Arctic Wolf Ride
(Seattle to the remote Yukon) 23 days
Self Guided Trail
This ride is designed to be a self guided adventure. Riders install a custom GPS microSD Card into their Garmin GPS unit. The routes are then displayed as the rider travels along. Navigation is made easy. Riders can choose to follow along at times or can choose among hard and easy options. Or riders can simply choose to ride off the routes and return to them later. For many, this allows them to just experience the trail without the burden of getting lost.
Do this ride yourself: Purchase Rider Packet and GPS microSD Card for this ride
Note: A Full Rider Packet consists of printed ride descriptions and paper ride maps and a custom GPS microSD card for your Garmin or BMW GPS unit.
Arctic Wolf Choice (Scroll Down Menu)
Checkout View Cart
Notes: I suggest you plan and order early. Normally I ship within a week. But sometimes I run out and it can take me several weeks to get new cards and maps. And sometimes I am out riding and building new adventures so that can be hard too. I list the Option for 2 SD cards because many riders like to carry a backup card or a cheap backup gps in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
The Dream was to ride to the Arctic in the most remote part of Canada, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. This ride is about meeting the Wolf in the wild. Some things went well and others went very bad!
Enjoy the story of our ride below, told as it happened everyday
Arctic Wolf Ride Report Intro by gpsKevin (I see trouble ahead, that is why we call it an adventure!)
Tomorrow we leave for the Arctic. The goal for this adventure is to get ourselves far into the wild. There are 8 of us riding, none of us has ever been to the Arctic, let alone on motorcycles, and for some of us this will be the first time camping off motorcycles. Our plan is to take the most remote back roads including the northern Canol Trail which is considered one of the most challenging trails in Canada. Our route should take us into the Northwest Territories on the Canol Trail and into the Yukon as we head for Inuvik on the Dempster Highway. The ride should take us about 18 days, if all goes well.
Well this is our dream. We have been studying it for almost a year now and we have assembled a team of 8 riders to do it. Being from the lower 48, my dream is to hear the Arctic Wolf in the wild! Let me introduce the 8 riders:
First Kevin, often called gpsKevin, riding a Yamaha Super Tenere XT 1200Z
Next Missy (20 years) riding a Kawasaki Versys 650
Next Jeffrey (18 years), riding a Kawasaki KLR650
Next Jeff, riding a KTM 990 Super Enduro
Next Steve, riding a KTM 690 Enduro
Next Tracy, riding a BMW F800GS
Dave, riding a BMW F800GS
Brian, riding a KTM 990 Adventure
A few of the riders have trucked the bikes to Seattle and the rest of the riders will fly into Seattle in the morning and the ride begins.
The travel Story to Seattle by truck from Missy
The last two days have been more eventful than expected. We left at 4 in the morning on Tuesday, normal for a Kevin adventure. But needless to say I slept basically the whole day. Jeffrey, Kevin and I separated the driving of the van, while Tracy and Dave drove the truck and trailer loaded with bikes. We drove all day and ended up in Grant’s Pass, Oregon. The final event was Jeffrey’s 18th birthday. We celebrated at a local pizza place with homemade apple pie for dessert that mom sent along since she couldn’t enjoy the day with us. Thanks again mom! Everyone loved the pie!
Today we made the rest of the drive to Tacoma, Washington. We stopped several times today for Dave’s small bladder. The rest stops here are much more luscious and green so it was kind of nice to stop and see the scenery. The big adventure of the day was finding a suitable hotel for the night. We decided that the Super 8 from the night before was perfect and Tacoma had just that. We called ahead and they had two rooms just for us. After the day of driving, we show up ready for showers and a nap. Much to our dismay, the hotel had lost power and everything was in the dark. Good thing Jeffrey and I had decided to go against Kevin’s advice and brought our headlights. This was critical for the needed bathroom run and we were prepared. So while the power was out we took out our lawn chairs and had some great stories and beer. I have officially decided Dave tells some pretty funny stories (probably most of which he shouldn’t tell) about the dumb things he has done. It is so awesome to see such a good guy that can just laugh at the problems he has encountered. And Tracy is the most enthusiastic guy that spews passion for life. Overall great two days. We had the “Last Supper” and are now resting. Tomorrow the ride starts and we are all really excited to start the adventure. More to come as soon as we get Internet access again! Thanks fans, Missy
OK, so we will be trying to update the story every day as it unfolds, so wish us luck and stay tuned. Tomorrow We Ride! (6/21/2012)
Day 1, Ride Begins: From Missy
The ride begins! The KTM boys arrived at the parking lot.
We get all packed up and were off at 1130am.
As we were leaving Tracy hits the drop down bar at the parking lot and its flinging all over. He didn’t even notice. Haha. So, the day goes on and we ride the highway though Seattle and some back country to the border crossing.
Now last year the border crossing was a mess, so Kevin decided to go first. The normal questions were asked. Booze, weapons or pepper spray? Some of us lied and some of us told the truth. Hope we don’t get pulled over in Canada now that some of us have lied (not naming names, Jeffrey and Jeff….).
So no major problems with the border, quick and easy.
The rest of the day was great riding and back dirt roads that went on forever.
Only one minor problem, Kevin popped the tubeless tire (I don’t know how you do that).
So quick fix and every so often a refill with air. But back on track. A couple bears were sighted and some deer as well.
We made it to a cute little camp by the river at about 930pm.
We set up the tents and cooked dinner. Well after the long day we were all very tired and hit the hay right after dinner. Great first day and many more to come.
Day 2, From gpsKevin:
The morning was great, camped by a river, kinda loud, there is a lot of water here in British Columbia. Everyone slept in.
Looks like the tire on the front of the Tenere is leaking, so I decided to add a tube to the tire.
Day 2 From Missy
This morning started at a more reasonable hour and the train left between 730 and 8am. We stopped at a gas station to fill up with gas. At that point Jeff and Brian were running behind and decided to take an easy day because yesterday was so tiring and they went the easy ways.
The rest of us however endured a gruesome day. It was rough. We were supposed to be traveling on nice dirt roads but instead they turned into quad trails that weren’t meant for big bikes like us. Tracy got a flat and so that set us back a little, but it was fixed in no time and we were back at it.
Then we struggled through the snow and mud. It was bad!
Sidebar: From gpsKevin,
Missy is not telling the story of her brother Jeffrey. So Jeffrey said his boots leaked so he talked his sister into riding the KLR650 through the mud sections for him! Wow good job Missy, two bikes through the mud!
Continue Missy: But eventually we prevailed and made it through.
Only two crashes for the day, one by me and the other Tracy. Everyone is fine though. A lot more dirt and then we decided that was enough and took the highway the second half of the day.
We made it to our destination at about 7pm thinking that Jeff and Brian would already be here, but needless to say they had stopped at the liquor store and showed up after we did. We are staying the night at a family’s house. The two that live here, Kelly and Brandy are so sweet and welcoming. We had a great night with them, eating pizza and talking by the fire. We were also lucky enough to have our first showers and that made a big difference.
Camp at Kelly’s home. We met them through Tent Spaces. Wow they were great! Thank you so much to them for hosting us, you guys were GREAT! More to come as we start early again tomorrow.
gpsKevin: Evening Concern: Dave’s BMW f800gs, started stalling near the end of the day as he would let off on the gas and stop it would die. He would restart it and it seems to run fine. Coming down a hill near the end of the day, as he let off on the gas it somehow shut down, as he went to give it more gas it would not go. He stopped and reset the ignition, and it ran fine for a while, then it did it again. We will try to come up with a plan around the campfire tonight.
Dave from earlier in the day
Day2 Update From Jeff:
Brian and I took the easy way (supposedly) and got to see some awesome country.
We made good time and had lunch at Dog and Suds. Sorry to say they don't have the kind of suds we were looking forward to (no beer).
After lunch Brian and I arrived shortly after the rest of our group at Kelly's & Brandy’s home. Upon arriving we saw a beautiful yard, cut grass, a nice home and outbuildings. In short order we had our tents set up in a never ending sea of caterpillars that were eating all of the surrounding vegetation. We discovered this was a fluke year of migrating caterpillars eating anything they could.
Kelly and his wife had 2 fantastic dogs that we made friends with right away. Well behaved and great beautiful animals. These guys had fur coats that could really handle the snow.
While having a cold libation, we each took turns using our guest's shower. A cold beer, a shower and then some pizza for dinner. What a wonderful way to end the day. We finished off by having a great fire in our guest fire pit and swapped stories while enjoying some more cold beer. Off to a great night sleep with man eating caterpillars and mosquitoes outside the thin wall of our tents. Slept like a baby.
Day 3 Update gpsKevin:
Morning was great, breakfast around Kellys house
Then it was off to see if we could find some support to fix Dave’s bike. Only choice was the Prince George Yamaha Dealer. They sometimes worked on BMW’s. We met them at opening time, but after several phone calls for help they were unable to help. The plan would have to be taking the bike to Vancouver and see if there could be a quick fix and if Dave would be able to rejoin us. Wow bummer! I hate that BMW's have evolved such that you cannot work on them without a BMW computer system. We fear this may be ride over for Dave. But we remain hopeful.
Today was craziest day yet. We woke up to a few problems. Yesterday, Dave’s bike was having problems and suddenly dying without explanation. After talking through the options, we decided that it was smart to go to the local Yamaha dealer and see if they could help. So while that was decided, Jeffrey began to have other problems (not mental problems, bike problems).
His top box began to fall off and he was going to lose half his food. Steve, with his big blue bag (which I’ve decided we’re calling big ole blue) came to the rescue with extra bolts to save Jeffrey. Our wonderful hosts helped too, by running to the local store and getting more parts. So as this is all taking place some of us leave to accompany Dave to the Yamaha dealer. Bad news comes as we realize they can’t help Dave and he can’t keep going without a fix. So after much deliberation, Dave is off to Vancouver to see if the Beamer dealer there can help him.
Hopefully there is a quick fix and he will be back with us soon. We are already missing him. So as we are deciding Dave’s fate, Jeffrey and the KTM boys head to Walmart; our meeting place. As soon as they leave the hosts humble abode, Jeffrey gets a flat. I don’t know what it is with these flats, but if we keep this up, we are going to run out of the tubes that we brought. It was fixed up and they met us at Walmart for our last shopping adventure before the great outdoors is all we get! So after the shopping with Brian and Jeff (that took forever with all their bickering) we were off to do the days' ride. It was a short day today only about 200 miles. It was quick and easy. More bear, deer and elk sightings today.
The scenery is just amazing. Endless green and thick forests. The rain started for a little so we geared up and prepared for the wet. It turned out to be only a slight drizzle. We got to camp and the host surprised us and gave us the group camp.
It is a great camp with a huge structure and a wood burning stove. All the boys set up camp under the structure to keep out of the rain. I was smart and put my bike under the structure and the tent in the rain.
We shared a potluck dinner and are now enjoying a fire.
The boys are sipping brandy and we are enjoying the wonderful camping adventure. In our camp fire discussions, we have pronounced Brian and Jeff the new Chuck and Larry. I am the new and improved Princess Leah and Jeffrey says typing this email is like crapping; it takes a while but it all has to come out. Goodbye fans. More later.
Day 3 Jeff
Jeff’s Add on This trip has been totally awesome, just like I dreamed about for months. The scenery is so spectacular words can’t do it justice. Last night was a potluck cookout. Food was really good right next to Moberly Lake. Camp host let us have the entire area for groups to ourselves with a shelter we set our tents up in.
Well – Missy, Brian, Tracy’s tents are out in the rain right now. We have a wood burning stove under shelter with picnic tables. It has been raining for the last 3 hours and has not let up. The nice shelter will end today.
Early to rise this morning for most of us, Missy and Jeffrey and still working on their beauty sleep. The boys are sitting around the fire drinking coffee swapping lies and talking about how much they miss their honey’s (wives). Kevin is making soup for the day. It is 6am and time to start packing up and getting ready for another day in the saddle. More bear, moose and wolves to find is our mission for the day.
Day 4 Let the cold and wet begin Story from Missy:
It was raining on the tents
This morning we awoke, packed up, and all of a sudden my water proof bag….well….it’s no longer water proof. Quick fix with gorilla tape (kindly lent from Tracy…so shout out to Big Jim for the great gift! Thank you!) and a plastic bag and we’re off on the days adventure.
We start off and immediately it starts to pour. Going down the freeway at 75mph with the rain pelting your helmet; not so easy to see (Oh well, what are you going to do?).
On the day's plan was a nice dirt road that would have taken us to our desired camp spot but because of the rain the nice trail turned into a muddy massacre. We gathered up and began the treacherous trail. It became worse and worse as we rode along. The group stopped for a discussion and because of the conditions (and Brian’s whining) we unanimously decided the streets were the desired way to go. Our new route had a lunch stop in Pink Mountain where we could warm up and eat so that also swayed our decision quite a bit. After the break and the luscious steak sandwich specials, we were back on the road.
More and more riding until we came to a small camp ground in the middle of nowhere.
Andy Bailey Campground This was a beautiful little camp situated right on a lake. So of course, being the only girl on the trip, I need my showers at a more rapid pace than these other folks and I decided I was going to check out the lake to see if it was clean enough to bathe in. Kevin and I walked down to the water’s edge and felt the water, which to our surprise was quite warm.
I scream up to the boys excited at my finding and Brian and Jeff offer to do the same and shower with me. We all three put on our suits and the group then follows to watch as we freeze in the lake (It was chilly, but surprisingly warm for the north of British Columbia).
The shower was very refreshing and it is always nice to meet locals who were fishing and swimming on the lake.
After our nice bath, we head on back to camp for yet another gourmet camping dinner. Dinner cooking is always a blast with lots of laughs as Brian and Jeff try to decide who’s making their meal for two, Kevin and Jeffrey bicker over who had a certain utensil last, Tracy and I of course cook our own meals, and Trailboss (Steve) just mooches off whoever will give him any of their extra food. Just classic as this takes place about every day. We clean up and do our dishes. Some of us head to bed after the long day and others stay at the fire drinking brandy (which Steve loved) and whiskey (Jeff and Brian shared….of course) chatting it up.
The following did happen but I was not a witness, I only observed the actions through my tent by listening to all the drama. But as I understand it, two local boys off the reservation (who looked like reservation gang bangers) came over drunk off their asses. Jeff steps right up and offers them some of the booze that they have lying all over. These boys gladly take him up on his offer. They end up taking pictures with Tracy as Jeff sneaks off to bed and leaves Tracy to deal with the two drunkards. Meanwhile, a girl that is supposed to pick them up comes along and yells from the car (that is blaring music) that they need to get in immediately because she is mad and will leave them there if they don’t. Apparently the other cousin had gotten even more drunk than the other boys and had ruined her night. It was something to hear. Crazy day with all the rain but it turned out to be a great night with not much hassle due to the wetness.
Day 4 From Steve
Day 4 the story from Steve The adventure continues! Day 4 completed and 1200 miles in-headed for the bowels of the Arctic. We are in our final day of BC headed for the Yukon tomorrow. Our group is sure missing Dave and hoping he is able to hook up with us around Friday or Saturday-we will see. So many stories to tell. How about the Mission Statement by Kevin, about hearing the Wolf! Well Kevin got his wish last night around our campfire when our beloved Jeff Conner suddenly bolted and started howling at the moon! Problem is, there is no moon to be seen that night in this part of the world! Jeff is having a grand time with all this! Last night we had the best possible camp situation. Camp manager upgraded us to a big group camp with a 30” X 40’ covered picnic area. With rain in the forecast some of us put our tents up under the covered area, not Missy! Our Missy elected to set her tent up outside & put her M/C under the cover! It poured that night! Missy survived and her bike was dry! Missy is a stud and fits in perfectly with the boys. Little brother Jeffrey is turning into quite the chef. Him & dad are the stir fry experts! Loving my PP mighty 690! The BIG blue bag is hanging on. Tomorrow it’s the hot springs-every day is an adventure with this group! Ok time to enjoy the camp fire. Missing family & friends-someone's got to do this! Please watch over my little Dana girl-I get worried about this girl-she just has no friends! On with the adventure-Steve in Blue loves Orange!
Day 5 Update, Missy
Today there was a long way to go.
We started off early in the morning and stopped in Fort Nelson for breakfast. The waitress could not understand that Tracy wanted an omelet without eggs and cheese, so basically just sautéed vegetables (he is a vegan). The service was terrible and wow…. one of the worst stops on the trip. After breakfast, it was on the road again. The rest of the day was absolutely fabulous, compared to our morning fiasco. As we rode along today we saw some spectacular animals that we had hoped to see on this ride. The first animal we came across was a big horned sheep.
It was sitting on the mountain top, chewing his cud, and just watching us. As we rode along, a mountain goat and her baby crossed the road in front of us. The little goat was so cute! Our first gas stop was a little down the road. I had seen a baby caribou but no one believed me. We went back and yes indeed it was a caribou. A real live caribou with thought antlers and everything. He was gorgeous.
We stopped at Northern Rockies Lodge,
Jeff decided to have a “Tip Over” in the parking lot
Further down the road was our stop for the day.
We stopped at the natural hot springs in a local campground. We got off our bikes and undressed into our bathing suits and jumped right into the hot spring. It was so fun.
The water was 100 degrees and 107 right next to the output. They had done up the hot spring so it was pretty fancy (with my father, I was expecting a dirty hole in the ground with naked old men), but it turned out to be a great detour in our day. Very refreshing. So we suited back up and hit the road again. We had passed bison signs earlier but hadn’t seen anything and were a little skeptical. After we left the hot springs, we immediately understood the herd signs that we had seen earlier. All over the road were tons on bison. Herds and herds of them grazing and doing their thang.
They were in the middle of the road and after we had watched them awhile, we needed to get back on the road. I proceeded to honk the air horn on the motorcycle and the whole herd began to run across the street. It was a cool sight to see; the huge bison following each other and grazing together.
As we rode along, we saw it! A grizzly and her two cubs were on the side of the road eating their grass and rolling around and playing.
Silly Brian got off his bike and took pictures (we hassled him after for being stupid). It was something to see. I had hoped to see a grizzly last year on our trip but wasn’t that lucky. This was a dream of mine and I’m so glad that we saw the bears.
We came to our motel; the Air Force Hotel. This hotel was another down side to the ride. We were greeted by a chunky Nazi with a long gray ponytail who answered the door and barked at us to take off our shoes. We were not allowed to wear our shoes in the motel at all (even though the idiot was wearing his shoes as he explained this to us). They had group showers (boys and girls were separate) but still no shoes. Totally nasty! No shoes in the shower or the bathroom. Gross! The owner was crazy, his internet password was welovecanada. Just an interesting experience. And to make the night worse, Jeff and I went to the local laundromat and did everyone’s laundry. Some locals came in to see who we were. They were totally wasted. The guy went over to Jeff and the girl came over to me and immediately grabs my hair and goes gaga over it. Creeped me out.
The guy, Floyd, kept trying to get with me, but I could never understand what he was saying because of his lack of teeth (he had none at all). Good thing I had Jeff there to protect me. Thanks again Jeff! After we had cleaned the laundry and Jeff had fluffed and folded Brian’s underwear we rode back to the hotel. As we got there the owner was mad at us because it was quiet time, after 10:30. What a crazy day, with lots of good animals to see. More later.
Day 5 gpsKevin
Jeff howlin at the sheep. They were not impressed, but wow, can Jeff howl! Yes I said howl, not whine.
For you all that like detail, here is our ride map for the day:
Tommorrow we will try to make it to the North Canol Trail
Day 6 Mosquitoes have arrived, story by Missy
Another long day ahead and another early start. I woke up today after using the campground outhouse last night with not one, not two but eight bug bites on my butt. Not a good sign at the beginning of the trip. Today we were taking the Campbell Highway to a small town called Ross River. It was a dirt highway nicely maintained the whole way there.
As we began early in the morning the dust was up. We had decided, because of the long distances, that we were going to ride as a group of seven today. We took off but, the dust kept us pretty far apart. The rule of thumb, when you ride with a big group, is that when you don’t see the guy behind you, you stop and wait, and if he doesn’t come you turn around and figure out what happened. Brian followed me and as usual was being really slow. I stopped to wait and make sure he was okay, but as soon as he was in sight, he immediately came to a halt and turned around. In the back of my mind, I was like oh great….now what? He looked over and stared for a while. As soon as he was done, he turned back around and came riding on up, all excited! As we rode up to the group he was ecstatic. Apparently he had seen a mountain lion. We were all very jealous of his find. (not the real picture from Brian, but what he thinks he saw) After the commotion subsided, we were back on our way. We stopped at a small lookout for a hot lunch. Everyone got out their stoves and cooked up a warm meal.
Finally we arrived in Ross River. We fueled up
(Steve's bike at the gas station, big ole blue) And guess who we met at the gas station (you are not going to believe it). ELVIS PRESLEY! He had also built Graceland II, where he lived with his wife. He instantly fell in love with Tracy’s enthusiasm and Tracy was now stuck. Elvis ran back to Graceland II and brought Tracy a free CD of his. Elvis really wanted us to come and check out the artwork he had done in his house and Tracy told him we were in a hurry and we’d have to stop by on the way back through town (Oh my was he a character!). Off we went, to get on the barge and cross the Mackenzie River.
We had about 60 miles to go to our camp for the night, Dragon Camp. This was the beginning of the famous Canol Road. It was a spectacular road with amazing views. As we were riding along, we encountered a sudden problem. Because of the recent lightning storms, we were in the middle of a giant forest fire (no joke!). Tracy, Brian, and Steve (the firemen of the group) discussed the situation and Tracy went up ahead to see if it was safe (if not this was the end of the road for us).
He was gone for a while as we got off our bikes and watched the fire transfer from tree to tree around us. He came back safe and we discussed it once more with the group. The consensus was to ride through it because it would be safe once at our camp, and the fire would no longer be a threat to us there. So, that’s exactly what we did.
(These pics are from our return, we did not stop in the flames to take pictures) We rode through the flaming forest and arrived safe and sound to our beautiful camp for the night.
It was situated right on a gorgeous lake with a great picnic table and lots of surrounding fire wood. Jeff, Brian, Jeffrey, and I all went for a shower in the lake.
(proof of the Mesquito attack) We then cooked up yet another wonderful camp dinner (Mom! You would be proud of me. I made pasta salad on the road. Miss you.).
Steve prepared the wood and lit a huge fire. It was great! Best fire so far. Not many animal sightings today, only the mountain lion and a porcupine. Still pretty cool though. Crazy that we were in a natural forest fire. Our camp was safe and by the morning there was no sign of the fire still burning. The nightly rain had probably put it out, which was good for us. Anyways we are all safe and the trip is going great. Everyone is getting along and we love the company of each other and the endless laughs we have each day. Missing the families at home. More to come.
(the toilet at Dragon Lake)
Map from today, we are still on track. Tomorrow we make our push north on the Canol Road. We will see how far we can get, we are carrying gas for up to 200 miles north (400 round trip) Wow lot of gas, there have been heavy rains, so it could be hard.
Day 7 gpsKevin
Canol Road: from gpsKevin From Ross River north to the Northwest Territories the road is maintained and in good condition, but once you enter the Northwest Territories the road is no longer maintained. The first bridge is washed out and the stream/river can be bad. So if you are really going to ride further, come with small bikes and be prepared to get wet. I am sure that this road will be one of the highlights of our trip
Map from day 7, we turned around at Bridge Out
Day 7 Missy
This morning we woke to an easy day of riding. We were going to take the Canol Road as far as we could go. In doing the research on this portion of the ride, there was not much to be found. The last time someone had taken this road was a KLR in 1997 who had had lots of problems with washouts and broken bridges. Our hope was that we would make it to the Mackenzie Pass and see the beautiful landscape on the way. We headed out and the road was unbelievable.
Canada has done a great job maintaining the landscape and the territory was gorgeous. As we rode through the wonderful forests and mountains, a grizzly ran out in front of my dad. He pulled over to tell me and so we slowly maneuvered on ahead. The bear was scared and doubled back across the road. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen. He was HUGE! As big as Kevin on the motorcycle. Bigger than what you imagine them to be. He was so fat, as he ran his whole body convulsed because of the weight he was carrying. It was amazing and I was so excited. I began to lead the pack and we came across another porcupine. This one I was lucky enough to see. He was waddling on the side of the road, and as soon as we pulled up he scurried into the bushes. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a porcupine in real life either. He was pretty cute waddling along like he did. We rode along and came to an abandoned house.
We stopped there and had another hot lunch. It was cold and a little rainy, so it was nice to get off the bikes and warm up. After lunch we had about 15 miles to the Mackenzie Pass. So far so good. We headed on and made it through the pass. Not long after we came to the sign of yet another border. We had officially passed through the Yukon and were entering the Northwest Territories.
That was a very impressive sign to see. We rode along a little further and our journey down the Canol Road ended with a washed out bridge that had never been repaired. We took pictures and contemplated swimming across the flowing river with our bikes to ride further. We decided that was probably not smart.
We headed back to the Northwest Territory border and took pictures with the big sign. A pretty cool accomplishment I’d say. As our trail had come to an end, it was time to turn around and head to find a suitable camp for the night.
Tracy had seen a great camp and led the way to our destination. It was a different abandoned old house that we were to spend the night at. All the firewood we would need. Level tent pitching areas. An outhouse filled with mosquitoes. And a great picnic table for cooking dinner. What more could you ask for? We all unloaded our bikes and the boys started appetizers. They made corn meal patties with spices, and potatoes in the fire. It was great. We all chipped in and had a potluck dinner. I had run out of clean drinking water at lunch, so my father loaned me an extra bottle he had. Unknowingly, I used this “water” to cook my macaroni. The noodles tasted a little sweeter than normal but I had thought that was because it was a new kind of macaroni I was trying. Later Jeffrey pointed out to me, my father had accidently purchased lemon flavored water instead of regular water and that was why my food tasted so sweet. Silly me. But it was funny! Steve made another big fire, better than the previous nights. It was fabulous.
Chuck and Larry cooked dinner together as Jeffrey and Kevin fought over how the meal should be cooked. On the road earlier, we had come across a bag that someone must have dropped. It contained two bottles of extra bear spray. We decided to try them out and see what we would have to do if we actually came across a bear. It was crazy how far those things shot. We were very safe and no bears were hurt in the testing of this spray. These boys are so fun to be around. I am having the time of my life. We all oood and awwwd over the spectacular landscape.
Words cannot explain the beauty of this place. It is phenomenal. What a great night! More tomorrow as we head for Faro.
Steve Update Day7 Hello all, We are almost 1200 miles and seven days into this wonderful experience. Presently camped along the Canol Road, out of Ross River Yukon.
Wish I could show you a pic of our great camp spot.
We are over looking the Macmillen River and the snow capped Rocky Mountains-just beautiful! Big camp fire going!
Missy, Kevin, & myself are watching the boys cook up gourmet camp food. Of course Kevin did his Tom Sawyer thing to get the boys all pumped up and do this deed-dinner served in 30 minutes.
From Steve: Day 8 is only about 150 miles and will take us to just our 2nd night lodging-showers will feel great! We are all holding up good-bikes are also working perfect. Lots of mosquitos in this part of the world! Hope is well at home. We all talk about family while sitting around the campfire, especially Jeffrey! He sure misses his mommy! On with the adventure-Steve in Blue-Loving the PP- Mighty 690-Hi Dana
Day 7 Update from Tracy
We woke up to cloudy skies and cool. Everyone slept great! For the first time during the trip Missy beat Brian to bed. The time of slumber for Missy was 8:00 P.M. Although, Brian did not get the first to bed award this night he still is the reigning champ. Six nights in a row. He was however only 5 minutes behind her for his slumber. The fire we encountered had laid down due to high humidity and no wind. Steve started another great camp fire and we cooked breakfast. We were lucky to find an improvised “Out house” . Excitement soon wore off as we quickly discovered the “Out House” was a front for a mosquito ambush zone.
We did our best to defend our exposed derriere but, we were outnumbered and massacred. Now we are counting the butt bites to see who gets to carry the calamine lotion. Currently, we have a three way tie between Missy, Jeffery, and Brian. As we started the day's ride, the skies shed its tears and watered the road for us, so no dust! What a benefit. As we rode to road's end, we encountered a huge Grizzly Bear. The bear was more scared of us than we were of him. Good thing for the bear. Kevin keeps his bear spray at his side like a quick draw expert, kinda like Dirty Harry.
As he stared the bear down, he was heard saying “feeling lucky bear”. Saving the group and playing the encounter down, we started moving again. As we kept riding, we came across many junk yards of abandoned trucks that were left along the side of the road. Now part of the landscape of rust and moss.
The trucks were left here at the start of WW II. Back on the gas and moving, we came across a large porcupine that scampered into the landscape. As we crossed from the Yukon Territory to the Northwest Territory we were met by a washed out bridge and a deep, fast flowing river.
This stopped our continuance to road's end. Back tracking 33 miles we found a beautiful place to camp on a great vista of high peaks with small glaciers abiding them. In the foreground, massive pastures of tundra grass.
Now we wait to see if the Moose and Caribou will come down to graze. Tonight will be our best opportunity to see Wolves, if at all. Enroute to our camp site we found a bag in the road with two cans of Bear Spray in it. One was empty, the other had spray to give. Dirty Harry with the found can of 44 magnum spray proceeded to show why it was the most powerful bear spray can in the world capable of stinging a Grizzly’s eyes for at least 10 seconds. We all just watched with amazing excitement as Missy showed us her skills.
At this point we are all nervous. Then half the group are heading down to the river that flows past the meadows. Don’t worry, moms, wives and boyfriends, they took their trusty can of “Bear Spray.” The only problem is that they left Kevin (Dirty Harry) behind. I can only hope that Jeff and Brian don’t get too excited about a bear encounter and end up spraying each other.
Sunset tonight is 11:53 P.M. with sunrise at 3:34 A.M. Looks like another long night. We hope all of our family and friends are safe and well. We are having the adventure of a lifetime and wish all of you were here to enjoy it…
Day 8 Missy: KAWASAKI DOWN
Today we woke up to a gorgeous view of the Rocky Mountains and the forests that lie below. It was absolutely breathtaking.
Everyone packed up and we were back on the road to Ross River and our final destination of Faro. Everything is beautiful and the country is way better than I could have ever expected.
As we are riding along, Tracy’s chain falls off and needs a quick tightening. Easy solution and back on the road to do a proper fix up at the house we are staying in tonight. Traveling down the road again, my dad and I see another very large grizzly run across the road. It is amazing how big those animals can get. We make it to the ferry crossing just in time for the last ferry before an hour lunch break. Jeff and Brian are behind and as the ferry starts to leave they show up. The guy was nice enough to pull back up so they could catch a ride with us.
Another experience at the Ross River gas station and then a grocery store run at the local convenience store (Jeff and Brain push around a cart for their groceries. Brian pushes the cart as Jeff gets a ride in the cart. Those two….hahah). After we had stocked up on the needed food for the next three days, we headed over to Elvis’s Graceland II as promised.
What an experience….ahahha! He showed us his artwork which was absolutely terrible. It was colored stucco that he had basically splattered all over Graceland II. It was a mess and looked foul. Not to mention the horrifying stench that appeared once you entered the home. That was a funny experience. We got group pictures outside Graceland II but Elvis would not be a part of our fun due to his lack of costume at that current time. Big Jim and Elvis were taking our pictures and we were being really funny (what’s new?). On the road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again, going places where I’ve never been… oh wait….the story (haha); just about an hour drive to Faro. On the way we encounter another bike problem, this one a bit more serious. Jeffrey’s bike suddenly comes to a screeching halt and will no longer start.
The group consensus is to tow him to the house and pull it apart there to see what the issue is. We eventually come to Faro and arrive at our stay for the night. It is a beautiful three story home with a game room, tv and endless DVD’s, and a warm shower. This will be a great night.
Outside the story is not so great. Jeffrey begins to pull apart the bike and lo and behold, a balancer has broken off and is stuck in the head (most of you probably don’t know what that means….well I don’t really know what that means, they just told me that’s what happened). This is a really bad sign; the bike is totaled.
Jeffrey and the rest of the boys are currently discussing options as to what he is going to do, while I write to tell the tale. Send good wishes to Jeffrey, hopefully he gets to continue on. I am leaving now to go out and hear the plan. It’s not looking promising for Jeffrey. He will probably have to be sent home and not be able to finish the ride. I’ll keep you updated as the plans unfold.
Day 8 gpsKevin
Wow this is bad, the Kawasaki KLR650 has broken the advance weight off the end of the cam, it got wedged under the cam, then forced the cam up out of its bearings breaking the bearing cap and sending the pieces out the top of the motor
There will be no fix for this bike without a complete new head. WOW There will be no fixing it here in Faro. The nearest next place is Whitehorse 200 miles away. The local owner of the house we are staying in said that we might catch the delivery truck driver in 2 days and ask if we could put the bike in his truck for his return trip to Whitehorse. Wow Wow way bad news for us, this could end our trip. We bought this bike just for this ride because it seemed to have a reputation of being reliable. Maybe some new ideas will come to us as we sleep tonight. Evening at the house now has kind of a somber note. But we asked the owner if she could find us some moose sausage, and 15 minutes later she brought us a bunch, so it was a bar-b-que and a bit to drink, maybe it was a bit too much or just our attitude, because Missy then talked all the men into Face Packs, yes really!
Maybe she knew what she was doing, because it was good to put a smile back on our faces. At the end of the day she introduced us to the Chubby Bunny game. Wow, now we are out of control.
Wish us good dreams as we try to dream up a solution to this mess.
Day 9 Update gpsKevin
Ok the morning has arrived and there the dreaming of solutions has yielded nothing, so the only option we can come up with is to TOW the KLR behind the Yamaha Tenere some 200+ miles to Whitehorse. Wow what could go wrong with that idea? Well we are both skilled and we think we can do it. Once in Whitehourse maybe we can find someone to help fix the bike.
And so we were up early and off we went, just the two of us, the rest of the group would continue on and we would try to join back up with them. Towing was not too bad at first, we at times managed to get up to 60mph, then it happened. The thing I had wanted the most, a Wolf revealed himself to me. Yes that is right, he ran right in front of me without even giving me a look. I knew this was a good sign, we would be all right.
From Missy Day 9 Because of the major troubles we encountered yesterday, Jeffrey and Kevin set off very early in search of a fix. They were headed to White Horse to see if they could rent a truck to drive to Inuvik. That way everyone would still be able to make the ride. So, they began the long tow journey of about 250 miles to White Horse. As for the rest of the group, me and the guys, we had a very relaxing and refreshing day. The house we stayed in had a big breakfast bar and we could make omelets,
or whatever we desired. Our riding day was pretty short, so we decided to leave at 9am which was late for our other early starts. We leisurely rode from Faro to Carmacks.
Jeff led the group today and after about an hour of riding, we had a nice break. At that point we realized some chain problems and had to fix those up before we continued.
After our break and snacks it was on the road again. Our next stop was about an hour or so away, where we would get gas and fill up our bikes. We talked to some other riders at the gas station who had ridden from southern Florida. They were very nice. Down the road a little, we had passed a little hot dog stand sort of gig. We got back on the bikes and headed over to lunch there. They had a mess hall where we could eat lunch away from the bugs. It even had wireless Internet. Jeff and I got ice cream once we were done with lunch. It was maple walnut flavor and very delicious.
Our stay for the night was at the Moose Lodge. We left lunch and were on our way to the camp ground. It was very gloomy and cold at this point and it started to rain. We came along another small coffee stand and we stopped to warm up and drink some hot coffee to prepare us for the finish of the day.