Alaska Ride – June 7th – Day #13

Never, ever, ever take two Advil PM at midnight if you want to get up at reasonable hour the next day. I learned that from experience when I didn’t wake up till 11a this morning. While I was sleeping away, my dad went over to the shop and fixed his dented up pannier. Almost as good as new!

We arranged for a late checkout since checkout time was 11a, and loaded up the bikes. The old man is in good spirits after his crash yesterday, but his ribs are really bugging him. The plan for today is to slowly head north and see how it goes. One of the major goals for the trip is to get to the arctic circle and we are soooo close.

We checked out of the hotel and topped of our tanks. I aired down my tires a bit – my front didn’t grip as well as I would have liked in the mud yesterday. Then we were off!

This section of road had tons of very loose gravel on it…they either just added some or recently graded the road. Airing down my tires didn’t seem to help any here, it felt like I was going down a loose gravel road. Nothing too scary. I let my dad set the pace, and we went pretty slow. He was riding way too tentatively and I was worried about another crash. We finally made it to the Arctic Circle without incident.

A picture with the bike…

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A picture with the me…

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Panorama of the landscape…

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I took a picture of my GPS with the Sunrise and Sunset time since this was the farthest north we’ll be coming. Not quite sunny 24hrs a day…only happens here on the longest day of the year.IMG_0406

The weather at the Arctic Circle was starting to worsen, particularly to the north (we saw some lightning on the ride up). My dad is riding too tentatively and I think he may have cracked a rib in the fall yesterday. I’m worried if he takes another spill on that rib, something very bad could happen. So, I made the call that we would not be going any further north – time to get him back to some pavement. At this point, I’m assuming we are done with unpaved roads for the trip. We’ll see how much confidence he gets on the way back to Dawson City…

We made our way back to Eagle Plains to get another hotel room for the night. They give people this nifty little certificate if they make it to the Arctic Circle.

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Now we get to the part of the blog where young children need to look away – it is time to have a discussion about my motorcycle boots. At one point in time, very long ago, my motorcycle boots were waterproof. They are no longer. In fact, they have been waterlogged many times. On top of that, I have pretty sweaty feet. The net result – my boots smell really, really bad. So bad, that you really don’t want them in the hotel room because the room is filled with the smell. I’ve been shutting them in the bathroom and turning the fan on. Now, my feet have been in these boots for the majority of the day for the last two weeks. I feel like the smell has been permanently infused into my feet. They now feel like the smell smells (does that make sense?). So I decided to soak in the bathtub. I’m not normally a bath kinda guy, but it was really worth it this time around. Unfortunately I have to stick my feet back into those boots tomorrow…

Once I was all clean and my feet don’t stink anymore (at least to me). We head of to the lounge for some dinner. We grab a couple of beers and order a plate of nachos. After another beer we decide that the nachos were enough for dinner.

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There have been a few bikers coming through. I spoke with a couple of guys yesterday that were returning from Inuvik and were on their way to Deadhorse before heading to South America. Makes my little adventure seem, well, little. He fell at 100kph (so he claimed), and just slid with the bike for a long ways. There is another nice couple who rode up on BMWs with street tires on them – they barely made it here the day my dad crashed, and are waiting for a truck to haul their bikes back. This is not the easiest of roads to ride.

We are going to try for an early start tomorrow. The rain seems to develop in the afternoons, and the road isn’t bad while it is dry. I’ll let my dad lead the way again, so we can go at comfortable pace for him. We also may stop and fish along the way, so it could be a couple of days before we get back to Dawson City.

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