Friday, 15 June 2012

Anchorage To Chugiak
Finally we can catch up on some writing, been too busy looking out the window and riding around.

We stayed with Gary and Deb for two nights after leaving Lesleys, the first idea was to go for the Friday evening ride stay then carry on Saturday but with the D2D bar b q on it was established that we were so close we may as well stay the Saturday night as well, easy as. So Friday evening and Gary, Ellen and I went for a ride to Girdwood, Deb did come and meet us later for the return leg, neat ride and great views given we had not seen it on our Homer trip due to the snow and fog.

Saturday morning was a fix it and sort it morning and the avo was a pre D2D safety meeting with all the ADVers at Legions house, n o i c e view from there I might add, we organised to get Ellen’s side stand done after Greg offered to take care of it which meant we could get on the road a day earlier.Sunday morning was leisurely pack up and go to Gregs and time to say goodbyes.

Only one minute from leaving Gary and Debs Ellen took a turn too wide go onto the ball bearings did a tank slapper and derailed off into the veges, I saw it from my mirror, my heart slumped but all was ok luckily, a quick chat on wheel placement and we were on our way (again).

Quiet day and only a small 40 mile ride, we had been offered lodgings and a welder on Sunday to chop Ellen’s stand down another 10 mm, Beezer was going to do it Monday morning but had his hands full fixing a KLR with head problems, Beezer thanks for the offer to help mate, we really appreciated it.

Anchorage To Chugiak
We stayed with Greg and Len at their home in Chugiak, very nice place and a man cave enough to turn every petrolhead green with envy.

Greg cut another10 mm off Ellens stand and fizzed the base plate back on, (thanks dude), after that Greg took me out for private sitting on his treasured TT 500 and let me take if for a quick spin, without showing my age it took me back to the good old days of kick start and manual decompressor, for non petrolheads reading this that is Cool!!!

Big thanks to Greg and Len for having us for the night, getting the side stand sorted and providing us with a beautiful tea with huge kabarb with half a chicken on each one.

Chugiak To Wasilla
Monday (4th June) we went to Wasilla to catch up with John and Brenda and Lina who we met while camping in McCarthy.

John and Brenda went to New Zealand 1982, they had great time and always think highly for Kiwis. They said if we come up their way they’d like to host us. We got to Wasilla around lunch time, had time to get a few things sorted for Chiwi and Hobbit (they are not high maintenance we hope).

We had great service in the motorbike shop in Wasilla at Team CC, these guys were great and looked after us, Alaska Cycle Center could learn a LOT from these guys, big thanks to Team CC.

Brenda and daughter Lina both working for a road construction company and John has his own surveying business.

Monday night, Brenda cooked us smoked Cooper River Salmon with pasta, now we know why Cooper Rive red salmon are so famous. It has the rich flavour which none of other salmon we tasted have.

On Tuesday, Brenda was taking us to Lazy Mountain for a walk. Unfortunately, just we were driving out, she got a phone call from her boss, has to turned around and back to walk. She lent us a spare car so we went for a hike.

Having had so much bad weather since we got to Anchorage, it finally cleared up and come to sunny and hot in Wasilla. We can even see the mountains now.

Brenda cooked us Moose Quesidie that night, so it added more wild food we have tried in Alaska. The next morning, we said goodbye twice to Brenda and Lina, they were both working on the road from Wasilla to Talkeetna, so they even saw us on the road this time.

We had wonderful time in Wasilla, great people, great bike service and nice weather made it as a gem of Alaska.

Wasilla To Talkeetna
Wednesday morning (6th June), we set off to Talkeetna to meet up with a couch surfer Gwen we met in New Zealand, we hosted her at our home in Wanaka, we also met her boyfriend Steve and went for a walk into town and bought a yummy icecream then wondered back for a relaxing avo and evening, drank wine and chatted about life for while.

Talkeetna To Fairbanks
Thursday (7th June) We said goodbyes to Gwen and Steve after helping fix Steves new truck and carried on towards Fairbanks, a mostly uneventful trip which saw Chiwi get tired and lay down at a Mount Denali lookout, I thought it was funny however someone that I was riding with didn’t, I did snap a pic but under protest .

As we carried on we met a cyclist doing a road ride trip to Ushuaia and starting at the top like us, dude is a machine!!!

The rest of the trip was uneventful and the first time we took off layers due to being too hot, the only real addition to the fun factor was the 2 x KTM 990 Adventure and 1 x F800GS that went passed and waved at the Two Slojoe Kiwis.

On arriving at Fairbanks we found the Uni accommodation however prices had basically doubled so that counted out Team TMK, we met the owners of the 990s and 800, they had paid it despite being told the same pricing structure that we had been told prior, on inspection of the rooms there where words spoken and the manager to be involved..we left .

Ellen and I left them and went to Adventure Cycle Works to meet Dan, good bastid, very helpful, great chat and we picked up our SENA SMH10 headsets that he had kindly taken delivery of for us, we headed off to the camp ground only to get snookered by roadworks and Mrs Garmin getting very upset not being able to tell us where to go, by this time it was mid evening and we where both hungry, we spotted a McDees and headed straight for that only to find the two 990s and the 800 parked outside, the gathering began!!

We orderer the healthy salad option, go McDees as it was very nice, we discussed a game plan with the guys who were heading to Prudhoe the following morning, we decided to stay another day and get sorted with food and supplies before riding to the end of the world.

Klaus the German adventure biker living in Ozzie touring in Alaska for a month turned up as well, same dude from Valdez and Kennicott .. we were not sure who was stalking who!, so discussions all round.

We interrupt this bulletin to say giddy to the JATZs, Nordie, ADVGD, eddieb, Shrek, Rosie and Clint and all the other Kiwbiker dudes, missin you fellas .. ok as you were! 

We ended up camping with the guys that night, it was 11.00pm by the time we all cashed it in, still daylight of course.

The following morning we meet up with Carol a couch surfer from Fairbanks, lovely lady who took in Two Dodgy Kiwis, we left Chiwi at her house and both piled onto Hobbit then headed to the Chena Hot Springs ... HELL YEAH ... earned, they were great, big smiles relaxing and NO mozzies WOH HOH... coupla pics for you guys to show the torment we are going through just for you.

Check out Puffs bro, pretty well built and flame do come outa his nostrils

We returned later that avo to Carols, sorted out our food, bear horn, WD40 etc and got ready for the Dalton Highway assault.

Fairbanks To Coldfoot
9th June, Saturday, Saying our goodbyes to Carol we left Fairbanks and headed to Coldfoot, the day was warm, then cold, then very warm at Coldfoot. An uneventful trip was had, the deep shingle from road repairs being the biggest bully to Ellen however she mastered the art of staying on board and beat the bully.

One final test was presented to Ellen upon stopping at an uphill grade off camber at some roadworks ... FAIL, she put her right foot down to find nothing ... Ellen did a Wonderwoman dive off and Chiwi crashed to the ground again thus proving what a great engineer I am ... well everything stayed together is where I am going with this, I would have to say Ellens Barkbusters have stood up very very well and saved so many sets of levers, huge thank you to Barkbuster who have sponsored our BarkBuster Storms, essential equipment proven time and again.

We arrived at Coldfoot in the heat, proceeded to the visitors centre and found out about camping, we met Peggy who was very helpful to us, we ended up staying at the Marion Creek Camp which was very nice apart from the relentless mozzies.

At Coldfoot tanking up Hobbit and Chiwi

Peggy and Lonnie

Jack (Alcan Rider) suggested bear spray for the bears and a 12 gauge for the mozzies, I think the 12 gauge is a little on the lite side for the size of these buggas, a sawn off shoty with buck shot might slow some down but a canon would serve you better.

Ellen’s version of camping at Marion Creek Camp: we stopped at the camping ground, it was hot and we were dirty and sweaty. Mosquitos like light weight airplanes landing on us. Andi’s two layers of Icebreak won’t have a chance. He got grumpy because he got bitten and I had to wear my rain jacket and sweating underearth. Who’s dumb idea camping? The mozzies are so bad here, only deet can fight them off. Lots of people say deet is not good for you. But in our situation, you are either die from bitten by mozzies or by bad chemical, take your pick. I put deet on my face and hand, if I die, so be it. Sorry greenies, I like the idea of being health, but in life and death situation, I choose weapon which works. Anyway, take a cruise in Alaska sounds more appealing to me right now. 

Stunning new hair do... does this mozzie net make my bum look big?

We soon came upon the Yukon River, that is a monster and the bridge a structure to be admired, lunch and photos were in order.

On arriving at the Arctic Circle we thought we would do what no other man has done before.

Coldfoot to Galbraith Lake
Deet on, mozzies nets on, guns loaded (and that was just for sleeping) we woke to a fine and warm morning, a brisk pack up and a quick getaway so we weren’t on the breakfast menu was in order, thus things flowed fairly quickly.

We stopped at several sets of road works, there is a lot of work being done to tidy the road up post winter, on approaching Attigan Pass mum nature decided yeap time for a another dip so she give us a good old fashioned heavy rain wash, this was short lived but it did make the road greasy with the Calcium Chloride they use on the road to keep the dust down....very handy in heavy rain.

Gabraith Lake soon came upon us which was our organised camp mid point to Prudhoe Bay, we have booked in for the 3pm tour the following day to go to the Arctic Ocean thus fulfilling part one of Arctic To Antarctic, part two will be Inuvik and Tuktayktuk .. can’t write about that as it hasn’t happened yet but I think we had good weather!!!!

Upon arrival at camp we had slightly dirty bikes, it looked like we had been racing motocross with house and contents on.

We settled in and set up dry, mum nature again decided time for a wash so we carried on and wrote our report while the temperature dropped like a stone.

There was good facilities here including bear proof food container, toilet, fire pit with wood etc so 5*

We wondered down to the lake to get some water as we were running low, the creek was brown and flowing because of the heavy rain so we picked on the ice shelf that looked clean with no yellow spots in it 

This little walk itself netted some neat pics of caverns etc so pretty cool, out came the professional photographer and we spun off a few shots.

We found a we patch of flowers that Ellen thought was quite romantic so what was a professional photographer (well me anyway) meant to do ...

The weather crapped in again after spotting us half an evening to walk around and get water etc ... Hobbit and Chiwi sitting patiently in the rain 

That concluded the day

Galbraith Lake To Prudhoe Bay
Well mum nature could have been nicer to us but at least our tent got a good wash, we set off for Pruhdoe Bay at 8.00 am and arrived at 12 noon for 140 miles, the road was a combo of very bad to very good, mud, bog, tar, shingle, potholes etc, lots and lots of roadworks.

The last 50 miles we had a very strong cross wind so we got to use up use a good portion of the right hand side of the tyre, is was very hard work for me let alone Ellen, full credit to her she is a wee machine as that would have been as hard as any Kiwibiker would have endured and still smiled.

Over the passes there was thick pea soup fog and freezing conditions, both our carbs iced up on numerous occasions so temperatures we were guessing were around zero or below.

The Prudhoe Bay tour left at 3.15pm from Deadhorse and took 2 hours, it is actually about 16 miles from Deadhorse to the Ocean, cost is $49.00 US per head, spendie but worth it.

For those of you who have not been to Prudhoe Bay it is no small operation, there are over 500 miles of roads by the oil companies purely at the bay, not including the access road in.

Big Drilling rig

Local Fox with three legs and some KFC

Sign at Prudhoe bay

Myriad off pipework, literally thousands of kilometers

Big machinery

Even a local forest which is green all year 

Local grizzly and her cub

Photo of an Asian tourist taking a photo ... who woulda thought?

Some dodgy bugga with a big smile and literally on top of the world.

It was blowing quite hard, probably 45 - 50 mph wind

Here we are still in love

Vast is the only way to describe it eh

Evidence of the rock stolen from Prudhoe bay to be matched up with his Antarctic counterpart some miles away and the little (empty at this time) flask given to us by Frank and Simone to take with us to the top and bottom of America

My promise to you Frank I will take it to the bottom of the world to get Ushuaia sticker.

When one gets to Prudhoe and pays dearly to get there one must take advantage of the freezing conditions and chilly waters... so game on, when we lost the feeling in our feet it wasn't so bad 

Bloody poser

Prudhoe Bay Back To Galbraith Lake
We left Deadhorse and headed back to camp at Galbraith Lake 140 miles away, we had tea and a shot of energy drink prior to leaving to aid with warmth and sharpness and believe me it was needed, the wind had increased to what turned out to be about 60 mph as when we headed up the Brooks range with the then tailwind I was doing 55 mph on my speedo and the leaves were overtaking me ... we need a bigger engine bro!!

Chiwi and Hobbit having a break

Local Caribou running away from me .. shouldn't have taken my helmet off.

This dude kept riding beside me, although every time I saw him up beside me I gassed it and held him at bay, sneaky !!, he never took the challenge to overtake which is kinda cool cos that means my situation might have been slightly different.

Then came the takeover bid from the female biker ... time is around 9.00 pm thus the shadows, not sure if she is riding relaxed or just totally shagged after the big side wind.

On arriving back at camp at 11.00 pm we were greeted with fine ish weather which was nice, we were both pretty shagged but very happy with having such a great day and Deadhorse and Pruhdoe Bay.

I would have to say the Sargent seats saved our bums and are well well worth having so a huge thank you to Sargent for sponsoring the seats.

Galbraith Lake To Hot Spot Cafe
Frost ... nup, snow!

WTF we went to bed in a nice evening, I hopped up at some am for a wizz and it was still good so some time later in the early morning mum nature treated us to a small snow storm.

Too cool .. we are getting used to these now.

The tent

The guys ropes, they wouldn't be chick ropes cos a chick couldn't take the cold   (..and that Your Honour is when the fight started )

The GPS is under there

We packed up with snow and ice on the tent and rode back out, weather was pretty crappy to start with but only a few km up the road WOH HOH ..sun!!

Still slightly cold somewhere well below freezing we stopped to take some pics, Ellens heated grips failed so that was not much fun for her.

A stop at Atigun Pass


Looking up Atigun Pass, just beautiful

Frost and snow STILL on the inside of the screen after 50 miles!   the screens kept the direct chill of us so we were very pleased to be able to hide behind those, a shameless plug for Screens For Bikes Australia, well done Peter these are made incredibly well and the shape is mint for protection of the Two Softey Kiwis .... now we just need an extendable retractable inflatable colourful screen for when it is hot cold dark windy fine snowing and cold 

Even Mr Garmin wasn't let off the hook with a wee stalactite hanging even after 50 miles of riding 

We finally arrived at the Hot Spot Cafe and ordered a monster burger each which was a welcomed warm input, we set up camp with fine warm weather and enjoyed an evening of relaxing and watching mozzies on the OTHER side of the mesh ... suffer ... they could smell us but they couldn't have us .. a very satisfying feeling 

Hot Spot Cafe To Fairbanks
Yay, we woke to a few spots off rain which soon retired and left us being able to pack up dry ... the down side to that is we were ON the breakfast menu with the mozzies, friendly bunch they are all wanting to kiss us all over! ... funny enough it is only the females that suck you dry ... seems to be an international thing not limited to mozzies 

We headed on out to the Yukon and filled up with the intention of heading into Manly hot springs, we went through a multitude of road works with the third world construction zone / mud pit for 5 miles being the worst only 5 minutes from the end of the James Dalton Highway.

This was the result 

See the Calcium Chloride eating into the engine cases

End of the highway (well the beginning actually but the end for us)

Just as we finished taking pics and Ozzie couple rocked up and stopped so we had a chat and gave them the road conditions etc, great to catch them up for a chat, I let their front tyres down a little to aid with traction as they didn't have a tyre gauge, their bikes were beautifully clean but 2 more minutes was gonna change all that  hope all went well guys and we will catch you along the way.

Two Slimy Kiwis

N o i c e and clean cob!!

After saying goodbye we headed off to Manly hot springs only to get 9 miles before pulling the pin on that, deep slimy mud that was seeing both of us struggle, it was going to end up with one or both of us doing a tank slapper and binning so simply not worth it, the Calcium Chloride is nasty but provides a great binder.

With binning the hot pools idea we headed on back to Fairbanks to Adventure Cycle Works for a clean off and new rubbers.

Adventure Cycle Works
The end of the Dalton and basically our rear rubber, still a bit of life in them but too heavy to carry, we had Dan spoon the Heidendau K60 rear on, the machine making easy work of it.

Chiwi cocking her leg

Action man cleaning off the Dalton

We have a K60 front as well but will carry them until the front has died as they still have a bit of life in them yet, next day or so we spent in Fairbanks to gather thoughts, gather food, gather energy and catch our breath, not to mention writing up a monty report for family and friends to see just what we have been up to.

We are off to Denai Park tomorrow so the next write up will cover the Denali Park, Denali highway, Tok, D2D, Dempster, Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk all of which we had fine weather 

Love to family, friends and followers.


Pissed Disaster Strikes
We stayed behind today in Fairbanks to get all our Ride Reports up to date and some FU@$#N wanker flogged our ipad 2 literally from under our nose in the University Library.

Couldn't bloody believe it eh, the thing would not have been more than 2 metres from us  

We have been to the Police and filled a report, they are going to get some footage from the surveillance camera but they are not very hopeful.

Can't believe the cheek of some lowlifes, if we find them they will pay with their lives.

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