zipper

NWP/IDBDR Day #2

Miles Total: 327
Miles Today: 122

Woke up a little before 6a this morning, just as it was getting light. Had my alarm set for 6, so I guess I didn’t need it. Since I had cell coverage, I surfed around on my phone for a bit before I actually climbed out of the hammock and made some breakfast.

Today’s breakfast consisted of high protein oatmeal, hot chocolate, and a Kind bar. This is going to be a theme throughout the trip because I brought the exact same thing for breakfast every single day! At some point, we may end up in a hotel and perhaps there will be a restaurant nearby for a change of pace.

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After I broke camp, I made my way down to the river to filter some water. It was a neat little river that was not that far away – made for some good white noise while falling asleep.

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Once the water was filtered, it was time to gear up and get ready to go. Then the first issue of the day struck…I continue to be zipper challenged – somehow I busted the zipper on my riding pants. Now, I’m not exactly sure why there is a zipper on the pants – the area behind the zipper is a piece of waterproof material. Anyhow, not a catastrophic failure, so we could continue on with the trip.

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I was ready to go a little earlier than my dad, and I spotted this squirrel that was going up and down a tree like crazy. It looked like he was collecting pine needles and moss to build a nest.

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As we cruised along, we would stop at some of the campgrounds for rest breaks. This works out nice because there is plenty of parking and a bathroom. It is always a good opportunity to take another picture of the bike! This is at the Tiffany Spring Campground.

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Today’s ride was about 40% dirt, 60% pavement. I had expected a bit more dirt today, but the paved sections were still really nice. Many cool views along the way – I took videos w/my 360fly, but I won’t process them until I get home. The dirt was pretty easy today – you would occasionally have to stand up for some ruts or short rocky sections. This picture is typical of the roads we were on.

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I would ride ahead of my dad a bit, I tend to ride a bit faster, plus it keeps the dust down for him. Periodically (usually at intersections), I would stop and let him catch up. This led to an opportunity to get an action shot.

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There were a few hunters out and about. Grouse is open and apparently it is archery season for deer and bear right now. At one of our campground stops (Long Swamp Campground), we chatted with an archery hunter who had just driven in.

When we stop for longer breaks, I take my 360fly off of it’s mount and put it in the charger. At this particular break, I dropped it as I was putting it back on the bike. Of course it landed lens down – there are a few chips along the edges, hopefully it doesn’t mess up the pictures too bad.

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On our way to Oroville, we cruised along the Similkameen River. It was a very cool road with great views of the river. There were a few boats that looked like they were dredging for gold – I wish I would have stopped and taken a picture. A small herd of deer crossed the road in front of us, hopefully I got them on the 360fly video – my Dad messed up his camera opportunity…We pulled into Oroville for some gas and to pick up some munchies and then cruised on down the street to this little park so we could sit down and eat lunch.

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My lunch plan is to pick up snacks at our gas stop every day. My Mom bought my Dad a bunch of cup-o-soup for his lunches, so he took our park stop as an opportunity to heat up some water and make lunch.

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While we were there, there were quail calling each other. I tracked down the source to the front of a house across the street from the park.

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We opted to skip the extra loop up to Molson so that we could get into camp early today. It turned out to be a good thing because it started to rain just after we got camp set up. Here is my Dad lounging around before things got wet.

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Here is the view from my hammock.

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It’s been raining for a solid hour so far. I did a weather request on my InReach and it sounds like it is going to clear up tonight. I have not had dinner yet, I’m writing up this blog entry to kill time waiting for the rain to stop. I suppose if the rain doesn’t stop soon, I’ll get hungry enough to go eat in the rain or make dinner under my tarp – don’t want to attract the bears though!

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Alaska Ride – June 25th – Day #31

Clearly I am zipper challenged. I now have imminent zipper failure on the tent door. The zipper seems to zip fine, and then it just comes apart in places. Only a few more camping nights left before we get home, hopefully it will be good enough to last.

The wind blew like crazy last night. I’m glad they had a sheltered area for the tents, otherwise we may have been lifted up and taken to Oz. Don’t think my tent is sturdy enough to squish a witch…

After consulting we several of “the guys” here at the RV park, we decide to walk about a mile or so to a bakery for breakfast. Ended up getting a yummy sticky bun, sausage, and some hot chocolate. I needed all the extra calories to recover from the walk 🙂

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On the way back, we stopped at a sportsman store and lucked into some earplugs in the shooting section. I’ve been using disposable earplugs since I lost my reusable ones early in the trip, and I’m almost out. They actually had the same brand that I was using before! Hopefully I can keep track of them for the 3-4 days of riding we have left (after a couple of days on the ferry).

After dropping off the earplugs in the tent, we decided to walk around the waterfront and take a few pictures. There is a cruise ship in town today…

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and they had a big totem pole on the waterfront.

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We looped back through town again and stopped at an outdoor recreation store. I bought a big sheet of mosquito netting for $9. I figure that if the zipper on the tent door fails, I can duct tape up some bug netting to keep from being eaten alive in the tent (If there happen to be bugs around).

Another trip back to the tent to drop things off, and then time for lunch! Halibut and Chips today!

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Again it was back to the campground. We spent a good chunk of the afternoon planning our route from Prince Rupert to home. It really looks like we’ll be able to do it in 3 days, which will put us home late in the day on June 30th (there was a nice lady who insisted that we would have no problem making it in 3 days, she’s done it lots of times). So, unless we get tired and stop early on one of the days, we’ve got a solid plan.

The halibut that I caught and had shipped home arrived today. The only problem – it was supposed to arrive yesterday. About half of the shipment had thawed. Fortunately I had insured it, so I called up FedEx. They said I have to call the shippers (the fish processing company) and they have to file a claim. I talked to the processing company and they said they would take care of it and send me out some more fish. I’m still waiting for a call back, but keeping my fingers crossed.

We walked to the Lighthouse Restaurant next door and grabbed dinner. Look! I had something healthy! (if you ignore the fact that the fish was soaked with garlic butter).

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Spending the rest of the evening getting organized for the ferry tomorrow – we don’t have access to the bikes while the boat is underway. I’m trying to figure out how I can most efficiently get my stuff from the bike to the cabin. Then it is off to bed.

Alaska Ride – June 11th – Day #17

Total zipper failure! The slider on my sleeping bag zipper exploded last night, so now I have no zipper on my sleeping bag. Not to worry! I pulled out the gorilla tape and taped it closed in the middle of the night.

It rained a bit last night, and there was still a light sprinkle as we woke up this morning. We could see the sun breaking through the clouds in the distance. We stalled for a bit waiting for the rain to stop, which didn’t take very long. We also skipped breakfast because today we were scheduled to have giant cinnamon rolls for breakfast! (of which I did not take a picture, but if you go back a few days, you can see one that we bought on the way north).

Then it was on to Whitehorse. We made a provisioning stop at Walmart, where I also grabbed some items to help fix my sleeping bag. I’ll stick with my tape fix tonight and spend some time tomorrow doing a better fix with needle and thread and duct tape! What a combination.

Now it was time to move on to new territory, heading west on the Alaska Highway. The last couple of days on the Klondike Highway has been so-so for views. This section of the Alaska Highway is way better, with big mountain views. I like the mountain views.

We stopped at a rest area that had a cool little wooden bridge that predates the Alaska Highway, although it has apparently been refurbished since.

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We pulled over at the next rest area to get a picture of the mountains.

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We stopped at a burger joint in Haines Junction to grab some lunch. I ended up having a spicy Caribou sausage (at least that’s what they claimed).

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Haines Junction has spectacular views of the mountains…here are the bikes in the parking lot of the lunch joint.

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We rode another 45 minutes down the road to Cottonwood RV Park. We picked this out of The Milepost because it looked pretty nice, and it is, except for two things. No laundry and super slow internet. Our plan is to take a rest day here tomorrow, so it kinda sucks about the laundry. It will just have to wait till Fairbanks.DSC03306

Lack of internet has caused me to fall behind on posting blog updates (I’ve been writing them though!). Hopefully the super slow internet here will help me catch back up again.

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 4th – Day #10

WooHoo! We made it to double digit days! Although I’ve got to say the last day or so has been tough because I keep breaking and losing things. The zipper on my sleeping bag broke in the middle of the “night” (it was still light at 12:30a) last night. Tried to fix it while laying there, but gave up, fortunately it wasn’t too cold. Then I couldn’t find the cover for my chair when we broke camp. My best guess is that it blew away in the wind while we set up camp the night before and neither of us noticed. On top of all that, I lost the lens cap to my camera at some point. Oh well.

We were off at 8:45a today…Based on the recommendation of a person at camp last night, our first stop was at the Five Finger Rapids Recreation Site. It was a neat little spot that educates about the steamers going up and down the Yukon river during the gold rush, and how they ended up blasting out one of the rapids to make it safer. There was a staircase going down toward the river but we elected to skip it.

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At Stewart Crossing, we stopped for gas and a snack. We went across the street to the visitor center where the lady tried really hard to get us to drive out to Mayo. Not today, we are on our way to Dawson City! We still haven’t seen a live moose, so I took a picture of the wall at our stop. I think this one might be a moose/elk cross-breed 🙂

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The old man was feeling a bit groggy, so we stopped at a rest area at Gravel Lake. There are tons of nutrients in the lake and lots of waterfowl use it as a resting spot during migration (both directions). Sure enough, there were a bunch of birds there :).

A quick pic of the bikes at the lake, and the old man playing dead.IMG_0330

Dawson City is a gold mining town (they still actively mine up here). It looks like something right out of an old western. I need to take more pictures, this is the only one I took today…

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We stopped by the Yukon and Northwest Territory visitor centers to get an update on the Dempster Highway. The ferries have only been running for about a week. The road conditions are good, and all the campgrounds are open (ie no bear issues yet). There are showers in the forecast for tomorrow and Friday – enough wet to keep the dust down, but not enough to turn it into a muddy mess. Right now, we are planning on taking a rest day tomorrow and then start the trek to Inuvik on Friday.

The Yukon visitor center had a cool display of two moose racks that were locked together. Apparently they were battling it out during mating season, and there best guess is the smaller moose was killed instantly and the larger one either starved to death or got taken down by a predator.

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Based on the recommendation of the lady at the NWT visitor center, we walked over to The Drunken Goat for some dinner. We split one of their sampler plates that had lamb, shrimp, ribs, and chicken. Also tossed back a couple of beers. Good thing I am on a diet.

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Back at camp I still needed to figure out the sleeping bag zipper issue. I’m not a tailor, so please forgive my non-technical zipper jargon. The “slider” had come off one side of the “teeth”. My plan was to bend open the gap wide enough to slide the teeth back in, and then clamp it down. It worked…almost I was fine tuning the fix and busted the slider.

The zipper was the kind with two sliders facing opposite directions. So, I removed the other slider and reversed it’s direction. Then I started zipping up the sleeping bag, and taped the bottom together to act as a stopper. Seems to be working for now!

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