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Author Topic: Another Road Trip by Motorcycle  (Read 1505 times)

leroys73

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Another Road Trip by Motorcycle
« on: August 21, 2015, 12:00:53 AM »

I finally got some more things off my bucket list.  I just returned from an almost 9000 mile motorcycle trip over 18 days, 15 days of riding.  This was my first time to go Alaska but it will not be my last.  I also hit Yukon and Northwest Territories for the first time. 

This trip was about 3 years behind schedule.  I had gone over various routes in those three years.  I had to cut out Alaska proper for lack of time.  My packing list was detailed but I carried too much stuff.  I planned to camp as much as I could.  This changed.  I have an auxiliary fuel tank mounted on my Made in the USA Honda VTX 1300R so I have a range of 200 miles without worry.  Plus I carried an extra gallon of fuel, tools, and spare parts, just in case but not needed.   

I left out of the Dallas area at 0610 allowing two days to get to Seattle.  In the process I rode the Iron Butt Association's Saddle Sore 2000 (2000 miles in under 48 hours) which included two 1000+ mile days doing the super slab all the way.  The first night was in Rock Springs, WY.  The second night I was in Seattle just in time for their Sea Fair.  This was the first time I had my motorcycle in OR and WA. 

After a second night in Seattle I crossed into BC with a slower pace planned.  Since I am from Texas the border guard was surely going to ask about guns, which he did.  Very nice guy.  I am not a fool so no guns across the border.  I then headed towards Prince George with overnight camping north of Williams Lake.

The next day I planned to stay in Hyder, AK but since it was wet and turning colder I opted for an early stop with a night in a hotel at New Hazelton, BC. It was reasonable and a good stay.   

The next day I was in Steward, BC and crossed over to Hyder, AK.  Hyder is a "mecca" for long distance riders made famous by Ron Ayres on his 49 state record ride. Not much there but it was a place I had to go since I am a member of that crazy bunch of long distance motorcycle riders. I wanted to spend the night at the Sealaska Inn but it was too early in the day.

With rain a constant companion I headed north along the Cassiar Highway (37).  I was afraid this might be a bad road but it turned out to be pretty good and except for limited construction all paved.  I was getting tired and serious rain appeared to be on its way so I started looking for a hotel.  I would have camped but I did not want to set up in rain. I am old and turning into a sissy.

There is not much along this highway but at Dease Lake I found what appeared to be a real looser of a hotel from the highway.  I had my bed roll if too bad.  At check in the people were just great.  They go out of there way to make motorcycle riders comfortable.  The price wasn't bad considering where I was.  The room was great.  It was better than the Holiday Inn Express I stayed in on my way home.  I slept great.

The next AM I was the second one out of the parking lot and on my way to Watson Lake, Yukon.  Yes, rain was with me again.  I have a good rain suit that "breaths" some but they still can get hot between rains.  They always tend to be uncomfortable.  But oh well I chose to ride a motorcycle so that comes with the territory.

I arrived at Watson, Lake after what I thought was an interesting ride on the famous Cassiar Highway.  I stopped at the Sign Post "City", refueled, and headed to Dawson Creek for my swing straight north to Yellowknife, Northwest Territory.

Dawson Creek would be a stretch but on must have a goal.  Well the rain came.  Horrible construction came and almost got the best of me with deep pot holes, mud, and deep gravel.  My motorcycle was not made for off road riding.  I hung in there but was getting very tired.  I stopped for fuel at Northern Rockies Lodge.  Not promising from the gas pump view.  I went inside to inquire about a camp site as I could tell the lodge was expensive.

Yes they had some tent sites. But just for the heck of it I asked about a room and cost.  Ottula (sp) steeped up and said oh yes he could fix me up with a cabin.  Dollar signs went through my head.  I don't recall for sure what the cost was but I do know I paid more for a Super 8 in Yellowknife that was not as good.  This cabin was right on Lake Muncho, beautiful.  I liked it so much and the people here were so accommodating I stayed a second night.  Plus another factor, I did hear that it was to rain much more the first night and the construction was worse than what I had already gone through.

By noon the second day the weather turned out fantastic so I enjoyed doing nothing but enjoying the weather and the lake.  The next day I was on my way again.  Yes there was construction but by waiting the extra day it had dried up enough and there were graders out smoothing the road so it was a much better experience than two days before.

That was the end of the worst roads.  I made it to Dawson Creek without difficulty and found a camp site.  Not the best but not the worst campground. With over 700 miles to Yellowknife, 600 straight north, I figured I had better camp early and get an early start the next morning.  I planned to make it to Yellowknife that day.

I got away early enough and arrived at Grimshaw, AB on schedule.  This is mile zero of the MacKensie Highway.  This stretch was uneventful, almost boring, but still interesting as was all of the trip to Yellowknife.  I arrived in Ft. Providence early enough to probably make Yellowknife by a reasonable time.  However, there was a fire along the highway between Ft. Providence and Yellowknife and it was shut down.  I camped at the territorial park outside Ft. Providence.  I later found out that the camping was better than the hotel in town. 

Next morning I was on my way to Yellowknife.  The scenery was mostly flat with green trees, burnt trees, rocks and bison (aka buffalo).  I did see a well damaged pickup and and a dead bison in the ditch.  Bad day for both.

Ah, Yellowknife at last!  The camping did not seem very inviting so I opted for a Super 8, not cheap, I'd even say expensive.  However, consider where I was, way up north.  It was typical of the newer Super 8s.  It was clean and the staff was good.  I mostly did the tourist thing here.  I am not a Harley guy but I had to bring back some gifts for family and friends so the Harley store always has stuff even if they don't have motor cycles.  This one had three motorcycles.  WOW! 

I ate at Bullocks Fish and Chips.  The serving was large and tasted great.  Nothing is cheap up there.  The next day I ate at the Wild Cat Cafe.  It is the oldest cafe in Yellowknife.  The food was good but service was very lacking.   It is very pretty up there but a long drive.  I am glad I went.

Well, my return home would be as quick as I could make it with stops in Jasper and Banff along with Glacier National Parks.  I camped two more times one free and another at a KOA near Jasper.  I was in these parks 41 years ago when I was 25.  Jasper and Banff were disappointing.  The area has been made so commercial it was almost an effort to enjoy the beauty.  I stayed off the "super highway" and avoided much of the traffic.  Bow Valley Parkway was a good ride.  Lake Louise was so crowded I could not park my motorcycle.  41 years ago we parked anywhere and walked all around.  Times change. 

Glacier on the other hand did not seem to have changed much it was still very pretty and fun to ride through.  I did get to visit Waterton which has improved over the years.  It was a nice but too quick a visit.

I left E. Glacier after spending the night a the Mountain Pine Motel.  It was old but very nice and reasonable.  My goal was to be home the next day so that meant another Iron Butt ride.  The first day I rode about 1100 miles to Denver.  After a few hours of sleep I headed home via northern NM.  This day would be about 800 miles.  I missed riding the Iron Butt Association's Saddle Sore 2000 GOLD (2000 miles under 36 hours) by 100 miles and I was out of time.  Oh well, a Saddle Sore 1000 (1000 miles under 24 hrs) and a Bun Burner 1500 (1500 miles under 36 hrs).

As of now I have ridden my made in the USA Honda VTX 1300R 111,000 miles in 49 states plus DC and 8 provinces while adding some more certified Iron Butt rides to my list.  Next summer the VTX  and I will ride to NB, NS, PE, & NL the 4 remaining paved provinces it has not been to.           
 

 
« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 09:15:22 PM by leroys73 »
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'73 Vette, '72 Monte Carlo, ;11 Green with Envy Challenger R/T,Ram, RoyalStarVenture S,USA Honda VTX1300R ridden 49states &11provinces,Driven cars in50 states+DC&21countries,OverseasBrats;IronButt:MileEatersilver,SS1000Gold,SS3000,3xSS2000,18xSS1000, 3TX1000,6BB1500,NPT,LakeSuperiorCircleTour

froggie

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Re: Another Road Trip by Motorcycle
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2015, 08:37:52 AM »

I was in Seattle for a bit during their Seafest as well.  Did you catch the Blue Angels or the Navy ships down on the piers?
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leroys73

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Re: Another Road Trip by Motorcycle
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2015, 10:51:14 PM »

Regrettably I missed the Blue Angles but I did see the WWII planes fly over. 
« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 09:08:57 PM by leroys73 »
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'73 Vette, '72 Monte Carlo, ;11 Green with Envy Challenger R/T,Ram, RoyalStarVenture S,USA Honda VTX1300R ridden 49states &11provinces,Driven cars in50 states+DC&21countries,OverseasBrats;IronButt:MileEatersilver,SS1000Gold,SS3000,3xSS2000,18xSS1000, 3TX1000,6BB1500,NPT,LakeSuperiorCircleTour

 


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