Carmacks

Arctic Adventure Day #11

Our goal today was to make it to the Dempster Highway. We woke up early, so we could hit the road to ensure that there were campsites left at the Tombstone Campground when we arrived.

After the first hour, we stopped at the Braeburn Lodge for a giant cinnamon roll. We had part for breakfast, part for lunch, part for dinner, and still have some left over for tomorrow.

Or next stop was in Carmacks to pick up some ice. The cooler has been working pretty well, we’ve been adding a bag of ice every couple of days. This picture shows what it looked like after 3 days with no new ice. The block is from the start of the trip!

We checked out the Five Finger Rapids viewing area. It was starting to rain, so we didn’t stay very long.

Tundra checked them out too!

We made it to the Dempster

This is the visitor center at tombstone.

We had lunch there as well.

Since it was early and the road was in good shape, we decided to continue on to the Engineer Creek campground. The ranger at the visitor center warned us that it is pretty buggy.

Car is getting dirty.

The ranger didn’t lie, there were lots of bugs here, mostly in the campsites – the road through the campground was pretty clear. We spent lots of time in the cooking shelter to get away from the bugs.

Not sure if this means it is going to be dark for an instant at 5a, or if it isn’t going to get dark 🙂 hopefully tomorrow we’ll see what my watch does when there is no sunrise or sunset.

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Alaska Ride – June 10th – Day #16

More zipper failure! Last night my sleeping bag zipper died again, now it has a broken tooth as well. It is very near the top, I can probably zip it up 95% of the way, which should be good enough for the rest of this trip.

Our ride started around 9a this morning with beautiful blue skies! There was no rain last night and the roads were nice and dry. We are retracing our steps on the Klondike Highway to get back to the Alaska Highway and on to Alaska. This means we didn’t stop to take a whole lot of pictures today – we’ve been down this stretch of road before.

We stopped at Stewart Crossing to top off our fuel and a group of motorcycles arrived shortly after we did. A week or so ago I posted a picture of a bunch of BMWs with a Ducati – this was that group of guys. Since we saw them in that post, they had gone the entire length of the Dalton to Deadhorse, and were on their way home. We chatted about our rides for 45 minutes or so.

It has been several days since I’ve dropped my bike! To make sure my amazing string continues, I backed out the preload on the rear spring quite a bit, effectively lowering the bike. Now the balls of my feet are solidly on the ground and I can save some of the stupid drops.

My dad was getting a little drowsy, so we pulled over at a rest area along the Yukon River. This area was the western edge of the glaciers that covered North America in the last Ice Age. The river cut through the gravelly deposits left by the glaciers, forming the islands in the river in this picture.

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And while we are resting, I always need another picture of my motorcycle.

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We stopped at the coal mine campground (we stayed there just a few days ago!) for some lunch, and then moved on down the street to Carmacks to get some fuel. Not a super exciting ride today.

We are staying at Twin Lakes Government Camp. Out site has a great view overlooking the lake. When we first arrived, there were some threatening clouds, but no rain or thunder developed and it turned into a very nice evening.DSC03273

While we were relaxing, a float plane dropped in for a bit. He only stuck around for about 20 minutes, so he was either visiting a buddy, or delivering people.DSC03277

The view of our campsite.

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Tomorrow we are continuing south for a bit – going to stop for a giant cinnamon roll for breakfast, then swing by Whitehorse for fuel and supplies, and then on toward Alaska!

Alaska Ride – June 3rd – Day #9

We took full advantage of the hotel room and slept in until 7a (That really isn’t sleeping in). I didn’t actually get out of bed until 8a or so. After surfing the web and posting yesterday’s blog, we started to take things down to load up the bikes. I opened the left pannier and the nastiest smell came out – I’m pretty sure the towel I was using to clean the windshield finally accumulated enough bug parts to smell rotten. On top of that, the pannier had quite a bit of water in it and I didn’t see any obvious leaks.

We finally got the bikes all packed up, and after searching for my Dad’s glasses for 20 minutes, we were off. First stop was the Honda/KTM dealer to see if they had any heated gear. We both decided that some heated socks were in order after yesterday. But alas, they didn’t have any. Then it was off to walmart to restock some food.

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My dad kept complaining about his pants falling down, so he bought a pair of suspenders. He kept using some excuse about a busted zipper, I just think he likes the old man look.

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The ride today was pretty short (by design). We left the Alaska Highway to start on the Klondike Highway. The scenery is a bit different, not as many mountains but lots of cool streams and swampy areas that should have a moose in them…yet we have seen none. There are also some pretty big areas that are recovering from forest fires, so the trees are pretty small.

The first food we had all day was lunch at the Braeburn Lodge. We split a giant hamburger and got a giant cinnamon roll for dessert. We couldn’t actually finish the cinnamon roll, so we saved the leftovers and ate them for dinner.

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We pulled into Carmacks to grab some gas. Hooray! they had premium. I moved my bike away from the pump to park it, and I dropped it again as I stopped. Argh! A couple of locals sitting on the porch watched the whole thing and were kind enough to come over and help me lift the bike. I banged up the right pannier again.

We stopped for the night at the Coal Mine Campground, about a mile from the gas station. I spent some time banging the dent out of my pannier (again). Then I looked at my leaky pannier to see if I could figure out how the water was getting in. Nothing was obvious – I had replaced some small screws to install a cargo net on the inside of the pannier lid. I figure I didn’t tighten one enough, so I started to tighten them…and busted the head off one. Of course I don’t have a spare. I gave up and plugged the hole with gorilla tape. So now I have a leaky pannier with a saggy cargo net 🙂

We really haven’t taken too many pictures the last couple of days – we haven’t seen any wildlife since the day with all the bears, it poured down rain yesterday, and we really didn’t cover much ground today. We’ll try to be better about it in the future.

So, I’ll close with a picture of my dad surfing porn or whatever he does on the computer sitting in his tent.

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