Prince George

Starting a new adventure!

This time up is an epic Arctic adventure. We’ve put a tent on up of our Jeep, and the goal is to take the new road up to Tuktoyaktuk, NWT and camp on the shore of the Arctic ocean…. Maybe even take a quick swim :).

This post is going to be a quick description of our route. We will be using an inReach to track our location – you can follow along at https://tinyurl.com/ybtpeqmk. I’ve preloaded our route on spotwalla (the link) and you can go there to drill into the route in detail. I’ve included some screenshots so you don’t have to jump back and forth.

Section 1: Reservations

This first section I am calling Reservations because it is happening during the first week of July and we made lots of reservations due to Canada Day and 4th of July… We figure it might be tough to get campsites or hotel rooms.

We’ll start off at our house and take the two Columbia River ferries to a campground in Eastern Washington. From there we’ll head over to Flathead Lake to hang out with relatives for the 4th. Then it will be north to Banff and Jasper.

Section 2: Head North!

At this point all of our reservations will be done… So, we’ll see how long we stick to our plan. From Jasper, we’ll head up to Dawson Creek (milepost 0 of the Alaska highway) and jump on the Alaska highway. We’ll follow until Watson Lake and turn onto the Campbell highway. At the end of the Campbell highway, we’ll head north on the Klondike loop toward the Dempster where we’ll head to Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk and the Arctic ocean (maybe the swimming should be skinny dipping).

Section 3: Time to go see the bears.

Once we’ve camped on the Arctic ocean, we’ll head back down the Dempster to Dawson City. From there, jump on the ferry across the Yukon River and on the Top of the World Highway to Alaska. Eventually that will intersect with the Alaska highway where we’ll head back to Watson Lake. At Watson Lake it will be time to head south on the Cassier highway down to Stewart/Hyder where we hope to see a couple of cool glaciers and watch the bears.

Section 4: Heading Home

We will do some fairly long days heading home from Stewart. We’ll drive through Prince George and then South through the Frasier River valley and on to home.

Full Route

I really only expect this plan to stay in tact through our reservations, after that we’ll play it by ear. The Dempster can get pretty nasty when it gets wet, so we may have to wait for a break in the weather, which will add time to our trip our make up shorten up the end of the drive.

Hopefully I’ll be writing from a campsite tomorrow!

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Alaska Ride – June 28th – Day #34

Did not get much sleep last night. I set my alarm for 4a, and then crawled in bed. Then I realized that 4a Alaska time is 5a BC time, which was our arrival time in Prince Rupert. I wasn’t going to get up in time! Turns out, they came on the loudspeaker 45 minutes before our arrival time and woke everyone up. Plus we were late getting into port, so my alarm would have been ok anyhow.

Getting off the ferry was not a big deal, except for the loser who would not merge lanes with me while going into customs (3 lanes merged down to 2). I finally yelled at the guy and he let me in. The customs officer actually asked to see my bear spray – fortunately it was pretty easy to reach.

Today was a long day of riding, about half of which was in the rain. Our goal was to get to Vanderhoof (about 360 miles). We ended up getting all the way to Prince George (about 450 miles). We were taking short breaks every 60 minutes, which really helped us stretch the miles. We should be able to make it home on the 30th.

The ride itself wasn’t super exciting, we’ve covered most of this ground before and it isn’t the greatest scenery to begin with. We did see our first deer of the trip (if you don’t count Caribou) and we saw another black bear.

Didn’t take any pictures today – we were in cover lots of ground mode. We’ll see if I get any tomorrow.

Alaska Ride – May 28th – Day #3

It was cold last night! I didn’t have my sleeping bag zipped up all the way and I woke up shivering. I put on my “pillow” (also known as my down jacket), to help warm up and then it was back to sleep. Woke up around 5a shivering again! I was out of gear to put on. I suffered for a bit and then got out of bed. The temperature on my bike read 34F when I checked.

I gave myself a sponge bath with baby wipes since there were no showers at the campground. (BTW baby wipes are awesome to have along on a trip like this). My plan for clothes was to try to go three days before rotating to the next set…I changed my mind two days is plenty. I’m glad I brought three sets of clothes.

We decided to go for a shorter ride today – only 260ish miles. This allowed us to stop more, and get into camp a bit earlier and relax. We had our first official safety break today. Our plan is to take a “safety break” at any point that either of us feels tired. My dad made the first call today so we pulled over at a rest area so he could relax and make some coffee. Didn’t actually take a nap, but did hang out for about an hour.

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The KTM attracts attention whenever we stop. Last night, the campground host lady thought the orange crash bars were the coolest thing ever! Today we stopped to look at the GPS for distance to fuel, and a random guy came up to me and started chatting about it – apparently his buddy has one on order. Everyone thinks the Husky is a Honda since my dad has all the logos covered up.

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The ride today was pretty ho-hum. The weather was mostly nice, with a couple of short showers. The scenery was trees and the roads were pretty straight. We stopped in Prince George for lunch (and WiFi to upload yesterday’s post). There is a Walmart in town…went in to grab some hats to help keep warm while sleeping. In fact, here is my dad modeling our awesome purchase.

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We are staying at Beaumont Provincial park tonight. As we pulled in, there was thunder in the distance. We rushed to get our tarps set up so we would have someplace to hang out while the shower passed. But, the rain never came.

The ground cloth for my tent was pretty wet and dirty from last night, so I rigged up a clothesline underneath the tarp. Once it dried, I used my tent broom to sweep off the dirt. Worked out pretty well!

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There are a few mosquitoes here. Nothing like we expect to see when we get further north. I’m wearing a ExOfficio BugsAway pants, shirt, and jacket. I treated my socks with Permethrin myself. I’m writing this right before I go to bed, and I haven’t had any bug bites at all!