Yukon-Alaska 2019 - Page 8 - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #71 of 84 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Day 18 – July 11 – Burn's Lake to William's Lake. Day started off very nice, attachment Road into Vanderhoof. Got up shortly after 0600, SSS – forgot to shave, packed then had coffee and a blueberry muffin. We loaded the bike and set off around 0730. Road was good, as was the weather, bit overcast but not wet. Decided before we left to have breakfast in Vanderhoof.

Day was overcast, but not wet. Good ride into Vanderhoof, only one construction zone with a pilot truck. Got through in 25 minutes – wait included. Roads were good so we made good progress. Gassed up in Prince George and took the 97 down to William's Lake.

As we got closer to civilization, the traffic started to increase. Not used to so many vehicles being on the road.

We Had planned on a stop in Barkerville so took the #26. It was a nice ride, saw bear, deer and moose, until about halfway and we ran into some mist/rain. Rode out of it as we got closer to Barkerville, attachment Welcome to Barkerville.

I was expecting a town similar to Dawson City, but Barkerville is a period theme town that you pay to visit. Has some restaurants, and you can even B&B it if so inclined. Daily stagecoach rides, and lots of historic information about that period, attachments Barkerville History 2 and Barkerville History. The town was named after Billy Barker.

Barkerville is like this because it is a tribute to the impact of Billy Barker and Barkerville on the gold rush in BC and how it changed the economy/dynamics of the province, attachments barkervill Sculptures 2 and Barkerville 2. There are tours and people giving historic accounts of what went on. One fellow we were listening to recounted how people arrived there, the overlanders, and where they had to travel from and to such as Fort Kamloops and such: A rendition of a local Stagecoach with yours truly, attachment Stage Coach.

It is a good stop for a few hours, and recommended on your travels.

Quesnel has a neat road side welcome site, attachment Quesnel Welcome 3. Sonya likes to have a picture at the welcome signs and she picks up a small rock and puts the towns name on it. She only does this when we travel together, she likes doing it so we stop.

Went into Quesnel for a quick bite and decided not to stay in Quesnel, but to push on to William's Lake, attachment Williams Lake 1.

A post would not be complete without a wonderful selfie, attachment Another Selfie.

Road was good and no rain. We spent the night in the Ramada, nice and clean with good internet, amazing how you miss the things you take for granted when home. Only issue with this hotel is a rather steep driveway. Makes negotiating the terrain with a trailer quite fun.

Hotel cost was $125.00 CDN, but included a full breakfast in the morning, good deal.

Got a few posts done and was off to bed early. Going to run the roads and head for home tomorrow. Hope the pics turn out better, I used a different size.

Cheers
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Road into Vanderhoof.jpg (112.7 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Welcome to Barkerville.jpg (181.7 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg Barkerville History 2.jpg (170.8 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Barkerville History.jpg (192.4 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg barkervill Sculptures 2.jpg (162.0 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Barkerville 2.jpg (112.8 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Stage Coach.jpg (140.5 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Quesnel Welcome 3.jpg (145.7 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Williams Lake 1.jpg (145.2 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Another Selfie.jpg (129.5 KB, 7 views)

"When writing the story of your life, Don't let anyone else hold the pen"

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post #72 of 84 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Day 19 – July 12 – William's Lake to Home. It's always nice to get home, cleaned up, stuff put away and back into your normal routine. We had a good ride for the last day, started off a bit overcast and cool, but turned into a lovely day and warm, attachment Nice Riding Day.

We got up, had a nice breakfast that was part of the room cost, packed the bike and on the road by 0730. The road south to Cache Creek and on to Hope was very good and we made good time. Not a lot of traffic considering we were heading for Vancouver, but traffic out of the city was a lot.

I also notice that when returning home I have a tendency to want to put on some “homeward bounders”, a little colloquialism from my Navy days when we had steam turbines and could adjust the shaft RPMs a bit to give us the sense of moving a bit quicker to get home sooner. Resisted the urge to do so for a couple of reasons, but we had already discussed which ferry we might get and we rode to that expectation.

We stopped in Hope for gas and a small bite to eat, and found the small town of Hope to be overflowing with tour groups and people heading out of the city, it was a zoo. Managed to get in at a good time, lull in the people thing. Got in and out and back on the road in short order.

Ride in on the number 1 was good as usual, got past some of the choke points early and through construction in good order.

We had discussed making the 1600 ferry sailing, but were fortunate that BC ferries were sailing late as usual on weekends and made the 1500 ferry. Motorcycles get to the front of the line and on first even with sailing waits.

Ride across to the island was very pleasant, water was very calm, and with a clear sunny day is quite spectacular.

Got to the house about 1715 and started the get everything inside. Got the trailer unhitched, and everything put to bed for the night.

As I mentioned, it feels good to be home, now to think of the next big adventure for next year. Have a couple of small ones left for this year.

Going to do an Epilogue to close out my posts. Hope you've enjoyed reading, I've enjoyed your comments and posts.

Thanks to everyone. Ride safe. Cheers
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"When writing the story of your life, Don't let anyone else hold the pen"

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post #73 of 84 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 11:33 AM
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A good trip with no real problems.

You know what would be cool with the epilogue is a map with the route drawn on it. You know, Day 1, Day 2, etc.

Why ain't we ridin'?
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post #74 of 84 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 11:39 AM
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Great job and I'm looking forward to your epilogue !!
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post #75 of 84 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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A good trip with no real problems.

You know what would be cool with the epilogue is a map with the route drawn on it. You know, Day 1, Day 2, etc.
Dennis - here is a map showing the complete route. Did some 7342 Kms in 19 days. The attachment is the first overall of the trip. I will annotate a bit and post with the different days. To follow it We left the island and from Tsawwassen we headed up towards Hinton, Alberta. Stopped about half way in Clearwater. Then up to Dawson Creek for three nights. A short jaunt up the highway and the little offshoot was a trip to the WAC Bennett Dam. Continuing on up the highway to Fort Nelson for two nights. Went up the Liard Highway to the Northwest territories, stuck our feet over the border now we can say BTDT. From there to Watson Lake, where the mileage marker is and up to Dawson City.

Back down through Watson Lake to Hyder, then on to Barkerville, Cache Creek and home.

Will ask Sonya, my map expert if she can annotate one with the days on it and a few more places.

Cheers
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File Type: jpg Alaska Route.jpg (72.8 KB, 12 views)
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post #76 of 84 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 08:28 AM
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That was an awesome trip, you will have many great memories of this trip, Thank you for taking us along for the ride with fantastic pictures and notes. Looking forward for the epilogue.
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post #77 of 84 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 04:33 AM
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"Had to use it tonight to send an email to Sonya's family as she does one every night. Moral here is that when there is no cell service, you can use the inReach as your email provider. Check the different plans and see what is available, don't leave home without it."
i have the se+ you can use the inreach with your phone and it makes it lots easier to send txt and emails i use the freedom plan with unlimited messaging works great.
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post #78 of 84 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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"Had to use it tonight to send an email to Sonya's family as she does one every night. Moral here is that when there is no cell service, you can use the inReach as your email provider. Check the different plans and see what is available, don't leave home without it."
i have the se+ you can use the inreach with your phone and it makes it lots easier to send txt and emails i use the freedom plan with unlimited messaging works great.
The App is nice, uses your contact list and the phone is definitely easier to use. Always nice to have options.

"When writing the story of your life, Don't let anyone else hold the pen"

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post #79 of 84 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Epilogue – Yukon-Alaska 2019 “Two Country, Two Province, Two Territory and Two Iron Butt Tour”

Have been thinking on how to finish up this wonderful ride. It was an eye opener, as well as a good lesson in our history and what was accomplished with very little. The land was and still is quite harsh, with lots of distance between stops and towns. There were a lot of road signs about wild life, but we found this to be hit and miss, with more misses than hits.

The roads were quite good and road construction was not as extensive as we had thought. The road surface is a clear seal that I would categorize as one grade rougher than a tar and gravel surface, and because of this, tires take a beating.

Weather is a constant challenge to predict. Having a variety of clothes and riding gear to suit is a must. The good part of this is the newer textiles for travel/hiking and such are well suited to taking on a motorcycle trip such as this. Packing and amount of clothing that can be taken can be increased using the same space as that for clothing that was more bulky in the past. The issue here is that this can allow you to take more than required. The newer “quick dry” clothing can be washed in the evening and be dry by morning, very convenient.

Maintenance and trip preparation does not take as long as one would expect. We started thinking and planning this trip with 4 months to go. Sonya took on the planning, research into what was possibly available to see/visit, and I took on the “get the bike ready” requirements.

I have mentioned that there is a lot to be seen and to visit, but having been there would recommend what I have posted for timeline guidance. One evening and part of the next morning for Watson Lake. An hour or so to visit signpost forest and 1 1/2 hours for a visit to the Northern Lights Centre is a must. Dawson Creek needs two nights and one day for the town.

Dawson City two nights and one day for sight seeing. Famous Canadians from this town are Pierre Burton, Jack London, and Robert Service. It was also interesting to have complete daylight at midnight, something you can only read about in the more southern areas.

Whitehorse needs two nights and one day to see the town. Lots of places to visit but only need one day to do so. The Macbride Museum has Sam McGee's original cabin and the history of the famous poem is well presented.

Fort Nelson can be done with one night, has a nice town museum. If you are going to drop up into the Northwest Territories from Fort Nelson, spend an extra night.

Lots of open roads with nothing in between gas stops. If your motorcycle can do 250 Kms, no worries on the gas stops; however, if you need to stretch your legs and there is fuel, top up, can't hurt.

We had a leisurely trip in a sense. Most Kms in a day was around 520, think we hit 600ish one day. Still an easy ride considering there was no real historic type stops en route. First day took us from Victoria to Clearwater, BC. Second day to Hinton, Alberta. Third day up to Dawson Creek, start of the Alaska Highway. Next jaunt was to Watson Lake, BC, and then up to Whitehorse. From Whitehorse up to Dawson City in the Yukon.

We then had to retrace our steps, going from Dawson City, Yukon, to Whitehorse. From Whitehorse to Baby Nuggett City just outside Watson Lake. We then took the 37 down to Stewart, BC and Hyder, Alaska. Continued on down through Prince George, taking the 97 down to cache Creek and then the number 1 into Hope and to Tsawwassen for the ferry over to the island.

It was a long, but good trip. Some 7342 Kms and 19 days, almost a years Kms for some. Spent $662.00 on fuel, meals were $1185.00, accommodations $2178.00, and snacks/coffee of $200.00. Had some misc expenses such as museum costs, exhibit entries of $424.00.

Had to do a fix of the trailer hitch in Fort Nelson. My initial install didn't work out quite as I planned so had to replace the securing brackets with u-bolts, wanted to do this before we left, but couldn't find the u-bolts, and time was of the essence. I found that the tool kit of the 1500 was not as good as I expected and had to buy some inexpensive tools to do the job. I have started to put together a better tool kit and have learned from this experience to start any mods to the motorcycle a bit earlier.

Met quite a few motorcyclists on the trip. Discussed the different bikes being used and issues encountered.

I would propose that the highest priority item for a trip such as this is tires. I mention this because motorcycle tire shops are far and few between. On the way north, Hinton Alberta, Grande Prairie, Dawson Creek, Whitehorse on the way up are your supply towns. On the way south depending on your direction, Prince George, Prince Rupert, and once past these, should be okay. Venturing into Alaska, you have Fairbanks and Skagway, maybe a couple more. If you are concerned with tires, phone ahead and make arrangements to have tires available.

Other than this, do all the maintenance you possibly can before you go. Any item that you think you can put off until you return should be done before you go, you don't want any surprises. No matter how much you do, there will always be something to catch your attention.

Met some riders on adventure bikes in Dawson City heading for Whitehorse to do bike maintenance such as oil change, chain and sprocket replacement. If you have the space, a spare chain is good, as are new sprockets for your bike. Shaft drive motorcycles are much better, but I'm certain that these have issues.

I have mentioned that we had a Delorme inReach Explorer sat tracker. Highly recommended to have such an item, especially one that can be used to send and receive text and emails. You will find a lot of areas where there is no cell phone coverage, and if things go awry, you can be waiting for quite a while. We had to use the email function a couple of times when there was no cell phone coverage, or internet availability. I cannot compare the unit I have with the SPOT variant, but can say that email and text functions of the Explorer is very calming on a trip such as this, especially if you are travelling solo, and there are a lot of solo riders on the road.

Talked to a rider in Dawson City who was riding a Vstrom 650. He had upgraded the suspension to meet his weight requirements and riding style. Had a good selection of additional items such as the Garmin Exporer, USB attachments and such. He mentioned that he got good fuel economy as well with the bike fully loaded.

There were a considerable number of adventure style motorcycles. A lot of BMW GSA types, triumph Tiger 800s, Vstroms, and such. HDs and Goldwings were also prevalent. I'm certain that I have missed some, but suffice it to say that almost any motorcycle capable of going 250 Kms between gas stops can make the pilgrimage north.

Would I recommend this trip, definitely. It is a must to learn about our north, and the US north. There is a romance attached to the north and with it from the gold rush. There is also a reality about the north of today that is quite different from our romantic notions. Expect long stretches with the same scenery, and no wildlife, and no traffic either way. It's a bucket list trip, with many doing this trek more than once. To do and see everything the north has to offer does take more than one trip, but expect to see the same sites each time.

Thanks to all who have been following our trip, and have read and commented on my posts. Cheers

"When writing the story of your life, Don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest
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post #80 of 84 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019, 01:38 PM
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thanks for keeping us updated it was a good trip.

life is good.
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