RubiKon Adventures

Tales and travels of "GrizzLee", "Looksha Lori" & "Yukon Johann"

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

An Aggressive Route

"Midnight bugs taste best."
"Life is too short for traffic"
"You have not lived life until you ride a motorcycle down the road with a big grin and bug in your mouth" 

In my travels north, there are a few roads left I have not traveled. Among them are 3 roads that are some of the most remote in all of North America.

I will be traveling these alone without support. Hoping to avoid fires, flood, injury and breakdowns. To keep it safe, I will have extra fuel and a personal locator beacon with me just in case. I wish to see and experience the last of the true wilderness left on the planet.

1. Nahanni Range Road

The Nahanni Range Road proper is entirely gravel, and is not recommended for public use. At the end is the largest deposits of Tungsten ore found on the planet within the the boundaries of the NorthWest Territory. My reason for wanting to travel this way is that rumors abound of great beauty and grand views of rocky mountains, lots of solitude and abundant wildlife. I will be entirely on my own for this section. 400 miles (round trip to the Tungsten mine and Watson Lake).

2. Canol Road

The Canol (short for Canadian American Norman Oil Line) Road was part of a project to build the Canol pipeline and a road from Norman Wells, Northwest Territories to Whitehorse, Yukon during World War II.It is a winding, hilly road, resembling the original Alaska Highway (which has since been substantially upgraded); the road is not recommended for RVs, and traffic is very light. Occasionally, the road's alignment is emphasized with signs that show the symbol for winding road. There are few guardrails, and other than a government campground, no facilities except at Ross River. Like the Nahanni Road, there is no gas, no food and no lodging up there as the roads dips into the Northwest Territory. My reasons for traveling here are not much different than stated for the Nahanni Range Road. There is the historical significance that adds to the romance of traveling this remote northern road.

3. Denali Highway

Denali Highway (Alaska Route 8) is a lightly traveled, mostly gravel highway in the U.S. state of Alaska. It leads from Paxson on the Richardson Highway to Cantwell on the Parks Highway. Opened in 1957, it was the first road access to Denali National Park (then known as Mount McKinley National Park).  The highway is now little used and poorly maintained, and closed to all traffic from October to mid-May each year. This is a stretch of wild Alaska that is pretty much unspoiled, relatively accessible and beautiful. Need I say more. Sounds like another perfect northern moto adventure.

To answer the question I always get "What If... ". For those, I offer the following challenge: Where would you rather spend the night alone?  Downtown in any major city with nothing more than a bed  roll? Or a night in the woods? Where would you feel safer? Yeah, me too. Except, up north in the summer, I will have 24 hours of daylight.

My Route: Google Maps

Places I plan to visit as time and route allows

Green Lake Prov Park/Big Bar Lake/McBride/Purden Lake Prov Park/Smithers/Meziadin Jct/Hyder/Dease Lake/Boya Lake/Watson Lake/Tungsten,NWT/Quiet Lake/Ross River/Canol Rd, NWT/Faro/Frenchman Lake/Carmacks/Dawson/Tombstone Prov Park/Tok/Mcarthy/Paxson/Cantwell/Delta Jct via Fairbanks/Haines Jct/Haines/Skagway/Liard HotSprings

Fire danger is of great concern this year as the north is experiencing one of the worst fire seasons on record.

Bike Update:

Newly re-built gearbox
6 hours to put her back together
Dr Alex Guth performing the surgical procedure
 As of this posting, the bike is nearly packed and ready for the trip.

Departure date: 06/27/2015

The anticipation is building.

Final thoughts as I pack...
"I'd rather be riding my motorcycle thinking about God than sitting in church thinking about my motorcycle"

Until Next time...

Friday, June 5, 2015

Repair Blues

'Oh Shit!' is usually the moment when your plan parts ways with reality

Planning that big trip to the Yukon at the end of June. In getting my bike serviced, discovered some noise in the gear box... This combined with false neutrals in between 2-3 gear shifts occasionally, meant taking the big girl apart for further investigation.

No worries, she's in good, capable hands. Alyxmoto is taking good care of her. Hope to have her back in a week or 2. All ready to go for my big northern trip.

Not something you don't want to see
She's in the capable hands of Dr Guth... Motorrad Specialist
 'cause "Maintenance is as much art as it is science."
 Keep your bike in good repair: Motorcycle boots are NOT comfortable for walking.

Stay tuned...