Day 13
June 19th, 2011


This is the day that we would ride the haul road----the road finished in 1974 that allowed a route to the Arictic ocean to
service the Alaskan pipeline and the oil rigs out beyond the town of Deadhorse, Alaska.
And if you've watched the show---"Ice Road Truckers"---that's the road we rode on.
It is the farthest North a vehicle can travel on a road in all of North America.

It starts out paved but soon turns to a hard packed gravel. I'm sure the route has been changed thru the years---but
as we pulled over somewhere to pee we spotted what had to be the original route and an old bridge
which disappeared into the wilderness.


.

 

 

I've said it before---but Scott is an avid outdoorsman and hunter---he has hunted all kinds of animals and knows the habits of them.
He told me there were 3 animals up here that had no fear whatsoever of anything--they are at the top of the food chain.
A grizzly, a polar bear and a Moose. Way more people are killed up here by Moose than bears---a fact.
Lot's of those are from people who have hit them in a car. Their legs are long and your car will scoop them up and put
1,400lbs. right in your lap. One fellow this year on this road had one attack him on his bike while he was taking a picture
and it knocked him off the bike---stomped him and he had to be life-flighted to a hospital. A couple more were killed on this
road from just crashing---probably riding big bikes way to fast on a slippery nasty road.

 

 

The Alaskan Pipeline

The pipeline was built between 1974 and 1977 after the 1973 oil crisis caused a sharp rise in oil prices in the United States.
This rise made exploration of the Prudhoe
Bay oil field economically feasible. Environmental, legal, and political debates followed the discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay in 1968, and the pipeline was
built only after the oil crisis provoked the passage of legislation designed to remove legal challenges to the project.

The task of building the pipeline had to address a wide range of difficulties, stemming mainly from the extreme cold and the difficult, isolated terrain.
The construction of the pipeline was one of the first large-scale projects to deal with problems caused by permafrost, and special construction
techniques had to be developed to cope with the frozen ground. The project attracted tens of thousands of workers to Alaska,
causing a boomtown atmosphere in Valdez, Fairbanks, and Anchorage.

The first barrel of oil traveled through the pipeline in 1977, and full-scale production began by the end of the year. Several notable incidents
of oil leakage have occurred since, including those caused by sabotage, maintenance failures, and gunshot holes.
The most significant oil spill associated with the pipeline was caused by the Exxon Valdez, and did not directly involve the pipeline. As of 2010, the pipeline
has shipped almost 16 billion barrels (2.5×109 m3) of oil.



 

 

The aluminum risers you see on the pipe supports and are called super coolers.

Heat pipes are used to dissipate heat on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. Without them residual ground heat remaining in the oil,
as well as that produced by friction and turbulence in the moving oil would conduct down the pipe's support legs. This would likely melt
the permafrost on which the supports are anchored. This would cause the pipeline to sink and possibly sustain damage.
To prevent this each vertical support member has been mounted with 4 vertical heat pipes.

 

 

 

The oil as it comes out of the ground is about 150°F and drops to about 50°F at Valdez, Alaska where it
is loaded onto oil barges.

I am a pipefitter and welder and when I was in my early 20's I considered coming up here and working.
There was alot of money to be made---at the huge cost of being away from your family---a price I wouldn't pay.

 

 

 

 

Further down the road we crossed the Yukon river on a very long bridge with wooden planks as a bottom.
Hube overloaded trucks carrying wide loads sometimes cross this bridge, so it had to
be able to support a lot of weight.

 

 

 

 

 

There is no gas here--but there is a motel and restaurant.

 

It was so neat watching the pipeline along the road. Sometimes tho it would disappear way off in the distance
and rarely I would see it go under ground on a steep climb.

 

 

I think its 66° and 33 minutes latitude you cross the arctic circle ---an imaginary line around the planet.

 

 

 

 

Coldfoot is no luxury place---it is very small with gas food, camping and lodging.
But no expense was made for fancy----it was built for function and that was it. I liked it here without
all the yellow arches and neon signs---a tough place to live.

I talked to this guy for a half hour---he's been running the haul road since 1974.
I was full of questions and I could tell he didn't mind at all answering all of them.
I ask him how many times he crashed off the haul road and I was appaled at his answer.
Only once he said--on the ice and a guy following him with chains on pulled him out. He went on how he drove sensibly
on the haul road as it's so rough---if you don't you are just going to tear up your employers truck.
The truckers were good to us----slowing down if they could. There just wasn't many of them traveling the 2 days
we were on it but I'd try to pull off the road if I could when they went by---but sometimes you couldn't.
Only once was I sprayed badly with mud and water---but he got me good--but he couldn't help it.

 

 

Here is a cabin behind the restaurant--we camped beside it on the way back.

 

Way out back is the motel------nothing fancy--but clean and warm and this would feel good
to a weary and cold traveler. Everything up here is way more expensive and I can see why. I totally
understand this.

 

We went over lots of bridges where there was ice and snow still standing.

 

 

I think lots of people ride this road just to say they did it---or to cross it off their bucket list.
Well I did cross it off my bucket list---but me and Scott soaked up every inceh of the ever changing terrain,
wildlife and climate. It was just awesome. I have no pictures of the mud, ruts, soft road, broken pavement.
Why is that ???? But they were there-----these bike easily will run 70 mph all day long but I only felt
comfortable running about 50 or slower at times just because the road would throw something at you
when you had just got comfortable riding on it. And the forest was close to the road a lot and I was always
really weary of hitting an animal--it happens all the time up here--running 70-80 mph up here is plumb
stupid in my book---I would have ran no faster on my 950. I might even have rode slower--as my 250 can stop
so much faster than my 950 on loose terrain.

 

 

 

Something to think about----when you get so far North you run North of the treeline.
In Colorado of the USA you run up to 12,000ft. to get above the treeline--a whole different thing.
The snow covered mountains in the summer in BC and Alaska mostly run int the 5-6,000 ft. range but
look like the 14,000ft. mountains in Colorado.

 

 

Now this hill has got a story--but I don't know it--but can guess.

 

 

 

This is approaching Atigun pass---the highest road in Alaska that is maintained and open all year.
The elevation is only 4,739ft.
It is also where the Dalton Highway and continental divide cross.

 

 

 

It is 500 miles from Faribanks to Deadhorse, Alaska with only one gas station in between at Coldfoot-----we gas at Coldfoot
and decide not to ride all the way to Deadhorse and pay $300 for a motel room (which we didn't have a reservation for anyway).
I won't make reservations for anything--nope---won't do it. Nope---never.

So we find this neat campspot called "Galbraith".
There are no black bears here--thank god----it's too cold for them we were told.
But------it wasn't too cold for grizzlies and they were everywhere and a guy told us Momma was on the
prowl in this area with her cubs---but hadn't eaten anybody lately.
So............"you gonna pull those pistols and camp---or whistle dixie".

I forgot to say-------we are so far North it doesn't get dark--not even close. I threw a shirt over my eyes to go to sleep.
I also left my fly door open on both sides of my tent to keep an eye out for Mrs. Grizzly.
I slept pretty good----2AM it was still bright as ever outside--really weird.
You can't ride all night up here tho---nothing is open. Well--I guess there isn't nothing to be closed either !!!!

 

Day 14
June 20th, 2011

 

 

We rode 150 miles on to Deadhorse---and one of the highlights for both of us was seeing
the caribou herds coming across the tundra on the way---I've only seen them on TV.

 

 

Scott tells me their antlers are covered with a moss like substance as they grow and are the fastest growing
animal tissure known to man. They drop their antlers each year and grow new ones---I didn't know that till this trip.

 

 

 

The wind here was blowing what seemed like 50mph making riding very scary----I took some video here and I couldn't keep the
camera steady. When I got off my bike I had to lean against it to keep it from blowing over.

 

We stopped in Deadhorse and ate and got gas---I took this picure out of the window of the housing place and
restaurant. It's not the arctic ocean as it's another 20 miles North. I was told the arctic ocean is still froze except for
a few feet at the shore--kind of like this pieture I suppose.

 

 

 

I think this is where they house all the workers up here.
Deadhorse is nothing but an industrial work facility-----nothing more---don't expect anythng more.
It's cold and very windy---it was 38° when we were there.
My electric vest kept me comfy.

 

 

149.3 miles we had ridden from camp to Deadhorse--and you can see I've got 3,618.9 miles on the whole trip.
And yes I went 76mph today---sorry----I was a bad boy.

 

 

 

What my gps screen looked like at Deadhorse--you can see the arctic ocean.
I had Garmin topo loaded in my gps up there.

 

 

This is pretty much what it looks like up in Deadhorse--how they built anything on that ground I don't know.
So don't bring the wifey up here sight seeing and shopping---this is what's to see.
It was the beautiful ride for me.

 

 

 

We turned back south and Scott set the cruise control.

If he only had some of those 36" ape hangars.

 

 

We ran into these blokes several times.
Real nice fellows--you can see they are all nervous and jittery and just can't relax !!!!
One was on a Suzuki 650 V-strom I remember.

"Hows the weather ---eh ???"
"Pretty good mate---eh"

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of skeeters. I killed a lot of them---they didn't want to mess with me.

 

 

My headlight is busted all the way across---I put shoo-goo on it and it was fine.
I'm going to leave it that way.
Don't adventure travel without some shoo--goo. I've needed it on every long ride.
It's hard to find tho.

 

 

It was back to Atigun Pass---it hadn't rained on us so far on the haul road.

 

 

By far my favorite sign.
You can't put a sign like this down here in the continuois 48--never get away with it.
Going South over a sharp hill---it went down quickly and made a hard right---and that's when
many a trucker went "Oh-Shit" on the ice and snow.

 

 

I rode by this couple----it was raining pretty hard---mosquitoes were as thick as I saw the whole trip
and these 2 love birds were holding hands and looking in a creek and I just had to have a picture.

They had the sweetest smile on their faces and I could tell they were in love and I bet they'll grow old together.
Nice couple.

 

 

We arrived back at Coldfoot---but instead of eating and passing on thru--we
ate and camped--about $12 I think.
By the way---the food here is superb. That's the restaurant on the right with the porch.

 

 

Day 15
June, 21st 2011

 

It would be about 250 miles back to Fairbanks----I didn't want to go back to the city at all---but we had to get tires.
On the way back we ran in to our old friends we had met way back in Smithers when we were getting
trying to get Scotts bike fixed. They were at the Yukon crossing eating breakfast and we joined them.
Lot's of people in there with questions asking what in the heck we were doing and where we were going.
These guys were never in a hurry either---I ran into so many who maybe didn't have the time to soak
up the ride like we did and were just blazing thru their ride----never having the time to talk to people or
check things out. I used to do that----one of the very few things I regret in my life.

 

 

First thing back in Fairbanks is a bath.

 

 

Looking thru my previous pictures you are now thinking as you sit in your easy chair at home---heck that road wasn't bad---I didn't
see any muck, ruts, mud, potholes,calcium chloride, deep gravel. This picture tells a different story.
Our bikes had more suspension travel then any bike we saw on the haul road----we could ride fast when it was safe
and the bike would soak up the potholes, frost heaves and such.

We saw quite a few bike on this road going back South in Pickup trucks---a couple Harleys a 950 and some others.
This road has been conquered on every type and kind of bike made---the smaller the bike you take the easier it will be---to a point.

 

 

 

Mefo tires---thumbs down. I'll never buy another for this bike--Scott won't either.
But.........I refused to run the 41lbs. of air they insist you run----OK on the pavement---but brutal offroad.
So...the tire may last forever if you put 41lbs. in it---but I'm not going to do that.
I heard they would last 7-9,000 miles and I know people that have gotten that and more.
I can get as good or better out of a nice DOT Dunop 606 knobby and have better traction on the terrain I like to ride.
I hated the very small circumference of the tire too---it geared my bike way down.
I may put one on my 950---but not this bike.
4,000 miles and it was shot.

 

 

So off to this store in Fairbanks---I never find a tire that I want at a bike store---you just have to take what
they have and go with it. Shinko 700's for the rear and a TKC 80 for the front---I don't like either of these tires
but had to run them. Scott found a nice MT-21 for the front of his bike--but they didn't have 2 of them.
We felt lucky to get tires at all.

 

 

 

So now we headed to the University of Alaska---who opens up their dorms for us weary travelers-----and for $39
you just can't beat it. You don't even have to leave to eat--do laundry or take a shower---I loved it hear.
And looky here---our old friend s again.

 

 

Lot's of bike maintenance going on here. I change my own tires always----I don't do it to be cheap----I do it so
I know it was done right and to keep my tire changing skill up when I have to do this on the side of a road.
I've never let a shop put on my tires --and I bet I've put on 4-500 in my lifetime.

The mefo's were holding up fine on my buddies KLR's.

 

 

 

I'm sorry I can't remember this gals name--but she was a hoot. She is one heck of a rider and works for Aerostich
and is part of that family that owns that company. She was riding a nicely set up DR650--those are really good bikes.
And yes----I bet she could whoop my butt.

 

 

This guy was just passing by and bulled in----I spied him and his blue hair and thought this guy
was just begging to get his picture taken. Really neat bike---and he sheepishly told me it was just a 250---don't
look like it--but it was. I quickly told him it takes 12 horsepower to ride around the world and the
rest is wheelspin---one of my new sayings---I've got lots of them.

 

 

Pretty much everybody carries extra gas riding up here---especially on the haul road and Campell Highway (unpaved long stretch of road).
Scott carried an extra 2 gallons which we needed at least twice. I could make it from Fairbanks to Deadhorse on one tank of fuel with my bike if
I didn't have a head wind------which I did on the way up (after fueling once in Coldfoot). On the way back I didn't have to dig into Scotts gas.
Later on---that tank sprung a leak and we didn't have it no more--but never needed it anyway.

Everybody was helping each other---and sharing tools--and I loaned my chain tools to a guy on a 650L that was
putting on a new chain. Another guy loaned my a stand to hold my wheels off the ground so I could put my
new tires on. We all worked late getting all this done.

 

 

 

Day 16
June 22nd, 2011

The day before we had ridden all the way from Coldfoot to Faribanks--washed out bikes thoroughly,
went and found tires, put the tires on, cleaned our air filters and tidy'd our bikes up.
We worked lated to do all that and got up this morning later than usual and had breakfast.
It was then I suggested we take a rest day. We had a very nice cheap place to stay and finish laundry
for free and just hang out---and that's what we did.

 

And it was then I ran into the owner of this bike------who was from Brazil and didn't speak English.
He was riding up the haul road the next day and had ridden all the way thru South America and
Mexico and ended up here.

So he was my absolute Adventure hero of this whole ride.
What was he riding---a GSA ???--a 990 ??? a new triumph 800 ?????

 

 

No he was riding a 150cc Honda.
I felt so embarrased riding my big 250---How could I let my ego get so out of hand.

It takes 12 horsepower to ride around the world and he only had 11.

I had a hoot yakking, jestering, waving arms, pointing to stuff ---we did this for an hour.
I am irritated I didn't get his picture--he was about 25 years old ????
His bike in this picture had all his gear off of it--and notice his bald tire.

 

 

He had a stone reliable mount and I found I'm still learning this thing they call adventure riding.

 

Here's our dorm room.
A free laundry and shower was just across the hall.

 

Me and Scott used a system for paying for things last year which we did this year.
It simplifies things so well.
All mutual expenses one guy would pay----lodging, camping, food (if it was the same amount), gas.
We would write the amount down---the next time it was time to pay for something the guy who had paid the lesser total
amount would pay. And so on---that way we were both pretty much equal in out of pocket (or credit card) money
the whole trip. If we had to seperate for some reason or got mad at each other----we were pretty much
even on expenditures. It was really simple and saved a lot of hassle paying for gas and other stuff.

 

Day 17
June 23rd, 2011

Today we head towards Denali National Park

Into The Wild

This is a special place for me----I'd hoped to stop here and peer down the road the Chris McCandless walked down
in 1974 and went "Into The Wild"----a true story, and I've read the book and seen the movie.

Chris was about my age in 1974 and got fed up with his family, money and the world pretty much---he left it all and
set his money on fire---drove his car into a wash in Utah and hiked into the wild. Chris ended up in Alaska and hiked to
this road at the edge of Denali National Park. He hiked to here and walked down this road and was never seen alive again.
He barely got across a river about 19 miles down this road---which I'm sure was a dirt trail back then---when he decided
to return he couldn't get across the swollen river and ended up starving to death after about 4 months.

His body was found by some moose hunters in an old school bus that had been drug down this road by
a cat for guys to stay in for the mining operation that was to be down this road. That never happened and the bus
was left behind.

 

Chris had a camera----and he took this self portrait of himself right before he died.
It's a very touching story and a good read.

 

 

For years I"ve planned to peer down this very road he walked down and feel what he felt walking
"Into The Wild"

Here I am in a moment of silence for Chris McCandless

 

 

You see that pile of grizzly poop in the above picture about 30 feet in front of me ?????
Well here is a closer look below---it was so fresh it was smoking !!!
And we got the hell out of there.----Goodbye Chris---I came to visit you.

 

 

Yes---I have a waypoint for everything---I marked where the bus is he died in so many years ago.
Plug in the coordinates N63°52.126'' S149°46.203'' into google earth and you can still see the bus--it's still there.

 

 

We headed South from the road called the "Stampede Trail"---that Chris went down and rode along Denali National Park.
We hit a little road construction again---lot's of that up here during the short summer and I
always had a hoot chatting with the construction workers.

 

 

Holy crap I couldn't stand all the hoopla on the paved road going South----people everywhere, fancy high priced motels and
I bet I saw 200 tour buses, a bajillion huge motorhomes---it was madening, and is the reason I don't go to National Parks--they are all alike.

My pain was soon over as we headed East on the unpaved Denali Highway.
I'm not used to the unpaved Highway up here. Around home--if it's called a highway -------it's paved.

This would prove to be one of my favorite roads on this trip.
My favorite is yet to come---back in BC.

 

We saw many glaciers on this road----we didn't ride fast and stopped very often.

 

 

 

 

This here is one of my favorite views----grizzlies were all around us, but we never saw one--just their scat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was 130 miles between Cantwell and Paxson---with no services and not many people at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I find out later that this is the 2nd highest pass road in all of Alaska----Atigan being the highest.
We hit both in the last 3 days.

 

 

 

 

We never had much of a plan on this ride--but I wanted to avoid the Alaskan highway--but you just can't.
We had to ride some of it and right before TOK we got this nice place to stay.
It was near Mentasta Lake. A father and son just bought this place----and here is the son helping us
get our room. This is where he stays.

 

Nice room for a reasonable price---and both father and son were a hoot--we really
enjoyed staying here--and they had a small restaurant we ate at also.

 

Day 18
June 24th, 2011

 

Today we headed East on the Alaskan Highway and stopped to get gas and I spotted this unique 3-wheeler in the shop.

I asked the young owner what he did with this machine---hillclimb ??? woods race ????
Hare Scramble ???----dirt track ????
"No--he said----I was bored one winter"
And so the Death Trap was born.

 

 

Always lots of road contruction on the Alaskan highway and this was a long stop.
People were about ready to get out the barbecued grills.
This gal was a hoot and soon eveybody was talking to everybody.

 

 

She was a hoot---and we sat there for a long time------a very long time......a long....long...long...long .....time
She finally went to her lunch box and shared her lunch with me and gave me a full bag of
the freshest, biggest strawberries I ever saw---Me and Scott shared them and they were delicious.
2 gals behind us--got out of their car and had their picnic lunch.
Man if we had a grill we could have cooked out.

 

 

The Alaskan Highway wasn't really me and Scotts cup of tea---but Lake Kluane was
really georgeous----there was nothing commercial around the lake at all and it was
a very big lake.

 

 

 

We road along this lake for 32 miles with the snow capped mountains always in view.
We had really been hauling down the pavement of the Alaskan highway till we got to Lake
Kluane------and then we just poked along.

 

The Southern end was strangely dried up.

 

 

 

For you southerners---this means the bridge freezes at 0° C

 

 

We also ran across this guy---he had more riding experience than anybody I met.
We loved talking to him and he had lots of stories.
His bike was as impressive as any I've seen.
He knew what it took to ride up here and had it set up very well.

We had breakfast with him--and I'll always remember him.

 

 

He went on to tell us he like to ride all day and all night. It never got dark so he would ride all night (really daylight).
Trouble was---the gas stations closed up by 10PM---but he had them fooled he enough gas to ride 12 hrs. straight.

There was a lot of knowledge to be had from this fellow of 76 years.
Every word out of his mouth I was soakin' up----an experienced guy like this is not to be taken lightly.
I saw thru his plain dress---and tattered well used bike with just a little more horsepower than it took to ride around the world..
I was glad I got to meet him and let him share his ideas, and smile with me.

 

 

He had a huge fuel cell on the back rack-----all plumbed in so he could ride all day and night.

 

 

Inside the reataurant was some neat old photo's of gold mining.

 

 

 

I didn't pay much mind to this picture until Scott pointed this out to me.
They have saddled up a Moose---and Scott told me you can't do that to a Moose as
it won't let you and will stomp you in the dirt.
But they must have saddled this one at an early age---and we wondered why.
Probably because they didn't have a horse--or a horse couldn't survive up here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We ended up camping at Pine Lake Campground near Haines Junction.
I loved this campground as it let us get far enough off the Alaskan Highway to get away from
the roar of the traffic.

 

 

I slept without my rainfly on this night and it was so neat staring up thru my tent.
These next 2 pictures were taken at about 11PM and it never got dark.

I kind of forget---but I think this is the night is started raining about 4AM and I had to jump out of my tent---damn near naked
and hurry and get my rainfly on------and the skeeters had a snack.

 

 

 

 

Day 19
June, 25th 2011

 

I saw this car being pulled behind a huge motorhome---poor ole thing was taking a beating on the sometimes rough road.

This car has a memory for me---well, more for my wife than me. I started dating my wife Debi when she was 15---I was 21 and her dad
bought one of these for her for her upcoming 16th birthday---it was a real nice one---it's called a Nash Metropolitan--this one is a 1957 model.
She came home and saw what her dad had bought her and starting crying---and told him "I ain't drivin' that ugly thing around the block".
And her dad sold it. I know her dad well and he's a bargain hunter---I'm gonna bet he gave $150 for it---or less.

Well now my wife says she wants one---but they probably cost $15,000 now---I don't think so.
She'd look cute in it tho as she's only 4'8" tall.

 

 

 

 

Today was just a day to burn up the highway for us and we didn't take hardly a picture one.
This was part of the Alaskan Highway we wished we could have found a dirt road to stay off it--but there wasn't one.
We did find this guy interesting.

 

 

 

 

Today we camped on Watson Lake near Watson Lake.
We would tomorrow get off the Alaskan Highway pretty quickly and ride to my most favorite place
and road on this whole trip----------80 miles down a dead end dirt road to the little town of Telegraph creek
on an Indian reservation.
This is the road we passed up on the way up.
So tomorrows riding would prove to be much more exciting for us.

 

Day 20
June 26th, 2011

 

Today we'd ride about 270 miles from the border of the Yukon down to the little town of Telegraph creek in British
Columbia ---80 milesdown a dead end dirt road. Taking route 37 south most of the way.

We didn't hang around here very long.

 

 

We pulled over and checked out the vehicle in case some one was still in it.
What a bummer----that sure ruined their vacation--there is a trailer on the back with a 4-wheeler on it.

 

 

 

We turned West toward the Pacific ocean towards Telegraph creek and I was greeted with my favorite type of road.
My absolute favorite-----damp dirt. Not gravel-------dirt.
Which can be impassable if wet.

 

 

 

This road was just awesome----I was never happier on any road on this trip then this one.
From here, I imagined this road would just drop us all the way to the ocean.

 

 

We crossed so many little one lane bridges with wooden bottoms on the way.

 

 

 

 

 

Scott had said he wanted to fish on Telegraph creek but I had heard from another guys ride down here (Crooked Creek on AdvRider) that you can't.
So much for that.

 

 

At one point on this ride I felt as if I were dropping down into Copper Canyon Mexico----it was as spectacular as that and
thats saying a lot. That is a very samll Indian village you are seeing down below and is on the reservation.

 

 

 

I have never seen a grade sign that steep before---the switchbacks going down were really steep and you
had to watch your speed or risk sliding over the edge.

 

 

 

Man this was magnificent.
Today----we had the best time and rode slowly going West looking at each view.
But sometimes the damp dirt was nice to wick it up a bit.

 

 

After 80 miles of bliss---we come into the town of Telegraph Creek--which is not on the reservation.

 

 

 

This guy had everything you could possible need.

 

Telegraph Creek is a small community located off Highway 37 in Northern British Columbia at the confluence of the Stikine River and Telegraph
Creek.[1] The only permanent settlement on the Stikine River, it is home to approximately 350 members of the Tahltan First Nation, as well as
another 50 non-native residents. The town offers basic services, including Anglican and Catholic churches, two general stores, a post office,
a clinic with several nurses on-call around the clock, two Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers, and a k-12 school. Steep river banks
and rocky gorges form the terraced nature of the geography.

The community includes Telegraph Creek Indian Reserve No. 6, Telegraph Creek Indian Reserve No. 6A, and Guhthe Tah Indian Reserve
No. 11[2][3][4] which are under the governance of the Tahltan First Nation of Telegraph Creek. Stikine Indian Reserve No. 7, which
is one mile west (downstream) and on the opposite side of the Stikine River, is under the governance of the Iskut First Nation
of the settlement of Iskut, which is on the river of the same name. The two bands together comprise the Tahltan Nation.

 

 

 

OK---this is Travis.
I couldn't believe my eyes as to what I saw as I was poking around town.
A vintage Yamaha DT-1 2-stroke---it was low miles and cherry.
And Travis cruised around on it in the area all the time.
Travis was doing some carpenter work and when he saw he googling his bike he came down and
we had a long chat---he also runs the little grocery store and restaurant next door--with who I thought was his wife ???
This same bike is the 3rd bike I ever owned and I terrorized the neighborhood and town on that thing---when
it was running anyway.

 

 

This is the neat little store and restaurant-----I wish we had been hungry.

 

 

 

 

I finally broke down and had some apple pie and ice cream.

 

 

 

They asked me to sign their guest book and I did.

 

 

 

1951---the year I was born---evidently the river went all the way to the ocean ????

 

 

 

 

 

I didn't see this on the way in------and I asked where they got their electricity from.
There are big diesal generators in those semi-trailers.
I saw this setup in several other little towns.

 

There is gas food and lodging at Telegraph creek---I was quoted $85 for a cabin.
I wished we had stayed---there was a lot of daylight left and we rode the 80 miles back out---and that ride
was as good as the ride in of course--and we stayed in a motel at Deese Lake---Dumb, Dumb---super Dumb.

 

 

Day 21
June 28th, 2011

 

We headed South on Rt. 37 again from Deese Lake and I spied a little bridge over a neat small canyon.

 

 

 

A neat little dirt road ensued----and the road was not well traveled---it was one of those roads after riding on
a while that you get to thinking it won't go thru.
I've read stories of people going down deactivated roads up here and they might dead end
at a bridge over a river----except the bridge is gone.

 

 

That little road opened up a bit and it was nice and we were so glad to get off the pavement.

 

 

We ended up at this little lake and there was nobody out here.

 

 

A really neat campsite---the only one on the lake.

 

 

 

Scott had been wanting to fish and this was the perfect opportunity.

 

 

 

 

 

I was a little nervous stepping on to that deck at the end----it wasn't fastened to well and I imagined
us stepping on it and floating out in the lake---with no paddle.

 

 

 

 

 

I found out Scott is one of those fisherman who don't catch a fish in 3 minutes---he's done fishin'.
You can only have one hook on your lure--and it can't have a barb on it.
He hooked one but it got away.

 

 

 

 

 

This road took us around another remote lake and we approached an town on the Indian
reservation and I spotted a waypoint on my gps I plotted down years ago while looking at the area on google earth.
I found what I thought was a suspension bridge-----sure enough it was still there---thanks google earth.
I find a lot of stuff you'd never know about doing this.

 

 

 

 

 

It was one lane wide and you had to yield to oncoming traffic.
We ran into a guy we had met a couple weeks ago at the bridge who lived here.
He said this was about the 3rd bridge built here. It was a beautiful canyon and they built the bridge
on a narrow portion of the canyon.

 

 

 

 

We ended up in Smithers again at Eye Candy Custom Cycles and Sam let us change our oil out in
the parking lot. I love this guy.

 

 

Day 22
June 28th, 2011

We made our way South out of Smithers in a downpour and didn't take many pictures in the rain.

 

 

 

It was soggy all right--not a bad day by all means---but we ran in and out of lot's of rain.

 

 

 

At the end of the day we had to dry out our stuff in Quesnal.
Well-----I guess this picture tells the story.
Me and Scott both were wearing Sidi Adventure Rain boots.
And after a couple years and 22,000 miles of rain, dirt and mud they are no longer rain boots.

 

 

 

 

Day 23
June 29th, 2001

Today we wanted to take another dirt road out by the Gang Ranch.
It had rained all day yesterday and all night--and we knew we couldn't get out there as it would be way too muddy.
But we headed towards it anyway and found another road (Dog Creek Road) that would take us too the suspension
bridge near Gang Ranch. We wandered thru a couple Indian reservations.

 

 

We couldn't believer our eyes---it hadn't rain hardly at all out here as we headed down the canyon toward the Fraser River.

 

 

 

Man this is great riding. We were estactic again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I watch the show gunsmoke a lot---old black and white western series----but this stagecoach
just seemed smaller than I had imagined. I could just see Miss Kitty gettin' out of this thing.

"Hey Mat
Hey Miss Kitty
How bout you buy me some breakfast down at Del Monico's"

 

 

 

We rode right passed the old suspension bridge again and proceeded to try and get thru
the dirt road that was washed out for us about 3 weeks ago.

 

 

 

It was still closed---but as before we rode on to check it out and see if this time we could get thru.

 

This is what it looked like our first time thru.

 

And this time---this is the same spot----of course we made it thru.
There were some harder spots coming up the mountain and a guy said we'd never make it---but we did.

 

 

 

There are many ranches out here.

 

 

 

 

 

So as we exit Pavilion Mountain Rd---we pass the sign we passed 3 weeks ago and saw that what I had
wrote on the sign was still there.
We Can Go Anywhere----well ...........almost anywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I guess they didn't want you riding on this bridge-----but I stared at it---throttle and clutch hand twitchin badly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More trucks running into concrete walls---better watch out !!!!

 

 

 

 

 

I got some really good video of these guys---the hard drive camcorder I was carrying zooms in very well.
We watched them feeding in the grass then they slowly disapeared into the woods.

 

 

We ended up in Lillooet----I really like this town.

 

Day 24
June 30th, 2011

 

We Left the lovely little town of Lillooet and headed South and we completey winged it today.
Took whatever dirt road we could find---and I drew out this little map of some highways--which
we'd try our best to not only avoid them but go in between them. We had no idea how this would turn out, where
we'd get gas----or where we'd end up--or how difficult it would be---and we would face a trip ending
creek crossing when safety was a 1/2 mile away.

 

 

 

There was a sign to not cross this tressel-------so I did.

 

 

 

They tried to block us on this road.

 

 

But obviously they didn't know who we were.

 

 

 

Scott caught this deer in his camera as he posed for him--what a lucky shot that was.

 

 

 

We rode little dirt roads like this all day and saw nobody.

 

 

Neither of us had researched travling in this area at all---we just winged it.

 

 

 

 

 

This whole trip we'd go thru lot's of logging areas.

 

 

 

The Alaskan Highway was nowhere to be seen.
It was hundreds of miles away.

 

 

 

The sign said we couldn't get thru---and the bridge was gone.
But---they didn't know who we were. We rode another 5 miles on a deteriorating road--then trail.

 

 

 

We never saw any sign of a bridge---but evidently there use to be one.

 

 

 

 

This was by far our biggest creek crossing on this ride and I told Scott if things went wrong we could fill our motors
full of water. Scott said he'd never crossed a creek this swift and deep and finally said he really didn't want to now.

But the Kettle Valley railroad bed we had ridden on coming up was only 1/2 mile past this crossing. I knew this thanks
to the tracklogs I had recorded on my Garmin 276C gps.
It was deep---very swift---and had big rocks in it.

 

So the testosterone was building and we decided we'd double up and walk the bikes across one at a time-----but..........
I let out my clutch and off I went---not without some trouble but I made it.

Scott followed suit and was really worried about making it---he stalled in the middle--restarted and got across.
Beers----all around !!!!!!! Cept we don't drink ????

 

 

 

Here's a picture on the other side.
Both of us had filled our waterproof boots to the top.
We were excited and relieved we made it.

After we crossed the Kettle Valley railroad bed we rode on a dirt road East toward the town of Summerland
with the KVR at our side the whole way--sometimes way down in a valley where we could see it along
the river.

We ended this day in Penticton BC.

 

 

 

Day 25
July 1st, 2011

 

 

This was to be our last day----we didn't really plan it that way---we just went South and crossed the border at Osoyoos
and the winging it on any dirt road we found continued.

 

 

This was the dangest thing we saw---it was an old crane----Scot said what was hanging from it was a swing for the kids......?????

 

The 2 WR's had taken us almost 7,000 miles now.

 

 

We ran down one dirt road after another and some had just been cleared out from downed trees.

 

 

 

 

My part of the "Green" movement.

 

 

We are in the USA now and I put my gps back in miles mode----instead of Kilometers.

 

 

 

We came into this town and took a long break--it was a small town and they were getting ready
for their annual July 4th rodeo.
I figured it was an Indian town-------not so.

 

 

 

We hung out here for a long time and had a gatorade and snack and just relaxed.
Our ride to the North was over.

 

 

 

My odometer on my little 250 reads 26,253 miles.
It never missed a beat and did way more than I asked of it.

 

 

 

You can see the total mileage for this ride from the time we crossed the Canada border till we came
back South and crossed it again was 6,906.1 miles.
My rear tire was worn out again---but I wasn't.

 

 

Me and Scott congratulated each other on another great ride.
Me and him have now ridden our WR250R's from Mexico to the Arctic Ocean.

 

 

 

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