be ridden on most roads, but these were the conditions that Adventure Bikes were specifically designed for. There are a thousand design details – some seen, most unseen – that factor into these bikes being able to absorb the abuse and punishment we and the roads piled on them. Day after day.

    We packed the right gear, though in my case I didn’t always wear it. Craig proved to be the Garmin guru and programmed each day’s leg in for us. Mileage per day varied, but there were several 800-900 mile stints.

    Human frailty was more of an impediment than mechanical failures this year – we’re all getting older. It is what it is. Fifteen hour days are harder now than they were a decade ago. The roads change every day, every hour. Whenever anyone tells you that such and such road is impassable…. take it with a grain of salt. Ten hours later, the same road may well be a snap.

    Team chemistry is always a crucial factor – this team worked together, smoothly and well. Differences were aired and then forgotten. Helmet to helmet communication systems are important and the Sena system worked well enough for us.

    Would I do it again?

    Well, Bella Coola still beckons, and I’d really like to see it………..



    Thanks for taking the time to read this post!
    Last edited by Beemer01; 01-25-2017 at 02:36 PM.

  7. #52
    Great ride report, thanks for posting !
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  8. #53
    Registered User GotFog's Avatar
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    Thanks for the inspiring post.

  9. #54
    Adventurist nakwakto00's Avatar
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    Bella Coola

    Did the Bella Coola ride this summer. We made a "loop" of it. Came up Vancouver Island from Victoria to Port Hardy where we caught the ferry to Bella Coola. The ferry ride is long, about 16 hours, but worth it. Bella Coola is beautiful. If you travel there make sure to visit Odegaard Falls - very impressive. "The Hill" out of Bella Coola into Tweedsmuir Provincial Park is 20% grade on hard packed dirt/gravel. It switchbacks right up the side of a mountain. Our only issue was a road grader coming down that left an 18" berm right down the middle of the road. Locals drive this road very fast and will pass you anywhere. You pucker a bit because on one side is a near vertical 1,000' drop with no shoulder. Locals in Anahim Lake say that the river below "the Hill" is filled with cars that went off the road. They pull out the bodies but leave the vehicles. We traveled "the hill" when it was dry but hear it can be very tricky when wet. However, you guys are "pros" when it comes to bad roads. You top out at Heckman Pass at over 5,000' then drop down into the vast Chilcotin Plateau.

    There's some great riding in the Chilcotin that's not to be missed. We visited Charlotte Lake, Tatlayoko Lake (incredibly beautiful), and tried to get to Chilko Lake. This summer wasn't the best for the Chilcotin in that it was the wettest in over 11 years. Every day we had thunderstorms. Our mud road riding skills aren't like yours so we turned around once when the mud/clay got between 4-6" deep and the consistency of pudding with globs of grease. The wet weather also helped with making sure there were hordes and hordes of mosquitoes. Bring head nets if you want to stay sane when at camp.

    Riding from Fletcher Lake or Dog Creek to Pavilion was very memorable. Some very remote country. Lots of wild horses. Some steep twisty mud/gravel/dirt roads. Oh and again some very steep and narrow sections. (We saw a few vehicles in ravines that were just left there to rot.) Hope you don't see any other vehicles on some corners or steep sections. Road is so narrow not sure what you would do. During 120 miles we only saw 2 other vehicles.

    Places to see: Gang Ranch, Farwell Canyon, Tatlayoko Lake, Chilko Lake, Tweedsmuir Prov. Park, Odegaard Falls, Marble Mountains. We had no problem with getting gas, although locals say we were lucky. Might want to consider a can of bear spray if you travel in August when the grizzlies come down to feast on the massive salmon runs. Most locals were very friendly - almost all are native peoples. There are log trucks on the roads and they have the right of way, er... get out of their way. They will NOT move.

    On Vancouver Island there's some great riding too. Cape Scott Provincial Park was beautiful. There were wolf warnings when we were there. How often do you have to deal with that in this life? Oh and more mud and even bigger logging trucks.

    PM me if you want GPS files or other info.
    -don
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  10. #55
    Rocky Bow BMW Riders #197 bogthebasher's Avatar
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    I see you stayed at the Blackfoot Inn - a couple miles from my house - small world isn't it. Wonderful ride report with excellent pictures and commentary.
    Ken Dittrick
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  11. #56
    Hangered... but aimed out flyhi2cfar's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    ... Thanks for sharing the adventure with us. Your crew once again proved the point: "breathing is easy... living takes effort!"

    "travel'n" john

  12. #57
    Cowboyatheart
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beemer01 View Post
    Would I do it again?

    Well, Bella Coola still beckons, and I’d really like to see it!
    The Chicoton is a trip on its' own.

    You might want to consider going north or south cascades, grab a ferry to Victoria, go up island and grab a ferry to Bella Coola then head out.
    Moringa, your body & brain will thank you! PM for discounts Smart Mix at TasteMoringa.com
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  13. #58
    Registered User Beemer01's Avatar
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    Thanks guys!

    If you don't mind I'll reach back to you for particulars on a Bella Coola loop. I love Vancouver and that general area. Perhaps in a couple of years!

  14. #59
    Cowboyatheart
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beemer01 View Post
    If you don't mind I'll reach back to you for particulars on a Bella Coola loop. I love Vancouver and that general area. Perhaps in a couple of years!
    anytime. I grew up (aged 13yrs to 17yrs) in the Chilcoton, back in the mid-70's.

    Little place called Chezacut BC.
    five ranches, closest neighbour about 7 miles away (ya miles, Canada did miles and feet and inches back in the 70's!)
    Moringa, your body & brain will thank you! PM for discounts Smart Mix at TasteMoringa.com
    XM3 Energy, real energy for the body & brain, no sugar high, XM3.Energy

  15. #60
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    Ride Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Beemer01 View Post
    Take a second and give me some stars?
    Great ride report... thanks for taking me along!


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