Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

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Albuquralque
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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Postby Albuquralque » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:04 am

:lurker:
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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Postby DanKearney » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:05 pm

More, more. . .

:lurker:

Cheers,

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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Postby mundo » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:12 am

loven this RR :cheers:
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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Postby ClarkA » Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:53 pm

As we continued towards the distant Yukon and Alaska border our travels brought us to the town of Haines Junction, YT just before sunset located at the junction of the ALCAN and the road south to Haines , AK. We were in need of fuel, food and warmth all of which were to our immediate front. The local eatery was due to close but we were warmly welcomed in by the staff and subsequently served an excellent Chinese meal featuring more than two growing boys could finish along with strong tasty coffee. Following my taking advantage of the facilities we reviewed our route and decided to press on through the night with the goal of breakfast in Tok, AK. The sun and temperature both begin to get lower and the Gerbing heated liner and Aerostitch wind shirt under by now closed vents in my one piece came into play for the rest of the night. We motored along for a couple of hours before reaching the village of Destruction Bay , YT in need of 91 octane fuel and to stretch our legs at the only illuminated establishment in town. Words can not express just how dark it can get along this road even with the high beams and HID lights blazing. The darkness seems to swallow the light before your very eyes, resulting in an exponential rise of paranoia of the prevalent wildlife along the road. There is a good amount of truck traffic on this piece of road and they throw up some good hunks of gravel which make me further appreciate my windshield and full face helmet as they blasted by us in either direction. I spied a single dull light being flashed from the side of the highway and slowed down to eventually see a truck and trailer on the shoulder of the road. The driver was happy to have us stop as said I knew that you were Americans when you slowed to stop. His trailer hauling a car had a flat tire and he had used his two spares already. We were in a cellphone dead zone so road services could be contacted and our patch kits were inadequate for the job. I expressed my concern about leaving him alone alongside the road , but he said being from Alaska prepared him for difficult situations and requested we alert the authorities at the next town. He provided us with the specs of the tires and rims he needed and we bid him farewell riding off into the ink black night. The darkness was barely pierced by my lights and my son was following me by 50 yards in my dust, as I spied movement along the left hand shoulder of the road. I soon realized there was a sow bear and her cub walking onto the road!!! This motivated me to hit my horn and flash the lights in an attempt to warm both the bears and my son. The result was the cub standing up and looking around while the sow continued to advance, luckily we blew by them at close range without contact. This was another lesson about situational awareness when riding a motorcycle and a demonstration of adenergic overdrive in one's body! The long dark cold ride settled into true monotony punctuated every now and then by a good sized road defect to shake me from my stupor. Some 260 kilometers later we rolled into Beaver Creek, YT, where I entered the only open establishment and told the clerk about the stranded trucker back down the road. He immediately inquired about the guys safety and then called the road service and relayed my information, thanking him we remounted the bikes for our ride to the border . We continued to the edge of town where we passed the Canadian Border Station without the need to stop and then began the worst piece of highway we had encountered anywhere along the ride. After being battered about at less than Ural Speed for 15 miles we were at the US/Canada Border!

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Last edited by ClarkA on Wed May 28, 2014 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Postby sallen » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:39 pm

:thumbsup: Awesome ride report :thumbsup:
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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Postby whojigger » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:39 pm

ClarkA wrote:I turned sixty this past June, to celebrate this event I took my 2012 Gear-Up for a ride...Sadly I cannot figure out how to post my pictures and write my tale on this site....Should there be someone out there smart enough to guide me, I'll gladly share my tale of rain, cold, heat , flats and bad gas! :o


I too have problems of similar ilk using the internet. I'm looking at a trip to Fairbanks next January and noticed you were a 91C.. So was I 1975-81 91C40 super C trained at Brooks/BAMC. I was at Darnell at Ft. Hood in the ER. Then Gowen Field, Idaho NG. I'll read the posts then get back to you. I've been hanging out in Healy, AK and off on a cruise so haven't been on the site since January. I'dlove to get to hear your history. Sincerely, The whojigger. We save em all, let God sort out the righteous.
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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Postby Kayaken John » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:36 pm

Great pictures and ride report and the best thing is you did it with your son. Enjoy :cheers: :cheers: :clap:
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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Postby ClarkA » Thu May 01, 2014 4:46 pm

Our 24 hour push across the Yukon to Tok left us tired, cold hungry with the realization that we most likely shouldn't push on to the Arctic Circle that day. In keeping with our pledge to avoid gawkers with dumb comments was reinforced by a poser on a HD asking me "is that a Bonneville?". We needed to get the new tires waiting for us at Adventure Cycleworks mounted so a violation of my promise to my wife to"not do anything stupid" with her son was in full effect
. The 200 miles to Fairbanks was painful as sleep kept demanding my attention, requiring us to stop more than usual to stay awake so the museum on Delta Junction at the official end of the ALCAN was a refreshing pause.The rising temperature the monotony of the road required I doff some my clothing in an effort to stay awake!!!We rolled into Fairbanks following my GPS's direction to the shop to have my new rubber mounted without difficulties, where efforts to find lodging led to us getting accommodations at the University of Alaska. My son was fading from fatigue and boredom so he left me to finish the task at hand while he sought a place to lay his head down! I joined my son in a dormitory room where he had already fallen asleep, where I discovered the water had been turned off for maintenance. I was further aggravated by discovering the carpet was wet from the leaking toilet after taking off my Aerostitch Combat Touring Boots which pushed me over the edge. I called the check in desk and in my best Sergeant parent mode I had a serious discussion with young man about my displease with our accommodations,resulting our being moved to a multi-room condo on campus which was provided to us free of charge. We ended my 60th birthday short of the goal of the Arctic Circle, but we were safe and comfortably settled in for the night !!



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Last edited by ClarkA on Wed May 28, 2014 4:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
SFC 91C/ Medic US Army 1971-1996
"John 15:13"

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” - T.E. Lawrence

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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Postby sallen » Thu May 01, 2014 10:09 pm

:boogie: GREAT REPORT ON YOUR RIDE
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Panic is a luxury you can afford after it is all over.

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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Postby mr. cob » Mon May 19, 2014 1:42 am

:clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Postby ClarkA » Mon May 19, 2014 3:41 am

June 13 2013 dawned with me being rested and saddle sore and officially 60+ years old, my son as usual was sound asleep as I plotted my day. We had a bunch of dirty clothes laying about laundry entered my head along with needing to stop by the local NAPA store and getting my official US Army retired ID card out at Fort Wainwright. The weather in Fairbanks was hot, during our ride record highs were reported so the lack of air conditioning was felt by us in our accommodations. I got started on my to do list and found myself back at the condo where my son was up and looking at the map with the goal of hitting the road for the Arctic Circle! I was in full agreement so we stripped off all extemporaneous items from the bikes and headed north out of Fairbanks in the heat of the afternoon.The riding the Elliot Highway across varying road surfaces as you might expect in the land of weather extremes through beautiful scenery .We motored past the Hilltop Truck Stop which made me think about truck traffic. This would come back to haunt us , but that was later, since neither of us filled our tanks. The road and the views were perfect for" Ural Speed" riding and my concern over truck traffic wasn't confirmed as heavy trucks were a rare encounter.We stopped at an overlook about 100 miles out of Fairbanks and refueled from the "Jerry cans" I had attached to the boat and pushed on to the Dalton Highway.

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The ride along the Dalton Highway has not as challenging as I had expected, but there were more than a few good jolts along the at times paved road. The sun was setting as the road led us northward towards the Arctic Circle the scenery along the highway produced a sense of visual overload as there was just so much to take in along our route.There was one particularly steep gravel covered downhill section that almost got me going sideways downhill as the brakes on the boat didn't catch as well as the bikes brakes so the rig began to slew sideways at about 45 mph. After I swallowed my heart I released the bikes brakes and used the transmission to slow me down to a manageable speed and straightened the rig up on the gravel . This reminded me that sight seeing from the saddle could bite you and to pay attention to the road!As we approached the Yukon River Bridge we took note of the service area on the far bank and our need for fuel. We exited the highway stooping at the gas pumps which proclaimed , gas $5.75 a gallon but worse they closed at 10 PM and it was now 11 PM!! The only thing worse than this information was the mosquitoes that swarmed us to the extent I can't describe the severity of their attack. Luckily , we had more fuel in the cans on my rig so after filling up the bikes we got back on the road. We continued on our way along the Dalton to the overlook at Finger Mountain where we encountered a good number of people parked and looking out over the valley. What was interesting our GPS systems went from night mode to day mode as we rode up the highway with the sun now rising to our front. We pushed on in the cold daylight night towards our destination after taking some scenic overlook pictures. Were were soon greeted by a sign announcing 46 miles to the Arctic Circle , motivating me to snuggle down inside my suit and continue the ride. We rolled into the parking lot of the official Arctic Circle at 2 AM and were greeted by the ravenous swarms of mosquitoes.

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Having been attacked by blood suckers, starting to get pretty cold and far from resting questionable fuel supply, we decided that the discussion of riding to Coldfoot, AK was out of the question. Photos taken bladders emptied , we headed south towards Fairbanks. I have yet to understand why heading home under uncomfortable conditions always takes longer than you planned. As we approached the Yukon River Bridge we took note of just how much it is angled downhill.

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We pushed on after crossing the bridge until my son signaled the need to refuel his GS , we took notice of our dwindling fuel supply and the distance we need to cover until fuel was available and realized , we would be cutting it close to make it back to Fairbanks.As the sun became higher in the sky we still wore our heavy gloves and heated vests over wind shirts to ward off the mornings cold, as we shepherded our bikes along to conserve fuel. Our progress was steady and we rarely encountered traffic in either directions that early in the day over the very scenic ride which due to our speed we could enjoy . I knew my fuel tank level was steadily dropping and became apparent when climbing a steep section of road the bike began to sputter from fuel starvation. We pulled to the side of the road and used the last few gallons of fuel which didn't top off either bike's tanks . By now we had serious concerns about making the 50 miles to Fairbanks with what we had in our tanks. We soon discovered it was deja vu again as we crested a hill and spied.....the Hilltop Truck Stop! Suddenly the ride wasn't so miserable and the outlook for getting back to our room without aggravation was assured! With full gas tanks and Fairbanks within spitting distance we remounted our bikes and headed to the "most northern" Denny's for breakfast and our beds.
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Last edited by ClarkA on Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:30 am, edited 3 times in total.
SFC 91C/ Medic US Army 1971-1996
"John 15:13"

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” - T.E. Lawrence

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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Postby BigJames » Tue May 20, 2014 12:52 am

:clap:
3 times up and all 3 times the section from Haines Junction to Beaver Creek was the worst each time.
3 times on the Dalton, 3 times too muddy for my HD to continue. Motorhomes tore up the road all 3 times. Gotta try it on a Ural.
Hilltop Truck stop is always a welcome sight, except when we ran out gas within sight, but not quite there... Carry on! Great read!
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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Postby Ocala John » Sat May 24, 2014 5:33 am

Great ride report, that trip is on my list.

You mentioned a Mossberg. Can you take a rifle/shotgun through Canada ? A .44 magnum would help me sleep better in a tent in bear country but I didn't think you could take a handgun across the border. A shotgun or my trusty Marlin would fit fine in the tub and provide piece of mind in the tent.

I learned my lesson with mosquitos in Florida, always carry repellent, you never know where you will have to stop.

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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Postby ClarkA » Sat May 24, 2014 2:02 pm

You may bring long guns into Canada if you declare them at the border and pay a $25.00 fee for a transit permit. The border agent told me the gun could not be fired in Canada, "that I should run away if attacked by an animal" LOL :o :o :o :o :o :o
Last edited by ClarkA on Sat May 24, 2014 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
SFC 91C/ Medic US Army 1971-1996
"John 15:13"

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” - T.E. Lawrence

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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Postby CCjon » Sat May 24, 2014 3:11 pm

ClarkA wrote: The border agent told me... "that I should run away if attacked by an animal" LOL


Border agent must not know a bear can out run a horse in a short race.

Great ride report, keep it coming.........
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